As restaurants have shifted and adapted to an increase in off-premise orders, one menu part that may be underselling compared to typical dine-in business numbers is beverages. Currently, according to Technomic’s 2020 Delivery and Takeout Consumer Trend Report, just 25% of consumers order non-alcoholic beverages in carryout orders, and only 34% do so in delivery orders. But with a few innovative tweaks, operators can change this and capture more beverage dollars.
Beverages are highly profitable, so making sure diners still order them for off-premise is important. One way to encourage consumers to order more beverages is by providing craveable, unique beverages that are deliciously on-trend.
New flavors and on-trend twists
As summer turns into fall, many consumers will be looking for pumpkin spice coffee beverages. But pumpkin spice doesn’t have to be the only fall flavor operators adopt. Other great fall-inspired flavors include toffee nut, maple, caramel apple and more. And traditional fall flavors aren’t all operators can add.
For operators who want something that is sure to stand out, they need look no further than a trend out of New York—“coffee juices.” These refreshing sips are comprised of fresh juices, such as orange juice, lemonade or pineapple juice, topped with coffee. According to Datassential, coffee and fruit are becoming an increasingly popular combination. The menu research firm found that mentions of coffee items with fruit on menus have gone up 64% over the past five years, with the fastest-growing flavors being orange, lemon and coconut.
Beyond coffee, operators can also add different types of beverages—smoothies, milkshakes, kombuchas and more—to attract more customers to the drink menu. Smoothies for breakfast, milkshakes for desserts or a “treat yourself” moment and kombuchas—perfect for health-conscious diners—can all be a big boost to business.
Pay attention to packaging
In addition to offering drink variety, operators should also remain mindful of the packaging used for off-premise beverage orders. Technomic’s 2020 Delivery and Takeout Consumer Trend Report finds that 65% of consumers say it’s important that the packaging used in delivery or carryout orders maintains beverages’ temperature, while 39% of consumers say it’s important for packaging to be environmentally friendly. Phade® marine biodegradable straws from WinCup offer unexpected eco-friendly benefits with high performance and paper-wrapped safety, helping operators build attraction to the beverage program. As restaurants focus more closely on eco-friendly packaging to go, straws should be part of their plans—and biodegradable straws are the perfect solution.