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CBD Drinks & Restaurants: What, How, and Why to Serve

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Being successful in the restaurant industry requires a lot of hard work and some following current trends. Although not all food and adult beverage trends are to be followed, some deserve a bit more attention as they can bring your restaurant business to the next level. CBD drinks are such a trend in the latest years. 

In this comprehensive guide to CBD drinks, we’ve compiled a lot of helpful information regarding the types of drinks you can serve, the food pairings that can be made, benefits, and more. 

CBD Drinks: How to Include Them in the Menu

It takes more to run a successful restaurant than just organizing inventory, planning unique seasonal menus, and thinking about how to earn a Michelin Star. Creating a nice atmosphere, keeping an eye on customer behaviors, and staying following the trends in the food and beverage industry is key. 

One of the main things to do is create a strong beverage program that includes a wide variety of drinks. It takes a lot of time and effort but if you stay true to the concept of your restaurant and your beliefs, you will have great results. This is one of the biggest challenges presented to any restaurant business owner and restaurant manager. 

CBD drinks are definitely something to consider including in your beverage program. But before you do that, you should know the answers to the following questions. 

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What Is Cannabidiol, Also Known as CBD?

Cannabidiol is an active ingredient in cannabis which is extracted from the hemp plant. It’s important to note that this component doesn’t cause a high and it’s not addictive for people. 

In the latest years, CBD oil is gaining popularity due to the many health benefits it offers and its ease of use. The oil helps lower anxiety, also reduces PTSD symptoms, relieves pain, and even eases diabetic complications.

When Did CBD Drinks Become Trendy? 

CBD beverages in general became popular after cannabis products were legalized by the Farm Bill in the USA. This happened in 2014. In the past nearly 10 years, an increasing amount of people are using CBD oils and tinctures because of the many health benefits they provide. This naturally caused growth in the CBD beverages market. 

How to Use CBD Products in a Restaurant?

CBD products can be added to food and beverages more in the last few years, so of course, some restaurants started using the ingredient as well. If you want to try it too, make sure to check the local regulations regarding the use of CBD in food and drinks before you try incorporating it into your menu. 

If offering CBD cocktails is allowed, for example, start doing some research and see what you can offer at your specific place. To create great offers, work with an experienced mixologist, as they have the right experience and will help you build an outstanding beverage menu. 

Why Should You Serve CBD Drinks?

Serving CBD drinks is not just the easiest way to add this ingredient to your menu. It’s also a preferred way by many restaurant owners! Just a few drops of CBD oil can make beverages more desirable, which will boost the profits of your business, as well as the customer satisfaction

The use of CBD oil brings great benefits and many people use it regularly to promote good mental and physical health. When they see you offer such drinks in your restaurant, they will most likely order and enjoy them even on a regular basis. 

How to Present CBD Drinks on the Menu

Even though you may be tempted to mix the CBD offers with the other cocktail drinks, it’s best to have a separate section or a different type of menu for them. Since they are relatively new to most people and can affect the body and mind, it’s important to have a clear separation between them and the other beverages you serve. 

Great customer service is not just about the way things look and offering a super fast service. Honesty is also crucial and that’s why you need to make sure that all ingredients are listed on your menu and customers are educated about the drinks they are ordering. 

CBD Beverages in Restaurants: Challenges and Opportunities

Serving CBD-infused drinks comes with some challenges and opportunities. By being aware of them, you will be able to make an informed decision.

5 Possible Challenges of Serving CBD Drinks

While CBD products have gained popularity lately, restaurant businesses may face several challenges when serving CBD drinks. 

