Austin, Texas-based Union, a data-driven hospitality engagement platform, has released a new OnPrem Insights report covering consumption trends for the months of October, November and December, known within the beverage industry as the “O-N-D” period. According to data from more than a thousand Union venues throughout the United States, nearly 30% of annual sales happen in Q4.
“With a holiday falling in every month during the OND period ‘tis the season for venues to capitalize on the influx of out-of-town guests, holiday parties and people going out to celebrate,” said Layne Cox, Union’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “One of the biggest takeaways we saw in this study was that the Saturday before Halloween was the biggest sales day of the year. Many operators typically plan special packages and programs for New Year’s Eve, but with this new data they should start focusing on Halloween premium drink specials and promotions that can maximize their traffic on the weekends surrounding Oct. 31.”
Union’s report provides a range of insights that bars and restaurants should keep in mind to prepare for the OND season:
Thanksgiving Wednesday is a Big Deal On-Premise – While Thanksgiving Day is typically a low point on-premise, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically the biggest Wednesday of the entire year at high-volume venues. This is likely the case because many people have the day off, and some younger drinking-age consumers participate in “Drinksgiving,” a bar-focused gathering of friends the night before Thanksgiving.
The Average Price of a Wine Order Spikes for Christmas and New Year’s Eve Celebrations – While beer, cocktail, and liquor orders don’t rise much for holiday occasions, average wine orders, per drink, spike by nearly double, to $20 per drink on Christmas Eve and $19 on New Year’s Eve. Wine also sells a larger share in OND compared with the rest of the year, representing about 9% growth in Q4.
Vodka, Tequila and Whiskey Reign Supreme in OND – The best-selling spirit brands at Union venues in 2022 were Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Casamigos and Jameson respectively. While Casamigos might be trailing Tito’s, it was the star Spirit in Q4 2022 at Union venues, with a growth rate of almost 40% compared with the prior quarter.