Hot Beverages To Fire Up Sales

CranberryTea from The Breakers
CranberryTea from The Breakers Image Used with Permission

Consumers choose winter warmers when seeking a festive, seasonal treat.

Consumers choose winter warmers when seeking a festive, seasonal treat.

Restaurants can make money at both ends of the meal by serving hot drinks as bookends to the food.

Hot cocktails can set the stage for a good meal, while Irish coffee, tea and cocktails can be the perfect end.

“People like to be soothed and like the feeling of what a hot drink does, which is very different to the stimulation of a cold drink,” says Tom Pirko, president of BEVMARK, a company that advises food and beverage industries, based in Santa Ynez, California.

“There’s almost a ritualistic thing to a hot drink—to finishing a meal or having coffee with breakfast. People can feel that certain meals are incomplete without certain beverages in place. There’s a great opportunity to please the customer and give them a complete experience by having something to start and finish the meal.”

Despite the year-round warm climate, hot drinks become more popular at the nine restaurants and lounges at The Breakers Resort and Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, in the run-up to the holiday season.

During the day, hot ciders, hot chocolate, eggnog lattes, and pumpkin drinks are favorites with hotel guests.

The pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin spice cappuccino with Captain Morgan rum, a cinnamon stick, pumpkin syrup and whipped cream are popular, as is The Snowflake, a coffee drink with peppermint schnapps, coffee, cinnamon and whipped cream.

And the hotel’s afternoon tea begins every year in December and runs through April.

“Hot teas are really big because we do the formal teas around the season,” says Nick Velardo, director of food and beverage, restaurants and recreation. “We do seasonal teas such as the Holiday Blend (a black tea) and White Christmas (a white tea), both for the holidays, which contain flavors such as nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. They’re promoted on the tea menu, and our servers promote them.”

Tea is popular both at the formal teas and after dinner, Velardo says, but it doesn’t hold a candle to coffee.

Specialty coffee drinks such as Irish coffees are also more popular at this time of year for after dinner. Popular are Irish coffee with almonds and amaretto, Jamaican coffee with Tia Maria liqueur, and the Soprano cappuccino, which includes a shot of Frangelico liqueur.

In the evenings, hot cocktails become more popular. They’re not huge sellers, Velardo says, “but the people who do like them really appreciate them.”


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