Five Things to Consider For a Takeout Cocktail Program
As the takeout and delivery trend grows around the country, a new option is growing right along with it: takeout cocktails. More and more states now allow restaurants to package cocktails along with their food delivery options. In a challenging restaurant environment, takeout cocktails enable bars and restaurants to boost their income and offer their customers a fun choice for their nights in.
So, what do you need to know about developing a delivery or to-go beverage program for your bar or restaurant? Here are five things to consider:
Think about your packaging.
When developing your cocktail program, the packaging is critical. When putting together your drinks, think about how they can get transported. Should they be pre-made in cups and ready to drink? If so, what kind of cups should they get delivered in? Or, are drink kits the way to go – providing your customers with all the ingredients to make your signature drinks, and adding in instructions along with them? There are tons of different options; find out the best one for your audience! Additionally, think about branding options. Try to make sure your packaging has your logo; maybe even look into souvenir glasses or other drinkware. Let your customers remember their fun experience with your takeout cocktails.
Make a human connection.
The customer-bartender and customer-restaurant relationship can be sacred. Try to replicate that as best you can. How about a hand-written note from a bartender with some conversation topics? Or a note from the owner thanking them for their purchase? Maybe some random “fun facts” or a page from a coloring book could spice up the cocktail packaging. People that miss the social atmosphere of bars and restaurants can get a smile with some creative connections in your takeout cocktail packaging.
Try creating a real experience.
Develop some other offerings alongside your takeout cocktails. How about Instagram Live tastings of your cocktails – showing off your unique creations and offering them up to the public? You could try some in-depth showcases of garnishes. Try doing a Stoli vodka Bloody Mary with accompaniments like bacon, pickled vegetables, or even some chicken wings. Go for an Aviation gin and tonic made with sweet marshmallows, or a Jack Daniels old fashioned with a lime instead of an orange. Another idea? How about creating some meal pairings to go along with the different cocktails you’ve developed? Make your takeout cocktail beverage program only one part of a broader promotional effort.
Broaden Your Horizons.
When it comes to your menu for takeout cocktails, don’t limit yourself to some of the standards. This new feature for your menu should come right along with some new beverage options. Consider adding a creative non-alcoholic option like CBD cocktails to your to-go and delivery menu. This part of your beverage program can be a fascinating addition to any menu. It’s the ideal, calming choice for those that are ordering in and looking for a chill night – perhaps with work or other demands in the morning. It also comes as a fascinating and relevant up-sell to delight and amuse guests at home, owing to the unique novelty of the non-alcoholic CBD cocktail offering. An added bonus for your customers? They don’t have to go through the lengthy, trying (and inaccurate) process of trying to replicate these standout cocktails themselves! Another note – ready-to-drink CBD cocktails are the easiest and safest way to add this to the menu, boasting correct dosages and standards.
Take a look at what some other restaurants are doing with their takeout beverage programs.
All around the world – especially in some of America’s biggest, hippest cities – restaurants are doing plenty of creative things with their delivery and to-go drinks menu. Take a look at some of these recommendations for takeout cocktails and think about how you can apply them to your own menu:
- In Austin, one of the city’s favorites – the Workhorse Bar – features a full margarita setup, delivering one of their signature drinks with enough ingredients to serve four thirsty people. Elsewhere, the Cruzteca Mexican Kitchen boasts a full menu of their famous bar drinks – everything from Bloody Marys to Palomas and a “make your own six-pack” of beer.
- The Big Apple is also getting into the takeout cocktail game. The local favorite called The Smith – with many different locations across Manhattan – delivers its fabled cocktails (like Moscow Mules and Negronis) in appealing branded jars. They’ve also expanded to offer growlers of standout local beers. Another city standout? The engaging, appealing cocktail delivery menu from The Garret.
- Finally, there are plenty of fun things taking place in Seattle. The Emerald City’s Marmite restaurant is putting together options like “road sodas” and “Mid-Century Modern” drink kits.
Developing an effective and fun takeout cocktail beverage program can add a distinctive boost to your restaurant’s menu – and help boost the bottom line during challenging times. Get thinking, get creative, and take advantage of this opportunity!
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