4 perks of pairing food and drinks


4 perks of pairing food and drinks

Gin and tonic

While food is often the core of a hospitality business, drink sales have the potential to drive profit exponentially. Pairing food and drinks together takes a little time and training but can benefit your business across the board, increasing sales not just of wine but also of beers, ciders, soft drinks and spirits. Have you considered all the perks of well-chosen pairings?

1. An opportunity to upsell

Upselling doesn't always have to be verbal. Written suggestions can be a much softer and persuasive sell as guests peruse the menu, take in recommendations, and make decisions in their own time. Pairing food with drinks presents the opportunity to promote, for example, a craft beer that complements the day's special, or the excellent chardonnay that goes well with your new house pasta recipe. Focus on beverages with high profit margins to boost your bottom line, and make sure the flavours are worth the extra cost.

2. Demonstrate expert knowledge

Our surveys have found that 96% of diners believe effectively trained staff have an impact on the amount they spend when eating out, and knowledge of the menu is one of the clearest indicators that staff are well-trained. Pairings are an excellent opportunity for your staff to impress your guests and demonstrate their menu knowledge and training, as they explain why certain food and drinks work well together. Ensure you have an effective and well-planned learning scheme in place so your staff can discuss pairings with confidence.

3. Promote soft drinks

As alcohol consumption continues to fall, particularly in the key under 30 market, soft drink consumption rises. However, Pub&Bar's 'Soft Drinks Report' revealed that consumers felt soft drinks were lacking in choice, presentation and value for money. Pairing non-alcoholic drinks with the same care and attention you use for alcoholic options will ease these concerns, as well as improving the profile of your soft drinks and making the option more visible in the customer's mind. Professional advice regarding soft drinks should also be offered to guests - 43% stated they would welcome recommendations. Several high-end London restaurants are offering juice pairings to guests, but restaurants don't need to overhaul their entire concept; Boston Tea Party, for instance, recently released a list of suggested tea pairings for their cake menu.

4. Allow the premiumisation of drinks

Offering a premium range of drinks is an excellent way to boost sales figures- Pub&Bar found that 56% of operators introducing premium brands to their pub noticed an uplift in sales whilst nearly half (44%) found premiumisation attracted new custom to their business. However, conveying the value of premium drinks to guests can be a harder task. Add extra touches of luxury to your guest experience by pairing premium wines, beers, and even cocktails with your food, ensuring your staff demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the value of these high end products. Remember luxury is not just about the price tag. It's the quality, the experience, and the aspirations the drink conveys as well, all of which can be enhanced through a well-matched pairing.

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