February 21, 2007

Fifty percent (105 million people) of Americans age 21 or older have visited a bar or lounge, including a restaurant with a dedicated bar, in the past month, and 31 percent (65 million people) in the past week, according to a national survey by Arbitron Inc. This makes bars the new out-of-home hot spot for advertisers to reach consumers. (Audience estimates are based on 2005 U.S. population aged 21 or older estimate of 210 million.)

The survey profiles the audience for bar and lounge advertising. America’s bar-going habits reveal that bar-based advertising, as a medium, has the potential to reach not only a significant portion of adult consumers, but concentrate its message among those who are the first to try new products and recommend them to friends.

Bar Patronage

Monthly bar patrons go to a bar 3.6 days per month and visit 2.8 different bars. Those who have visited a bar in the past week have gone 1.7 days and visited 1.6 different establishments. These findings show that bars, as out-of-home media venues, deliver an impressive, targeted reach, and reinforce the brand message through repetitive exposure.

Patrons are Early Adopters

Bar patrons are more likely to be early adopters of new technology, meaning they try new products either first or before most of their friends and family, and feel they exercise a great deal of influence over the purchasing habits of their family and friends. Twenty-seven percent of monthly bar-goers consider themselves early adopters, compared to 18 percent of those who have not been to a bar in the last month. Twenty-six percent of monthly bar-goers frequently recommend new products to others, while only 19 percent of non-bar patrons do the same.

Additional Findings


Bar patrons are highly educated. Seventy-five percent of monthly bar patrons have acquired some degree of higher learning compared to 60 percent of those who have not visited a bar in the last six months. Forty-five percent of last month bar goers have a four year college degree or higher versus 33 percent of non-bar patrons.

Household Income

Forty-eight percent of monthly bar patrons have annual household incomes above $50,000 versus 28 percent of non-bar patrons. Twenty-six percent of monthly bar patrons have annual household incomes above $75,000 versus 13 percent of non-bar patrons.

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