Meet the Roarers: the new demographic that will power the leisure revival

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There’s a new demographic in town.

Us Brits are famous for our resilience and ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude, but as vaccinations are being rolled out, we can see the rapid emergence of a new group all set to live their lives like never before.

Meet the Roarers, who are set to make more of the decade than even their forerunners in the 1920s.

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As founder and CEO of the most successful lifestyle concierge service in the world catering for busy individuals, I’ve observed that by far the biggest proportion of our current active membership are like this.

People who are ready and roaring to go. As restrictions are rolled back they want to make up for lost time by living life to the fullest.

And we’re currently receiving a glut of enquiries from our new breed of Roarers every day, for example:

  • Members who want to see the big shows at the O2 – like those of Diana Ross or Elton John this year – but they want to upgrade from standard seating to enjoy the show from a box
  • Members who want to experience the culinary theatre of Michelin-starred dining again, at world-class restaurants such as The Fat Duck, Hide or Pétrus – but then ‘upgrade’ to the taster menu or a special experience at the chef’s table.   

And we’ve also started seeing more members buying business and first-class seats for their leisure travel in 2021. We thought at first, that this may be because they wanted more space to reduce transmission risk, but as it turns out the choice is mostly led by an ‘if not now, then when?’ attitude.  Thanks to fewer business trips, business and first-class tickets have never been cheaper, and many members are keen to enjoy every moment of 2021 as a treat after the sensory austerity of 2020.

What all these requests have in common is the desire to approach the 2020s with renewed gusto, imagination and enthusiasm. The Roarers want 2021 to be better than 2019 – not a return, but a renaissance. They feel that life is too short to miss out, and they won’t wait any longer than they have to, to take that bucket list trip, to upgrade their lifestyle, and to enjoy life for all it’s worth.

With restaurants, hotels and shows booked up far in advance due to lower capacity and high demand – including from our members who didn’t spend their earnings in 2020 – supply will not be able to match demand in the Roaring 2020s. This is where we come in – we can make sure that the Roarers will get those elusive tickets, will dine at the chef’s table, book the best rooms and receive exclusive benefits and VIP treatment.   

Such is the scale of this group that two sub-categories have already emerged:

The Wild Lions – Like Simba, they’re passionate and impulsive, wanting to let go of the pent-up energy of the past year in lockdown.

The Wise Lions – Like Aslan, they’re rational and calm, with savings and limited time, and take a thoughtful, planned out ‘if not now, then when?’ approach.

The Roarers are one of three different camps our members currently fall into, the other two making up roughly 40 per cent each of our membership altogether: 

The Tortoises. They will wait, largely protected at home, until things are much more certain and safer – health-wise and sometimes financially too.  They may have job insecurity, health vulnerability or a low appetite for risk – or they got into a comfortable habit of working from home and living a simple life. While many people chose this approach during the initial lockdown, discovering their introvert side in the process, this is now the smallest group among our members.

The Rabbits. These members are ready to get back to the lives they were enjoying in 2019 but with a ‘closer to home’ approach. Typical requests are to return to their favourite, but more local, restaurants and to re-group with old friends and family. Many also want to return to similar activity and holiday choices they used to have in 2022 – the annual family ski trip to Verbier, the summer villa in Tuscany, the exotic winter island getaway to the Maldives, South African safari or far-flung adventure in Japan. But for this year they will plan a staycation within driving distance – perhaps in Devon, the Cotswolds or Scotland.

Pretty much all our friends in hospitality and related areas had an awful time in 2020, but now some of the survivors are beginning to feel stirrings of optimism. They’re making the reservations and bookings that will lead to great joy and shared experiences for the individual – as well as the chance for recovery for the service providers.

And, listening to our members, I am optimistic too. I know that If enough people, like our members, continue to roar into 2021, this will energise the year and start to bring us out of the experiential and economic torpor of 2020 and into a more hopeful, exciting future.

The great news is that, speaking to friends in the leisure industry, it’s clear that this new breed isn’t just confined to our members. Although not as developed, this behaviour is emerging across all almost all demographics and that has got to be a good thing for this decade.

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