Why Every Restaurant Should Have an Alcohol-Free Drink Menu

In states all over the U.S., a new sober bar or bottle shop quickly becomes a buzz-worthy destination.  Sober entrepreneurs who love mindful drinking are pushing customers to expect more of their cocktails. California, NYC, and Washington are just a few dry-life hotspots working to meet consumer demand in 2022. With people of all ages asking for sober inclusive spaces, it seems like a no-brainer that traditional restaurants would join the movement, right? 

Well, not exactly. As many eateries have significantly upgraded their “soda menu,” others have kept a “why bother” attitude toward providing an alcohol-free menu. That mindset stems from alcohol being a consistent top seller in most restaurants. And as an owner, it can be challenging to diversify from what you know is profitable. We get it! 

If you or a restaurant you know is still weary of mindful drinking, here are four reasons why upgrading the alcohol-free menu is always a good idea: 

  • Being Inclusive & Mindful

First, if you’re wondering who is alcohol-free these days, check out our blog post on 14 types of people who don’t drink. It’s safe to say there are endless reasons why someone could be living alcohol-free. So, why not be inclusive? A customer who feels safe and validated in your space will likely return or share their experience on social media. Mindful drinkers are still in the habit of sharing and reviewing zero-proof drinks because they aren’t absolutely everywhere. Therefore, being inclusive benefits restaurants in various ways.

If you’re wondering where to start, we suggest asking your audience what they’d like to see and exploring the many alcohol-free options available. 

Shop our bottle lineup here.

  • Alcohol-Free Menu ROI

For restaurant owners worried about sell-through on mindful cocktails, check out these industry insights: 

  • “By 2026, 41% of spending and 11% of volume consumption in the Non-Alcoholic Drinks market will be attributable to out-of-home consumption (e.g., in bars and restaurants).” - Statista.
  • “AB InBev, which owns a deep roster of beers including Budweiser and Corona, has pledged to increase no & low-alcohol to 20% of its global beer volumes by the end of 2025” - bon appétit
  • “From 2018–2023, zero-alcohol cocktails are expected to grow by 8.6 percent, no-alcohol beer by 8.8 percent, and no-alcohol wine by 13.5 percent.” - KPMG Finance.
  • “The Non-Alcoholic Drinks market is expected to show a volume growth of 6.1% in 2023.” - Statista.
  • Continued Focus on Health

As we move into fall and a new year, most Americans will continue to focus on health - and for many, that means low or no drinking. Wellness is a crucial reason for restaurants to focus on providing zero-alcohol spirits. Also, fall brings Sober October and Dry January; both are optimal opportunities for restaurants to invite new customers to try alcohol-free options. 

In July 2022, a study published in The Lancet confirmed that alcohol has zero health benefits for people under 40 and can even cause elevated and harmful health risks when exceeding less than one drink per day. As Americans continue to explore the sober curious movement, alcohol-free options will only continue to become part of a new beverage standard!

  • Booze-free networking

Chatting “over drinks” has been a part of business networking for as long as anyone can remember. Something about a casual, relaxed environment helps professionals make inspired connections and close important deals. But do we always need booze? Restaurants offering stand-out, alcohol-free cocktails are the perfect place for professionals to network professionally.

Owners - add mindful options to your bar’s happy hour menu to attract business professionals.

Mindful networkers - request alcohol-free options at your go-to spot! 

Article Contributed by Nicole Nettell linkedin.com/in/nicole-nettell/