How Offering More Beverage Choices Will Please Your Customers
Drink choices play an integral role when customers are deciding which restaurant to visit for their meal. Today’s customers often center their meals on beverages. The drink choice matches the occasion and the social function.
When you offer more beverage choices, you will please your customers. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why more options are pleasing to your restaurant visitors, and we’ll offer some suggestions for increasing the size of your beverage menu.
Drinks are one of the hottest trends in new menu items in 2015. Restaurant owners can use beverage options to get people in the door. Consumers are demanding beverage customizations as well as healthy, natural and local options. All of this works to the restaurant owner’s advantage. Concentrate on drink development, and you’ll please your customers and in turn, increase profits.
Revamp your beverage menu, and you increase the likelihood that customers will visit your restaurant during off-times, too. (tweet this) Your enlarged beverage menu should offer customization options and an increased variety of drinks.
When you give your customers more choices, you enhance the odds that one of your drink offerings will appeal to them. It’s not always necessary to have a longer food menu, but you can boost your sales when you offer more in a category like beverages.
Additionally, offering more options is good for your restaurant’s bottom line. According to Daily Finance, drinks are ripe for industry up selling because customers don’t usually pay as much attention to beverage prices as they do main dish prices.
Your customers are probably willing to pay 25 cents more for a bigger soda even if they would’ve been happy with a smaller one because it seems like a good value. When it comes to items like artisan beer or flavored coffees, you’ll find customers are willing to pay more if you offer healthy, creative options.
Let’s talk about how you can offer more beverage choices and please your customers.
Make Drinks Customizable
The millennials of today love variety, and they appreciate creativity in their menu options. Offer them a chance to make drinks on their own. For example, offer flavor shots for sodas, ice tea or lemonade, try customizable coffee options or venture into fanciful, creative cocktails.
Upgrade Your Water Options
The health craze is big in 2015. Try jazzing up your water options. Don’t forget to charge accordingly when you offer fancy water.
You can dress up water with herbs, fruits, vegetables and flavored ice cubes. This makes water feel special, and your customers are willing to pay more for it.
Additionally, when offering flavored water and even tea, bill it as herbal, green or skinny to capitalize on those looking for healthy options.
One of the newest soda trends on the scene is the Coca Cola Freestyle machine. In an effort to boost profits, Coca Cola offers the new age self-service beverage dispenser. It’s equipped with an easy-to-use touchscreen that allows users to dispense more than 100 individual brands, including some like Diet Raspberry Coke and Fanta Zero Peach, that aren’t available anywhere else.
According to USA Today, at Moe’s Southwest Grill, which has the Coca Cola Freestyle in most of its locations, the beverage dispenser is boosting sales by 4% to 6% annually. They are converting water-only customers into beverage customers, and customers love the machine.
This expanding technology is the wave of the future. It’s yet more proof that anytime a customer has more choices or can make it their own, it’s good for business. (tweet this)
Capitalize on Sustainability
With the need for something new, creative and exciting, beverage drinkers continually want their tea and coffee presented in inventive ways. They like the idea that the tea and coffee has new flavors and new presentations. They are interested in what part of the world the beans and leaves come from.
When it comes to beverages such as coffee and tea, consumers also want to know how the beans and leaves are grown. They want to know what happens to the workers who pick them. They want assurance that their drinks (coffee and tea) were sourced in a way that didn’t harm the land, water and air, and the growers and pickers.
Today’s beverage consumers are often more likely to choose a restaurant that offers beverages grown or raised in an organic or environmentally friendly way. These additional choices will please your customers. Just make sure to let them know about it! Proudly display your partnerships and sustainability efforts.
Offer Specialty Coffee
These days it seems a new coffee shop is popping up on every corner. There’s no reason your restaurant can’t capitalize on this trend. It will surely please your customers and keep them coming back.
Coffee is no longer merely a caffeine delivery system.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the majority of coffee consumed in the United States, both in terms of dollars spent and volume, is now specialty coffee.
Specialty coffee is made from beans from specific areas, must meet standards for green coffee and for its roasting, storage and brewing. Specialty coffee must have a unique quality and a distinctive taste that is different and superior to common coffee. All of this pleases customers.
Let’s look at fast-food chain, Chick-fil-A. They partnered with a company to source beans directly from coffee farmers. Their specialty brew has notes of cocoa and caramel, flavors of warming spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon, and aromas of hibiscus, jasmine and honeysuckle. They are heavily promoting this specialty coffee in hopes of pleasing their customers.
Meanwhile, coffee giant, Starbucks, has introduced a coffee and milk mix in what they call the Australian version of cappuccino. They’ve also rolled out coconut milk as a non-dairy, soy-free alternative giving their customers again more choices.
Since specialty coffee is on the rise, this is one beverage that is destined to please customers from Millennials to Baby Boomers alike.
Dive Into Artisan Brewed, Craft Beer
Another way to please your customers is to capitalize on the trend of artisan brewed beer.
Craft beer, locally brewed, artisan brewed and seasonal brews are increasing popular among today’s restaurant-goers. This growth provides restaurants with an opportunity to please customers and set themselves apart from competitors.
Unique takes on beer offerings provide customers with choices, but they also open restaurants to the up sell. Suggest different beers with different dishes. Educate your customers and then give them choices.
Worth noting is that this trend doesn’t necessarily mean restaurants have to brew their own beer. Craft and artisan beers don’t have to be local to be appreciated. Customers will enjoy specialty beers from different parts of the country and the world. The story is important, so be sure to share it.
While we’re discussing beer, another way to satisfy today’s savvy customer is to offer gluten-free beer. This is beer made without barley, and it is especially pleasing to the trendy younger generation.
Restaurant owners have a rich array of beverage choices, non-alcoholic and alcoholic, to offer customers. Satisfy your customers thirst for healthy, inventive, creative, sustainable and interesting beverages. You’ll please your customers and increase your profit margin.
Looking for a way to showcase your new beverage menu and leverage new customers? Let Restaurant Engine help with your online, comprehensive beverage menu. Contact us today for a free website consultation!
Image: Sam Howzit and Roadsidepictures
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