- How do you currently serve your beverages – alcoholic or otherwise?
- What kind of cup do you offer when customers ask for a drink to-go?
- What is your glass cost from stolen or broken glass?
- How much dish washing do you have to do for beverage glasses?
There’s great news: with a properly executed souvenir drink cup program, you can reduce costs, increase staff efficiency, brand your company name and bring added value to each guest who orders a drink in your establishment.!
A souvenir drink program has the potential to increase revenue and build your brand for little more than a quarter investment per drink. The key to a successful drink program is for your personnel, from wait staff to owner, to truly understand the benefits. Simply offer your cold drinks in a take-home hurricane cup, fishbowl or other souvenir cup. By increasing the price of your drinks by $1.00 to a couple dollars, you’ll recoup the cost of your investment immediately or even create a profit center! Plus, you’ll give happy customers a take-home gift with extended brand marketing, protect our environment, AND can subtract a percentage of your glass costs, dish labor, water bill and to-go containers.
Now that you know why to consider a drink program, this e-book will share how to pull it all together! Simply follow these easy suggestions and your souvenir drink program will be increasing revenue (and profits) in no time. This advice is the difference between good intentions and really making your initial investment count toward your bottom line.
Step 1 - MARKETING
While we know that it is not likely for each and every guest to buy a souvenir drink, you can take the necessary step to ensure he or she is aware that the take-home cup is available. The more people who know about the option, the more likely they are to buy. Here are some simple ways to spread the word:
Your existing menu - This is, by far, the easiest and most effective way to promote your drink program. Incorporate information into your main menu by revising the beverage pages with details and photos of the new take-home option.
Table tents - Many of your guests fidget with the table tent while they wait to order – that’s why you use them in the first place! Create a nicely designed table tent promoting the new, larger-sized drink in a take home cup. Make sure it’s clean and placed on every table before the next dining party is seated.
Add-on menu cards - Train your host staff to hand each guest an additional menu featuring the drink program options as he or she seats each party. He or she should also be trained to recommend one of the featured souvenir drinks off this special menu before the party’s waiter or waitress arrives. The additional menu card is a great way to spell out which drinks are available in a take-home cup and how much they cost.
Banners - Hanging banners are a tried-and-true way to get people’s attention. Hang banners where they are visible and viewed by your guests upon arrival.
Coupons - "$1.00 OFF YOUR FIRST LARGE SOUVENIR BEER" Run a coupon for a time as a way to entice people to buy souvenir drinks. As people begin to buy them, word will spread as others see the cups being used.
Check-in desk - Have a pool bar? Let hotel guests know upon check-in where they should head for a drink, and push the souvenir cups at the same time.
Hotel bedrooms - Everyone on a vacation or trip loves to receive coupons for local establishments. Make sure yours is among them, promoting a take-home souvenir from this particular stay.
Step 2 - TRAIN THE STAFF
It is vital to the success of your program that each member of your staff knows the details of the drink program thoroughly – from where the cups are stored, to which button on the register is solely for souvenir drinks, and which beverages are able to be served as a part of the program. Take 5 to 10 minutes with each server and bartender to go over the details. That training time will become well worth it as your staff begins to promote your more profitable beverages. And, as a bonus…your wait staff will love you! A higher ticket means a higher tip. As the price of the ticket increases per drink, per customer, your servers’ tips increase as well.
Step 3 - COMPUTER SETUP The temptation will be to quickly add an item to your register that rings up the souvenir cup as an add-on or up-size. Instead, it will be well worth the time to create a unique, new item for each product you'll offer in a souvenir cup. For example, if you offer 12 different draft beers that can all come in the souvenir cup, you should add 12 individual items, one for each type of beer. Here's why: If each drink has its own unique item on the register, you'll keep inventory and cost control in check and server errors and miscommunications with bartenders to a minimum!
Step 4 - DISPLAY PRODUCTS CLEARLY
History has proven that, when customers see that there is an opportunity to buy drinks that come in a take-home cup, a large percentage of them will do so! Provide your customers with a visual connection to the cup they’ll receive by displaying them in as many places as possible. By setting the cups on bar shelves, stemware racks, hostess stands and more, you’ll promote the program for little to no additional effort. Your personally branded and specifically colored cups will also likely add an element of fun to the atmosphere in your establishment.With the souvenir cup program, your business name will be on cups used in thousands of homes across the country. How’s that for brand awareness? And the best part is, it wasn’t an additional line item in the marketing budget. You recouped the cost of the cup in the price of the drink itself.
Step 5 - OFFER A GOOD VALUE
There’s a sweet spot for pricing the drinks in your souvenir drink program. Time has shown us that customers are likely to buy these beverages on an increase of anywhere from 25 cents to $3. Too expensive, and you’ll sit on your inventory. Too cheap and you won’t increase revenue through the program. Don’t think of your souvenir cups as a retail item which has to hit a certain percentage margin. View these cups as a tool to increase the overall sale price of a particular drink. The goal price is one where customers won’t feel the increase as a pain point and feel lucky to get a souvenir, take-home cup for a price so close to its glass or plastic cup alternative. Not only is your customer gulping back a delicious drink in a cool, designed cup, they get to keep it. Now they’re really feeling the love!
Step 6 - CREATE STORAGE SPACE
For any business that has inventory, space is always a concern. Usually, with a little effort, space can be made for a worthy cause! If you take the advice written here, you will find that the profits and sales revenue will justify making some room to store your cups. Some establishments running a successful souvenir cup program have found that their cups are more profitable than appetizers or desserts! Another thing to keep in mind is that the more products you can order and store at one time, the more the overall cost per piece will be reduced. You should see a reduction in not just shipping costs, but discounted bulk pricing per cup.
Step 7 - SERVER INCENTIVES
Your souvenir drink program is most likely to succeed with the full cooperation and involvement of your staff. One of the best ways to motivate them is to offer an incentive. Whether it’s a one-night or month-long competition, we find that offering something as simple and inexpensive as a $10 cash prize or free meal can be a game changer for staff. Just think: what would happen to your average ticket if each staff member sold one souvenir drink per party on your busiest day of the week? By simply reminding guests of the souvenir drink option, your profit from additional sales will more than cover the cost for the contest prize.
Often times, restaurant owners or beverage operators believe they can just purchase a souvenir cup, put it out there, and that constitutes a souvenir drink program. They just say, “I’ll have my servers push the cups.” But, as you’ve seen here, there’s more to a successful souvenir drink program than that. When done right, though, such a program can truly become a profit center for your restaurant, bar or entertainment venue.
If these concepts have got you thinking, we’d be happy to talk with you about how to improve your current program or help you implement a new program.
Give us a call at 321-806-3877 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org