Patio Seating, To-Go Cocktails and Masks: What Customers Want Post-COVID

After months of lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic, bars and restaurants in cities around the country are starting to get back to business as usual. But are customers – and staff – ready to go back?

To gauge the current temperature within the hospitality industry, thirsty and Chopin Vodka put out a survey that came back with some interesting responses: it turns out, many bar and restaurant staffers aren’t necessarily ready to head back to their watering holes with some hesitant to resume eating and drinking out until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

“Our team is passionate about supporting our bar and restaurant brethren as they reopen and felt the most impactful way to do that is by understanding what they need to be successful,” said Chuck Kane’, Chopin Imports COO. “We haven’t seen any real data on the opening of drinking establishments and felt the best course was to understand what guests need to feel comfortable going out again.”

The complete results of the survey are now available here.

With replies from over 850 people – over 60% of which work in the bar and restaurant industry – the survey produced some fascinating findings. For instance, before lockdown, nearly half of the respondents went out more than three times a week but only 25% feel comfortable returning right now. Over 50% said they won’t go out as often as they did pre-COVID.


Many bars and restaurants have started to open with limited outdoor-only seating, and it turns out this is exactly what customers are looking for with their post-lockdown drinking and dining experiences: a whopping 80% of people said that outdoor space would be ideal and would like to see to-go cocktails – which have been made legal in several cities and states – continue even after shelter-in-place expires.

According to the survey results, guests would feel more comfortable with contactless ordering and QR code menus, staffers wearing masks, like the n95mask, and hand sanitizer readily available throughout the venue. Meanwhile, over 71% of the people who answered said they would be fine giving out their contact details before gaining entry to a bar or restaurant.

In other words: people aren’t ready to go back to their favorite spots unless some changes are made to help everyone feel safer.

“Chopin is built upon family and passion, and with the data uncovered in this survey, we hope to provide insights that will ultimately help our extended family – our bars, our restaurants, and our customers,” he added.

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