Study: Aussies Still In Love With The Pub, But It’s For The Food, Not The Beer

Study: Aussies Still In Love With The Pub, But It’s For The Food, Not The Beer

New Roy Morgan data shows that pre-COVID-19, 11 million Australians aged 14-plus (52 per cent) were visiting pubs (hotels) for meals or for a drink in an average three months, up from 10 million four years ago.

Contrary to the image many might have of Australia’s pubs, most visitors to these establishments (9.5 million) go primarily for food.

There are also 5.2 million people who like to drop in at the local for the sole purpose of having a drink. Of course many Australians, around 3.8 million, enjoy visiting pubs for both of these activities at different times.

On a State-based level it is South Australians (62 per cent) and Tasmanians (59 per cent) who are proportionally most likely to visit pubs, followed by people in Victoria (54 per cent), New South Wales (52 per cent), Western Australia (50 per cent), Queensland (48 per cent), with the least likely being those in the ACT – only 37 per cent.

More Australians in Gen X (aged 44-59) visit pubs than any other generation.

People in Gen X, born from 1961-1975, are the leading age group for Australia’s pubs, with nearly 2.76 million (57 per cent) visiting them. Other generations aren’t far behind, with 2.68 million Millennials (54 per cent), 2.4 million Baby Boomers (52 per cent) and 2.4 million in Gen Z (52 per cent) visiting pubs.

Across all generations most people visit pubs for a meal (50 per cent of Gen X, 47 per cent of Baby Boomers, 46 per cent of Millennials, 43 per cent of Gen Z and 37 per cent of Pre-Boomers).

Australian visitation to pubs for meals and only drinks by generation

Those most likely to go to a pub for the sole purpose of having a drink are the younger generations. Over 30 per cent of Millennials and Generation Z visit pubs for the sole purpose of having a drink.

These findings are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey in the year to March 2020, derived from in-depth interviews with over 1,000 Australians each week and around 50,000 Australians per year.

Commenting on the study, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “Most of Australia is opening back up as restrictions ease and venues, including pubs and hotels, are able to welcome back an increasing number of patrons. Unfortunately the wait for a greater lifting of restrictions has been delayed indefinitely for Victorians with a renewed outbreak of COVID-19.

“The option to return to pubs in greater numbers will be widely welcomed with 11 million Australians (8 million outside Victoria) visiting pubs in an average three months during normal times, whether for a meal or a drink. Most likely to be enjoying the easing of restrictions and heading to their local are people in South Australia (62 per cent visit pubs) and Tasmania (59 per cent), while those in the ACT are the least likely at just over a third (37 per cent).

“The pub is also a popular place to visit for Australians of a variety of ages. Over half of Generation X (57 per cent), Millennials (54 per cent), Baby Boomers (52 per cent) and Generation Z (52 per cent) visit pubs. This trend only declines for older Australians in the Pre-Boomer category when visitation drops to 40 per cent.

“The renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in Victoria, and the imposition of a renewed six week lockdown for the Melbourne metropolitan area, shows this virus still poses a serious threat in Australia and bad luck, or bad management, could see outbreaks elsewhere around the country. But where the pandemic remains under control, many Australians will be enjoying the chance to have a parma or a schnitzel at their local,” Levine said.




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