Beverage trends spilling into the restaurant industry


Building a portfolio of better-for-you beverages

For many consumers, the definition of healthy has shifted from meaning simply low calorie/low sugar to foods that have a higher transparency of ingredients.


A cleaner, leaner cocktail: a bloody mary makeover

When the Nutritious & Delicious menu debuted at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in 2012, it immediately boosted traffic and frequency of visits during lunch and dinner, attracting both millennials and empty nesters, men and women, says Gabe Caliendo.

The new drink trend is toward “build-your-own” cocktails where the guest is presented with the option of choosing drink ingredients from several categories.

The Restaurant Business staff name their favorite cocktails from the year, which reveal some trends on the rise as well as new riffs on the classics.

The popularity of pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages remains steady, but what’s next?

The updated discounting windows are more likely to come during the day or at night, and the drinks are as likely to be nonalcoholic as full strength.

Operators turn to infused water as soda sales slide.

Given all the fanfare surrounding the mixology movement, cocktail lists are garnering as much attention as food menus, making the bartender as important a hire as the chef.

Many fast-casual operators are experimenting with different strategies to sell these beverages in a counter-service environment, most often without a dedicated bar. Several operators are discovering that profitable sweet spot between fast and casual.

Pumpkin spice, a favorite flavor of latte fans, is now trending on cocktail lists.

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