Are you satisfying guests' thirst for adventure?

Are you satisfying guests' thirst for adventure?


Keeping drinks offerings fresh for guests is posing a challenge to licensees, as recent CGA research reveals that nearly one quarter of guests (22%) now consider themselves 'disloyal' to drinks brands. The trend is currently for new products, posing a quandary for licensees striving to balance an innovative and exciting stock with the time-honoured favourites of their other patrons.

Fortunately, keeping your drinks menu fresh doesn't have to mean constantly overhauling your stock or supplier. At the Future Trends Beer & Cider Summit last month, Graeme Loudon, commercial director of CGA Strategy, explained that guests are largely 'looking for something unfamiliar'. Creating an exciting menu can be as simple as steering guests away from their typical preferences, and towards a more unexpected selection.

Food and drinks pairings are an easy way for a business to subtly encourage guests to experiment with their drinks order, satisfying their thirst for adventure. Suggesting a pairing nudges guests to experiment with drinks and flavours they may not have otherwise considered, helping them explore the full breadth of your drinks range.

And pairings are no longer limited to the wine menu, with cocktails, beer, cider, and even juice pairings growing in popularity. A carefully considered and informative guide indicating the beverages that are best suited to each dish encourages the 'disloyal' to try new things, without alienating the more loyal guests. It also inspires imagination and inventiveness from the staff creating and selling the pairings menu, which tends to attract likeminded guests. Furthermore, pairings help encourage seasonality and menu changes, all of which keep your offerings fresh, innovative and interesting.

Loudon commented that a better understanding of guests will enable licensees to meet their needs and maintain loyalty - to the pub, if not to the drinks stocked. He highlighted the fact that this issue is most important to those with the 18-24 year olds in their target demographic, as they are the most 'promiscuous' when it comes to drinks selection. This is reinforced by research earlier this year revealing that Millennials consider themselves more adventurous with food and where they choose to eat. Increasingly, the challenge with this age bracket is providing a guest experience that stands out as unique and new amongst a saturated market.

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