The Benefits of Serving a Variety of Drinks On Tap
When draft lines are properly maintained, few drinkers or bar owners would disagree that beer on tap is better than bottles and cans. For those drinking the brewer's art, draft beer engages all the senses, offering a crisper taste, a better body, a richer bouquet, and more visual appeal; and for the bar owner, draft beer offers higher profit margins. These benefits have led many bar and restaurant owners to begin offering other kinds of drinks on tap.
A recent study by Future Market Insights reveals that keg sales are rising and projected to continue growing. So while draft beer is still the leading kegged beverage, it’s no longer unusual to find establishments offering wine on tap, coffee on tap, and other kegged cocktails, and they’re reaping the rewards. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts recently began opening its NextGen stores, offering drinks on tap, including eight signature cold beverages, such as coffee, iced tea, cold brew, and nitro cold brew. Since the rollout, Dunkin’s sales have grown 4.6%, and David Hoffmann, the CEO and president of Dunkin’, attributes a lot of this to the expansion of its beverage portfolio.
So, with so many operators upping their dispensing game to satisfy consumers’ need for variety and choice when they go out, every owner should consider drinks on tap as a functional solution that meets that demand.
Why You Should Offer Drinks On Tap
Beer On Tap
Brewers and bar and restaurant owners have long known that draft beer provides some of their biggest profits. But today, it’s not really an option. With microbrew and craft beers growing in popularity (up more than 13% last year alone), operators need to promote seasonal beers on tap to offer variety. Draft beer is also an ideal way to sample new flavor profiles, which can often be sold at a premium. The best way to advertise these beers? The handle on a highly visible tap tower, not buried within a cooler.
Cocktails On Tap
When we think of cocktails, many of us will remember Tom Cruise and his partner tossing bottles through the air, putting on a show with every pour in the movie Cocktail. But most of today’s customers don’t want a show. They want a drink poured quickly and consistently—and that’s just what kegged cocktails offer. Pre-batched cocktails on tap, whether it’s a Manhattan, a Mojito, or a Mimosa, allow bartenders to serve drinks in a fraction of the time, and it’ll taste the same to customers no matter who’s working the bar.
For example, at Polite Provisions, an apothecary-themed bar in San Diego, CA, customers can get tapped Gin & Tonics and Palomas, or originals like the Mr. Brownstone, a cocktail made with Irish whiskey, bitters, and housemade cinnamon soda, while at Bar Charlie in Washington, D.C., customers can enjoy a full-throttle tiki cocktail poured and served in seconds, without all the bartending effort usually required to mix the laundry list of spirits and syrups. Check out more bars benefitting from drinks on tap in this Food and Wine slideshow, and remember, when there are improvements to volume, speed of service, and quality, profits are sure to improve too.
Wine On Tap
There’s a misconception among some bar owners and patrons that keg wine will taste like the cheap boxed wine that haunted the 80s and 90s. One sip of wine on tap can change minds! Not only do they taste good, but they also maintain that taste for a while. Over time, sometimes just a matter of days, opened bottles eventually shift from their original flavor. Sparkling wines become flat; white, sweet, and rose wines oxidize and lose character, and red wines begin to sour and taste “vinegary.” This is a turnoff to guests and can result in a lot of waste. With kegged wine, bar and restaurant owners don’t need to pay for the winery’s cost in bottles, corks, and labeling, saving money with each pour. Still not convinced? Check out this video from Try Wine on Tap.
Coffee On Tap
Cold brew and nitro cold brew coffees are heating up business for restaurants, coffee shops, and convenience stores, with the market poised to deliver a combined annual growth rate of nearly 30% by 2022. Forget the messy pitchers; serving from a kegerator or a draft system—the same technology used for beer, wine, and cocktails—offers no-mess convenience and freshness at just the right temperature. And, with a nitro infusion, you can also add some wow factor to each perfect pour.
Ready for drinks On Tap?
There’s one more benefit to drinks on tap that all of these have in common: sustainability. Kegs are the most environmentally-responsible beverage package in the brewing industry; they’re returnable, refillable, and recyclable and have an incredible 30-year life span, serving approximately 27,000 glasses before they are retired. That equals 1,125 cases of bottles or cans!
And it’s not just beer; consider keg wine. Wine on tap can reduce an operator’s carbon footprint by 96% compared to wine poured out of bottles over 20 years. This example from PourMyBeer is also a real eye-opener. Say a restaurant serves 100 wine kegs in a year, with a typical keg equaling about 26 bottles. Those 26 bottles would have introduced almost 40 pounds of packaging waste into the environment, including their boxes, corks and foil wrapping, and the bottles themselves.
Studies also show that millennials, the largest living generation in the United States, are very concerned about the environment. Businesses with sustainable practices are more likely to capture their attention and dollars.
So, do some good for the planet and your business, serve drinks on tap to save time, increase consistency, and boost your bottom line!
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EVERYTHING ON TAP
For over 60 years, Micro Matic has been recognized as one of the world’s leading suppliers of draft beverage equipment. Specializing in keg-to-glass technology, we offer a total solution for meeting beverage equipment needs. Our dedication to customer service is supported by four regional sales and distribution centers, the Micro Matic Dispense Institute for training and education, and a Certified Installer Network for installations. Want to speak with a “perfect pour” expert? Contact Micro Matic today.