Blog Posts

Is your drink machine menu collecting dust? Fresh blends are tackling the no-alcohol movement head-on

If you’re wanting to grow your restaurant profit this year using beverage dispensers, drink machines and natural ingredients – staying on top of key trends will play an integral role in creating new customers while developing existing ones. In our 2024 trend report, we dive deep into what franchise owners and restaurant operators can expect consumers to shift toward this year – and one that we’re particularly stirred up around is the
no-low movement.

Dry January – Fresh Blends to Grow Your Restaurant Profit

If you think of the New Year as a freshly blended beverage, we’re ripping the wrapper off the straw right now. As we start preparing for that first refreshing sip -, this huge January health trend is surging, and quality flavors can help.

That means consumers are forgoing alcohol in lieu of a blend of alternatives – and businesses are leveraging this movement to boost revenue. In fact – in the last four years, mocktail menu options have increased 229% (Source: Datassential Menu Trends, U.S. menu penetration growth 2019-2023). That’s a lot of fresh, new ingredients to play with!

But how can a lack of consumption lead to increased consumption for restaurant owners?

Consumers crave health-conscious alternatives regularly – with January being the kickoff month for many exciting health trends throughout the year. Crafting new fresh blends will offer creative solutions to evolving trends while capitalizing on consumers that could temporarily be on the lookout for fun alcohol alternatives.

Cuisine Pairings Guide: Food and Beverages That Best Complement

Certain foods and beverages just seem to go perfectly together. After all, beverage sales (alcoholic, non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic) account for up to 80% of gross profit for a restaurant. The demand for specialty beverages is rising, according to Technomic, driven by boba tea, frozen beverages, and coffee specialty drinks. The global boba tea market is expected to reach $3.6 billion by 2028. In addition, consider that 44% of consumers say they always add a beverage when dining in, according to Technomic data. The right combination can enhance and complement the flavors of both the food and the drink.

Customers and Staff Want More Tech on the Menu

The restaurant industry is experiencing a major tech transformation. Customers increasingly expect tech-enabled experiences when dining out, while staff are looking for better tech tools to improve operations and work conditions. Restaurants that fail to get on board with the latest innovations may start losing business and have a harder time attracting and retaining employees. From customer-facing technology to back-of-house systems, there is a growing desire for more tech in the dining experience.

Energy Drinks Are All the Hype!

The health and wellness trend has taken off in recent years, and functional supplements and beverages experienced unparalleled growth. 75% of restaurant operators say they’ve seen an increase in interest for healthful beverage offerings.

Consumers are seeking healthier drink alternatives to popular energy drinks.

The Art of a Curated Drink Menu

Creating a curated drink menu is indeed an art that combines creativity, market knowledge, and a deep understanding of your target audience. A well-crafted drink menu can enhance the overall experience of your establishment and leave a lasting impression on your customers. Here are some steps and considerations to help you craft an exceptional curated drink menu: