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News & Press / August 2, 2019

The Evolution of Nightlife: 1 in 3 Americans Prefer an Eatertainment Venue for a Night Out

Latest SevenRooms report reveals consumers want food, drink & activity all in one place

NEW YORK (August 2, 2019)SevenRooms, a data-driven hospitality platform that combines operations, marketing and guest engagement tools, today released its “The New Nightlife” report, which found that people’s preferences for nightlife have shifted away from crowded bars with loud music and toward venues that offer convenience, efficiency and entertainment. With nearly one in three Americans (29%) preferring a bar or club that has an activity, food, and drink all in one place, we’ve seen the emergence of the new “club” – eatertainment venues.

The study, conducted with third-party research firm YouGov, examined people’s preferences around nightlife and eatertainment. The study infographic is available here.

The New Nightlife

Nightlife priorities are changing, with exclusive venues with lines around the block no longer appealing to consumers. In fact, 64% of Americans say they will leave a bar or club if it is too crowded. Here are the other top reasons people would leave a bar in favor of a different venue:

  • A line outside the bar or club (54%)
  • Music that is too loud (50%)
  • Ten minute or more wait for a drink (39%)
  • No food on the menu (34%) 

Now when looking for fun nightlife activities, people rely more on familiarity when making their decisions, with over one-third (35%) of Americans more likely to go to a bar or club that has been recommended to them by friends or family and one-third (33%) more likely to choose a bar or club that they’ve already been to over a new venue.

“We’ve recently seen restaurants shift strategy based on diners’ changing expectations, and we’re currently seeing nightlife undergo a similar transformation,” said Joel Montaniel, CEO of SevenRooms. “In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, a cold beer in a neighborhood bar isn’t enough for a night out – today’s consumers want great food, entertainment and drinks all in one place and nightlife venues that can deliver these experiences will thrive in the year ahead.”

Eatertainment Takeover

So what are the bars that people are recommending? Many consumers are looking for venues that have food, drink and activities all in one place, as evidenced through the rising popularity of eatertainment venues like Dave & Busters and Topgolf. In fact, a quarter (24%) of Americans wish there were more venues near them that combine an activity with food and drink and 21% of Americans are willing to spend more money on a night out at an eatertainment venue than a traditional venue, showing it’s worthwhile for operators to take note of these changing preferences.

With a quarter (25%) of Americans reporting having more fun at venues that combine activity with food and drink than traditional venues, here are the activities that Americans say would most appeal to them at an eatertainment venue:

  • Live performances like a concert or comedy show (30%)
  • Movies (15%)
  • Arcade Games (9%)
  • Bowling (7%)

While eatertainment venues are great for a night out with friends, with one in five (21%) Americans more likely to regularly go to an eatertainment venue than a traditional venue for a night out, they’re also perfect for special occasions:

  • A quarter (25%) of Americans think that eatertainment venues are a great date spot
  • One in three (34%) would choose an eatertainment venue for a birthday party
  • One in five (22%) would choose an eatertainment venue for watching sports games

One in five (21%) Americans have been to a venue that combines an activity with food and drink in the past year and half (49%) would be likely to choose an eatertainment venue for a regular night out with friends, showing the increasing role eatertainment plays in nightlife.

With the growing popularity of eatertainment venues, it’s important to understand exactly what guests are looking for in their eatertainment experience. While activities other than drinking are a definite draw, quality food (28%) is still the number one consideration when those who go out are asked to rank their top considerations when choosing a bar or club for a night out with friends. Other top considerations include:

  • Close proximity to their home (27%)
  • Offering activities other than drinking (14%)
  • Craft beer or cocktails on the menu (12%)

“Not only do guests have more fun at eatertainment venues, they’re also willing to spend more money on a night out, which should cause operators to take note of these shifting priorities,” says Joel Montaniel, CEO of SevenRooms. “Whether it’s for a special occasion or a night out with friends, people are looking for experiences that combine food, drink and activities all in one place and I don’t see that changing in the year ahead.”

Research Methodology

SevenRooms commissioned YouGov PLC – a third party, professional research and consulting organization – to poll the views of 1,248 individuals who agreed to take part. Fieldwork was undertaken online between May 31st – June 3rd, 2019. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).