Throughout the pandemic, the restaurant industry has had to resort to various strategies to keep sales up. This is especially true in areas where indoor dining has been limited. Since alcohol sales can make up as much as 30% of a restaurant’s revenue, keeping in mind the top ways to increase beverage sales at your restaurant is key for creating these strategies.
Create Signature Drinks
A customer can go anywhere to get a drink. In order to ensure that they buy a drink from you instead of stopping off at a different venue, draw customers in with a drink they can’t get anywhere else. Here are a few ideas for crafting signature drinks.
If you are running a brewpub, then your beers are your main attraction. Although you might have your standard drinks already in place, don’t be afraid to experiment. Practice some homebrew outside of the restaurant to try out new flavors or compare different types of hops. Once you find something good, scale up the recipe and bring it back to the brewpub. Your customers will love trying your new house specialties.
Special Occasion Drinks
Even those who don’t eat out much can’t resist going out for dinner and a drink on a holiday. Capitalize on the increased customer presence by making a signature drink for the occasion. Make a king cake martini for Marti Gras or a chocolate-covered strawberry martini for Valentine’s Day. Or if you would rather avoid acknowledging specific holidays, go for seasonal drinks like a watermelon cooler for summer or a pumpkin spice cocktail for fall.
Sometimes restaurant-goers just don’t save room for dessert. But even those who “couldn’t eat another bite” often have enough space for a drink. Add a few specialty dessert drinks beyond sweet wines. Create cocktails based on your favorite cake flavors or craft a boozy milkshake.
Add More Music
Research has shown that the presence of music in a space makes people more inclined to drink in a shorter amount of time. This means simply playing music could be a way to increase beverage sales in a restaurant. But while recorded music might compel people to drink more, live music compels people to linger longer. If you have an outdoor patio, this is a great place to have performers set up shop to encourage old customers to stay and new customers to enter.
Maximize Social Media
One of the most common photographs you will find on any social media platform are pictures of food. As a restaurant, you can capitalize on this through your own social media platforms. Take “insta-worthy” pictures of your drinks and post them to your account regularly, capitalizing on hashtags and targeting your local audience. Also, incentivize sharing photos of drinks for your customers through promotions. That way you will ensure that your drinks are on everyone else’s social media accounts, too.