The art of the beverage sale is a complicated one. From the menu to the waitstaff, there are numerous factors that go into your guests' decision-making process. Understanding them can help you influence what your guests select, and how many drinks they order.
Below are 5 important ways you can increase beverage sales when guests sit down at the bar or restaurant.
1. Train your staff!
From the moment the guest walks in the door until the moment the guest walks out, each member of your team should know how they can individually increase sales starting with the host/hostess. The host/hostess should direct the guest to the bar while waiting for their table to be ready. The bartender should always greet the guest at the bar and offer recommendations on what to drink, whether it is a signature cocktail or highlighting the wonderful wines by the glass. The waiter should always be able to recommend either another round of drinks or a bottle of wine once the guest has been seated. He/She should also upsell the water program if applicable, as well as coffee or dessert cocktails to finish the dining experience.
2. Cater to different drinking preferences with mocktails
Mocktails are a great beverage option for a guest who does not drink alcohol. So many times when a guest goes out to eat, they are left with soda, juice or water as non-alcoholic options. Not to say that these are bad options, but they certainly will not drive up your sales. Mocktails can be fun and delicious and give you the opportunity to charge a little bit more than a soda.
3. Add more water options
Many times when guests go out to dine, they are not offered water. It is just poured into a glass for them, free of charge. Implementing a water program and asking the guest if they would like to start off with a bottle of sparkling or still water not only takes away the monotony of the tap water that was just poured by the bus boy, but it creates an elevated experience that can increase beverage sales.
4. Keep it simple, fresh, seasonal, visually aesthetic
There are so many components to a cocktail that can be made in house such as flavored syrups, bitters, sour mix, and fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice. With each season brings new fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Fresh produce should always be on the bar and visible to the guest. Not only does a cocktail made from fresh ingredients taste delicious but they are usually visually beautiful with their fresh fruit and herb garnishes. Fresh produce is great for infusing spirits in house, whether infusing tequila with cilantro and pineapple or infusing rum with cinnamon and ginger. There’s an allure about a cocktail program that focuses on the integrity of the ingredient as well as the finished product and guests are willing to pay for that, especially when the cocktails look beautiful and taste fresh and delicious.
5. Don't forget about dessert
All too often dessert is completely overlooked. Coffee, tea, and dessert drinks are great opportunities to boost beverage sales. A waiter cannot expect the guest to order dessert. After clearing the meal, the waiter must set the table with a fresh spoon, sugar caddy and dessert menu before the guest can ask for the check. By doing this, you are mentally preparing the guest for dessert. Recommend coffee, cappuccino, tea or a specialty dessert cocktail to finish the dining experience.
Getting guests in the door is the first step to increasing revenue at your restaurant. Click below to download our free eGuide and learn the simple way to attract more restaurant guests: