Boost beverage sales with spicy eats

Photograph: Shutterstock

When dining out, plenty of consumers opt to save a few dollars by ordering a glass of water. It’s a plan that’s great for their pocketbooks but not so great for foodservice facilities, where beverages often have a high profit margin. But by adding a few choice menu options, such as savory and salty snacks or spicy chicken dishes, restaurants might be able to increase beverage sales.

According to Technomic’s 2018 Beverage Consumer Trend Report, 30% of consumers say that the reason they purchase a drink when dining out is because they want something specific to pair with their food order. Whether that’s wine, beer, a cocktail or a soft drink, all of those drink orders can lead to bigger check averages in restaurants. But how can restaurant food encourage a drink purchase?

Bold flavor calls for thirst quenching

It’s pretty common knowledge that offering salty snacks can boost drink orders. Could that be why soft pretzels are a such a common appetizer on menus? Perhaps. But salty snacks aren’t the only menu choices that foodservice facilities can offer to encourage more drink purchases.

For instance, Tyson® Nashville Hot Chicken and other spicy chicken options can encourage diners to order a beverage with their meal. Offered in three formats—boneless wings, breast filets and thigh filets— this chef-developed, authentic spicy chicken offering could be just the ticket for increasing drink sales.

Boosting check averages

When serving up savory, salty or spicy eats, be sure to post suggested drink pairings either on the menu or in the cafeteria line. Signage letting diners know that a dish is a scorcher could tip them off to make sure to grab a lemonade or a soft drink at the beverage dispenser.

Another way operators can encourage drink orders with hot and spicy foods is to offer the meal in a combo form. For instance, diners can order a Tyson Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich for a set cost, or for a couple extra dollars, add on a side and a drink. By offering a value proposition, diners may be more likely to pick the option with a drink included—and spend a little bit more in the process.

What’s more, offering spicy chicken dishes will pay off with diners as well—28% of consumers say they are eating more fried chicken with spicy flavors than they were two years ago, according to Technomic’s 2018 Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report. According to MenuMonitor, mentions of Nashville Hot Chicken sandwiches or wraps are up 100% year-over-year. With those two stats in mind, it makes sense to offer spicy chicken—either for the boost in beverage sales or to simply ensure diners have the flavorful chicken choices they’re looking for.

Tyson® Nashville Hot Chicken makes it easy to serve customers the authentic dishes they love. These fully cooked products reduce back-of-house prep time and waste, all without sacrificing authenticity. Additionally, fully cooked chicken ensures consistency in dishes served. Best of all, they’re easy to prepare—simply heat the fully cooked chicken and toss with the signature sauce. To learn more about Tyson Nashville Hot Chicken and how to save up to $500 when making an order, visit

This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc.

Want breaking news at your fingertips?

Click here or text FSD to 888-111 to receive text alerts from FoodService Director and get the news and insights that matter to your operation.