Hotel Bars to Cater to Travelers’ Need to Unwind

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Alcohol has long been embedded in American culture, from the bar to the home to the brew pub and beyond, reports Nielsen. When we think about how and where America will drink in the coming years, we need to consider today’s on-​the-​go, fragmented consumer landscape. The bedrock of travel stay is the hotel, where opportunities remain to up the ante in the alcohol industry."

"In examining the drinking preferences of 5,000 hotel visitors, Nielsen CGA found that in aggregate, the U.S. hotel channel includes almost 21,000 drinking outlets and is growing faster than traditional on-​premise establishments within the U.S. With the willingness of today’s consumers to drink wherever and whenever they choose, hotels remain a hotbed for growth within the beverage alcohol industry."

"So, what’s the appeal of today’s hotel bar? It can serve many purposes for today’s consumer. You’ll always have the post-​event and evening “wind down” for hotel guests, but increasingly, the hotel bar is becoming a destination for every occasion."

"Reasons for Visiting Hotel Bar:

  • Wind Down/​Chill Out: 45%
  • Catch Up With Friends: 35%
  • Night Life: 29%
  • Treat/​Reward: 27%
  • Regular/​Every Day Drink: 25%
  • Celebration: 25%
  • Romantic Drink: 24%
  • Before/​After Event: 23%
  • Watch Sporting Event: 21%"

"And if we think Americans enjoy imbibing in general, Nielsen CGA’s hotel data shows that people actually drink more alcoholic drinks at a hotel than a regular drinking occasion at a traditional non-​hotel bar. In fact, 46% of adult U.S. consumers drink beer during a regular drinking occasion, while 52% do the same at a hotel."

Many Frequent Bar Patrons will turn to the internet to discover which nearby hotels serve their favorite drinks. According to AudienceSCAN, within the last six months, 22.3% of these consumers used a click-​to-​call button online to contact a business and 25% looked up directions to a business. Additionally, within the last month, 27.6% used a search engine to research a product or service they were considering.

"Happy Hour is the mainstay of the hotel bar, and the numbers continue to bear that out. For example, 56% of people say that they partake in Happy Hour in a hotel, versus 36% outside a hotel. Cocktails win the Happy Hour, and hotels have the opportunity to get creative with their offerings and deals."

"Yet, the opportunity doesn’t end there. People adjust their drinking habits depending on the time of day. For example, wine dominates earlier and during key meal times (e.g., brunch), whereas beer rates particularly high among hotel consumers regardless of the daypart. Hotels can maximize the opportunity to adjust their menus based on the time of day and strategically market themselves to increase exposure."

"Travel for business and pleasure isn’t slowing down, and neither is the consumer desire for great experiences from their on-​premise visits. Hotels and brands primed to succeed are those that best anticipate their client base’s preferences and needs."

Hotels can promote their bars to Frequent Bar Patrons in numerous ways. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, these patrons took action after seeing TV commercials (81.7%), either receiving an ad via text or seeing an ad on a mobile smartphone app (77.7%), seeing an ad in either a digital or print newspaper (76.9%) and receiving an email ad (76.1%). They're also 123% more likely than other adults to be influenced by outdoor ads and 121% more likely to take action after seeing ads in movie theaters.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.