Going out is so extra.
Most Americans (55 percent) prefer getting their drink on in the comfort of their own home — especially millennials, according to a new Mintel report released on Tuesday.
Almost three in 10 (28 percent) young adults aged 24 to 31 told researchers that they prefer to sip alcohol at home because “it takes too much effort to go out.”
A girls’ or guys’ night in was considered more relaxing by 74 percent of those surveyed; you don’t have to wait for a table or a seat, flag a bartender’s attention, or dress in binding party clothes, after all. About a third (35 percent) said sipping wine or cracking open a couple of cold beers together at home is also a more personal way to catch up than shouting across a table at a bar or restaurant.
Popping bottles at home is also much cheaper than the marked-up prices you’ll swallow when ordering wine or cocktails in a bar or restaurant, as well, which is why 69 percent of people told Mintel that they drink at home.
Finally, nearly two in five (38 percent) at-home drinkers said they keep the party under their own roofs because they can control their alcohol intake at home more easily than when they’re out on the town.
“Today, Millennials are currently leading the way when it comes to socializing in the home, but the preference for at-home drinking will likely be even greater among the up-and-coming iGeneration, who are generally regarded as more frugal and pragmatic than Millennials,” said Caleb Bryant, senior foodservice analyst at Mintel, in a statement.
Mintel noted that these homebodies haven’t been a complete buzzkill to the alcohol service industry, as on-premise booze sales (in bars, restaurants, etc.) has continued to rise, hitting an estimated $108 billion last year. Yet the number of drinks is estimated to fall to 17.8 liters per person in 2017, compared to 20.9 liters per capita in 2010, as drinkers are trading up to sip fewer, more expensive drinks.
Bars and restaurants looking to get young adults off the couch and onto a bar stool should also consider that millennials are thirsty for new experiences. Research has shown millennials favor doing stuff over getting stuff, with three out of four saying they would rather spend their money on an experience rather than buying something desirable, according to a 2017 Eventbrite report. And Mintel found that those who are actually making the effort to leave the house are looking for more unique drinking experiences, such as visiting breweries (19 percent), entertainment venues (14 percent) and independent restaurants (13 percent) more often in 2018, while trying out new drinks was the number one reason for half of them (49 percent) to drink away from home. And one in five (22 percent) said more bars should offer activities like trivia and darts.
“Bars and restaurants must work harder than ever to provide customers with a unique drinking experience,” added Bryant. “For example, an ‘Instagramable’ pop culture pop-up bar offers an experience that can’t be replicated from consumers’ living rooms.”
Some savvy restaurants and watering holes are catching on by designing their spaces with Instagram in mind: Boston Chops DTX spent $5,000 to design the ultimate social media-friendly table for two, which features an overhead LED light panel and two adjustable lamps to create the perfect lighting to snap a pic of your plate or cocktail. Citrus & Salt in Boston features a voodoo lounge complete with a blue backlight and neon sign perfect for snapping shots of their various margaritas and tequila cocktails.
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