7 Ways to Boost Beverage Sales
If your guests are getting by with ordering “just water” every time they come in, you’re missing out on some valuable sales. If your guests order a soda, iced tea, or other flavored drink, you can add at least a few dollars onto every bill…but how do you take advantage of this opportunity? Read on to learn a few tips to increase your restaurant’s beverage sales.
1. Try suggestive selling.
If your servers just ask “Anything to drink?” then chances are good that your customers will stick to plain old water. If they haven’t glanced at the drinks on your menu, they might not even know what you offer. So train your servers to use suggestive selling. Instead of asking a vague question, make sure they suggest specific drinks that would go well with the entrée the customer ordered. Maybe a nice glass of lemonade would go great with your burgers, or your new flavored iced tea would complement a fish entrée. By pointing this out to customers, servers may be able to get them to consider ordering a drink.
2. Make them customizable.
Customers love variety, so offer them the chance to make drinks their own. You can try flavor shots for sodas or a wide range of iced tea or lemonade flavors.
3. Upgrade your water.
If your customers will be ordering water anyway, why not offer a slightly fancier water…for a cost? Dress up the drink by adding in flavored ice cubes, herbs, fruits, or vegetables (think cucumbers, not carrots!). Sparkling water is another great way to make the typical drink feel a little more special.
4. Play up your presentation.
Make your drinks something customers can get excited about ordering. Try using interesting glassware or garnishes. A regular iced tea might seem a bit more exciting when it’s in a tall, skinny glass with a fruit garnish instead of in a plain old water glass. You can also try using different straws, kitschy drink umbrellas, or other fun details.
5. Keep it healthy.
Remember that many guests are concerned about their waistlines, and they know that drinks are one way to add unnecessary calories to a meal. So help them out by offering low-cal drinks that can be delicious without wrecking their diets. “Diet” drinks or the aforementioned fancy waters might appeal more to your customers than full-calorie sodas.
6. Get seasonal.
You might already change up your menu according to the season, but you can also appeal to your customers’ taste for variety by offering different drinks for different seasons. A mango iced tea or lemonade will be much more appetizing to customers in the summer, just as a hot apple cider will be more desirable in the fall.
7. Push your non-refill drinks.
You probably offer customers free refills on sodas, but do you have more time consuming or special drinks that don’t get free refills? Train your servers to mention these drinks first and push them the most.
By using a few of these tricks, you can convince your “just water” customers to branch out and order a beverage!