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By
Kali Mireva

CBD Beverages in Restaurants: Challenges and Opportunities

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Adult beverage trends vary quite a bit in the past several years. From the rise of non-alcoholic drinks to CBD beverages, there is something for every consumer. 

But like with everything that’s new, there come some challenges. If you have decided you want to add CBD beverages to the beverage program of your restaurant, you need to be aware of the possible obstacles you may face, as well as the many great opportunities.

After we shared why and how you should include CBD drinks in your restaurant’s menu, let’s look closer into the issues and opportunities that may come your way. 

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Serving CBD Beverages: 5 Possible Challenges

While CBD (cannabidiol) has gained popularity in the latest years, and it’s now used in various products, such as beverages, restaurants may face several challenges when providing CBD drinks. 

Restaurant owners need to be aware of these challenges to do their best to prevent legal and other possible issues that may arise. Here’s what you need to know: 

Key Takeaway: CBD beverages pose great challenges but also opportunities for restaurant owners. If owners manage to overcome the challenges, they can reap great benefits from serving CBD drinks.

1. Legal Issues

The legal status of CBD varies across different states in the United States and other countries. Restaurants need to navigate complex regulations regarding the production, sale, and consumption of CBD-infused products. The business owner must ensure compliance with local laws, obtain necessary licenses or permits, and meet specific requirements.

Before hiring a mixologist to create unique drinks for your restaurant business, make sure to check local laws and regulations regarding the use of CBD oil in food and beverages. CBD beverages may not be as easy to add to your menu as some trendy cocktails. 

2. Unclear Regulations 

In some locations, regulations related to CBD beverages and foods may be ambiguous or lacking. This uncertainty can make it challenging for businesses to understand and adhere to the rules. 

If you find the guidelines set in your region to be unclear, be sure to consult with authorities. Don’t take any action on upgrading your seasonal menu with CBD cocktails if you are unsure that’s allowed. It may take time to get the answers required, but it can save you from some hefty fines. 

Don’t take any chances when it comes to your hard-earned money and the integrity of your business. If your local area doesn’t allow serving CBD beverages or adding CBD oils to foods, research other unique options to add to your menu. There’s so much you can do!

3. Sourcing CBD Products of High Quality

When you want to stock CBD products to use in your food and drinks, you must find reputable suppliers. It's important to ensure that the CBD used in your cocktail drinks is extracted from legally cultivated hemp, has the appropriate levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and undergoes proper testing for purity and potency.

Establishing reliable supply chains for CBD products can be a significant challenge. You may not be able to get what you need from suppliers in your local area. If that’s the case, shipping costs can be high, which will increase the price for your customers that want to enjoy refreshing CBD beverages. 

Depending on the concept of your business, you can decide whether that would be worth it or not. After all, business owners in the hospitality industry are striving to increase customer satisfaction and every new product on your menu has to fit well with the idea of your restaurant. 

4. Dosing CBD in Drinks

CBD beverages in restaurants have to be made with precise dosing. Knowing how much CBD oil to put in each cocktail you create can be hard, especially if the bartenders don’t have much experience with these drinks. Same applies when making CBD tea and coffee drinks.

It's crucial to have your bartenders trained and set procedures in place on how these cocktails have to be created. This way you will ensure a consistent and positive customer experience.

5. Educating Staff and Customers

CBD is still relevantly new to customers. That’s why, you as a restaurant manager, may have to fight off some stigma regarding the use of CBD. You can do that by first educating your staff and then - your customers. 

To make it easier for your restaurant servers and other employees, it’s best to include some information regarding CBD beverages on your menu, website, and/or social media. Let people know what are the benefits of CBD products and what they can expect (see also: benefits of CBD drinks).

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Opportunities for Restaurants Serving CBD Beverages

While there are certainly some challenges to be prepared for, there are great opportunities that come with CBD beverages. 

1. Standing Out from the Crowd

By offering CBD beverages, you will set your business apart from competitors. It provides a unique selling point that can attract people who want to try new and trendy products. CBD drinks can be positioned as signature cocktails, adding value to the restaurant's menu.

2. Offering Health Benefits

CBD is often associated with potential health benefits. They include relaxation, stress relief, and aiding sleep. Restaurants that serve CBD drinks can tap into the growing demand for wellness-focused products. Positioning CBD beverages as a healthier alternative to traditional alcoholic or sugary drinks can appeal to health-conscious consumers.

3. Expanding Customer Base

CBD has gained popularity among a diverse range of consumers, including those seeking natural remedies, enthusiasts of alternative therapies, and individuals looking for unique experiences. By incorporating CBD beverages, restaurants can attract a broader customer base.

4. Creative Menu Development

CBD beverages provide an opportunity for creativity and innovation in menu development. Restaurants can experiment with different flavors, combinations, and presentation styles to create unique and enticing CBD-infused drinks. This can enhance the overall dining experience and generate buzz around your restaurant.

5. Help with Restaurant Online Marketing

CBD beverages can help you gain popularity in social media, as well. Adding some CBD cocktails to your menu can help you tremendously with your restaurant marketing, as you can target a whole new group of people. If the cocktails are also pretty, people will likely take pictures of them and share them on their own social media channels.

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Frequently Asked Questions about CBD Beverages in Restaurants

Need more information about CBD beverages? Here we answer some common questions about them!

How Much CBD Is Put in Drinks?

Most beverages have between 15 and 30 mg of CBD. When ordering a CBD drink at a restaurant, the waiter should be able to answer this question, if not already mentioned in the menu.

How Many CBD Drinks Can I Have In a Day?

It’s OK to have 70 mg of CBD per day, according to the Food Standards Agency. However, some regular consumers may go even up to 100-200 mg. If you are not a regular drinker, it’s best to stay on the safe side and not go over the 70 mg threshold. 

Are CBD Beverages Strong?

CBD drinks are not as strong as other CBD products, but they are effective too. They are a great way to consume CBD and relax while also socializing with friends. These drinks are also a great option for anyone who doesn’t like the taste and sensation of smoking, vaping, edibles, and tinctures. 

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