F&B Insights

Building Your Restaurant’s Beverage Program in 2023

According to the National Restaurant Association, alcohol-based beverages account for about 21% of total sales in full-service restaurants. And over 65% of beer, wine, and cocktail drinkers say the availability of their preferred beverage plays a significant part in their chosen restaurants.

Some restaurants wipe that number in the dust. Places like the Tao Las Vegas boast 50% and more in alcohol sales. Because alcohol sales offer high-profit margins, knowing your percentage is essential to success. 

Let’s explore some of the top contenders and their secrets to optimizing this restaurant industry segment. 

The Top Contenders in Dallas

As you can imagine, Dallas is home to a vast restaurant and bar scene, with some establishments experiencing record-breaking alcohol sales. According to TABS Report, Monarch, a modern Italian restaurant created by two-Michelin star Chef Danny Grant, came in top in August 2023 with $627,775. A close competitor was Komodo, a Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant and nightlife destination founded by Groot Hospitality. In August, their alcohol sales came to $624,598. 

So, what’s the trick? On Monarch’s website, the first thing that pops up is a Gaja Wine Dinner incorporating a four-course dinner paired with eight Gaja wines. Angelo Gaja is known for producing opulent wines from the Piemonte region in Italy. 

On their beverage menu, you’ll find an impressive wine list as well as craft cocktails like the Love Triangle, consisting of Ketel One vodka, Aperol, Tuaca, pineapple, lemon, and soda. The Komodo Lounge, tucked above the Komodo restaurant, plays a critical role in their success with Groot Hospitality’s signature vibrant nightclub energy and Instagrammable design. They’re not just selling drinks, but an experience.

Increasing Alcohol Sales

The pandemic shifted many things, not the least of which was people’s tastes when it comes to craft cocktails. They had time to tune into YouTube and learn about creating beverages once relegated to evenings out. Now, it’s up to you to impress them with your bartender’s or mixologist’s capabilities. 

The most important element when upgrading your beverage program is to stay true to your concept. It’s this concept that draws in your target market and requires consistency across all areas. When laying out a plan, keep this target in mind.

Statista’s Global Consumer Survey reports cocktails are the preferred beverage for those ages 21 to 39. Beer gained some ground in people 40 to 59, and wine took the top spot in those ages 60 to 64. And don’t forget the ever-expanding mocktail

Do you know what your competitors are serving up? If appropriate to your concept, taking your beverage program up a notch could help you claim an increasing share of guests. Add a modern twist on classic cocktails and top it with a unique, eye-catching garnish worthy of Instagram. 

Drinks Growing in Popularity

TZR recently reported on some of the fall cocktails making splashes in the restaurant atmosphere. Their fall Negroni makeover sounds like a testament to the season: 

  • 8 oz. 21Seeds Valencia Orange infused tequila
  • 4 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 4 oz. orange bitter aperitif
  • 4 oz. sweet vermouth

Restaurants are also not short on serving mezcal, tequila’s smoky brother. Consider a mix of mezcal, apple cider, apple brandy, and a dash of Angostura bitters for a fall offering.

Knowing Your Surroundings

It’s important to know what other restaurants with similar concepts in your area are serving. An easy way to accomplish this is through F&B Insights. This platform gives you access to the world’s largest menu database, letting you see up-to-date menus and pricing in an instant across the nation and locally. You’ll also receive alerts any time your local competitors make a change.

F&B Insights also facilitates partnerships for supplier-sponsored promotions and contests, getting your staff excited about the program and knowledgeable about the brand stories. This in-depth understanding not only increases profits but enhances your customer’s experience as well. 

Are you ready to take your beverage program to the next level? EMERGING and F&B Insights can help. Sign up for a complimentary 15-day trial and see what this technology can do for you and your establishment. 

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