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Why Alcohol Beverage Services To-Go Are Here to Stay

Back Print

November 03, 2023

At the beginning of 2020, cocktails to-go became a lifeline for restaurants. Today, drinks for takeout continue to be popular offerings and could be untapped revenue for restaurants who have removed the option when dining returned to normal, or never introduced the concept to begin with. In fact, average bar profit margins, when managed correctly, can reach as high as 80 percent. Adding alcoholic beverages as a to-go option for your food menus means you reap the benefits of high profits without high upfront costs.

The State of Alcoholic Beverages To-Go Today

Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have implemented permanent alcoholic drinks to-go. Fourteen have extended the sales of takeout drinks. If your establishment is in one of the many states that approved cocktails to-go, you have the opportunity to boost your customer base and increase profits.

Why an Alcoholic Beverage Program Matters

According to the National Restaurant Association, people are more likely to select one restaurant over another based on alcoholic drink options. These consumers say the availability of alcoholic beverages makes them more likely to choose one restaurant over another:

  • 70 percent of beer drinkers
  • 69 percent of wine drinkers
  • 67 percent of cocktail drinkers 

Interestingly, restaurants that offer takeout drinks for delivery are also sought out by customers:

  • 77 percent of beer drinkers
  • 79 percent of wine drinkers
  • 74 percent of cocktail drinkers

Adding a takeaway and delivery beverage program can help you stand out from the crowd and garner new clientele.

Maximizing Your Alcohol Beverage Service Program

Recent statistics reveal that 24 percent of takeout customers added an alcoholic beverage to their order.  However, 61 percent of those consumers wanted more drink options for their takeout orders. Want to know what customers crave for their takeaway drinks and increase your consumer base? 

Take a look at these upcoming trends from the National Restaurant Association research report and our hospitality experts.

24% of takeout customers add an alcoholic beverage to their order.

What’s On Tap:

Beer is the most common alcoholic offering for to-go drinks, and customers today are looking for specific options:

  • 81 percent would like beer options from local breweries.
  • 74 percent are likely to order tasting-sized glasses.

Expanded Wine Tasting:

Wine is a classic pairing with any meal. Wine consumers want smaller pour alternatives to full bottles:

  • 82 percent of wine drinkers would prefer the opportunity to order a glass of wine that is typically only sold by the bottle.
  • 60 percent would like the chance to order a glass of wine to-go instead of a full bottle. 

Crafting Cocktails:

Cocktail trends cover a lot of ground. Customers are looking for local spirits and global flavors.

  • 80 percent are interested in ordering mixed drinks with locally distilled spirits.
  • 60 percent would add a pre-made cocktail to their takeout or delivery order.

Testing Flavor Profiles

Today’s cocktail connoisseurs are driving global flavor drink trends. Fruity prickly pear, complex lemongrass, and heat-forward chilis in mixed drinks are growing in popularity. Consider spicing up a classic margarita with roasted jalapeño, level up your mojito with a splash of prickly pear, or create a herbaceous simple syrup with lemongrass and ginger and add to a standard Tom Collins.

Adult versions of nostalgic drinks are also sure to capture consumer attention. Think boozy milkshakes, spiked berry lemonades, and rum-laden horchata. Utilize flavored syrups and beverage bases to keep costs low and flavors vibrant.

Grow Your Alcoholic Beverages To-Go for Less at US Foods CHEF’STORE

Are you looking to expand your drink menus with exceptional ingredients and mixers? CHEF’STORE stocks bar garnish essentials, juices, sodas, spices, and produce to expand your to-go beverage menu. You’ll also find premium bar equipment and other wholesale bulk products to help you maximize profits while wowing customers.

Visit one of CHEF’STORE’s many locations today and see what we have in store for you!

The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

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