Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.
The issue with spa water
Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”
Agua fresca alternatives
At the original location of Beefsteak, Jose Andres’ fast casual in Washington, D.C., charging for infused water has been a challenge. Pat Peterson, Beefsteak’s executive chef, has found success at some other Beefsteak family restaurants by positioning an infused water as an agua fresca as opposed to flavored water. It’s a way to enhance the value perception and be able to charge guests at a lower price point than craft sodas, he says.