Restaurants in many states have something to cheer about: restrictions are being modified around alcohol delivery. This could be a game-changer if your restaurant makes a large amount of your income from alcohol sales. Bloomberg Business interviewed Danny Rojo, chef and owner of restaurant Lot 2 in Brooklyn, N.Y. about how the new laws have helped his business. He said 12 percent of his current revenue came from alcohol, “my expectations were modest to grim, so I’ve been delighted.” Here are four things you need to know today to maximize your potential alcohol sales:
Identify the temporary laws in place in your state
More and more states are changing previous laws associated with purchasing alcohol to-go. It is extremely important to familiarize yourself with the laws in your particular state. Because the states themselves are making the rules, there are a lot of variations. For example, in New York, any car used to deliver alcohol must have a copy of the liquor license. That includes both third-party apps and the businesses’ employees. In Ohio, all liquor permit-holders are allowed to sell up to two sealed drinks per food order. Two caveats: customers getting drinks for pickup cannot open them until they get home and a single drink is defined as two ounces of liquor. Educate yourself and your staff on your state’s exact laws so that you can maximize potential alcohol sales without your operation losing its privileges in the process. Check your state’s department of liquor for details.
Provide drink specials
What customer doesn’t like happy hour? Offering beer, wine and cocktails at a special price for a few hours a day is a fun way to get customers excited to order from your restaurant. For many people, ordering drinks is half the fun of going out to eat and they’re likely bored of what they’ve been drinking at home. If you have cocktails customers can only get at your restaurant, including those items will especially entice those who miss frequenting your dining room.
Another great way to offer customers a deal: creating meal and drink bundles. We’ve observed many restaurants bundling beer, wine or cocktails with their most popular menu items to increase interest and profit. These deals give customers a taste of the experience they’d typically enjoy at your restaurant from the comforts of their couch. For example, Billy’s at the Beach in Newport Beach, Calif., is offering their famous and satisfyingly potent Mai Tai cocktails bundled with two orders of cheeseburgers and fries daily. Customers’ reaction to seeing their takeout Mai Tai cocktail kits on Instagram is enough to convince you they’re excited about the idea. Don’t have signature cocktails at your operation? Create some! This is the perfect time to experiment with drinks you haven’t had a chance to do previously.
Keep beverages cold
Maintaining the temperature of ice-cold drinks enhances a customer’s experience 10-fold. Receiving a margarita that’s still cold and filled with ice will impress customers and keep them coming back for more. Your goal should be to make your cocktails so good they won’t want to settle for less. If your employees are delivering cocktails, equip them with Cam GoBox® Beverage Holder inside a Cam GoBox. Mixed drinks are not only kept secure during transport; their cold temperature and consistency is maintained for at least 30 minutes. The GoBox Beverage Holder holds up to six drinks in a Half- Size Top Loader GoBox or up to 15 drinks in a Full-Size Top Loader GoBox. We suggest pairing the GoBox Beverage Holder with the new GoBox EPP140 for maximum temperature retention.
If your cocktails are being picked up by customers or third-party drivers, use the Cam GoBox Beverage Holder to hold them at cold temperatures until they arrive. For beer and wine deliveries, use durable Cam GoBox EPP180 on its own to hold bottles at the ideal temperature for at least three hours.
Follow age-verification laws
In addition to the new laws, don’t forget about one of the important old ones: ID age verification. Don’t let something like underage drinking mess things up for you. Instruct employees handling pickup orders and delivery drivers to verify the customer’s age by checking their ID, no matter how old they appear, and collect a signature. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy for it to get lost in the hustle and bustle of a busy evening. Ensure employees understand the importance of completing this step. Again, states’ restrictions around this particular law vary. Check your state’s laws to ensure you’re following the correct protocols.
If your state is allowing alcohol to be sold for takeout, take advantage of it while you can. Following the suggestions above to keep your operation safe and increase potential profits. If your state hasn’t already changed its laws, it could happen soon. Find where to buy all the Cambro products you need for delivery, curbside and takeout at http://www.cambro.com/wheretobuy.