What’s New in the Beverage Business: Using Trends and Commercial Restaurant Equipment to Succeed

If you’ve been keeping up with What’s Cooking, you know we’ve recently been looking at how you can utilize commercial restaurant equipment to increase the quality of your restaurant’s beverage menu and level of operation. We’ve examined ways to make the most of your bar equipment for serving craft beer, ice machines for updating your drinks menu, and plenty of other ways to improve the way your restaurant runs. This week at What’s Cooking, we look into the world of drinks once again to focus on ways to make the most of your commercial restaurant equipment by checking out popular beverage trends, innovations from a variety of restaurants, and what’s ahead for the beverage business.

So, why the focus on commercial restaurant equipment? While we admit that we’re a little biased in favor of it, the fact is that a successful kitchen needs the right tools, and quality commercial restaurant equipment can make a huge difference in a restaurant’s success. Staying equipped with the best commercial restaurant equipment brings an enormous advantage to your establishment. A restaurant with top commercial restaurant equipment is able to function more smoothly and efficiently, leading to increased revenue. Investing in quality equipment from the start and caring for it during its lifetime will mean fewer breakdowns that require servicing (which also means more funding), and ultimately results in greater productivity.

Just as important as using quality commercial restaurant equipment, however, is keeping up with, and even anticipating, trends in the restaurant business. The rising popularity of craft beer, the locavore movement, gluten-free menus, and other trends can prove to be advantageous to your business if you use them draw customers. So what’s coming up in the world of beverages? Check out these developments.

Chipotle Tests Freshly-Made Margaritas

Restaurants like Chipotle are finding success through a major menu change that both complements its current menu and brings something totally new to the table. Introducing the Chipotle margarita. At the end of April, the fast-casual Mexican food chain introduced a premium version of their pre-mixed margaritas, which are made with Patrón Silver tequila, Triple Sec, fresh lime and lemon juices, and organic agave nectar. Since their introduction, margaritas (along with pre-existing beer choices) account for 1-2% of Chipotle’s total sales.

Burger King’s Coffee Makeover

Burger King has revamped its coffee choices several times, and its latest round of changes includes new flavors from Seattle’s Best Coffee in the form of 10 new drinks. Burger King’s vice president of global innovation, Eric Hirschhorn, says this drink renovation is a response to consumer trends and customers’ desire for specialty coffee beverages. It is also a response to a growing trend with its competitors, however. By introducing new coffee menu items, it attempts to compete with options available at major chains like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Beverage Flights on the Rise

Several chains have added beverage flights to their menus, including California Pizza Kitchen and Smokey Bones. Beverage flights are small tastes of a variety of drinks that can be served before, with, or after a meal. CPK offers wine flights, while Smokey Bones offers a flight of craft beers. Beverage flights saw a surge in popularity at the end of 2012, and the trend has continued well into the spring of this year.

More Beverages and Commercial Restaurant Equipment

What beverage trends are you taking advantage of in your restaurant? What do you think is next for the beverage biz and commercial restaurant equipment? Find ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and tell us!

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