How To Make Your Venue More Welcoming For Non-Drinkers

Increasing numbers of people are choosing to abstain from alcohol, whether as part of a short-term challenge such as Dry January or Sober October, or for the long-term physical and mental health benefits.

It’s often assumed that everyone drinks, but nowadays this isn’t the case. In fact, 26% of those aged between 16-24 are fully teetotal and 56% of millennials only drink occasionally.

With 29% of pub visits and 37% of restaurant visits now being alcohol-free, and the low and no alcohol drinks sector predicted to be worth £450m by 2024, it’s important to make the growing number of non-drinkers feel welcome. This article looks at how you can adapt to changing customer behaviours and make your venue more inviting to those who don’t drink.

Create An Exciting (Alcohol-Free) Drinks Menu

Just because someone doesn’t drink alcohol, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to enjoy a delicious drink with their meal. Fizzy drinks or juice can often feel like a ‘kid’s option’, and adults can find these unappealing or too sweet.

Make sure your drinks menu includes a good alcohol-free beer, tasty mocktails (these can be made even better by adding an alcohol-free spirit), and more ‘grown up’ soft drinks such as elderflower presse or a spicy ginger beer. Serving these with the same care and attention as you would an alcoholic drink makes it still feel like a treat and stops anyone feeling left out.

Creating a separate and clearly marked section of your menu for non-alcoholic drinks makes it easier for people to find them and saves them having to look through all the alcoholic drinks available.

Food2go makes it easy to quickly add and remove items from your online menu. Customers can see what non-alcoholic drinks are available, and you can test different options to see which are the most popular.

Always Offer An Alternative

If you offer a free glass of prosecco when someone is celebrating a special occasion or a free drink to apologise for service delays, make sure you check whether the customer drinks alcohol and have something else (e.g. a mocktail) to offer if they don’t.

This also applies to any promotions that offer a free drink with a meal. List the alcoholic and non-alcoholic options that are included so the customer can select the right choice for them. Otherwise, they may just assume there’s nothing suitable and decide to go elsewhere.

If your venue offers a bottomless brunch, be sure to include an option where the customer can order and pay for drinks separately or offer a cheaper option that includes hot drinks, mocktails, or soft drinks instead.

Food2go allows you to tailor promotions and loyalty schemes to suit your business, making it easy to add options that will make non-drinkers feel welcome and included.

Make Ordering Easy

While anything 0.5% ABV and below is usually considered low alcohol or non-alcoholic, some people might only feel comfortable consuming drinks that are 0.0%. Stating the ABV of your alcohol-free beers, wines, or ciders allows customers to feel confident with their choice and avoids any unpleasant surprises after their drink arrives.

Some non-drinkers also prefer to avoid alcohol in food. Clearly labelling any dishes that contain it will prevent confusion and help those who don’t feel comfortable asking. It’s also worth noting that some alcohol-free beers contain lactose, making them unsuitable for vegans or those with an intolerance.

We’ve already talked about the importance of clearly marking which dishes are suitable for those with allergies or dietary preferences, and it’s worth taking this same approach with your drinks menu.

Online ordering makes it easy for customers to see whether meals and drinks meet their dietary requirements and takes the pressure off your staff. It also makes it easy to regularly update your menu if anything changes.

Embrace The Possibilities

Creating an environment where non-drinkers can enjoy themselves helps to boost your sales while normalising the decision not to drink. Remember, if 1 person in a large group doesn’t drink alcohol, the whole group is likely to choose to go somewhere where they have plenty of options to choose from.

The trend towards reducing alcohol consumption or even abstaining altogether doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. Food2go’s complete online ordering solution allows you to analyse patterns within your sales to identify further growth opportunities, allowing you to quickly adapt to changing preferences or behaviours in the future.

Book your free demo today to discover how food2go can help you grow your business for a flat monthly fee.