How Will the Year End?

Alcohol purchases are rebounding in full-service restaurants, a trend that is contributing to the positive – although slow – overall growth trend reported by Technomic Inc. In fact, alcohol is growing faster than was originally projected.

The Chicago-based hospitality market research firm projects casual dining and fine dining restaurant segments to finish 2011 with 2.0% and 1.5% sales growth, respectively. Bars and nightclubs are expected to achieve 2.0% growth, which is a downgrade in Technomic’s original forecast for that segment’s 2011 performance. 

Total alcohol sales in on-premise outlets are expected to grow 2.3% in 2011, outpacing total food and beverage sales (2.0%), Technomic reports. After several difficult years, wine leads the pack, with 3.0% growth projected, followed by spirits at 2.3% and beer at 2.0%. This forecast is an upgrade from the firm's projection made late last year, which called for a 1.9% sales increase for alcohol in restaurants in 2011.

Hotel bars and restaurants are expected to be the top growth segment, a trend driven by a strong rebound in hotel occupancy rates in the past year. Technomic calls for 5.9% growth in alcohol sales in lodging facilities, with wine delivering a 7% increase, and spirits and wine each finishing the year up 5.5%.

Source: Technomic Inc. 

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