Benefits of matching food with drinks


Benefits of matching food with drinks

food and drink

Food is often the main event when dining out but placing equal importance on your drinks by carefully matching them with food can boost your sales whilst setting your venue apart from others. By expanding your drinks menu and investing in some staff training, you can give your team the tools to make the most of upselling opportunities. We’ve done some research on what guests want when it comes to matching food and drinks. Are you ready to re-think your offering?


Upselling doesn’t have to be a hard sale. Guests are going to order a drink with their meal regardless, so making a drink suggestion to go with their dish of choice will feel natural to the guest. What’s more, 85% of guests say they appreciate a team member recommending drinks that complement their dish.

Don’t forget desserts. When it comes to quantity, 56% of guests consume just 2 drinks throughout their meal when eating at a casual dining restaurant – perhaps because the usual tea and coffee offering doesn’t entice today’s guest? Today’s consumer, looking for unique experiences, can pick up a maccha green tea frappuccino in their local coffee shop, so are they really going to spend on a filter coffee? Possibly not. Providing an unexpected hot drink to complement each dessert will really give guests something to talk about.

Team training

84% of guests think it’s important or very important that staff have good knowledge of their drinks menu. Your team are the face of your business, so if they don’t know your food and drinks menu inside out, this can be an awkward experience for both the guest and the team member. 96% of guests say that effectively trained staff can actually have an impact on what they spend when eating out, and knowledge of the menu is one of the clearest indicators that staff are well-trained. Pairing food with drinks is a great way to showcase this, so it’s essential to invest in the training of your team.

Premium Drinks

Introducing more premium drinks to your business is a lucrative way to keep taste buds happy. 71% of guests are very likely or quite likely to purchase a premium alcoholic beverage, and 47% are very likely or quite likely to purchase a premium non-alcoholic beverage, so going premium is a no-brainer. But how to promote premium? Guests are much more likely to purchase a high-end drink if it has been carefully paired with their food, rather than selecting it from the bar. With well trained staff ensuring guests that premium will compliment their selected dish, guests will want to pay the extra cost.

Promoting soft drinks

According to the Office for National Statistics, last year, only 57.8% of adults had consumed alcohol the week before questioning. As a result, the nation’s thirst for soft drinks continues to grow, so it could be wise for operators to expand their selection. Our research shows that 59% of guests would actually be interested in trying a restaurants homemade soft drink – providing venues with an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

When it comes to pubs, 80% of guests feel that low sugar/sugar free drinks are poorly promoted. With sugar consumption becoming an increasing concern, 78% of guests think it’s important or very important that sugar and calorie information is displayed on soft drinks - something to bear in mind when it comes to promotion.

Hand crafted drinks

Our research shows that 68% of guests like to try new drink options, and a profitable way to up your offering is by creating your own handcrafted drinks. We already know that 59% of our guests would be interested in trying a restaurants own soft drink, and according to Datassential, ‘homemade’ beverages have increased by 46% since 2012. A great way to launch new beverages that guests may not think to try is by promoting them with food pairing offers, this really is an excellent way to provide a personal and unique guest experience.

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