Is there anything more exciting than new, fresh-faced cocktails on a menu? Absolutely not. This year, we’ve watched several new alcohol-infused delights make their way to the table.
Staying on top of trending cocktails is a must. Once a beverage picks up momentum, it goes viral (remember the Moscow mule?). A customer wants to go somewhere where that beverage is available. When the diner sees it on the menu, your bar not only earns her stay but also points for keeping up with the trends.
If you’re reading this thinking, “I don’t need to host an Instagram-worthy menu in a Pinterest-bound space,” not to fear. Cocktail trends are not only for those catering to a trend-tracking consumer. Trendy cocktails are adaptive to consumers’ preferences, and they give your bartenders and waiters an opportunity to expand their creativity and flavor skill sets.
Let’s look at what’s trending on menus around the country, and remember- you can make any of these crazes your own.
A love for local. As our country begins to take a concern in the health of the environment, economy and our bodies, more consumers want to stay local. This extends to alcohol. If you don’t already serve local brews, do some research and see what taps you can get on the menu.
A preference for fine dining. Guests want fine dining, chic experience when they’re paying to eat out. Cocktails ought to be well-garnished, well-crafted and served to aesthetic perfection.
Back to tradition. Forget the new, flashy, promotion-prone alcohols. Consumers want the OG spirits back, and we’re excited about it. Dive into the brands with rich heritages, old brand stories and more to offer than a good buzz.
Lose the juice. Enter an interest in well-being and sugar intake, and you can bank on significantly lowering your juice inventory. Give customers alternative to juice, maybe in the form of spirits. Darker spirits like bourbon and rum are running into Islay scotch and mezcal- beware!
Rum is rising above tequila. If you somehow missed the tequila craze of 2016, here is a head’s up for the incoming: rum. For every cocktail that consumers love they want to see an alternative with the sugar cane booze this year. For all of our weight sakes, let’s hope this trend is short-lived.
Shifting from gin to aquavit. That’s right, the flavor combinations are equally endless, and we’re watching a shift from the old time preference to this year’s beloved aquavit.
If you decide to engage in any of these trends and offer new twists to your consumers, set up a tidy bar inventory list to help you stay on track with financial goals. Offering a new cocktail or new drink emphasis can be risky, so tracking bar inventory regularly to see what consumers are latching to or rejecting will help keep spending in line.
When you first introduce a new item, promote it. This might entail cutting its price, or it might mean spending a bit more on marketing that quarter. Track this product’s inventory every week. Get an idea of who was purchasing, when and how often so that you can make the most educated next purchase order.
A smart investment for inexperienced bar owners and bar veterans alike is to hire a bar consulting team. Get a well-rounded idea of how the industry is involving, how you compare, what your bar has to offer and how to make your business as profitable and likable as possible. The bar consulting team at Glimpse can give you valuable insight into how to decrease your sales at risk and increase your revenue and customer satisfaction all in the form of indisputable reports.
Reach out to our team at Glimpse for more information and get started on the future of your bar today!