Sell More Drinks by Pairing Beverages With Food
Beverage pairing isn't a new concept, but you'd be surprised by
many bar operators don't include pairing as part of their menu or
standard order taking procedure. Learn how to pair and sell more
beverages to customers.
How to Pair
As a start to pairing beverages with food items you can turn to your
distributors. Ask them to take a look at your menu and suggest which
products would best pair with what you currently offer.
If your distributors aren't much help, you can figure it out
with some trial and error. As rough guide, match lighter foods with
lighter beverages, and heavier, richer foods with bigger, more full-
bodied drinks. Drinks like wine and beer can either compliment or
contrast with the paired dishes - but due to the strong flavors of
most spirits, cocktails should always compliment rather contrast.
When to Suggest
Start suggesting food and drink pairings before your customers order
by placing pairings on your menu and your specials board. You should
also enlist your staff to suggest drink pairings when customers
Based on what a customer orders - from appetizers to desserts - your
servers and bartenders should have a quick list of beverage
that will compliment the customer's choice.
Set a Price for the Pair
Another way to maximize food and beverage pairings is to have a set
price for a food and beverage combination. For example, the teryaki
duck wings are $12 on their own and a glass of Columbia Crest Horse
Heaven Hills Chardonnay is $7 on it's own, but if a customer orders
both together, the price is $16. This helps customers add on a
beverage or a food item because it seems like a great value.
Remember to set the combination price as something that looks like a
deal to the customer but is still profitable for you.
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