Capitalizing on the Holiday Season
This time of year for restaurants is the perfect opportunity to start planning holiday menus that make a splash—and the beverage menu can be a lucrative way to generate excitement. From Gingerbread White Chocolate Mocha to Hot Holiday Sangria, customers are looking to celebrate the season in small, nostalgic ways, and they’re willing to pay premium prices for LTO beverages that offer those notes. Restaurants are not only able to welcome the holidays with their customers, but also to bring in additional profits.
“Seasonal LTOs create a reason for people to come back,” says Joey Torkelson, senior beverage development and applications manager at Kerry Foodservice. “It’s something very simple and low-cost that drives repeat traffic.”
Driving Business Through Social Media
Making beverages visually appealing for Instagram and other social media platforms is a great way to attract customers and boost foot traffic. “For Gen Z and millennials, anything Instagrammable will be popular. Their goal is to find the next best thing,” says Torkelson.
A survey by restaurant marketing agency MGH found that 45 percent of U.S. diners tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post. Twenty-two percent of U.S. diners said a restaurant’s social post enticed them to return.
Kerry Foodservice is an all-beverage solution carrying a range of products from syrups to natural drink mixes. It offers a range of holiday-featured flavors, making it easy for restaurants to create aesthetic, on-trend, post-worthy beverages. “Having your restaurant get views on a beverage you’ve created brings foot traffic in. It starts conversations, which is probably some of the best advertising you will receive,” says Torkelson.
Strategies for Captivating Seasonal Drinks
Common drinks on menus can be reimagined using colors, spices, and thematic names to create attractive holiday beverages. “Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon or red, blue, or white colors can all be used to create a holiday theme. Then, just give them a new name. In the end, it’s all about the name,” says Torkelson. Naming beverages after familiar holiday desserts, songs, or sayings is fun for customers and makes them feel like they are ordering something special.
OnePoll conducted a survey and found that flavors and spices that evoke the most feelings of holiday nostalgia and comfort are cinnamon, pumpkin, peppermint, and cocoa, all flavors that can easily be made into beverages and cocktails with Kerry Holiday Featured Flavors.
Hot Holiday Sangria
1 bottle of dry red wine
1 quart Island Oasis Sangria
¼ C brandy
½ orange thinly sliced
½ apple cubed
6 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
Steep Sangria mixed with oranges, apples, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon stick for 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Add in red wine and brandy. Serve.
1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Pumpkin Pie Sauce
1 oz cream
2 oz vodka
2 oz espresso
Shake, strain, and serve with a light dusting of nutmeg or cinnamon.
Peppermint Stick Shake
1 oz. DaVinci Gourmet Peppermint Syrup
1 oz. DaVinci Gourmet White Chocolate Sauce
5 oz. Island Oasis Ice Cream
Crushed peppermint stick pieces
White chocolate or vanilla frosting
Blend ingredients with ice.
Garnish: Swipe the upper rim with frosting and dip in crushed peppermint stick pieces. Top with whipped cream.
Delivering Customer Desires
Small gestures that demonstrate care go a long way in enhancing the overall customer experience. “Customers want to believe that the money they’re spending is going toward an establishment that genuinely cares about what they’re offering,” says Torkelson. Offering customers LTO specialty drinks will make them feel appreciated and drive repeat business, cultivating a loyal customer base.
Kerry Foodservice has the perfect products for crafting visually appealing holiday beverages to drive profitability during the festive season. For beverage menu inspiration and additional recipes, visit their website.