Today’s Bar Patron: The Changing Expectations of “Barflies”
Who goes to bars? The answer might be different than you expect. Bar patrons have changed a lot over the last fifty, twenty, and even five years. “Regulars” today have a lot more in common with restaurant patrons than they ever have before, and their expectations are ever-changing.
Media Caddy works with bar owners all across the country to help create a compelling bar experience. Our tabletop and bartop caddies are all-in-one digital marketing vehicles, revenue generators, and functional equipment. They even have built-in cell phone chargers! Bar owners tell us their customer base is shifting. Here’s what the statistics say about the changing face of barflies.
The Youth Contingent
Millennials are shaping the bar industry. This contingent – 25%+ of the population – are reinventing the entire bar scene. As millennials get older (some are already in their mid-30s), bars are becoming less raucous and more sophisticated to accommodate. Bar design has changed alongside millennial tastes; yesterday’s cigarette machine is today’s bartop digital display. Bars customers demand better lighting, better service, and more ambiance than at any point in recent history.
The Elevated Cocktail
“Mixology” is no longer a buzzword, it’s a profession. Today’s bartenders are more experienced and more creative than beer-slingers of the past. Bars are expected to offer plenty of unique drinks to suit a variety of tastes, particularly if they intend customers to stick around. Fun drinks and communal seating are still huge draws for millennials and today’s barflies are willing to pay a premium for the experience.
The Rise of Pub Grub
More and more, bars are looking for ways to strike a balance between being a drinks-only establishment and one that serves food. Creative-minded bar owners without kitchen access now offer delivery right at the bar and in some cases allow food trucks to serve patrons on the property. Many bars are bringing food in-house, focusing on elevated pub food that pairs well with whatever drinks are on the menu. Snack and non-alcoholic drink sales at bars have risen to over $40 billion per year! When barflies eat, they stay longer. A longer stay means higher dwell times for bar owners and advertisers, too.
The Connected Customer
The bar experience of today is less isolating than it’s ever been. Bars aren’t just “bars,” they’re breweries, wine rooms, and pubs. Today’s customer is easily bored, so keeping them engaged through live music, sports on TV, or smartphone compatible infotainment means they’re more like to stay for that second drink…and come back later. Bars aren’t just watering holes anymore, they’re community gathering places; smart bar owners are taking notice and creating spaces patrons want to hang out in no matter what time of day it is.
The demographics of bar visitors are changing. The number of people who have visited a bar, casino, or nightclub in the last year has been on a steady rise for over a decade. Bars aren’t just for drinking anymore, they’re an experience. Does your business need help capturing bargoer attention? Could your bar use a new tactic that would encourage patrons to stay longer?
Media Caddy is an innovative solution for bar owners and marketers. From in-bar promotion to improved dwell times, no platform offers the versatility of Media Caddy.