In many ways frozen drinks can market themselves. They’re a staple of summer festivities and summer meals – be they alcoholic for adults or booze-freeze for kids. They’re delicious and refreshing, so just having them listed on the menu is sometimes all it takes. But successful bar & restaurant operators don’t settle for mediocracy. They seek out new ways of inventing themselves and engaging with their guests, including alternative marketing ideas such as featured frozen drink of the day, thematic menus, frozen drink pairings, and even tastings.
This post lists three ways restaurants can amp up their frozen drink menu’s marketing efforts and give your guests something to look forward to this summer!
Featured Frozen Drink of the Day
This is a quick-win for marketing your frozen beverage program. Most restaurants have daily specials – be it a Soup of the Day or Catch of the Day – so why not do the same for your frozen drinks? Simply choose a new flavor of frozen smoothie, cocktail or milkshake; mark it down on your special’s board; and have your servers kick the idea around with guests as they sit down for a great meal.
This is a unique twist on a traditional restaurant staple. It allows your bartenders to get creative with the frozen drink specials (which they’ll appreciate), and positions your restaurant as innovative, unique and engaging -- all of which are vital for an amazing guest experience and higher likelihood of a return visit.
You’ll definitely get guests’ attention when you tell them your Frozen Drink of the Day is the Donutzilla Freak Shake (a milkshake with a donut on top)! It also makes for viral social media fodder.
Frozen Drink & Food Pairings
Creative restaurateurs can take the Frozen Drink of the Day idea a step further by coming up with fun frozen drink/food pairings for guests to try and enjoy.
This can be a bit trickier given the bright and often conflicting flavors presented by a typical frozen drink. We recommend embracing the sort-of island/vacation type vibe and pairing them with grilled seafood and complimentary flavors. A rum runner with some mahi mahi or a pina colada with some grilled and skewered shrimp will always be a classic. And let’s not forget the power of a margarita and some Mexican food (always a winner).
Come up with some great pairings and have your servers explain them to guests as “specials” or have them as menu inserts. And don’t forget to use some great photos to catch guests’ eyes toward these pairings. Play around; your guests will love it.
Frozen Drink Tasting Nights
Wine and beer tastings nights are popular, so why not frozen drink tastings? Pick nights that are notoriously slow for your business and host frozen drink tasting nights. Have guests come out and try different frozen drinks you’ve added to your menu. And get creative with your frozen drink recipes. Maybe even offer flights of frozen drinks, so people can easily taste a variety of amazing drinks without getting drunk or smashed with a sugar rush.
Tasting nights means making a bunch of different flavors, so you’ll definitely need an efficient frozen drink system put in place. Look for blender systems like f’real’s behind-the-counter blended drink system that allow you to quickly & efficiently make drinks without the need for ice or a water attachment. It’ll make the process smooth and alleviate a lot of the headaches for your staff.
This is also a great time to solicit feedback from participants on which flavors rocked and which were forgettable. From there you can refine your frozen drink menu to just the winners, so you’re providing your guests with exactly what they’re looking for.
Don’t forget to promote this event on your social media with previews of fun and interesting flavors followers will be able to try if they come in as a guest!