14 April 2022


Moving to the orange traffic light will do more than provide a much-needed boost for hospitality businesses this Easter, with the lifting of some restrictions likely to lift Kiwis’ spirits as well, says the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC).

Consumer research finds that three in five Kiwis (60%) say hospitality venues such as cafes, bars, restaurants, night clubs and sports clubs are important to their social and mental wellbeing.[i]  

“Kiwi hospitality plays a significant role in the social fabric of our country,” says Bridget MacDonald, NZABC’s Executive Director.

“Three-quarters (74%) of 18-40-year-olds say hospitality venues are important to their social and mental wellbeing, and 58% of people aged 41-60 years and 48% of people aged 61+ years also find these social spaces important.

“What’s interesting is that more than half (56%) of people who don’t drink alcohol and 70% of those who only drink occasionally also said that hospitality venues were important for their social and mental wellbeing. This shows the value of providing engaging places for people to socialise – we’re looking for positive social experiences, whether it’s catching up with friends over good food and a drink, cutting some shapes on the dance floor, or having a post-match chat with your teammates,” said Bridget.

The findings echo global YouGov research, which showed nearly half (45%) of adults agreed their social and mental wellbeing had been negatively affected by the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants during the pandemic, and 57% said they now had a better appreciation for the contribution the hospitality sector brought to their own wellbeing.[ii]

“The orange light at Easter paves the way for Kiwis to get back out there and enjoy friendly local hospitality. Venues are still taking every precaution to keep their venues safe and social. We can get out and play our part by supporting local and enjoying a non-alcohol drink, no-alcohol beer, low-alcohol wine, or sip and savour a cocktail in a warm and welcoming hospitality venue,” says Bridget. 

“If you are planning to connect over some good old Kiwi hospitality this Easter, follow these handy tips to keep safe and social: eat when you drink, consider no- and low-alcohol options, pace yourself by sipping and savouring your drink and staying hydrated with water, and always plan a safe way home. Check out online information and tools such as cheers.org.nz and alcoholandme.org.nz to help make better drinking decisions,” says Bridget.


Need more information? 

Check out cheers.org.nz and alcoholandme.org.nz for more information on what a standard drink is and how to make better drinking decisions.

A good rule of thumb is ‘Go no, low or slow’. It’s okay to choose no or low alcohol drinks. If you choose to drink, pace yourself and enjoy your drink slowly.

Ministry of Health/HPA Guidelines: Low-risk alcohol drinking advice to reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:

Two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week,

Three standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week,

AND have at least two alcohol-free days every week. 

Need help? 

Call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, free txt 8681, or visit alcoholdrughelp.org.nz.

[i] NZ Alcohol Beverages Council consumer research undertaken by Curia Market Research, New Zealander’s attitudes to alcohol research, December 2021, poll of 1,250 New Zealanders. Consumers were asked: How important are hospitality venues such as bars, restaurants, cafes and night clubs and sports clubs to your social and mental wellbeing?” 

·     60% of participants said it was important (11% ‘extremely important’, 26% ‘very important’, 23% ‘somewhat important’) 

·     39% of participants said was not important (25% ‘not so important’ and 14% ‘not at all important’). 


·     74% of adults aged 18-40 years said hospitality venues were important to their social and mental wellbeing 

·     58% of people aged 41-60 years and 48% of people aged 61+ years. 

·     4% of people aged 18-40 years said venues were ‘not at all important’ while 25% of people aged 61+ years said they were ‘not at all important’ to their social and mental wellbeing.

  Drinking frequency:

·     56% of non-drinkers said venues were important  to their social and mental wellbeing (9% ‘extremely important’, 31% ‘very important’, 16% ‘somewhat             important’).

·     70% of occasional-drinkers (11% ‘extremely important’, 28% ‘very important’, 31% ‘somewhat important’). 

·     52% of people who drink a couple of times a week say venues are important to their social and mental wellbeing (14% ‘extremely important’, 21% ‘very important’, 17% ‘somewhat important’). 

·     56% of people who drink most days say venues are important to their social and mental wellbeing (14% ‘extremely important’, 21% ‘very important’, 17% ‘somewhat important’).

[ii] Insights: The Value of Hospitality Venues to Social and Mental Wellbeing. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov PLC, who conducted global polling in the following 10 countries: U.K., U.S., Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Australia, France, Japan, Brazil, and Czech Republic, during July and August 2021. Total sample size was 11,444 adults. The survey was carried out online between July and August 2021. The figures have been weighted and are representative of each country (aged 18+).