New Study: Alcohol Prices Rise at Restaurants and Bars

 In Customer Service, Industry Trends Blog Archives

Thrifty customers looking for a cheap night out are used to ordering more wallet-friendly beers. But according to Restaurant News, alcohol prices are going up, especially for mass-market beers. This means that when customers reach for a PBR or Bud Light, they may be unpleasantly surprised by a big price hike.

The study by Restaurant Sciences LLC also reports that craft beers weren’t affected as much by this price change–their prices went up much less dramatically. Wine prices, on the other hand, went up as much as 8.36 percent at “family” restaurants.

So what’s behind this price change? No one knows for sure, but it seems that some restaurants may be trying to make up for money they lost during the recession. Now that consumers have more disposable income at the ready for dining out, restaurants may be trying to take advantage of this. Some have blamed the beer-price increase on the new found popularity of cheap beers like PBR, a modern hipster’s drink of choice.

No matter what’s causing the price change, it will most likely affect customer buying habits. In turn, this could definitely affect your restaurant sales! So what can you do to keep customers happy and buying, even with higher prices? Read on for a few tips.

Promote fancier drinks.

Part of the appeal of cheap drinks is just that…they’re cheap. People typically buy them for the price, not the quality taste. With craft-beer prices remaining relatively stable, your customers may opt to switch to a new brand. If the difference between a mass-market beer and a premium selection is only a few dollars, they may just as soon choose to spend a little extra to get something truly great.

Don’t increase prices too much.

It’s natural to want to raise prices when you get an opportunity. After all, your restaurant probably suffered financially during recent lean times. But even if you want to make back some of the money you lost, you don’t want to do it in a way that upsets your customers. Just because they have the money to spend doesn’t mean they want to spend it all at your restaurant!

Try specials and promotions.

If you don’t have low alcohol prices to draw customers in, make sure you have something else to excite them. Try offering as many promotions and specials as you can, and make sure your menu is top-notch. You can’t hide your alcohol price increases from customers, but with great food they might not notice quite as much.

Even if no one’s sure exactly what’s behind this price increase, one thing’s for sure: it will definitely affect your customer’s buying habits. By staying informed and following these tips, you can keep customers happy!

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