There’s a recession on, and that’s forcing drinkers everywhere to change their schedules. These days bars are filling up in the late afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reports, as patrons pinch pennies by slurping happy hour specials. “We don’t see a change in what people are drinking,” said the beverage director for one bar chain, “as much as the time they are drinking.”
The booze business typically weathers recessions with ease, but this time things are different. In July, Wine & Spirits released a survey in which more than 40% of bar managers, owners, and bartenders reported decreases in consumer traffic. “This is far worse than anything we have seen,” said one industry analyst.