What Millennials Want from a Drink Menu

Monday, November 11th, 2013

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Millennials’ emerging role in the foodservice industry. They are a unique demographic, clocking in as the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers at 68 million individuals, and consisting of Americans between the ages of 21 and 34. From opting for price-conscious drinks to shaking up new flavors using ice machines’ ice for cocktails, there are many different ways that restaurants can cater to Millennials when it comes to modifying and marketing their drink menus. Here are 4 ways to tap into things that are important to Millennials when it comes to beverages:

Try What’s Trending

Pay attention to what’s new in the adult beverage industry. According to a survey by Technomic, Inc., Millennials are more likely to try a new drink than other demographics are. Tap into drink trends and new products to keep your beverage menu up-to-date and interesting so that Millennial consumers will take notice and keep coming back.

Offer Variety

Whether you employ your ice machines to shake up a variety of cocktails, serve house-made liquors over ice, or blend a specialty margarita with ice from your ice machines, make sure you give Millennials plenty options. Again, this demographic is more likely to venture outside the norm to taste something new. Millennials are also more fond of a wide range of alcohols, from Moscatos to tequila to seasonal beers, so don’t be afraid to mix up your inventory regularly.

Emphasize Flavor

While sweet drinks are certainly a favorite among Millennial imbibers, they are often an introduction to more a more expansive range of adult beverage ingredients. Pair spicy, smoky, or subtle flavors with ice from your ice machines to create unique drinks that cater to Millennials’ tastes.

Brand Loyalty? Not So Much

When it comes to choosing drinks, Millennials are less concerned with brand loyalty than they are with deals and a reasonable price point. As a demographic with high demands for creative drinks but relatively low funds to buy them, restaurants should focus on offering promotions and special events.

More Advice and Ice Machines from ShortOrder

How are you using your drinks menus and ice machines to cater to the spending power of Millennials? What are your most popular drinks to make with ice from your ice machines? Tweet at ShortOrder on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let us know!

Ice Machines, Spices, and More: Top Drink Trends

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Are you caught up with the most recent trends in the beverage world? Restaurants that don’t change with the times can find themselves a bit low on profit and slow in business, so it’s best to put your ice machines to good use to offer customers trending options when it comes to drinks. This week ShortOrder offers you some of the top beverage trends in the business, and some ideas about how to incorporate them into your menus, from ice machines to coffee beans.

Pour-over coffee is making headway right now in the restaurant industry. This delectable spin on your basic brew involves pouring boiling water over a filter packed with coffee grounds. The result is the freshest of cups of Joe, and it seems patrons are willing to pay a little more for the quality. To mix things up, serve pour-over coffee on ice from your ice machines.

Try out specialty ice for your cocktails if you want to give your ice machines a rest. Flavored ice cubes might include smoked ice, flowers, fruits, spices, and herbs, and alter the flavor of a drink from start to finish. Use mint-infused ice in a mint julep, or simply add a new flavor to an old favorite with ice flavored with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Spicy cocktails are another trend making the rounds at bars everywhere. This trend is manifesting in everything from cocktails with a strong splash of ginger to martinis featuring harissa, a North African chile paste. The spicy cocktail is actually part of a growing trend in preferences for foods with a kick in all areas of the menu. Take advantage of this trend by shaking up some spicy-but-subtle cocktails over ice from your ice machines.

Craft beer has been a major player in the bar scene, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. In fact, according to the Brewers Association, craft brew sales rose saw a 17% rise last year. To take advantage of this trend, find out where your local breweries are and consider stocking some of their wares. Customers will appreciate the local patronage, and brewers will appreciate the revenue and the publicity.

More Ice Machines and Tips from ShortOrder

What drink trends are you excited about right now? How have you put your ice machines to work to cash in on beverage trends? Connect with ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and tell us about it! You can also browse our selection of ice machines online and find the one that fits your bar or kitchen’s needs the best.

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

Friday, May 24th, 2013

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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