Poll gauged Michigan residents’ comfort level in returning to bars, restaurants, concerts and sporting events
DETROIT — A new poll finds Michiganders plan to ease back into social activities like going out to eat and attending concerts or sporting events as restrictions are lifted or loosened in Michigan.
The poll was conducted April 20-24 by Warrior Market Insight. It was commissioned by Great Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS), a statewide distributor of wine and spirits, after the distributor was contacted by several restaurants seeking to gauge consumer sentiment on returning to some normal activities.
“The poll drew from a panel of consumers and a social media campaign” said Mark Barron of Warrior Market Insight. “In total, over 1000 Michigan residents responded to the survey from 64 of the state’s 83 counties.”
“This poll shows strong support for the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve in Michigan. It’s clear those efforts are paying off as regions of the state are beginning to open,” said Lew Cooper III, co-CEO of Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. “The poll also paints a sobering picture of how reluctant Michiganders are to return to some normal activities before a COVID-19 vaccine or antibody tests are available.”
When asked about Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, issued on April 9, nearly 49% of respondents were neutral on the restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, while 17% felt it didn’t go far enough. Meanwhile, 12% of those surveyed felt the order went too far. More than 70% of respondents approved of plans to reopen the economy in phases.
The poll also gauged Michiganders’ comfort with returning to normal activities, like going out to eat at a restaurant, catching a movie or attending a sporting event.
When asked how likely they would be to resume these activities within the first week the stay at home order is lifted, respondents said:
- 77% would be unlikely to see a sporting event, while 11% would attend one
- 76% would be unlikely to go to a bar or nightclub, while 14% would likely go
- 74% would be unlikely to go see a movie, while 15% would be to likely to see one, and
- 62% would be unlikely to visit a restaurant, while 32% would be likely to visit one
Respondents grew slightly more comfortable resuming those activities within the first month the stay at home order is lifted. The largest change in activity after the first week was respondent’s willingness to go back out to restaurants.
- 70% would be unlikely to see a sporting event, while 17% would attend one
- 67% would be unlikely to go to a bar or nightclub, while 21% would likely go
- 63% would be unlikely to go see a movie, while 25% would likely see one, and
- 38% would be unlikely to visit a restaurant, while 51% would likely visit one
Those surveyed approve of bars and restaurants providing hand sanitizer (80%), installing physical barriers (74%), requiring social distancing between groups (70%), requiring servers to wear masks (67%) and taking customers’ temperatures at the door (46%).
However, it likely won’t be until a vaccine or coronavirus antibody tests are available before respondents said they would feel more comfortable returning to large gatherings, like sporting events (65%) or concerts (67%).
“This poll shows Michigan’s restaurant and entertainment industry will be slow to rebound from the economic impact of this pandemic, but it will rebound,” Cooper said. “It will be important for bars and restaurants to closely follow guidance from public health officials to ensure a safe environment for customers as we adjust to the ‘new normal’ created by this pandemic.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits has been at the forefront of helping Michigan’s restaurants and their employees. The distributor has spent over $500,000 to purchase gift cards for employees to use at restaurants across the state and contributed $25,000 to the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund. The fund was created to help restaurant employees impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
GLWAS has also been regularly delivering hand sanitizer produced by Michigan distilleries to front-line health care workers across the state.
“At Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, we pride ourselves on stepping up and helping those in need in the communities we call home,” said Syd Ross, co-CEO of GLWAS. “By purchasing meals from restaurants, donating to a restaurant worker relief fund and delivering hand sanitizer to the people who need it most, we’re doing our part during this public health crisis.”
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Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With more than 800 employees and facilities across the state, GLWAS services nearly 17,000 accounts in all 83 Michigan counties on both peninsulas. For more information, please visit www.GLWAS.com.
Warrior Market Insight is a Michigan-based business led by Michiganders providing B2B and B2C customer research and insight.