Restaurant beverage pros and bar managers put a lot of time and effort into presenting patrons with new drink options, whether it be a specialty cocktail, seasonal beer or just-released wine. New items keep the drink program fresh and can spark an increase in spending, not to mention ramp up the memorable aspect of the guest experience. But how many and which guests actually partake?
Nearly one-third (28%) of on-premise patrons tried a new drink on their most recent on-premise occasion, according to a survey conducted for Technomic’s recently released SpiritsTAB report. Millennials had the highest rate of trial, with 41% of younger Millennials (21-25 years old) and 35% of older Millennials (26-35) reporting a new drink experience during their last on-premise occasion. A quarter of consumers between 36 and 45 tried a new drink, and the rate declined among older consumers.
The rate of trial was higher among on-premise spirits consumers, with 30% indicating they had tried a new drink on their most recent occasion. Again, trial was highest among young Millennials (42%), followed by older Millennials (37%).
Savvy operators will want to target new item offerings primarily at Millennial consumers. Technomic’s recent Consumer Restaurant Brand Metrics program finds social responsibility, food quality and support of local community activities to be restaurant attributes highly valued by Millennials. Tapping into hot adult beverage brands and creating drinks and programs with a local or socially responsible element or that highlight quality ingredients and preparation will speak to that patron base.
For those guests who did not try a new drink, 80% ordered a favorite cocktail and 17% ordered something they drink occasionally. For these consumers, the top three influencers were familiarity with the brand or drink, the people in their party and the meal or type of food they were eating. Interestingly, cost ranked fourth.
For more data from Technomic, check out "Chain Restaurants Show Better Performance in 2011."