The restaurant industry continues to evolve in the post-pandemic world. While this transformation carries many challenges, it also brings a lot of opportunities. Beverages play an essential role for restaurants and are often overlooked from a strategic perspective.
Alcohol selection can be an integral part of the guest experience at your restaurant. Not only do drinks complement meals, but they also set the mood for guests’ overall dining experience. More importantly, a robust drink menu can also lead to increase profits.
From happy hour options to limited-edition drinks and specials, there are many ways to boost your bottom line with alcohol sales.
Here are a few tips:
Optimize Your Selection
The best place to start is to know your customers. What’s their age range? Do your customers lean more male or female? These data points can help shape your selection. Start by leveraging a guest satisfaction tool to tap into the mindset of your customers. Understanding your customers’ habits and preferences also allows you to train your staff on the best ways to sell more beverages.
For example, if you primarily sell beer, tap into user insights to monitor which beers are the most popular. If you have a talented bartender on staff, have her come up with unique recipes patrons won’t be able to find anyone else. The bartender can also prepare the drinks in front of guests who are increasingly social-media savvy and likely to post about it.
Customize Your Menus
Move top-sellers to the top of your menu for added exposure. You can also add high-margin items to the top of the menu to encourage sales. Many folks will select the first enticing item they see when they’re thirsty after a long day of work. Why not subtly guide them toward your higher-margin brews?
You can also create different menus for different segments of the business. For example, perhaps there’s a different menu on your patio, bar top, and dining room. This can help drive traffic to your bar or patio if folks feel they’re getting an “exclusive” dining experience. Menus can also be customized for holidays and other themed events.
Brands that do well with alcohol sales tends to regularly monitor and update their menus based on trends they see. It’s also efficient to use restaurant analytics software to dig into what your competitors are doing and see what their guests like/dislike about specific drink offerings.
Happy hour is obviously the most common deal-driven alcohol event, but there are other ways to promote unique drink initiatives, too. Organize events or deals around common happenings like the Super Bowl, the Oscars, etc. Similarly, leverage holidays to come up with unique offers.
Like mentioned before, if you have a bartender coming up with unique recipes, create campaigns around those options. Once you’ve tried a couple of different things, monitor the data around these specific aspects to see if there’s any lift in beverage sales. A financial intelligence tool is perfect for tracking the ROI of your promotions and assessing which to pursue again in the future.
These are just a few ideas to help get the wheels turning when it comes to upping your beer, wine, and cocktail sales. Crafting your menu, coming up with promotions, and optimizing your drink selections are great ways to both drive sales and showcase the personality of your establishment.