After a little over a hundred days of quarantine in São Paulo due to the Coronavirus, one of the most affected segments was undoubtedly the bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. But now it seems that the sector can see a positive outlook with the reopening of establishments, following strict protocols to protect both customers and employees. In the case of liquor stores, this reopening took place on June 11th, along with retail stores in general and shopping malls. On July 6th, it was the turn of bars and restaurants to open to the public with restrictions. During this period, most companies invested in the delivery systems.
In the case of the alcoholic beverages segment, if, its largest distribution channel – bars and restaurants – were extremely affected, in the other side, the consumption of wine and spirits by the final consumer increased significantly since the social distancing measures were implanted. It was easy to see posts on social networks of people at home with a beautiful glass, a gin tonic, or showing their bottles in half.
As people were no longer able to go to bars and restaurants, they moved this consumption occasions to their own home. This made e-commerce as well as adherence to delivery apps essential to meet this new demand. And this delivery service is being maintained even after the stores are reopened, it is a new market niche that should be profitable for some time, while people are still at home. At this moment of reopening, the expectation that people will return to the stores little by little is very high, but without forgetting the extra care with cleaning the products, floors, the use of a mandatory mask by customers and employees. Another positive point is the return of beverage consumption in restaurants and bars, gradually stabilizing this important form of distribution.
In restaurants and bars, this was a time to reinvent and create an attractive option for customers. The experience they had in physical establishments needed to reach their homes somehow. There was a large investment in packaging and sending new products such as ready-to-drink drinks, menus harmonized with wine for example, which even with the reopening will continue to be used. The expectation is that consumers start to come back gradually, but it is important that they feel very safe so that this demand grows over the days. The rules of social coexistence will need to be adequate in this new moment, with constant cleaning of the environment; the use of masks mandatory, alcohol gel available in strategic places; tables with spacing, reduced capacity, and better ventilation.