When it comes to your brunch menu, treat beverages as more than just an afterthought, and make them a part of the meal.
According to Datassential, nontraditional breakfast beverages are a growing opportunity, and although coffee is still the most popular breakfast drink, consumers are looking for out-of-the-ordinary offerings. The brunch menu is the perfect place to promote a selection of custom or seasonal drinks.
Stand-out beverages can increase profitability by appealing to a shareable, social experience. Diners enjoy stories about their drinks as well as their food so educate your staff on how to upsell brunch beverages using a brand narrative and train them to suggest pairings with every dish on your menu. Aside from the drink itself, diners are intrigued by playful, unaccustomed drink ware – serve drinks in vintage milk bottles, Mason jars, large flasks, antique pitchers, or anything other than your standard glass. It’s details like these that make it easy to add value to your beverage menu and a good place to start is by revitalizing your Bloody Mary selections… continue reading to find out how.
Instead of standard tomato juice, turn a Bloody Mary into a bright, golden libation by using fresh-pressed Sun Gold or yellow tomatoes. Or, turn the drink green with Southern-inspired green tomato juice as a base with garnishes such as cherry tomatoes or bell peppers. What’s on top of your Bloody Mary doesn’t always have to be your average pickle, olive, or celery stalk. Take your toppings to the next level by offering a medley of garnishes like shrimp, jalapeños or chilies, cucumbers, pickled okra, bacon, or artisan cheeses. Add other innovative elements like a meat straw, mini slider, or even a grilled cheese sandwich to increase price points and add a wow factor. Diners appreciate the opportunity to create a customized drink where they can add whatever toppings they please at a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Providing different options of alcohol, like tequila for a south-of-the-border “Bloody Maria,” as well as a variety of trendy hot sauces like gochujang or sriracha can make your beverage menu the main attraction at brunch.
Not offering bottomless mimosas can be a deal breaker for diners deciding on a brunch location. Having the option of receiving more pours without having to pay the price per glass is a huge selling point for brunch-goers. According to Mintel, 40% of consumers say that price point is the biggest factor in choosing a breakfast restaurant. Just like with Bloody Marys, another way to better merchandise mimosas is with the build-your-own concept. Fill your do-it-yourself bar with trendy sparkling wines like rosé in addition to Champagne and Prosecco and a choice of several fruit juices like grapefruit, strawberry, blackberry, pomegranate, and blueberry so customers can create their own signature drinks. Fruit garnishes are expected, but push the bar with peak season fruit like mango, watermelon, or honeydew melon and offer other flavor enhancements like honey, agave nectar and fresh herbs like rosemary or mint leaves. IQF fruit from Bountiful Harvest and fresh produce and herbs available through Produce Express are essential ingredients for a mimosa bar.
According to Fona International, juicing is a $2.3 billion annual business, and cold-pressed juice is a $100 million market. Healthy juice options bring nutritional and sustainable elements to your menu that can set your restaurant apart from the competition. Maines signature brand Rejuv™ can provide a variety of dependable, vibrant, and refreshing juice bases and mixes for your breakfast beverages. Offer fresh juices consisting of a rainbow of fruits and vegetables like cucumber, beet, carrot, lime, pear, avocado, and jalapeño that will meet demand for unique flavors with various nutritional benefits. Served at brunch, these healthy juices appeal to customers recovering from a night out who are looking to recharge. Upsell your beverages with additional health benefits – like options to add a shot of turmeric or ginger, which are high in antioxidants. Customization is key and while some consumers are seeking organic and pure juices, others are looking for the opposite – a refreshing fresh juice spiked with a bit of alcohol. Offering an eclectic variety of juices will help your menu appeal to a wider range of diners.
From a quick, cold beverage to a healthy meal replacement, smoothies will positively expand your brunch menu. As healthy food trends grow, so does the desire for alternatives in the beverage category. According to Datassential, in recent years, the U.S. smoothie market has brought in over $2 billion in sales that can be attributed to the smoothie bowl trend. Create a point of difference for your restaurant by incorporating sweeteners like honey, agave, and maple syrup or spices and extracts like cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla to balance flavors. Experiment with different taste profiles and textures by expanding your assortment of base liquids such as almond, cow, or soy milk, Greek yogurt, tea, and coconut water. Or, capitalize on the health-conscious green trend by adding nutrient-rich kale, spinach, arugula, and beet greens in addition to a familiar selection of fruits and vegetables. Maines Bountiful Harvest brand has a wide variety of frozen and fresh produce that make it easy to thicken the texture and add unique flavors to your smoothies.
According to Datassential, coffee remains the top breakfast beverage including iced coffee that rose by 68% on menus since 2012. Coffee’s caffeine content appeals to diners who need a boost to continue socializing after their previous night out. Not only will popular espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos do well during brunch hours, signature drinks with buzzword flavors like s’mores or Irish cocoa will also do well. Seasonal flavors are great for building excitement and presenting customers with limited-time-only offers. Capitalize on the love for coffee by incorporating coffee flavors into smoothies or create coffee cocktails like a simple espresso martini. Advise servers to encourage customers to try flavor shots for a small upcharge such as butterscotch, almond, or raspberry. Maines Highland Roast brand offers a premium collection of craft-roasted coffees that reflect a contemporary coffee house experience. Maines in-house beverage specialists can also provide high-quality revenue-building products, innovative drink recipes, and cost-cutting tips that will help you maximize your coffee offerings.
According to the Tea Association of the USA, approximately four in five consumers drink tea, with Millennials being the most likely to indulge (87%!). Appeal to tea drinkers during brunch by offering iced tea, herbal teas, and popular flavored teas such as honey-lemon, chamomile, or passion fruit. The Tea Council of the USA found that hot tea sales in the U.S. have increased more than 17% over the last five years and as that number rises, so can your revenue. Promote seasonal selections throughout the year such as hot peppermint during the holidays or chai in the summer.
Your restaurant can also capitalize on health-conscious consumers by creating custom tea blends with fresh herbs and spices like ginger-tumeric herbal tea, citrus-honey green tea, or lavender-mint tea.
Craft cocktails provide customers with value that they won’t find anywhere else because of the meticulous care taken to create these one-of-a-kind libations. Use local and seasonal ingredients and complete the fully customized experience by serving craft cocktails in distinct glassware with handcrafted ice cubes and house-made syrups or bitters. These innovative drinks are best sold with a clever name and description to match that makes customers want to try every one on your menu. Ask your Maines Sales Associate for presentation recommendations from our large assortment