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Operations

Capturing the beverage sale with off-premise orders

drinks to go
Photograph: Shutterstock

For most restaurant operators, takeout and delivery aren’t necessarily new offerings, but with unprecedented market challenges this year it is increasingly important for operators to encourage anything that can help boost the average check and overall consumer spending. Fortunately, there is one area where operators can ramp up promotions to help their business: Dispensed Beverages.

This year, amid uncertainty in many aspects of life, consumers are trying to maintain some form of routine. For operators, dispensed takeout beverages represent an opportunity to extend a new routine to consumers or make up for one they miss.

According to Scott Reed, Communication and Data Specialist at BUNN, “Dispensed beverages are more essential for operators than ever before. Consumers are not spending as much time away from the home as they did pre-pandemic, so they are looking to maximize their time out of the house or office. Stopping to get their beverage of choice is likely high on their to-do list.” 

Here are ways to capture beverage sales with takeout and delivery orders.

Availability and convenience

For operators, the key is to emphasize the availability of beverages as part of the takeout process. While consumers were more likely to pick up coffee on the way to the workplace instead of picking up coffee to work from home, many consumers still start their day with a cup of joe. For these consumers, knowing that their favorite drink is available for pickup or delivery can make a big difference.

Promotions for “order ahead” or online order options can also help operators boost interest in takeout beverage orders. Consumers can place an order before they get out of bed then pick up drinks before getting started at work—wherever that might be.

Operators can also address the current hypersensitivity about sanitation and cleanliness with the benefits of clean-contact solutions. BUNN offers a variety of options including anti-microbial film, hands-free faucet adapters and disposable tap covers or Tap-kins™ for protecting common contact points on beverage dispensing equipment.

Get creative with takeout options for beverages

“I hear from operators that consumers don't purchase beverages because there are drinks at home like water or tea,” said Karalynn McDermott, BUNN Senior Vice President of Market Development. “There is a tremendous opportunity to offer traditional beverages while showcasing some new ideas to complement a takeout order. Consider selling a growler of dispensed cold brew or a crafted mocktail made from sparkling water. Many restaurants that are offering family-style-dining takeout could use this as an opportunity to add in a paired-flavor beverage to boost beverage sales.”

Seasonality and variety

Operators should jump at the opportunity to promote seasonality. “One thing we’ve learned during 2020 is that consumers still gravitate toward their favorite beverages—perhaps looking for something of comfort or normalcy,” Reed said. “With the fall approaching, consumers will be looking toward the tradition of pumpkin and peppermint flavors in their drinks.”

Be sure to offer these seasonal favorites—dispensed in both hot and cold options for customization. “When you combine these seasonal flavors with the emergence of cold brew and its infinite flavor pairings 90% of cold brew consumers add flavoring to their beverage according to research conducted by the National Coffee Association, operators could strike gold with all the possibilities,” Reed said.

The BUNN Nitron® is the perfect system for the cold brew enthusiast or anyone looking for a taste of something new. With an optional gas modulator and exclusive in-line nitro diffuser, the BUNN Nitron serves up cascading micro-bubbles in a stout-like crown with a creamy taste and velvety mouthfeel.

Bundle deals and off-hour promotions

Bundles—packaging a beverage with a meal for one price—have been a great way to add beverages to sales tickets, according to Reed. Takeout doesn’t usually translate to big beverage sales because consumers typically just get something to drink from their homes. “But if beverages, especially an innovative option that they have always wanted to try but haven’t yet, are added to the price point, it makes the offering more attractive to the consumer,” Reed said.

Beyond meal bundles, operators can also consider non-traditional sale promotions. As the workday has become more non-traditional for many consumers, some may be looking for a mid-morning, late afternoon or evening pick-me-up. For these consumers, a promotion for cold-brew in the mid-morning is perfect for supercharging their day, and specialty beverages all day long can help draw in those who want to treat themselves. And the beverage selection is certainly not limited to hot and cold coffee. BUNN offers a full portfolio of dispensing options for traditional and crafted beverages including specialty coffee and espresso, iced tea, cappuccino, juice and even sparkling water.

The skyrocketing popularity of cold brew and other dispensed specialty beverages provides an ideal backdrop to boost beverage sales throughout the day and all night long.  

Visit www.bunn.com to learn more about dispensed beverage options.

This post is sponsored by BUNN

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