How do you get customers to try new cocktails on your list?

Posts: 1

Drinkdemon 02-02-2010

I add a couple of new drinks to my cocktail list every four months or so to keep things fresh. But it's always really hard getting customers to try anything new – they cling on to their mojitos for dear life. Apart from offering a discount intro price, which I don't really want to do, has anyone got any sure-fire ideas for encouraging people to ditch the mojitos and try something new???

Reply to this post Request post removal

9 replies to “How do you get customers to try new cocktails on your list?”

Lotta Bottle
Posts: 2

Lotta Bottle 02-02-2010

Your staff are the best place to start. Get them to champion one of the new cocktails (or even invent one themselves?) and suggest it whenever a customer can't decide what to order… or starts to order a Mojito ;-) You could even run a staff incentive scheme – some kind of fabulous prize for whoever sells the most new cocktails. People sell drinks, not promotions…

Reply to this post Request post removal

Posts: 2

Barfly 03-02-2010

You've got to give them the confidence to try something new… if the safe drink they have is good, they'll be more likely to trust you with something new.

And you don't still have that mojito on your list, do you? If someone wants one they'll order it anyway, but don't encourage them.

Reply to this post Request post removal

Liquid Man
Posts: 5

Liquid Man 03-02-2010

I'm not use I agree with Barfly – I think you have to keep the Classics on the list. The person that really wants a Classic will probably go ‘G&T’ rather than your other cocktails if he/she can not see it.

We tend to push non classic cocktails using themes – i.e. Chinese New Year cocktails with Sake, 4th July with Bourbon or 14th July with Fench Chmpagne, 30th November with Whisky and 6th April London Gin. So Cocktails of the day or week tend to work

Reply to this post Request post removal

Steve T Barman
Posts: 3

Steve T Barman 14-02-2010

I agree 100% with Lotta Bottle. If your staff can't sell a new Cocktail then you're never going to get anywhere. Your staff need to have the confidence to chat & recommend. Conquer this and you're on to a winner.

However there is another trick that i've adopted. It does mean giving the odd freebie out here and there but the results have spoken for themselves.

In quiet times, get chatting to a few of your customers…preferably a group of them. Be it regulars or complete strangers. Strangers work well as you'll immediately make new friends!

Make up a couple of your new cocktails. Stick a few straws in them & let the customer try it. If they like it, they'll buy it. If the don't like it, then maybe it shouldn't be on your list.

Never failed for me. For the sake of a couple of quid, you'll have made new friends, hopefully gained some repeat custom and more importantly got your new creations out there. Job done.

Reply to this post Request post removal

Dawid S.
Posts: 2

Dawid S. 08-05-2010

The simplest way is to wean your guests off the old regulars is to take them off the list… EVERY one knows a mojito and cosmo and if they look through your menu and spot that they get lazy and order it. Trsut me I still go through bags of mint making Mojitos even if its not listed.

If you are confident in your staff you can rely on them to sell any classic verbally.
(Who realy walks in a bar without a clue, and looks in the menu thinking hmm that negroni looks nice…)

Placing on your menu makes a great difference too. Place the ones you want to push on the front page, 1st on the list or create a seperate section called seasonal drinks.

Make it easier for your guests to read by starting a description with the base spirit, as and they can go to the spirits they like. I and my guests go to a bar to relax NOT to do an essay on all the drinks in the world.

Mention the way its served or the glass in every drink; Straight up, Long, on the rocks. It really makes a difference to many people.

In the end of the day its the staff that sell it, make it and recommend it. Ask them, see what they say. Do they like it? Do they believe in it? Would they change it? You have to sell it to them first.

Hope this helps.

Reply to this post Request post removal

Pablo A.
Posts: 1

Pablo A. 08-01-2012

If I was the bartender I would enlist my friends help, if it is a girly drink have a group of classy ladies come by and loudly asked about and order the new cocktail, or well dressed men if its a more manly drink. Have them roll in a couple of times in a month, if they get dunk enough they will probably be buying drinks for your other patrons.

Reply to this post Request post removal

Posts: 1

Rosco 22-03-2012

Say to the customer “we have some new cocktails to try,if you dont like it,i will pay for it” just make sure your cocktails are good!done

Reply to this post Request post removal

Carlos S.
Posts: 1

Carlos S. 12-05-2012

I agree with Lotta Bottle. For starters, focus on your team. Show them the new cocktails, promote taste panels and give them “one-liners” to describe / upsell those cocktails. Secondly, run incentives. Believe me, when you offer prizes to reward sales of a specific product (mainly if the prizes are good), your team will jump on it!

Thirdly, I think of a menu more like a strategic tool rather than a list of what's available in our bars. We are running a thematic bar in South Bank (The Gillray's Gin & Cocktail Bar) and we decided to display on the menu those cocktails created according to our concept leaving out the classics (like mojitos or cosmos). It was a bold move (rather scary to be honest) but it paid off. The first reaction when our customers go through our menu is to look up to the team and ask: “what would you recommend?”. Bang! That's when our team comes in with “one-liners” related to what we want to upsell. It works. We've seen a healthy growth on the sales of our signature cocktails (most of which comprised by molecular cocktails). People still order mojitos and cosmos but somehow, I seem to be ordering less bags of mint recently…

Reply to this post Request post removal

King Mike
Posts: 1

King Mike 20-06-2012

How about you do what I do sometimes , create something different for them, a bespoke cocktail made specially for them, find out if they are celebrating a special event then create a drink off the top of your head, you may not make it again but it's made their night , you can find out what spirits they like & go from there flavours , sweet or citrusy, long short , it all helps , they will appreciate it & you might make a new friend that will keep coming back for another of your special cocktails.

Reply to this post Request post removal

Register Forgotten password? Sign In

Subscribe Imbibe Magazine