Consumers ordered less beer on St. Patrick's day this year compared with last year, while wine and spirits orders increased, according to research firm GuestMetrics.
The Leesburg, Va.-based company analyzed point-of-sales data at restaurants and bars for the Friday through Sunday around the holiday. The data showed that, in terms of total number of drinks ordered, wine sales rose 6 percent and sales of spirits increased 2 percent, while cocktails sales fell 2 percent and beer sales decreased 4 percent.
In terms of total sales, rather than number of orders, wine and spirits registered a 6-percent increase, while food and cocktails brought in 2-percent more money. Beer and non-alcoholic sales were close to flat.
Customers also paid more for wine, which accounted for 21 percent of beverage alcohol sales over the weekend, but just 11 percent of the number of drinks sold. Beer, by contrast, accounted for 30 percent of sales and 44 percent of drinks sold.
Overall, food and beverage sales on the holiday itself, which fell on a Sunday this year, decreased about 33 percent compared with St. Patrick's Day 2012, which fell on a Saturday. Traffic fell 1 percent for the entire three-day weekend compared with the prior year. However, pricing rose by 4 percent, resulting in an overall gain in revenue.
The total number of alcoholic drinks ordered over the weekend fell 0.8 percent, but sales rose 3.2 percent, GuestMetrics reported.
Restaurants saw a 2-percent dip in traffic, but still saw higher revenue thanks to the 4-percent price increase. Sales at bars were particularly robust for the weekend, with net traffic rising 2 percent over last year and total sales increasing 6 percent.
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