Takeout: Maximizing Beverage Sales

April 1, 2020

Customers don’t always order a beverage with a takeout meal, but a suggestion from you can remedy that. Use these ideas to put some extra sparkle in your sales.

Not promoting beverages for takeout is like leaving money on the table. This encompasses traditional offerings such as hot and iced coffee and tea, as well as specialty items including espresso-based beverages, juices and juice blends, signature lemonade, smoothies, milkshakes, hot cocoa, and more. In fact, Technomic points out that many of these beverage options help address customers’ growing interest in purchasing takeout for snacking occasions, demand for which is expected to increase.

For more ideas and information, see below.

Look beyond standard fountain beverages and canned or bottled water, soda, and juice to offer something that the takeout competition doesn’t offer.

  • Make sure that takeout packaging for beverages is sturdy and leakproof, as well as temperature-appropriate; drink-cup carriers and/or separate, handled bags for beverages are desirable
  • Offer enticing options that will encourage sales, such as flavored lemonade, specialty coffee and tea, hot cocoa, and milkshakes
  • Include beverage selections on takeout menu and order forms
  • If possible, pour and package beverages when the customer arrives for pickup, in order to hold optimal temperature and avoid dilution of iced beverages
  • Train service staff to ask about a beverage when taking a takeout order or presenting it for pickup; better yet, have them suggest a specific beverage item in a fun way.
  • Consider large-portion formats for iced tea, coffee, and other beverages for groups and families
  • For a dedicated takeout venue such as a counter or kiosk, consider a refrigerated reach-in or barrel to encourage impulse sales, and/or a self-service station for hot and cold beverages

Source: 2016 Technomic Inc., Takeout & Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report

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  • Remember that many guests are concerned about health and nutrition, so offer better-for-you options such as juices or flavored iced tea
  • Customers love to customize; flavor shots, creamers, and other add-ons represent a great vehicle for letting patrons make beverages their own
  • Don’t forget the power of a value-oriented combo price for food and beverage
More Ideas for Takeout
  • Blended beverages like milkshakes and malts, smoothies, and cappuccinos can do double-duty as a dessert
  • Brand beverage packaging with your company logo and tagline or marketing messages—in fact, this is nothing less than word-of-mouth advertising
  • Promote beverage specials to the season, with refreshing tropical juice options during warm weather and cozy specialty coffee or cocoa beverages when it’s cold out
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