Tested Strategies For Boosting Beverage Sales

Boosting Beverage SalesWhen we talk about strategies that will build revenue with your beverage sales there certainly are numerous “best practices” that have withstood the test of time.  Operators and marketers alike take advantage of many powerful and impacting strategies that will bear fruit, over and over.  Let’s examine a few, but first I always ask 3 key questions that will insure you are on the right track:

Is this GOOD for your GUEST?
Can WE make $$$?

Once you have answered Yes to these questions here are key leverage points and strategies: 

Make It Important

  • Insure the new strategy has strong “top of mind share” throughout your organization.  
  • Set crystal clear direction for team members to execute the plan.
  • Everyone gets to play so explain the WIFM “What’s in-it for me?” 
  • Over communicate your new message/strategy. You will be competing with other day to day activities and promotions.
  • Do not claim victory too early, but do insure you celebrate appropriately.  

Trends and Homework

  • What’s Hot-What’s Not? If the skinny cocktail drink craze has lost its luster, don’t focus on this trend.
  • Insure your strategy fits your brand architecture. If there is an unprecedented demand for sweet drinks in your restaurants, focus on features with a sweet connection. Flavors still rule (Pomegranate, Mango, Raspberry, Blueberry, Acai, Pear and Jalapeño are only a few on the “what’s hot” flavors list).
  • If your brand or concept has a strong brew following, look to the crafts and seasonal’s to drive traffic.  IPA is still hot and trendy.   
  • Do your homework: Where is your deficit to last year?  Look at day in parts.  If you have a heavy deficit during Happy Hour or Late Night, focus there first.
  • Beverage Vendors can support your strategy and promotions with some outstanding category management tools.

Point of Purchase (POP) Materials

  • Messaging should be simplistic yet with a buzz or vibe to catch the eye!
  • Don’t overload with too many new drink features.  Remember the “can we execute” question.  Execute a few extremely well. 
  • Don’t forget Social Media.  Your reach here can be enormous.
  • Consider pairing new features with food on your core menu.  Place a popular or new trendy Chardonnay alongside a fish or pasta dish.  Then ask your servers to recommend it every time that dish is ordered.

You Have to Think “Execute Flawlessly”

  • Your team members literally have the keys to the kingdom and can drive LTO’s (limited time offers) and promotions if well prepared. Train them well.   
  • Role play parts of your strategy in daily sales rallies.  Make it fun and call out those who do it well.  Allow strong performers to share their secret.
  • If your brand believes in incentives, incentivize at the lowest level and include everyone in the win.  Smart, well thought out incentives can carry a LTO or promotion and pay huge dividends.
  • By all means, reward the performance you desire to see and work on the opportunities to turn around less desirable performance.

Rolling out new beverage promotions or LTO’s requires an “all hands on deck” approach.  There is such a sea of sameness currently with beverage, yet still much to be tapped and plenty of new news to excite your guests.  New and existing products can support your guest experience in both the dining room and bar area.  Pull out the stops, think out of the box a bit, call your vendors, look outside your “4-Walls” and have a great time at it. 


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