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Hotel Industry Beverages: A Complete Guide on Hotel Drinks

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Creating a beverage program for your hotel can be a true challenge. It’s not easy to keep up with all the changes in the hotel industry. However, this does not mean it’s not possible to stay competitive with your hotel drinks! 

Great customer experience is important for anyone in the hospitality business. Having a well-planned beverage program will give your guests one more reason to enjoy their stay and come back again. 

If you wish to create the perfect hotel bar drink menu for your business, first you have to build your program. Let’s start with how to do that and make hotel inventory management easier for you.

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Build a Perfect Hotel Industry Beverage Program

When you visit a restaurant, you expect to get great customer service. People want to have a quality drink with their delicious food. This is why you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good wine list and beverage menu.

Key Takeaway: Building a good beverage program is not easy but it's worth it. There are various hotel drinks to add to your menu that will turn staying at your hotel into a great experience.

1. Prioritize the Beverage Program

For many hotels and restaurants, the sales of beverages take 25-30% of the overall sales numbers. These numbers make many restaurant managers neglect their beverage program. But in reality, by creating an awesome hotel drink menu, you will create a great guest experience. 

2. Stick to the Concept

Regardless of the size of your hotel, it’s crucial for it to have a concept. What’s even more important than having a concept is sticking to it. The hotel bar drinks are no exclusion. Be careful with trends too, they come and go and there’s no need to always hop on the bandwagon. 

3. Know Your Customers

The concept of your hotel will influence the customers you get. Regardless, you should study these customers. That’s important for liquor inventory management. Find out what your guests enjoy most and stock up on the most wanted ingredients. 

4. Involve Your Staff

A crucial step when building a hotel drinks program is involving staff members. Your hotel staff will give you great insights. They tend to have awesome ideas because of their close connection with the customers. 

5. Price Fairly

Don’t base the prices of the drinks on what you see in other restaurants and bars. Spend time pricing the beverages your serve so it’s fair for your business and customers alike. Don’t copy-paste other people’s pricing as in reality it may not make sense for you. This is also important for customer retention

6. Don’t Overlook Details

People consume with their eyes first. Which means you should not overlook the way your bar looks. Details can make or break your relationship with your customers. 

Follow a bar and restaurant cleaning checklist. This will help ensure you have clean glassware, utensils, and dining space.

Improve Beverage Sales with Hotel Minibars

Well-stocked hotel minibars can improve the guest experience. If you have a great hotel beverage program, you may want to extend that feature to the hotel rooms. 

Minibars Nowadays

Some businesses already made the switch to customizable and unique mini bar items. Instead of stocking only on staple items, they strive to create a better experience for customers.  

Stocking on local items is highly recommended. Look into local craft beer and food, local whiskey, and snacks. Taking a personalized approach and sticking to local options would give you a head start. 

Best Hotel Drinks to Offer at the Bar

What should you order at the hotel bar? Great cocktails, of course! No matter what the hotel bar drink menu includes, you should be able to get some of the true classics and then enjoy some unique options.

Any bartender should be able to mix up your favorite drink on the spot, using quality alcohol. But what should you order if you don’t have a favorite? Here are the best cocktails to order at a hotel bar: 

  • Margarita
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Moscow Mule
  • Martini
  • Whiskey Sour
  • Manhattan
  • Spritz
  • Mojito
  • Hotel’s signature cocktail

Improve Inventory Management with Digital Ordering

Before, inventory tracking was done manually, either on paper or using spreadsheets. Now, there are more efficient ways to ensure all items are available. 

Food and beverage inventory tracking software can change the game for any business owner or hotel bar and restaurant manager. Thanks to the software, keeping restaurant inventory in check is easy. This is just one way hotel technology is changing the hospitality industry

Here’s what else technology can do for your business if you run a hotel.

1. Digital Ordering

This is one of the most important hotel technologies to use. By keeping inventory in check, you will avoid overstock, deadstock, and other problems related to under or over ordering items.

It’s easier to stock up on various types of alcohol using digital ordering. This way, a lot of human mistakes can be avoided. 

Imagine how much time will be saved by streamlining the process, using special software. 

2. QR Code Menus

Another great technological change is the QR code menu. What can really set your business apart is having a QR code to scan instad of a physical menu. 

