7 Strategies for Building a More Effective Beverage Program

7 Strategies for Building a More Effective Beverage Program

Every drop counts! Beverages arguably play a larger role in the industry today than they ever did before! 

You could try and make everyone happy by offering dozens of options at your restaurant, cafe, or bar, but we all know that’s likely not going to happen. An establishment needs to carefully consider their beverage menu, whether alcohol-focused or not, and offer one that is balanced, targeted, and one that fits their concept.

Many operators continue to face a challenge, however, when it comes to developing an effective beverage strategy. As with its food counter-part, consumers are more educated today about beer, cocktails, wine, coffees, sodas, and even a variety of waters. They understand retail prices and flavor profiles because they’ve become (or think they’ve become) a barista, mixologist, and/or wine & beer connoisseur at home. When they’re dining out or visiting a bar now, they crave something that’s ‘differentiated.’ 

How can restaurants, cafes, and bars take advantage of this segment and develop a memorable, consistent, and profitable beverage strategy that creates differentiation? Here are some tips to review when creating or re-engineering your next beverage menu. 

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Coffee & Yogurt: JoeFroyo's Functional Cold Brew Provides Probiotics without the Lactose

Coffee & Yogurt: JoeFroyo's Functional Cold Brew Provides Probiotics without the Lactose

President and Founder of JoeFroyo, Zach Miller, came up with the idea for JoeFroyo Functional Cold Brew after years in the retail coffee and frozen yogurt industries.

“One of our most popular menu items was what we called the ‘Yo-gato’ –vanilla frozen yogurt with one or two shots of espresso floated on top,” said Miller in a press release.

Foodable went to NRA 2018 with the goal of finding top innovators in the Technology, Chef Equipment, and Specialty Food categories. Miller's realization of the opportunity in the beverage category is why Foodable chose JoeFroyo as one of our Specialty Food favorites. As the functional beverage category began to take off, Miller realized combining espresso with the health benefits from frozen yogurt could fill a gap in the functional beverage market.

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Move Over Tequila, It's Mezcal's Time to Shine

Move Over Tequila, It's Mezcal's Time to Shine

Production of Mezcal, the smoky sister of tequila, is on the rise to meet the recent surge in consumer demand. 

Sales of this beverage has grown from 50,000 cases being sold in 2009 to 350,000 being sold last year. 

The distilled alcoholic beverage is made from any plants native to Mexico. Tequila, on the other hand, can only be made with one variety, the Blue Agave, a plant that is currently experiencing a massive shortage. 

The taste of Mezcal is often described as smokey, paired with citrus or floral notes. 

What makes Mezcal interesting is the wide range of flavors of the alcoholic beverage. 

“Mezcal can be sweet, smoky, and earthy all in one—and the depth of flavor was amazing. But what caught my interest was that all of those flavor notes changed significantly based on producers and single-family makers. It’s one of the coolest spirits out there considering both flavor and history," said Evan Hawkins, the beverage director of Fox Lifestyle Hospitality Group to "Forbes."

Not sure how to incorporate Mezcal to your beverage menu?

“First, I thought about how I would use the mezcals, so I went down a usage list: from the go-tos, to ones with unique flavors, to those expensive sippers that push the spirit to a new stratosphere,” said Hawkins. “I just approached the spirit through its diversity and usage. I was also beneficial to think about if I had a mezcal bar where I wanted something for every kind of mezcal drinker—cocktails, sippers, highballs, and top shelf."

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