The orders are in, and if you’re asking who’s getting takeout lately, the answer is, just about everybody. When it comes to men, women, younger and older, CivicScience is seeing consistent numbers across the board. Almost half (48%) of all adults surveyed report enjoying getting takeout:
And nearly half (44%) of people who are getting take out, are doing it at least once or twice a week:
Likely to the delight of the food service industry, over a quarter (27%) of U.S. Adults report ordering ‘more’ takeout than they would during pre-pandemic restrictions:
But the real rub – or should we say, the sauce – is in what people are getting to-go. Namely, alcohol.
Many states have rapidly changed their laws due to the pressure coronavirus restrictions have placed on the restaurant and food service industry, prompting customers to enjoy cocktails, wine, and beer from the comfort of their home in one convenient order. And it turns out, people love it.
A full 15% of respondents aged 21 and older (rebased among those who drink) responded they are more likely to order takeout if alcohol is also available – a fascinating parallel to the 17% of respondents who report consuming more alcohol over the past few weeks.
But when crossing those two groups together, we find that:
Respondents who have been consuming more alcohol over the past few weeks are significantly more likely to choose to get take-out from a place that offers alcohol to-go. The implication here is clear, as people do consume more alcohol over this time period, there is little downside for restaurants to provide an assortment of drinks to bring their orders to the door.
And the data only gets more interesting as we drill down.
As in, of all respondents who are ordering alcohol to-go, a full 30% would order more if they didn’t have to order food in the same order. While regulations about food and drink requirements may vary from state to state, this statistic likely mirrors those groups who miss going out for a few drinks with friends or family. While the experience of a bar or restaurant is hard to replicate at home, to-go alcohol, such as beers or cocktails has the ability to mimic the effect to some degree.
This point is further illustrated when you consider what kind of alcohol people most frequently drink:
Compared to wine drinkers, people who more frequently drink beer, dark spirits, or clear spirits have an increased likelihood (25%, 30%, and 30%, respectively) to order more to-go alcohol if they didn’t have to order food with it. Which, if you think about it, makes sense. There may be a simple cost issue at play here — customers might not want to spend their take-out budget on food they may not be hungry for. Or perhaps, customers may be interested in trying new beers or cocktails without food they’re already familiar with. More likely yet, people may not want to order more food, when they’re simply interested in social drinks with friends or family, even if only within the confines of their home or other location of choice.
Ultimately, the implication here is that restaurants and bars would be wise to offer diverse to-go beer and cocktail choices, bringing in customers looking to try new offerings they aren’t able to get elsewhere.
Whether or not the availability of to-go alcohol is enough to float struggling restaurants and bars through the financial strain of coronavirus restrictions, one thing certainly is clear: takeout is remaining popular. And continuing to add new and diverse to-go alcohol options to menus is likely only to help sales through these unprecedented pressures on the industry.