This way, customers can browse the hotel drinks offers on their own devices. Here you can also explore the other benefits of QR codes.

3. Contactless Payment

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, new technology that emerged is contactless payment. Paying in a contactless way is much faster than magstripe or EMV payment options. This time savior keeps people healthier but also has impacted customer behavior.

4. Inventory Management Software

When relying on manually filled spreadsheets, mistakes will happen. Inventory software is very useful as it is easier to track client preferences. It also eliminates the possibility of human errors. 

5. Tableside Ordering

Tableside ordering is great hotel technology that limits contact and saves time. It’s basically a way to browse the menu, order, and then pay from your own smartphone. This improves the speed of service and will create a better customer experience. 

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Build Quality Wine Lists 

Having a good selection of quality wine can boost customer satisfaction in hotel restaurants like nothing else. Here’s how to build your wine list!

Local Wines for a Unique Wine List

One way to entice customers is by including more local alcohol on the restaurant beverage menu. Choosing local alcohol doesn’t make sense just because of logistics, including shipping and handling. By stocking on what your local area has to offer, you give customers a well-rounded experience. 

The Concept of the Hotel and Restaurant

The concept of the hotel is a crucial factor when curating the wine list. For hotel restaurants with Italian food, the wine lists need more Italian wine options. A seafood restaurant should focus on quality white wines and flavors that go well with their famous meals. 

If the restaurant has different types of menu options, with more international food, pairing the dishes with international wines make the most sense. Classics like rose from Provance, Bordeaux red wine, and Italian white wine  - all incredible additions to international wine lists. 

Include Specialty Coffee on Your Menu

Specialty coffee is on the rise in the latest years. To please customers who appreciate a nice cup of coffee, quality means more than anything. 

Specialty coffee is a type of coffee scoring over 80 points on a 100 points scale. To be classified as such, the coffee is grown at high altitudes, receiving special attention and care from the farmer.


Before, the daily consumption of specialty coffee in America used to be 9%, but in the last 10 years, it reached 34%. In the UK, recent reports show the market is set for a 13% growth each year. This is greater than the 10% originally predicted. 

The increasing popularity can be seen even in high-street chains, like Starbucks and Costa Coffee. These coffee shops keep introducing limited-edition single-origin coffee, which is a significant contrast to their dark roasts or high-robusta blends. 

The same increase in consumption is starting to show in the hotel industrytoo. As more and more guests want a premium coffee experience, more bars and restaurants are striving to deliver. If you are in the hospitality industry, you should improve the quality of the coffee that’s being served in the coffee shop and hotel restaurants under your management. 

The Great Benefits of Using Locally-Sourced Ingredients

What the modern traveler is looking for is unique experiences. They don’t want to consume what they would at home. They want to experience your area, not only through sightseeing, but also through food and drinks. Using local ingredients will make your hotel drinks even better and more enticing for guests. But there are even more benefits to it!

1. Support the Local Economy

When choosing local ingredients, you are supporting the local economy. By doing so, small businesses will be able to sustain themselves and boost employment. This in turn will strengthen the community. 

2. Reduce the Carbon Footprint

An amazing benefit of local ingredients the way they reduce the carbon footprint of a business. When you switch to a local supplier, the cocktail ingredients you need will not travel much.

4. Cut the Cost

Buying from your region can help you cut costs without lowering quality. Saving money on logistics and sourcing fresher ingredients, is what will help your business flourish as well. 

5. Use What’s in Season

Even though it may seem like a lot of work at first, it will be worth it. If your kitchen staff and bar staff use ingredients that are in season, you can cut costs, reduce the carbon footprint, and support better the local community of farmers. 

How a Cocktail Expert Will Help Your Hotel Business

Cocktail experts or mixologists have studied the history of cocktails and how to make them. The mixologists know the importance of using quality goods, like locally-sourced ingredients and different types of alcohol. They can even use specialty coffee for unique and very enjoyable drinks. Hiring a good mixologist can boost bar profitability and even more. Here’s what they can do for you!

1. Build a Better Menu

A mixologist can help you build your hotel bar drink menu. If you like the idea of having a bar and restaurant seasonal menu, a mixologist will be of great value to you, too. They know which varieties of alcohol to mix for different occasions and with what other ingredients. 

