by Matt Towe

5 top tips to help boost your drinks margin

5 top tips to help boost your drinks margin
With inflation at an all-time high, energy costs rising, and continued trends reporting that consumers are not planning to go out as much, it is crucial that we maximise the opportunities we have to provide them the very best experience when dining out. We want to see repeated business and increased margins!

Yes, consumers are less likely to dine out, but on the bright side, they are likely to spend more when they do, as it will be considered more of a treat and occasion.

Below are some great top tips to ensure you give your guests that wow experience they are looking for, whilst still increasing the margin on their drinks.


1. Take their order early

When taking a table booking, pre-book the drinks they will have upon their arrival. This encourages consumers to think about what they are eating and drinking before they have even walked through the door, enhancing their experience with you.


2. Prompts

If someone is paying to upgrade their meal, chips to sweet potato fries for example, have you given the same prompts on your drinks menu? Take the ever-popular G & T – are you prompting that they can upgrade to a rhubarb and raspberry tonic or a premium orange flavoured gin?


3. After dinner drinks

As an industry, we’re getting better at this. How many times have you been asked whilst dining out if you would like to see the dessert menu? Well, the same should be done for drinks. Missing out on a prompt for a digestif could be skipping out on a 70% GP opportunity.


4. Food and wine pairings

This is a massive opportunity to increase your margin – identify your top five selling dishes and choose a wine to marry with each one. This can be done by the glass or bottle and helps in three ways:

  1. Your customer gets a recommendation and this will come across as professional
  2. Staff are more likely to retain information on a smaller number of wines rather than the whole wine list
  3. And finally, you have the chance to upsell from house wines and introduce customers to your wider wine list. Your Unity contact can help you choose the wines.


Need some inspiration? Watch Chef Martin create two delicious dishes to pair perfectly with two favourite wines of Lee Isaacs, Unity Wine Ambassador:


5. Keep alert!

Keep your eyes peeled at tables with glasses that are low on drinks. A polite little, “Would you like a top up?” or “another drink?” could mean another spontaneous round of drinks. Plus it comes across as pro-active and attentive, great when you consider that the average spend of a customer increases with friendly service.


So there you have it! There are loads of ways to enhance consumers’ experience and maximise sales, but the same three themes run through these: train, upsell and prompt!

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