Making decisions on your beverage menu as a bar owner or beverage manager/director can be extremely trivial. The market has endless amounts of products for you to choose from and understanding the direction you will go in is important to your image and consumer experience. So the first question you have to ask yourself when creating a menu is what do I want the consumer to experience when they are at my establishment?
Due diligence in my opinion is the first step to creating a beverage program. I recommend you scour the internet for what trending and established. Second is doing market research (my favorite part). You should start your search for all things menu by going to national chains like, Chilis, Applebee’s, and Outback. While you might want to be more “crafty” I promise you they are using taste profiles that are selling well in today’s market place. I would also stop by your local mom and pop restaurant and end your search in an arts or hipster neighborhood with mixology bars. Having a good grasp of what’s out there and what consumers are drinking elsewhere is very important to your success.
Finally, let’s construct a menu. While you can go in a million different directions, I suggest you offer your customers defined categories from them to choose from. For example, cocktails should always come first (highest profit item on menu) then beers, wine, after dinner drinks if you have a restaurant and non-alcoholic. From here the beverage world is your oyster. Have fun and make it easy for your consumer to enjoy their experience with your menu. There is nothing worse than going to a bar that you can understand the menu and can barely read it.
K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid.