Drinks for Dinner
No matter what your outlet speciality is, getting the maximum out of Christmas is critical to your bottom line. This is especially so in the case of drinks – an essential part of your festive celebrations. Here’s what you need to know…
Food & drink pairing
Research from Heineken has shown that over half of customers will have one drink with their meal and a third will go on to have another drink at a different venue. Therefore, encourage your customers to have more than one drink with their Christmas meal by offering a drinks menu that pairs popular drinks with festive dishes.
Turkey – American style IPA’s, amber ale, Duvel, golden ale, brown ale and medium dry ciders
Roast glazed ham – dark lagers, wheat beer and Belgian tripels
And of course, this is a great opportunity for wine sales – by the glass or in half and full bottles. Top matches include:
Turkey – Pair with full bodied, oaked Chardonnays or a white Burgundy. And for red wine, offer a Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Rioja, Bordeaux red or a Chianti
Roast glazed ham – Riesling, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc for white, or a Merlot, Shiraz or Douro red
Beer & cider
Beer and cider play a key role at Christmas, with a tenth of category value being spent at this time of year – that’s over £1.25 billion! Make sure you:
- Review your range and ensure you are stocking premium options to encourage your customers to trade up
- Offer a wider range of premium options, as these tend to over-index at Christmas versus the rest of the year
- Talk to your supplier about featuring speciality Christmas ales and other festive additions that are relevant to your customer base. Online services like direct.heineken.co.uk are a great source of help
- Don’t forget to have a selection of low and no alcohol beers on display in the chiller
- Innovate! Drinks like Rekorderlig Spiced Plum can be served hot or cold
Making sure you have clear upsell options across your drinks ranges is vital to maximize revenues. And that’s particularly so when it comes to spirits. Vodka and gin will be your best sellers so have your ‘house’ and two or three more premium bands clearly displayed to upsell. Don’t forget the popularity of flavoured vodkas when planning and capture the seasonal feel with spiced rums, too.
Check out takestockmagazine.com for category advice.
Make a display of the classics! Christmas is all about families and many – especially the older generation – will be looking for classics like Bristol Cream, Baileys, Advocaat and Tia Maria. Prompt staff to point the display out or suggest a classic as either an apéritif or suitable after-dinner drink.
Fizz it up!
This is the season for Champagne and other bubbly options, so get those bottles and half bottles chilled – and have your by-the-glass offers clearly displayed. Include a glass of bubbly with your Christmas menus and – especially for times like Boxing day – offer that ever popular ‘pick-me-up’ Bucks Fizz!