Offering a range of wine and beer is nothing new within the restaurant industry. However, in the recent years there’s been an increasing trend on offering a more focused beverage program.
We know that beverages play a large role in the industry today, more than they ever did before. Developing your beverage program, alcohol or not, it needs to be thoughtfully curated. Your restaurant won’t please everyones palette so make sure your establishment chooses a menu that fits with your brand & concept. Offering a specialized menu of drinks will make you stand out from the crowd, increase profits, bring in new customers and pleasantly surprise your regulars.
A successful beverage program can be a game changer for your restaurant when done right. Let us show you how to create a beverage program that works.
How much does that actually cost?
It is imperative that you know exactly how much your drinks cost to make. Be sure to include labor not just the ingredients. Remember the faster a drink is to make, the more you can sell- so timing needs to be considered in costing. A specialized mojito with muddled mint will take longer to make then say a orange flavoured vodka soda.
Make sure to use your point-of-sale when trying to finalize price points. It can help to work out specific costings on your ingredients, and let you know what you have in stock should you be creating a special.
Lets talk about price points
Cocktails come in various price ranges. You can make a specialized drink with top shelf liquor and charge $20 or the same drink with bottom shelf and it will cost $6. It is important you know what your customers like to drink -are they big spenders or do they prefer the cheap stuff? You know best.
Try a drinks and food pairing
If you serve oysters by the beach try offering a light and refreshing beverage like a champagne cocktail. If you’re a Mexican restaurant expand your offerings into like a Coronita or Michelada and tell your customers what it tastes best with. Seems obvious right? You’d be surprised lots of restaurants go for the let your customer choose approach, but it makes sense to direct them. Plus if your customers are like me, they want recommendations.
Make it pretty
The type of glassware, the color, and the garnishes are all things that play into your customers ordering a particular drink. When customers see an eye-catching drink being served in a special glass it will grab the whole bars attention. Each specialized drink needs its own home, so no more one size fits all with drinks and glassware. The great plus is that if your drink is pretty, it will also make for a pretty picture and free marketing from your customers on social media is important.
If your in a city where after work happy hour drinks are a thing, then you need to jump on board with this. Yes you are lowering your drink prices, but you are bringing in more clients, and they most likely will stay longer then happy hour to order full price drinks and food. Its also a great way to bring in new customers, and if they are happy they will be back. So don’t hate on the happy hour specials.
Using your point-of-sale to create a quick button for happy hour specials will help your bartenders save time, so they can focus on making more drinks.
A bartender that knows what they are doing
There’s nothing worse when your a customer and your bartender asks you how to make the drink you want. If your focusing on your beverage plan then make sure you have someone knowledgeable and feels comfortable giving you input.
Try using an experienced mixologist
A mixologist is a person whose sole job is to create cocktails and other drinks. They can help you create the right drinks for your brand, keep you competitive as they are up-to-date on all the trends.
Now get going and be creative.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,