CGA Research Reveals Ireland's Appetite For Eating And Drinking Out After Long Lockdown
Consumers in Ireland are keen to make up for lost time in restaurant, pubs and bars, new research from business insight consultancy CGA Strategy reveals.
A major survey for CGA's "Consumer Insights" report shows more than half (53%) of adults in Ireland plan to go out to eat and drink more often than they did before COVID-19, while a third (32%) say they will spend more than they usually do over the next 12 months.
The figures are revealed as hospitality venues in Ireland settle into new trading, having reopened for outside service from 7 June.
However, venues remain subject to restrictions on distancing and table numbers, and indoor service is not scheduled to return until 5 July.
In Northern Ireland, indoor hospitality resumed on 24 May.
"The reopening of Ireland’s hospitality sector for the first time this year is a very welcome landmark, and the pent-up demand revealed by our research could make it a good summer for pubs, bars and restaurants," says Jonathan Jones, managing director, CGA, UK and Ireland. "However, the experiences of Britain and other countries suggest that sales will be held back for some time by trading constraints and lingering consumer anxiety, and that they will be subject to the vagaries of the Irish weather."
The CGA research highlights the value of outdoor space to the confidence and spending of consumers in Ireland.
Three in five (59%) say they feel confident about visiting venues with outdoor areas - 17 percentage points higher than the number feeling confident about eating and drinking out in general (42%).
Well over a quarter (28%) of consumers think outlets’ outdoor spaces are now more important than they were before the pandemic.
Jones added, "Operators and suppliers are going to have to work hard together to show hesitant consumers that they can eat and drink out safely, and keep their fingers crossed for sunshine. Until all restrictions are loosened, trading is likely to remain well below pre-COVID levels, and businesses may need sustained external support to tide them through these tentative early weeks of trading."
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