Beverage promotion ideas range from offering customers a wide range of choices — such as extensive draft beer or tequila selections — to creating new classics and skinny cocktail options. Here are a few examples from casual dining restaurants and pubs around the country.
- Promoting choices and customizing
Yard House, an Irvine, CA-based restaurant with 32 locations, offers customers an extensive draft beer selection — anywhere from 100 to 250 taps, depending on location — and has just launched its Shortys 9¼-oz. pours priced from $2.75 to $4.75. Beer lovers can create their own beer flights, featuring up to 3 varieties with Yard House Shortys. Also available are six-pack samplers of Yard House's Belgian-brewed beers. Other choices include the new Fresh & Skinny™ cocktails that range from 115-176 calories each. They're all made with Yard House's citrus agave blend, and are priced from $8.95 to $10.25. Juniper Fusion, for instance, features Hendrick's Gin, freshly picked strawberries, sliced cucumbers and orange bitters.
- Creating seasonal sips
A newly updated large patio space at The Claddagh Irish Pub location in Lyndhurst, OH, taps into patio power. The patio design offers shade during sunny weather and a fire pit for cooler evenings well into autumn. The traditional pub fare was lightened up for warm weather months, too. The Claddagh Irish Pubs have 15 locations in the midwestern U.S. Karen Murphy, Claddagh corporate director of food and beverage, says, “We're using local and regional products where possible to make these dishes wallet-friendly.” During the summer, the pub introduced sangrias selling for $7.50 a glass or $25 by the carafe. White sangria featured Pinot Grigio and peach juice; red sangria featured Merlot and pomegranate juice.
- Developing primo promos
The recently opened pub Chapter One: The Modern Local in Santa Ana, CA, features a culture of promotion that revolves around the food and beverage menu. Jeff Hall, one of the owners, says, “I believe in classy but constant promotion. Make it feel like there is a promotion occurring every day, all the time.” Promotions pairing food and beverage include Tentacle & Tequila Tuesday and Wine Pairing Wednesday (with half-off wine bottles and 3 to 6 course wine-pairing prix fixe menus). The food menu also features listings of compatible Culinary Cocktails.
- Offering classics with character
Iron Chef Jose Garces introduced milkshakes, spiked or virgin, on the summer menu at Village Whiskey in Philadelphia for $6 to $9 each. Village Whiskey is a 36-seat spot known for its deep list of American whiskeys and classic burgers, so milkshakes were a natural specialty. The Strawberry-Rum Milkshake features fresh strawberry ice cream, strawberry sauce, and Gosling's Rum, all topped with fresh berries. The S'Mores Milkshake combines the flavors and textures of its classic namesake, with toasted marshmallow ice cream and chocolate sauce, and garnishes of graham cracker and a house-made toasted marshmallow.