Sales in the drinking place sector in the United States have steadily grown since the mid 1990's reaching 23.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. The sector includes bars, pubs, lounges, taverns and nightclubs as well as other drinking places that primarily sell alcoholic beverages for immediate consumption. The National Restaurant Association estimated that food and drink sales in U.S. bars and taverns would reach 19.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. This is a relatively small figure in comparison to the wider restaurant industry, for which food and drink sales were expected to rise to approximately 783 billion U.S. dollars during the same year.
Bars and taverns are places that serve alcoholic beverages to paying customers who consume their purchases on-premises, either on a stool at the bar or around tables provided by the establishment. Nightclubs also serve alcoholic beverages, but, unlike most bars and taverns, are usually characterized by their late opening hours, loud music and dance floor facilities. More than 590 thousand bartenders were employed in the United States in 2015, and this number was forecasted to increase to 696 thousand by 2026.
The types of alcohol purchased in bars, taverns and nightclubs ranges from beers and wines to liquors and cocktails. A bi-annual survey by market research company Nielsen Scarborough found that the number of Americans purchasing wine in bars and nightclubs has been declining since 2008. The number of consumers buying liquor, on the other hand, is much higher and has remained consistent over a four year period.
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