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Make Dry January a Profitable One

Dry January is now a well supported event. According to a YouGov poll an estimated 4.2 million people in the UK planned to do Dry January in 2019.

That’s a lot of potential customers, so how can a business still attract them without the booze? Here are Take Stock’s suggestions for pulling in the customers who’ll still have a great time in your venue – but without the hangover!

What to serve
Customers choosing not to drink alcohol, or opting for a lower ABV, will be looking for drinks in the same categories as those seeking an alcoholic drink – so make sure you cater for them. In the on trade there have been a number of product launches that make your life easier when deciding what to stock.
• Satisfy your draught beer customers by using systems like ‘Blade’ to serve Heineken 0.0.
• In the spirits category Seedlip leads the way and new alcohol free spirits are being launched all the time.
• When it comes to wines, brands like Hardys, Rawsons Retreat and Freixenet offer highly rated wines that give you options in white, red and sparkling.
• There is a demand for speciality tonics, driven by people being exposed to them as part of the gin boom. The brand new tonic water pump from London Essence is a great way of tackling this demand, but make sure you have the CGA top sellers on your list too, which are: Fever-Tree Tonic; Schweppes Tonic; Fever-Tree Naturally Light; Schweppes Slimline and finally, Britvic Low Calorie Tonic.
• Make sure you have the top selling soft drinks. The CGA top 10 are: Coca-Cola; Diet Coke; Pepsi Max; R Whites; Schweppes Lemonade; Pepsi; Diet Pepsi; Coca-Cola Zero; J2O Orange & Passion Fruit and Red Bull.
• Offer a good range of hot drinks – teas and infusions, plus the top selling coffees: Latte; Cappuccino; Americano, Flat White; Café au Lait; Mocha and finally Espresso. You should also consider selling a drink that’s really starting to get people talking – Kombucha. A fermented, lightly fizzy and sour drink made from sweetened tea.

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How to present
Treat your low and no customers exactly the same as regular customers. Look at your drinks menus and make sure there are clearly marked zero alcohol drinks in every category. Go the extra mile too by including calorific and sugar content information – you’ll find health conscious customers will appreciate it.

Think about how the drinks are actually served. Take advantage of free glassware offers from brands – Britvic Sensational Drinks being an excellent example. The major brands are a fantastic source of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes too!

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Attracting your audience
Don’t forget to look at things that can make your business a destination.
• Workers – could you offer a ‘business’ zone with power points available?
• A phone re-charging facility – which will really incentivise customers to stay and enjoy themselves.
• Be dog, walker and cyclist friendly – water bowls and complimentary dog treats are always a nice touch. Have high tech bike pods or locking areas for bikes and how about offering a breakfast for cyclists before they set off? Make the most of your area and encourage walkers to start or finish up at your outlet. The Spread Eagle in Sawley, Ribble Valley offers a Ramble & Roast which consists of bacon butties, tea and coffee at 10:30am followed by a ramble before heading back for a Sunday roast lunch at £20 per person.
• A regular weekly quiz, hosting a book club or community event and showing sport will all attract customers.
• Bring your customers a sense of nostalgia by having a games night. The Barking Cat Alehouse in Poole, Dorset held a Scalextric night once a month, with the majority of proceeds going to charity.
• Hold a weekly film night complete with a two-course meal, or book some live music. Look into a tribute band or local jazz band, both will bring in customers.

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