Don’t forget the basics this season

Simple steps mustn’t be overlooked during summertime and beyond, says Diageo

• Getting the basics right is key to unlocking summer sales this season, according to Diageo.

SUMMER is in full swing, bringing with it the usual raft of opportunities for the on-trade.

And while the weather may be temperamental, come rain or shine, customers are sure to be out and about frequenting Scotland’s pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the season.

But when it comes to capitalising on summer trade, operators could be falling at the first hurdle, according to Diageo.

New insight from the spirits giant found that while 90% of licensees know how to create the perfect serve, as little as 15% are actually putting this knowledge into practice – missing a key opportunity to boost customer satisfaction and drive sales.

A quarter of outlets visited as part of a Diageo mystery shopper programme served drinks in glassware that failed to adhere to the basic standards of being tall, clean and cooled.

And just 15% of visited venues used a full glass of ice, as recommended.

Citing TNS research, which found that 71% of consumers said a badly served drink would negatively affect their perception of an outlet, Diageo warned that these are basic steps that licensees “can’t afford to get wrong”.

To help operators make the most of summer trading, Diageo has released its five ‘perfect serve principles’, which it reckons will ensure customer satisfaction and drive repeat purchase: use a clean, dry tall glass; fill the glass at least 3/4 full with ice – the more ice you use, the cooler the drink will stay and the less dilution will occur; add your branded spirit; top up with the mixer; garnish and serve.

How a drink looks is hugely important, with research quoted by Diageo stating that 78% of customers say that presentation makes the perfect serve.

Therefore, with the basics in place, licensees would do well to consider upping the appearance of their summer drinks; adding seasonal garnishes or utilising eye-catching drinking vessels were highlighted as popular and simple changes that could elevate customers’ experiences.

Consideration should also be given t0 a variety of tastes.

Citing CGA data, which found that men now account for 45% of cocktail consumption, Diageo urged licensees to adapt their offer to ensure all tastes are catered for.

Clare Moscrop of Diageo said: “It’s brilliant to see that most licensees understand exactly what makes a perfect serve, but as our mystery shoppers found, not all of them have been putting this into practice, which represents a real missed opportunity for profit.

“Even small changes, like a full glass of ice rather than two ice cubes, can make a big difference to the customer experience and their perception of an outlet.”

Moscrop added that licensees in any doubt should consider training with the drinks firm’s experts “to make sure they are fully reaping the rewards of the perfect serve within their own outlet”.