2. Create Great Combinations

Creating delicious cocktails is not just about putting ingredients together. It’s about how you put them together. Knowing the right amounts to use and how to mix them is crucial to create a unique experience for customers. 

3. Plan Inventory Better

When you have a mixologist by your side, it will be much easier to plan the alcohol inventory for your hotel bar. Because of their experience and them being involved in the planning of the year-round menu, they can ease the inventory planning too. 

4. Avoid Waste 

If you already have different types of ingredients, but don’t know how to use them all, the cocktail expert will help. They can come up with cocktails that can be made with what you already have. 

Creating Seasonal Bar Menus

Building a seasonal beverage program for your hotel bar is hard but it will put you ahead of the curve. Seasonal offers will grab the attention of returning guests and new customers alike.

When you offer seasonal drinks, people will want to try them. They will know that next time they stay in your hotel, this drink will no longer be available. This makes it more desirable. 

Bartenders must be capable of mixing a classic drink for your customers at any time. However, to increase bar profitability, it’s important to make some seasonal changes, too!

Know What’s in Season

To make it seasonal, you should know what’s available at certain times. This is a great way to get people to experience your local area through food and beverage

Here are some examples of seasonal ingredients: 

  • Spring - blueberry, peaches, rhubarb
  • Summer - watermelon, basil, mint
  • Fall - apples, cranberry, pumpkin, squash
  • Winter - grapefruit, pears

Involve Your Employees

If you have hired a mixologist, you should be working closely with them on this one. Experts can create great recipes for your bar with what’s in season.

Listen to what your bartenders say about customer behavior. This way you will get a better understanding of what the guests at your hotel really want. 

Try a Holiday Menu 

What would be even better is to offer a unique experience during any holidays as well. Meaning, it would be great if you can combine seasonal drinks with seasonal dishes. There are plenty of holidays thorough the year that can inspire you to create special offers, which will boost the profitability of your business!

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The Importance of Good Glassware

Today, looks are more important than ever before. Even the best food and hotel bar drinks may not be preferred by customers because of how they are presented. People can get the things they like from a store and that’s why hotel staff should offer them experience, rather than a product. 

Focus on creating presenting all drinks and food in your hotel in a beautiful way. People will appreciate it a lot, especially with social media being all the rage. 

Glassware in the Age of Social Media

Hotel glassware will never be the same. Social media has totally transformed the way people look at their food and drinks, so glassware is now even more important than before. 

Don’t only look at things from a practical point of view. Design is becoming a huge part of decision-making when spending money. 

Use glassware that will make your hotel beverages enjoyable to drink and look at. In addition, when customers share their beautiful pictures and tag you, more people will be interested in checking out what your hotel has to offer! 

Turn Classic into Unique

An easy way to make a classic drink look more enticing and beautiful is by using a stylish glass to serve it. Don’t underestimate the power of a good glass. It can change completely the way the drink is perceived by customers and can boost your sales.

CBD Beverages in the Hotel Industry

One of the newest trends in the hotel industry is CBD beverages. Similar to specialty coffee, they can make your business more appealing to customers. Although CBD drinks are not so common yet, there is a rise in popularity. 

Why Include CBD Drinks in Your Hotel Beverage Program?

A great thing about canned CBD drinks is that you can add them to the bar menu but also use them in hotel minibars. These drinks boost relaxation, so guests will enjoy them in both settings.

You can even have a mixologist create unique CBD-infused cocktails for your hotel bar. They could be part of your seasonal offers or you can have a unique CBD cocktail all year round. 

Travelers nowadays want to try new and exciting things and to relax well. Give them what they want by diversifying your drink offerings!  

How to Make the Most of CBD Drinks in Your Hotel

CBD beverages are a trend that’s not going anywhere in the new future. Because of that, people in the hospitality industry should hop on this bandwagon and reap the benefits these beverages can bring to a bar or hotel. 

Here’s how to include CBD beverages in your hotel beverage program:

  • Stock the minibars with canned CBD drinks in different flavors. You can even ask customers which varieties they like best, so you can narrow down options. 
  • Consult with a mixologist on what kinds of CBD cocktails can be made
  • Try adding some seasonal options with CBD to keep it interesting for customers.

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