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

  • Legal Challenges - The legal status of CBD is different in each state and the countries outside of the USA. Restaurant owners need to navigate the various regulations regarding the sale, production, and consumption of CBD-infused products. 
  • Unclear Regulations - In some states, regulations related to CBD drinks and food may be lacking or can be too ambiguous. The created uncertainty can make it hard for businesses to understand the rules and adhere to them. 
  • Sourcing CBD Products of High Quality - When stocking CBD products to use in your food and beverages, you need to find reputable suppliers. It's important to make sure that the CBD oils used in the cocktail drinks is extracted from legally cultivated hemp and also has the appropriate levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The product needs to undergo proper testing for purity and potency, as well. 
  • Dosing CBD in Drinks - CBD drinks have to be made with precise dosing. Knowing how much CBD oil to use can be hard, especially if the bartenders in your restaurant don’t have a lot of experience with these drinks.
  • Educating Staff and Customers - CBD products are still relevantly new to most customers. That’s why, as a restaurant manager, you may have to fight off some stigma. The most effective way to do it is by educating your staff and then letting them educate your customers. 

Opportunities for Restaurants Serving CBD Beverages

There are some challenges but the opportunities are great as well. Let’s see what they are!

  • Standing Out from the Crowd - When you add CBD drinks to your menu, you will stand out from the crowd that doesn’t. CBD beverages can be positioned as signature cocktails, adding value to the restaurant's menu. You can also use them for restaurant marketing. 
  • Offering Health Benefits - CBD is often associated with feeling better both mentally and physically. Restaurants that serve CBD beverages can tap into the growing demand for wellness-focused products. Positioning CBD drinks as a healthier alternative to traditional alcoholic or sugary drinks can appeal to health-conscious customers.
  • Expanding Customer Base - CBD drinks have 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.
  • Creative Menu Development - CBD drinks are an opportunity to show creativity and innovation. You can experiment with different flavors and presentation styles to create unique CBD-infused drinks.
  • Help with Restaurant Digital Marketing - CBD drinks can help your restaurant gain popularity on social media, too. Adding some CBD drinks to the menu can help you a lot with restaurant marketing. This way, you will be able to target a larger audience.
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CBD Cocktails: Recipes and Tips to Try

If you already decided to give CBD drinks a try, take a look at the tasty recipes we suggest!

Recipes to Try in Your Restaurant

An easy, but also very good way to implement CBD drinks in your restaurant menu is by adding the oil to some classic cocktails. For instance, you can make a classic Cosmopolitan recipe and add CBD oil to the mix, following the recommendations for the dosage. 

Let’s see which popular recipes you can try and make into CBD drinks! 

  • CBD-Infused Lemon Ginger Mojito
  • CBD-Infused Old Fashioned
  • CBD-Infused Margarita

How to Serve CBD-Infused Drinks

The first, and most important tip is to get the help of a cocktail expert when creating CBD drinks for your restaurant. Here’s what else you should do:

  1. Source high-quality CBD products from reputable brands
  2. Educate the waiters in your restaurant about the basics of CBD, including its effects. 
  3. Offer a variety of dosages when it comes to CBD in drinks. 
  4. Make sure that all CBD drinks are clearly marked on the menu and that the ingredients are listed. 
  5. Allow customers to customize their drinks, if you feel like this would be manageable for your bar staff

CBD-Infused Drinks and Food Pairings

Let’s look into some great CBD-infused drinks and food pairing options for restaurants that can help you increase customer satisfaction.

Great CBD-Infused Drinks and Food Pairings for Restaurants

No matter if want to earn a Michelin Star or you are just interested in offering something unique, here are some pairings to try.

  • CBD-Infused Spicy Margarita with Fish Tacos
  • CBD-Infused Cucumber Mint Cooler with Greek Salad
  • CBD-Infused Whiskey Sour with BBQ Ribs
  • CBD-Infused Pina Colada with Coconut Shrimp
  • CBD-Infused Moscow Mule with Spicy Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry
  • CBD-Infused Cosmopolitan with Smoked Salmon Canapés
  • CBD-Infused Champagne Cocktail with Fresh Oysters
  • CBD-Infused Mojito with Mango Salsa and Tortilla Chips

Non-Alcoholic CBD-Infused Drinks and Food Combinations

For the customers who don’t want to have alcohol but still want to try some CBD beverages, you can offer: 

  • CBD-Infused Matcha Latte with Avocado Toast
  • CBD-Infused Cold Brew Coffee with Chocolate Brownies
  • CBD-Infused Fruit Smoothie with Acai Bowl
  • CBD-Infused Green Juice with Quinoa Salad
  • CBD-Infused Sparkling Water with Veggie Wraps
  • CBD-Infused Herbal Lemonade with Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Health Benefits of CBD Drinks

The majority of the cocktail drinks people order at bars and restaurants offer only enjoyment. They have become a big part of socializing and spending a night out. 

