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How Regional and Craft Whiskies Can Add to the Bottom Line of Mid- to Upscale Restaurants

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10/07/2023 Regional & craft whiskies elevate a restaurant's status, attract diverse customers, increase sales, and enhance profitability through unique offerings

Recently, the demand for regional and craft whiskies has surged, with consumers seeking unique and high-quality spirits. For mid-to-upscale restaurants, including these whiskies on their menu, can offer a range of benefits, from enhancing the dining experience to boosting profitability. It’s important to understand the ways in which regional and craft whiskies can add to the bottom line of your establishment.

Differentiation and Exclusivity

Including regional and craft whiskies on a restaurant's menu sets it apart from the competition and adds a sense of exclusivity. These whiskies are often produced in limited quantities, using traditional methods and locally sourced ingredients, resulting in distinct flavors and profiles. By featuring whiskies from specific regions or small craft distilleries, restaurants can offer customers a unique and memorable experience they can't find elsewhere. Moreover, regional and craft whiskies often have compelling stories behind their production, highlighting the history, heritage, and craftsmanship involved. Sharing these stories with customers creates a deeper connection and appreciation for the spirits, elevating the overall dining experience and encouraging patrons to explore the restaurant's whiskey offerings.

Expanded Customer Base and Increased Sales

The popularity of regional and craft whiskies has grown rapidly, with enthusiasts and casual consumers alike seeking out these unique spirits. By including a diverse selection of whiskies from different regions and craft distilleries, mid- to upscale restaurants can attract a broader customer base, including whiskey connoisseurs and those eager to discover new flavors. Craft whiskies, in particular, have gained a loyal following among consumers who value small-batch production, attention to detail, and unique flavor profiles. These customers are often willing to pay a premium for these distinctive spirits. By offering a carefully curated selection of regional and craft whiskies, restaurants can tap into this market and increase their profitability.

Upselling Opportunities and Enhanced Beverage Pairing

Regional and craft whiskies present excellent opportunities for upselling and enhancing the beverage pairing experience. These whiskies often come in a range of styles and aging profiles, offering customers a variety of options to explore. This opens the door for servers and sommeliers to suggest higher-end or limited-edition whiskies that complement the flavors of specific dishes. Additionally, craft whiskies often experiment with unique cask finishes or use local ingredients, creating interesting flavor combinations. This allows for creative pairing opportunities, whether it's matching a smoky Islay whisky with a charred steak or a sweeter bourbon with a rich chocolate dessert. By offering well-crafted beverage pairing recommendations, restaurants can enhance the dining experience, increase customer satisfaction, and boost sales.

Overall, regional and craft whiskies can contribute significantly to the bottom line of mid to upscale restaurants. These whiskies offer differentiation, exclusivity, and compelling stories that resonate with customers seeking unique spirits. By featuring regional and craft whiskies on the menu, restaurants can expand their customer base, increase sales through upselling opportunities, and provide enhanced beverage pairing experiences. Embracing the growing demand for regional and craft whiskies not only adds to the profitability of these establishments but also enriches the overall dining experience for patrons seeking memorable and distinctive spirits.

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Michael Thompson, Head Bartender at the Edge Steakhouse, Las Vegas has been riding behind the bar for 30 years now and on his Harley through 40 states. He knows how to keep things fresh, with classics or something new.

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