B. Nektar meadery

Beverage Trends Restaurants Need to Follow

Menu innovation isn't all about the food. Try these tips to get your beverage program in order.

36. Mead: Served solo or as a beer topper, this Old World staple is a new-day charmer.

37. Amaro, which is Italian for bitter, is having sweet success on restaurant menus—and not just in the after-dinner category.

38. Wine cocktails, beer cocktails, blended wine varietals, beer mashups—the bar’s the ideal setting for mixed messages.

39. Perfect pairings: Bring chefs into the bar and mixologists into the kitchen to share creative ideas.

40. House-made infusions are flavoring spirits, juices, waters, and all manner of sips.

41. The focus on local sourcing has taken over the taps. Even national chains are rotating through craft brews from local and regional breweries.

42. Promote flights of fancy to encourage guests to explore new wines, beers, and spirits—and to drain down non-performing inventory.

43. Shrink selection with curated lists that do the best job of complementing the cuisine while also making inventory more manageable.

44. But if you must go big, go digital, too: Electronic beverage lists allow real-time updates to selection, pairings, and pricing, plus they can provide an encyclopedic education about every drink available. It doesn’t replace the servers, just makes them a lot smarter.

45. For even smarter operations, suggest the bar and kitchen share overlapping mise en place duties.

46. Drive profit margins and distinguish the menu with custom-created signature options. Beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea—in every beverage category, there are producers willing to partner.

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