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  • Writer's pictureJosh Sanders

5 Ways to Increase Beverage Sales in Your Restaurant this Summer



As the temperature rises and the days get longer, people crave refreshments. Summer is the perfect time for restaurants to capitalize on customers looking to enjoy going out to eat and enjoy great food and delicious drinks. 


Here is an interesting statistic that showcases how popular the restaurant industry will be in the Summer of 2024. According to recent data analysis, restaurants are projected to add 525k seasonal jobs this summer, with New York (48,600) and New Jersey (33,400) in the top 5 states looking to add summer employment.


Of course, with competition fierce between New York rooftop bars and numerous places down the beautiful Jersey shore, how can you ensure your beverage sales are sizzling alongside the summer sun? Armed with these powerful strategies, you can catapult your beverage sales and craft an unforgettable summer experience for your patrons. In our latest article, we feature five proven tactics that are guaranteed to deliver results:


Develop Summer Drink Specials

Embrace the flavors of summer by introducing enticing seasonal drink specials. Feature ingredients at their peak. Watermelon coolers, iced teas bursting with local berries, or delicious margaritas with fresh lime juice will tantalize taste buds and scream "summer!" 


Think vibrant fruit-infused cocktails, refreshing mocktails bursting with citrus flavors, or icy-cold slushies that provide instant relief from the heat. By incorporating seasonal ingredients and innovative recipes, you can captivate your customers' taste buds and entice them to indulge in your unique offerings.


Promote Refreshing Beverage Options

When dining out during the scorching summer months, we recommend restaurants offer a delightful array of refreshing beverages to complement their menu. Lemonade, a staple on many menus, entices with its vibrant blend of tartness and sweetness. Iced tea is also a sophisticated option for your customers, available in various flavors such as classic black tea, herbal infusions, or fruity blends. Served chilled and sometimes sparkling, iced teas in restaurants are often accompanied by creative presentations, including infused ice cubes or decorative glassware, enhancing both the visual appeal and the cooling sensation.


For those craving a restaurant beverage staple, cola remains a perennial favorite, offering a bubbly and refreshing escape from the heat. Whether enjoyed as a standalone refreshment, with various hard liquor or paired expertly with a gourmet meal, these summer drinks not only quench thirst but elevate the dining experience, embodying the essence of relaxation and indulgence during the warm season.


Host Themed Promotions and Events

Inject excitement into your beverage sales strategy by hosting themed promotions and events throughout the summer. Align your promotions with popular summer holidays such as Independence Day, Labor Day, or National Mojito Day to create buzz and generate excitement. 


Create special menus, limited-edition cocktails, or themed decorations that reflect the spirit of the occasion. Encourage customer participation through social media contests, giveaways, or loyalty rewards to drive engagement and repeat visits. By infusing creativity and fun into your promotions, you can leave a lasting impression on your customers and keep them returning for more.


Get Serious about Happy Hour

Happy hour promotions are a powerful tool for increasing beverage sales during the summer months. Consider offering weekday enticing deals such as two-for-one drink specials, discounted pitchers of sangria, or beer buckets paired with complimentary snacks. Sea Breeze has introduced a new restaurant offering, a Margarita Mix, which you can learn more about by reading this article. Providing unbeatable value during peak hours can boost foot traffic in your restaurant and increase incremental sales.


Here are some tips to take your happy hour to the next level:


Sweeten the Deal: 

Offer enticing discounts on select drinks or create special happy hour menus with smaller portions at reduced prices.


Themed Summer Nights: 

Get creative! Introduce themed happy hours with specific cocktails or discounted mocktails for designated days.


Bite-Sized Pairings: 

Offering discounted appetizers alongside happy hour drinks is always a great idea. This encourages customers to linger longer, order more drinks, and potentially try some food.


Get Social (Media): 

Promote your happy hour on social media with eye-catching visuals and precise details about the timeframes and offerings. You won't believe how powerful Instagram and TikTok can be for young people, who often choose where they go after viewing online videos of influencers.


Leverage Outdoor Seating

News flash: Because of the weather in the greater New York and New Jersey tri-state area, the summer is synonymous with outdoor dining and socializing, making it the perfect time to optimize your outdoor seating area. Create an inviting ambiance with comfortable seating, vibrant decor, and ambient lighting to entice customers to linger longer. 


Additionally, host outdoor events such as live music performances, themed parties, or wine-tasting evenings to attract crowds and drive beverage sales. The allure of al fresco dining combined with engaging entertainment is a winning formula for success.


Increasing beverage sales in your restaurant this summer requires a strategic approach that combines creativity, innovation, and customer-centricity. By crafting seasonal drink specials, maximizing outdoor seating and events, implementing irresistible happy hour promotions, promoting healthy options, hosting themed promotions and events, and elevating presentation and marketing efforts, you can elevate the beverage experience for your customers and drive sales growth. Embrace the spirit of summer, and let your beverages shine. Cheers!


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