Being on-trend in hospitality is a constant pressure and it’s also one of the most difficult things to achieve through balance, but it can be done.
Having a menu that is too cutting edge can alienate your customers with flavours and ingredients they are unfamiliar with and intimidated by but in the same breath, lagging behind can leave your menu feeling outdated and boring to your guests.
61% of people will have looked at a venue’s menu prior to visiting according to the CGA The Menu Report of 2021 so having an up-to-date menu that’s on-trend and contemporary is essential to help draw customers to your site. Read more on how to create tactical menus.
In order to stay on-trend, it’s important to look at the world’s leading venues for inspiration and to see where the drinks world is likely to shift in coming seasons and years. This will help you change or update your menus either seasonally or twice a year. Take a look at our recipe collections for inspiration.
Menu changes don’t require you to create entirely new menus every time. It’s more than acceptable to keep consistently best-selling serves on a menu and update some of the less popular ones to mirror your customer’s favourites or seasonal drinks.
For example, hot toddies might sell really well in the winter, but it doesn’t make sense to keep them on the menu during the summer months. Bestsellers are bestsellers for a reason, if people come into your venue for a specific drink, keep that drink on the menu whilst it’s selling.
Use Social Media to stay on-trend and ahead of the game
Social Media is a great way to see how venues in your own area are operating and what they are succeeding in – you can check out what their most popular items/flavours/styles are.
It’s best to seek out businesses in your locale as there are geographical differences in trends. What may be popular in London may take a while before it becomes popular in cities in the north of England, for example.
The World’s 50 Best Bars is a great account to follow as it showcases the best bars in the world and what they are doing with their drinks and menus. It’s well worth researching these bars for inspiration for your own drinks menu. They also survey the best bartenders in these bars and run a report on a wide range of different trends, from flavours to certain product types.
You can also use social media to see what your customers are posting when it comes to your drinks and products. People tend to post their favourites – you can use this and compare it to what they are posting about at other venues and see what they really enjoy and then tailor your menu around these.
Use the latest consumer data
Reports like those created by CGA offer incredible insights into consumer trends in the on-trade. In their UK cocktail summary they concluded the following:
- Vodka cocktails are the most on-trend rising in popularity by 3.9%
- Gin cocktails dropped off for the first time in a long time by 8.7%
- The top 10 mainstream cocktails were topped by the ever-popular Pornstar Martini but it also featured Sex On The Beach, Mojito, Long Island Iced Tea and Espresso Martini in the top 5
- The CGA menu report 2021 found that customers believed these classic cocktails were essential as inclusions on good cocktail menus: Margarita, Mojito, Pina Colada, Sex On The Beach, Daiquiri
- Berry and tropical flavours still dominate the preferences however they are losing ground slightly to citrus and more refreshing flavours
- There is a significant rise in popularity of spritz and fizz drinks
- Clean and simple flavour profiles are winning
- Orange is becoming the new pink
- There is a big rise in no and low alcohol options in both menu items and cocktail serves due to a huge increase in mindful consumption
- Flavoured gin and rum are trending. Explore our range of flavoured syrups to improve the taste of your drinks.