Research Shows Canadians Remain Reluctant to Visit Restaurants and Bars


TORONTO — New research from Accenture shows that more than half (56 per cent) of Canadians are reluctant to visit bars in the next six months.

Other highlights include:

  • 42 per cent of Canadians are uncomfortable visiting public spaces
  • Canadians show the highest comfort level in going to a friend’s or relative’s house (69 per cent)
  • alcoholic-beverage companies have been forced to re-focus on home consumption, making a strong case for accelerating digital adoption to enhance consumer experience, trust and convenience

Accenture’s research, which regularly tracks consumer sentiment in the wake of COVID-19, points to an inevitable shift in consumer attitudes and behaviours, some of which could become long-term and even permanent. While the majority of Canadians (87 per cent) are concerned about the impact COVID-19 will have on the economy, there appears to be reluctance to visit and support local bars, restaurants and cafés.

This comes against a backdrop of mass adoption of virtual socializing, as consumers have migrated to online channels to find new ways for human connection from the comfort of their homes. Online happy hours, quizzes and meet ups have become the norm as people have adapted to their new reality, with 44 per cent of Canadian consumers likely to continue to socialize virtually with family and friends moving forward.

With a summer of ‘staycations’ looking likely, companies should explore how they can create authentic products and experiences to appeal to consumers who are staying close to home.

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