Source: Restaurant News
Beverages remain a rich target for engineering higher sales and margins, but discerning between drink trends and fads complicates that development more than ever.
That was the conclusion drawn by executives who gathered at the 2014 Beverage Innovations Roundtable during the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.
Penton Restaurant Group — which publishes Food Management, Restaurant Hospitality and Nation’s Restaurant News — in cooperation with Smucker’s Foodservice, convened menu innovation leaders from some of the most forward-thinking companies in the restaurant, hotel and campus dining segments to share best practices for gaining insight into what consumers want from their drinks and for turning that feedback into sales-driven beverage strategies.
Below are highlights from their roundtable discussion, moderated by Nation’s Restaurant News senior editor Mark Brandau.
Mark Brandau, Nation’s Restaurant News: How are your beverage lines an opportunity not only to drive sales, but also to extend your branding?
Donna Josephson, McAlister’s Corp.: We use McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea as an embodiment of what the brand stands for: generous tea hand-crafted with quality, and then that generous portion is always free refills. That will always be some place where we maintain the brand, and elsewhere we’re going to borrow equity.
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