New data from Chicago-based Technomic Inc. reveals that adult beverage programs at leading chain restaurants also enhance guest satisfaction. In a new white paper, “Adult Beverage Consumption at the Leading Restaurant Chains,” the market research firm shows how adult beverage consumption across 40 casual-dining and fast-casual restaurants serving adult beverages is associated with higher ratings of the overall experience and stronger loyalty to that restaurant.

“These restaurants provide a place where consumers can relax and enjoy an adult beverage, and in turn, this simple hospitality influences the consumer's perception of the whole experience,” said Donna Hood Crecca, senior director of the adult beverage resource group at Technomic, in a statement. “It’s important for restaurant operators to nurture that experience, and when feasible, to extend this hospitality even before the customer is seated at a table. In fact, customers who enjoy a drink while waiting for a table report the highest satisfaction with their visit than any other group.”

The white paper found that 61 percent of consumers who ordered an adult beverage at a leading chain restaurant gave their visit an “excellent” top-box rating, compared with 55 percent of those who did not order an adult beverage.

Additional findings included two-fifths (42 percent) of adult-beverage consumers strongly agree that they will return to that restaurant in the near future and recommend the concept to friends and family (40 percent), compared with 39 and 37 percent, respectively, of consumers overall.

Forty-three percent of those who consumed an adult beverage while standing and waiting for a table strongly agree that the restaurant they visited was the right place for that specific occasion, more than those who consumed their beverages elsewhere, according to the report. These consumers also indicated a higher overall visit satisfaction than any other group, with 65 percent saying that their last visit was excellent.

The report also found that although more consumers ordered beer than mixed drinks or wine on their last restaurant visit, consumers who ordered mixed drinks are most likely to strongly agree that they'll return to the restaurant (45 percent) and recommend it to others (44 percent).