Patrick Henry, whose Patrick Henry Creative Promotions has developed winning beverage campaigns for Cheesecake Factory and other chains, dispensed some advice on generating excitement in beverage sales.
With limited space behind the bar, Henry suggested some common-sense inventory management tactics. Decide what sells and stock those products, he said, and promote what you do stock effectively. "Premium products should be at eye level," he suggested. Up front, "a clean bar is a must," he stressed.
Separate drink menus are critical to better bar sales, Henry noted, showing examples of some creative designs and promotions tied in to holidays or other special events. "Great-looking graphics sell drinks—make no mistake about it," he observed.
To get the staff excited about selling beverages, make sure they have tools to sell them (such as menus) and try incentives. Even $10 gasoline cards are a hot item right now to drive sales.
Henry also offered his take on beverage categories with growth potential: