by Carolyn Sharp

4 ways to top up drinks profits from customers

4 ways to top up drinks profits from customers
Now more than ever it is key that food-led pub operators maximise the opportunity to drive average spend per head through increasing wet sales.




1. Planning and preparation

Drive pre-orders of drinks when taking table bookings. Sunday lunch or birthday and Christmas party bookings are ideal for this. Even better, having the drinks ready on arrival will not only impress customers, but also help for stock control too and easing pinch pressure on bar staff.


2. Upskill and upsell

Train team members not to miss selling opportunities. When guests arrive, they have probably had a long day, waiting for others to join the party. This is a key receptive occasion to suggest a glass/bottle of sparkling or a cocktail and customers will love the speed of service.

Remind staff to be observant when walking past tables and doing check backs to always ask if more drinks are needed. Train staff to upsell from standard beers/spirits to premium beers/spirits, such as Beefeater to Tanqueray – even a more premium mixer like tonic can enhance the experience and improve profitability.


A garnish goes a long way: pair your garnish with your botanicals


3. Signature serves

Focus on signature cocktails with good margins, either by the glass or sharing jugs. Brief staff on signature cocktails/wines at the start of service, the same way you would on food dishes. A couple of nuggets of information is easier to remember during a busy service. A premium regional beer offering will also encourage sales.


4. Perfect pairings

Food and wine/beer matching can be a great way to appeal to those not on a budget, match mid-priced/premium wines and beers to bestselling dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to selling aperitifs or digestives.


 Champagne is enjoying renewed popularity with volume sales enjoying strong growth since the pandemic


Showcase appealing pricing and offers

  • Choose good quality house wines that deliver on quality at an affordable price.
  • Offer meal deal offers with a glass of wine/beer included in the price, for example a basic pizza + bottle of house for £15/£20 between 5pm to 7pm, or offer set menus with a bottle of wine.
  • Stock a great value prosecco for celebratory occasions.
  • Appeal to customers looking to splash out with a quality house Champagne and Cremant and wow cocktails with theatre and dry ice etc.




Carolyn Sharp, category support specialist at Unity Wines, is a WSET diploma holder. Unity represents the specialist team within Bidfood focusing on all manner of wines, beers, and spirits. Working from 17 depots around the country, Unity offers a range of exclusive wines and key brands and recently added keg beer to their expanding range.



Struggling to get your website seen by potential customers? Check out the ultimate website SEO guide for pubs: unlocking success here.

Back to Top