Maximizing Beverage Profits in Your Restaurant

posted by Chris Valentine
Maximizing Beverage Profits in Your Restaurant can be as easy as creating some inventive cocktails

Photo by CC user 23791504@N08 on Flickr

Boosting sales in a restaurant means discovering new ways to sell your wares. One of the most missed opportunities comes in beverage profits. There are two major facets in beverage sales: non-alcoholic and alcoholic offerings. Both can be essential contributors to overall restaurant revenue. Keep the following tips and strategies in mind and boost your profits through creative selling and fanciful drink options that keep your patrons coming back—and ordering more.

Alcoholic Beverages

For many restaurants and eateries, alcohol sales make up a significant portion of profits. If you serve alcohol, there are a variety of ways to capture higher profits.

  • Host Happy Hours

Bring in hardworking professionals with happy hour deals that will transform your restaurant business from 4 to 7 pm—hours that can normally be very slow for restaurants. With the right happy hour deals, you stand to increase your profits immensely. Be sure to utilize social media and strategic restaurant marketing help to get the word out about your new happy hour deals, and consider creating a special menu for these hours.

  • Create Specialty Drinks

If a patron can find the same collection of beers, wines, and cocktails in another restaurant or bar, what’s to entice them into your establishment? Creating specialty drinks can entice customers looking for something new. Even just one signature cocktail can be a game changer for your alcohol sales. Hire a specialty bartender to come up with something specific to your restaurant, and ensure presentation is up to par. Make it beautiful, with a signature glass that can be immediately noticed and recognized. You can follow a similar vein by infusing alcohols, which sounds much harder than it actually is. Turn any spirit into something unique by marinating it with a fruit or spice for a week.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

It’s important to consider your beverage selling strategies for non-alcoholic beverages. This is a no-brainer for restaurants without a liquor license, but the same can be said for establishments that do serve alcohol. Additionally, some restauranteurs who have previously sold alcohol make the switch to an alcohol-free establishment, for a variety of reasons. Sourcing alcohol inventory can be expensive, as can the permits required for serving such beverages.

Perhaps you already have a liquor license but have found your target demographic doesn’t purchase enough alcoholic offerings to make the investment worth it; selling a liquor license you don’t need anymore can see you garnering thousands of dollars in one fell swoop. However, choosing not to serve alcohol facilitates the need for strategically selling your non-alcoholic beverages. If you’re looking to maximize profits from non-alcoholic beverages, consider these strategies:

  • Seasonal Sips

You’ll have a variety of permanent drink offerings on your menu, but why not make things fun and festive with seasonal offerings that have guests clamoring to come in at certain times of the year? Think of the success and mayhem around Starbucks’ popular Pumpkin Spice drinks; exclusivity sells, and if you offer something special at various times, your guests will likely heed the call and come in to try your timely offerings. It could be a refreshing lavender lemonade during the summer months, and a spiced apple cider during the chilly winter months. It helps contribute to the atmosphere, and adds something special to the dining experience.

  • Non-Refill Drinks

While soda, water, and tea generally come with free refills, you likely have a variety of non-refill drinks on the menu. Highlight these offerings in your menu, have waiters suggest these options, and push them at every chance to help improve your profits.

  • Suggestive Selling

Train your wait staff in the art of suggestive selling. Instead of prompting customers with “Want something to drink?”, guide their choices with suggestions. It could be a simple “Would you like to try our homemade strawberry lemonade?” Instruct your wait staff to suggest specific drink pairings that might go well with whatever the customer has ordered. The power of subtle suggestion can’t be denied, and you can immensely improve your profits in just one simple training session.

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