A variety of hotel beverages 

How to Increase Beverage Sales in Hotels?

October 24, 2023
Nathan Baws

Beverage sales represent a significant profit center for hotels, with higher margins than food items. Alcohol drives explicitly the majority of beverage revenues. By focusing on bar and restaurant drink programs, strategic pricing, server training, creative promotions, and inventory management, hotels can dramatically expand beverage sales and profits.

Let’s look at ways to increase hotel sales through beverages. 

Ways To Increase Beverage Sales in Hotels

Here are common ways to increase beverage sales in hotels. 

Develop Unique Bar and Cocktail Programs

Craft creative cocktail menus at bars and restaurants that provide guests with drinks they can’t easily replicate at home. Spotlight local ingredients, master mixologists, and unique presentations.

Offer monthly feature cocktails highlighting seasonal ingredients. Allow bartenders to showcase signature creations. Regularly update menus and highlight new additions.

Structure Menus to Guide Selection 

Print drinks with the highest margins and slowest turnover first. Place familiar calls and house beverages last. Descriptions, imagery, and layout can steer guests to more profitable beverages.

Group drinks by spirit type and light-to-dark. Prioritize premium wines and reserve lists over house pours. Callouts spotlight high-profit items and trends.  

Implement Dynamic Pricing Strategies

Leverage demand-based pricing with drinks specials and happy hours to stimulate volume during slower periods without undercutting regular price integrity. Manage price sensitivity.

Restrict happy hour deals to bars only. Limit to specific days and require a drink purchase. Enforce 2-drink maximums. Change featured drinks bi-weekly.

Focus on High-Margin Ingredients

Ensure recipes and inventory maximize usage of alcoholic beverages over costly perishable juices. Standardize recipes to minimize waste. 

Conduct recipe costing analysis to engineer for profitability. Swap any low-margin mixes for flexibility in premium spirits or wines.

Train Servers to Suggestively Sell

Educate staff on recommending drinks, add-ons, premium brands, and diverse categories like signature cocktails and wines by the glass to boost checks. 

Role plays suggestive selling techniques like managing guest budget thresholds, sharing tasting notes, guiding exploration, and conveying expertise.

Incentivize Suggestive Selling

Consider contests rewarding servers for achieving the highest drink sales or capturing the most beverage mentions on comment cards. Incentives encourage upselling.

Gamify upselling with team competitions for add-ons like apps with drinks or dessert wine pairings with checks over a certain amount.

Cross-Promote Across Outlets  

Suggest cocktails at the bar before dinner, nightcaps after, and drinks paired with spa services. Make it easy for guests to purchase beverages throughout their stay.

Hand out vouchers for a free drink at the bar with dinner. Offer three-course wine pairing menus at prix fixe pricing.

Offer Tastings and Beverage Events

Host wine dinners, craft beer tastings, spirit sampling events, and bartender competitions to showcase expertise while selling additional beverages.

Invite local distillers and brew masters to talk guests through flight tasting—Televisese cocktail demos at the bar.

 Maintain Quality Equipment

Invest in proper glassware, ice machines, refrigeration, bar tools, draught line cleaning, and other critical equipment so presentation and quality shine.

Chilled glasses, craft ice shapes, and perfectly balanced cocktails communicate care, skill, and pride. Well-maintained equipment minimizes waste.

Use inventory software and point-of-sale data to track product performance, waste, purchase costs, and popularity trends to optimize offerings and recipes.

Analyze consumption patterns by outlet, season, special event, and theme to inform future dining and bar promotions. 

Promote Beverage Selections Online

Professionally photograph and highlight unique aspects of drinks menus across social media, websites, and advertisements to generate buzz and interest pre-stay.  

chilled beverage being served in a hotel room.

Share the stories behind signature creations, local ingredients used, specialty glassware, and top bartenders crafting the experience.

Analyze POS Data to Inform Pricing 

Review point-of-sale data on volumes and revenue contributions by-product to re-engineer menus and pricing for improved profitability.

Use inventory variance data to identify leakage. Analyze margins by category and by drink to optimize recipe costs and menus. Price competitively.

Automate Inventory Management

Digital systems tracking pouring costs, consumption, waste, variances, reordering, and other inventory metrics enable tight beverage controls and reduced costs.

Alerts signal when popular items need reordering. Reports identify outlier variances for investigation. Perpetual inventory simplifies par levels.

Final Word

Intentional beverage program development combined with staff training, promotions, and inventory management allows hotels to expand revenues significantly from this high-margin category. 

Contact Emersion Wellness to evaluate your F&B offerings and discover untapped profit potential in your beverage program.

See Also: 20 Management Tips to Ensure Top-Tier Hotel Food Service

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Emersion Wellness

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