CBD drinks, however, provide health benefits too. Small amounts of CBD oil can be taken straight by people or infused in food and beverages. The latter option makes it easier to take the recommended daily dosage. Here are the health benefits associated with the use of CBD oil:  

1. Stress Relief and Relaxation

CBD has calming properties that may promote relaxation and reduce stress levels in people. CBD-infused drinks have a soothing effect, aiding in stress management.

2. Improving Sleep

CBD has sleep-promoting properties and could help regulate sleep patterns. Having CBD drinks before bedtime might promote a more restful night's sleep.

3. Pain and Inflammation Relief

A great benefit of CBD drinks includes alleviating discomfort associated with conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, and muscle soreness.

4. Anxiety and Mood Improvement

CBD-infused drinks offer a natural to help manage anxiety symptoms and enhance overall well-being.

5. Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Effects

CBD has antioxidant properties, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. In addition, CBD may have neuroprotective effects, and possibly support brain health, as well as cognitive function.

6. Digestive Health Support

CBD can support digestive health by promoting a good appetite, reducing nausea, and soothing digestive discomfort. 

It's crucial to note that while CBD has potential health benefits, individual experiences may vary. Further research is needed to understand all its effects fully. All bar and restaurant owners, as well as individuals, should make sure they take CBD oil from reputable sources. 

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CBD Teas and Coffee: Brewing Methods and Flavors

Tea and coffee brewing methods differ and because of that, we will look at them separately. However, the goal is identical - to create tasty, warm beverages that will completely transform the customer experience and even help you increase profits by offering a rich flavor palette. 

CBD Coffee Brewing Methods

1. Using Pre-Infused CBD Coffee

For this method, use pre-infused coffee beans, where CBD is added during the roasting of the coffee. Grind the beans and brew them using a preferred coffee brewing method. 

2. Using CBD Oil or Tincture

In this method, you need to add CBD oil or tincture to the brewed coffee. Brew the coffee you typically use in any manner you prefer and then add CBD oil. 

3. Water-Soluble CBD Powder

Water-soluble CBD powders are made to dissolve easily in coffee. Brew it as normal and then add the CBD powder to the cup. 

CBD Tea Brewing Methods

1. Pre-Infused CBD Tea

Similar to pre-infused CBD coffee, some suppliers offer pre-packaged CBD tea bags or loose-leaf CBD tea blends. Steep the CBD-infused tea in hot water according to the instructions.

2. CBD Oil or Tincture

Brew the tea as normal. Once it’s ready, add the CBD oil or tincture and stir well to incorporate it into the beverage. 

3. CBD Honey or Sweetener

Another option is to use CBD-infused honey or sweetener. Brew the tea as usual and add the CBD honey or sweetener to the cup Stir well to ensure the CBD is evenly distributed. 

CBD Tea Flavors 

  • CBD-infused herbal teas often have soothing flavors like chamomile, lavender, or peppermint.
  • CBD-infused green teas and matcha teas have a refreshing and earthy flavor profile.
  • CBD teas with fruity flavors like berry, citrus, or tropical blends can be vibrant and refreshing. 
  • CBD-infused spiced teas or chai teas feature warm and aromatic flavors like cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger. 

CBD Coffee Flavors

  • CBD-infused medium roast coffee has a balanced flavor profile, mild acidity, and a nutty undertone. 
  • CBD-infused dark roast coffee has a bold and rich flavor with notes of chocolate, caramel, or smokiness. 
  • CBD coffees can also come in flavored options like vanilla, hazelnut, or caramel. 
  • CBD-infused cold brew coffee has a smooth and less acidic taste. 

If you decide to include CBD drinks in your menu now that you’ve read all about them, consider giving BinWise Pro a try as well. This is a one-stop-shop beverage inventory app that will save you time and money by avoiding counting mistakes. Book a demo now!

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