Softs on the up at Italian Bistro

Health, family and lunch are proving key markets for Glasgow restaurant


THERE are three key drivers of soft drinks sales at The Italian Bistro, the restaurant and function business on Glasgow’s Great Western Road.

The category is growing in importance to the sales mix at the venue, which was taken over by local operator Naz Aksi earlier this year.
And according to assistant manager Nina Taylor it’s all down largely to the opportunities provided by lunch trade, the family market and the pursuit of healthier eating and drinking.
“Our soft drinks sales represent a significant and growing percentage of our wet sales, particularly at lunchtime when we do a roaring trade in soft drinks,” Nina said, explaining that wine and beer sell more in the evening.
“Our best-selling soft drinks remain Coke and lemonade, though we have seen a rise in sales of San Pellegrino Limonata, which is perceived as being more wholesome.
“I think consumers are more health aware than before, are conscious of the amount of sugar in some fizzy drinks and are consequently cutting down on their intake of fizzy drinks.
“The health agenda is having a significant influence on soft drinks in the on-trade. I’ve noticed a substantial rise in demand for diet drinks over recent years. For example, we sell more Diet Coke, which is our top seller, than Coke.
“The family market is very important to soft drinks sales, particularly on Sunday when all the family often come in together. We cater for children more these days than ever before, particularly at the weekends when we get large families coming in with a lot of children.
“Indeed we are considering stocking Fruit Shoots, which have less sugar and are increasingly being requested by health-savvy parents for their kids.”
Yet for all regulars at The Italian Bistro are aware of their health intake, carbonated drinks are still its biggest seller, Nina added.

Image: Softies are motoring at the Glasgow venue.