Current Trends & Traffic in the On-Premise

CGA by NielsenIQ recently released its latest cocktail tracker for Q4 2022. It revealed that the cocktail category continues to be very lucrative for the U.S. on-premise, boosting average earnings in Q4 vs Q3 2022 by +7% to $11,400. This uplift can be attributed to an increase in both traffic (+6%) and check value (+5%). Price is a factor in this increase in check value, with cocktails now $1.00 more expensive than last year on average. 

In terms of types of cocktails, the margarita continues to reign supreme as the country’s most popular cocktail.

Martinis have grown in popularity and have even surpassed the Moscow Mule for the #2 spot in the rankings of the top 10 Cocktails in the latest quarter.  The Espresso Martini continues to be one of the most popular martini offerings, with its value velocity jumping +26% vs Q3 and up by a significant +83% vs the same period last year. This jump is entirely due to an increase in traffic, seeing the cocktail nearly double in velocity over the past year. 

In Q4, the performance of whiskey, gin, and vodka-based cocktails experienced double-figure uplifts compared to the previous quarter. While Rum-based cocktails remain slightly ahead of Q4 2021, it’s anticipated they will have a bigger showing in later quarters, showcasing their seasonality with stronger summer sales than in winter.  

Speaking of seasonality, the colder months have marked a shift in the preferences of consumers, with old fashioneds and Manhattans gaining velocity vs Q3 at the expense of some summer-based cocktails, such as mojitos and piña coladas. 

CGA by NielsenIQ also released its latest On-Premise Impact report, which looked at consumer data gathered from February 1-2, 2023. The report was promising with the frequency of visits to on-premise venues remaining consistent across the last six months, with almost four in five consumers visiting the on-premise three or more times in the past three months. 72% of consumers said they have been out to eat in bars/restaurants in the past two weeks. Looking ahead to the Valentine’s Day holiday this week, two in five consumers said they are planning to visit the on-premise for the holiday, with food-led venues the most popular for this occasion.

Value velocity (+16%), check value (+10%), and ticket count (+5%) are all up as well, furthering the positivity of CGA’s report.


Plan to Attend or Participate in Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 27-29, 2023

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 27-29, 2023 in Las Vegas. Visit

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

​Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q) ​e: [email protected]​ p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-5174​

Also, be sure to follow Bar & Restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest industry news and trends.