How To Maximize Your Restaurant’s Beverage Revenue with CBD Cocktails

How To Maximize Your Restaurant’s Beverage Revenue with CBD Cocktails

Alcohol sales in restaurants are drying up — a sobering statistic that will make business owners rethink their revenue strategies. Alcoholic beverages are still one of the highest-margin items on any menu, but many restaurateurs are now looking for non-alcoholic alternatives that keep diners happy long after happy hour. 

One of these alternatives, CBD-infused cocktails, could provide restaurant owners with a new source of revenue. These colorful concoctions don’t contain any alcohol, but retailers can still sell them at high-profit margins. For diners, this means fewer calories and no hangover the next morning. It’s no surprise, then, that these cocktails make up 9 percent of total bar sales in one Chicago bar. 

If the 2010s were the decade of the Moscow Mule, perhaps the ’20s will be all about the Mellow Mule. And perhaps it’s high time that you incorporate CBD beverages into your restaurant revenue streams. 

Why are Alcohol Sales Declining?

Alcohol consumption around is the US fell by .8 percent in 2018 for the third-straight year. Non-alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, are booming, and more restaurateurs are capitalizing on “mocktails” and booze-free beers in order to improve revenue. 

You see, public attitudes toward alcohol consumption are changing. Millennials, in particular, are swapping out booze for healthier alternatives or, at the least, non-alcoholic beverages.

“Mocktails have been around for decades, and non-alcoholic beers have been around even longer, thanks to Prohibition,” notes CNBC. “But more players are entering the market as the trend gathers steam with younger generations.”

One recent trend is the “sober-curious” movement, where online influencers are reevaluating drinking culture and trying out non-alcoholic alternatives. Often, these people, who are usually millennials, want to reduce alcohol intake for health and wellness reasons. 

As a result of this movement, experts predict low-to-zero-alcoholic beverages will grow a huge 32 percent between 2018-2022. This means it’s the perfect time to introduce CBD-infused drinks to your menu. 

The Benefits of CBD-Infused Beverages

As more restaurants and bars add CBD beverages to their menus, businesses have become less reliant on big alcohol brands like Smirnoff and Jack Daniels — who charge big bucks to sell their products — to generate revenue. 

Currently, 45% of US Adults are interested in CBD, which is one of 113 substances extracted from the hemp plant, and although people mistakenly believe this compound is psychoactive, it isn’t. Instead, people often use CBD to relax, kind of the antithesis of caffeine. (Others believe CBD can effectively treat insomnia, anxiety, and some types of pain. The research is still in progress.)

CBD provides diners with an alternative to alcohol, so you can attract people who are looking for a fun, creative drink and avoid the “just water” or “a club soda with lime” requests that drag down beverage sales.

“With the creativity of today’s bartenders, it’s no surprise these feel-good and taste-good CBD cocktails are becoming fast favorites,” says Food & Wine

Why are Millennials So Important?

You might be thinking that changing your entire beverage program to accommodate millennials seems like a huge effort with little return. 

There’s a misconception that millennials crave off-premise cuisine experiences — takeouts, food stalls, etc. However, research suggests the opposite is true. Millennials and their families made more than 7 billion visits to limited-service restaurants last year, and millennials with children increased their restaurant visits by 5 percent. 

Targeting this demographic, therefore, could provide you with a significant return on your investment. You can also target the next generation, Gen Z, who drink 20 percent less than millennials. It seems alcohol alternatives are a trend here to stay.

Moreover, millennials prefer cannabis to alcohol. This demographic drinks far less booze than previous generations, according to one study. The number of college students who consumed alcohol every day in 2017 dropped more than four percentage points from 1980.

How to Maximize Your Beverage Program with CBD Cocktails

Nobody’s saying that you should stop selling booze altogether. Tao Las Vegas, the most profitable restaurant in the United States, generates 75 percent of its income from alcohol sales. However, booze revenue is on a downward trend as more millennials look for healthier beverage options. 

One way to lure these prospective customers into your establishment is by selling and advertising CBD cocktails. It’s important to market these drinks as relaxing alternatives to alcohol and not mind-altering substances. CBD has none of the trippy effects of THC. This makes it a good choice for booze-banishing millennials, even on a school night.

Here are a few more tips for maximizing your CBD cocktail revenue stream:

  • If you source local ingredients to make your cocktails, advertise this fact. 
  • Promote your CBD mocktail blends on social media. 
  • Think up some creative names for your concoctions. 
  • Increase footfall and revenue with a regular “happy hour.”
  • Let someone else do all the hard work for you! Use ready-to-drink solutions like these non-alcoholic CBD cocktails from Sweet Crude, an Austin-based company that infuses beverages with high-quality hemp extract and natural terpenes. 


Alcohol sales in restaurants are down, especially among millennials who want healthier, hangover-free alternatives. Introducing CBD-infused cocktails to your menu, therefore, could boost restaurant revenue and help you attract this lucrative demographic. 

Looking for delicious, ready-to-drink CBD cocktails that you can add to your menu? Click here to find out more about Sweet Crude’s wholesale options.

Kirk P. is a writer who specializes in technology, retail, and lifestyle and travel. Kirk's work has appeared on Travelocity, Ziff Davis, StubHub, and more.

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