Bar Management

2-Minute Tuesdays: Designing a Successful Drink Menu

By Trevor Bernatchez

Trevor Bernatchez

July 16, 2019

When it comes to designing a drink menu, there’s a lot to consider…

In our most recent edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays, Sr. Manager of Customer Education Trevor Bernatchez, covers some tips on how to design a successful drink menu that helps drive profits. Read on to learn more, or watch the whole video (~2 mins) above.

Drink menu design is an essential tool for running a profitable beverage program. It’s one of the first things customers see when they visit your website or when they’re seated at your establishment. Not only can it help you create a positive customer experience, it can also help you maximize your profitability. When it comes to designing a drink menu, there’s a lot to consider. Here are just a handful of tips to help you out.

1. Think About Your Clientele

Your drink menu should cater to your customers. Are they financial analysts who visit for after-work drinks? College students coming in for beers on a Thursday? Lawyers stopping in for their lunch break? It’s important to think about both the drinking occasion and who is doing the drinking.

2. Have a Separate Drink Menu

For most establishments, it’s best to offer a separate beer, wine, and cocktail menu. Having a separate drink menu is more practical and does a better job of showcasing your options than an oversized, crowded menu does. Plus, putting too much text on one menu can easily overwhelm your customers and make it difficult for them to choose a drink.

3. Put Thought into the Number of Options You Include

When you choose drinks for your menu, think about how many options you want to include. Although there’s no established number of drinks to include, it’s generally good to have at least eight to twelve different wine, beer, and cocktail options. Keep in mind, this number can vary depending on a number of factors, such as which alcohol category bars choose to focus on.

4. Keep Your Menu Updated

Be sure to add new offerings and cocktail specials, and remove products you no longer carry. If you stock a new local beer but don’t include it on your menu, it’s going to collect dust on your shelves. Also, if you forget to remove menu items you’re out of, your customers will be frustrated when they take the time to choose a wine, only to find out that it’s no longer available.

5. Visually Emphasize High-Profit Items

To make high-profit items more noticeable, create space around them by placing them in a box or separating them from the other menu options. By putting negative space around an item, you can call more attention to it, making it easier to sell. For a similar effect, you can also make use of large text, graphics, or illustrations. Be strategic about what menu items you emphasize. The more often you do it, the less impact it will have. Choose only a few drinks per category to ensure the method remains effective.


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