Advice

How to serve drinks to maximise customer experience

When you’re serving drinks to your customers, there’s a whole range of factors that can influence their experience. While how your beverages look and taste certainly have a big impact on how they are received, there are other things to consider, such as whether your customers feel that the service behind the bar has matched their expectations.

The key to drinks success is to make your customers feel that what they are buying is more than just something in a glass: you need to provide a fantastic experience from the moment they walk up to the bar to the very last sip of their drink. Below, we’ve provided a few top tips for maximising the customer experience through the drinks you serve, so be sure to read on.

Keep a well-stocked bar with plenty of choice

To ensure that your clientele is well catered for, you’ll need to make sure you keep a well-stocked bar with plenty of choice available. A 2016 report from the IWSR identified growing several trends in the drinks market, including the desire for premium brands with real authenticity and a growing pattern of experimentation, where customers want to try new things. In addition, many drinkers are now looking for healthier options with less calories or lower alcohol content.

By keeping your drinks rack full of quality spirits and your taps stocked with beer and ale full of personality, you will be able to cater to your customer’s need to try new, premium things. You’ll also need to provide low-calorie and non-alcoholic options for those looking to enjoy themselves in a health-conscious way. By giving your clientele what they want, you’ll be one step closer to providing a great customer experience.

Ensure you’re knowledgeable about your drinks

While it’s all well and good keeping a fully stocked bar, you’ll also need to talk the talk. We’ve already mentioned how there is a growing tendency to experiment among drinkers, so not every one of your customers will know exactly what they want when you serve them. If you’re able to provide information and recommendations about all the different drinks at your disposal, you will be able to answer any questions your customer may have and enhance their experience.

Get to know your stock from back to front, and be sure to keep up to date with any new products that you buy — The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Wine, Beer, Spirits & Liqueurs by Stuart Walton and Brian Glover is a great place to start and an incredibly helpful resource for any knowledgeable bartender looking to brush up on a new drink. Then, you can talk confidently about each beverage you prepare and make your customer feel like they are buying something of real value.

Nail great drink presentation and style

Once you’re fully stocked up and ready to make some recommendations, you’ll need to be able to make your drinks look the part. Whether it’s a fancy cocktail or a simple pint, nailing the art of great drinks presentation is increasingly important for creating a great customer experience.

What’s more, it’s now commonplace for people to take photos of their food for social media, especially among younger people. According to research by Maru/Matchbox, 69% of millennials regularly snap pictures before they eat or drink, so you will want your beverages to look their best to take advantage of that free publicity.

Take the time to practice putting together your fanciest drinks and pulling the perfect pint so that you can get them right when the time comes. For cocktails, ensure you choose the right glasses to really make your creation photogenic — Alliance Online have an extensive range of creative glassware that is well worth checking out if you need to stock up. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re getting the colour balances right, as well as making full use of garnishes. Be sure to look at Blogettes’ tips for making cocktails more photogenic if you need a quick crash course in cocktail making.

Take our three tips on board if you really want to maximise customer experience through your drinks. Not only will your customers leave with a smile on their face, but they’ll probably tell all their friends about your beverages, too.


Alliance Online is a wholesale supplier of catering equipment to hospitality businesses in the UK.

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