Alternative Beverage Promotion Strategies

With 44 percent of American population reporting they do not drink alcoholic beverages, up from 29 percent in the late 1970's, a responsible hospitality establishment should not only make alternative alcohol-free beverages available, but service staff should be trained in the promotion of these products including non-alcoholic, low-alcoholic, and premium beverages.


The RBS Nightclub respects the rights of all guests, whether they drink alcoholic beverages or not. All advertising, menus, promotions, and specials will include regular, low, and alcohol free beverages. Servers will actively promote all beverages and will be evaluated on total beverage sales. This policy will be discussed and reviewed at staff meetings.


a. Tap water, soft drinks, and black coffee are only a few of our available alternative beverages. All RBS Nightclub servers will become familiar with our extensive menu of alternate beverages, including bottled mineral waters, flavored waters, seltzers, juices, low-alcohol, and alcohol-free mixed specialty drinks, and non-alcoholic beers and wines.

b. When greeting guests, the initial reference made to beverages will include non-alcoholic beverages. Rather than say, "Good evening. May I bring you a cocktail?" Say, "Good evening. May I get you one of our beverages?"

c. RBS Nightclub servers will actively promote alcohol-free beverages, not only as substitutes for alcoholic beverages but as drinks in their own right (i.e. a guest who orders a glass of water can be encouraged to try one of our specialty drinks without alcohol or flavored mineral water.)

d. RBS Nightclub servers will become familiar with the names and recipes of all "exotic" alcohol-free beverages on our menu, and will taste test alcohol-free beers and wines.

e. When customers ask for the list of beers, our service staff will include a full list of non-alcoholic beer and low alcohol wines in that list.

f. When customers ask for the list of "house" wines, service staff will not neglect to include the alcohol-free and low alcohol wines on that list.

g. As the guest's drinking experience continues into a second and third hour, the server will more assertively suggest alternative beverages, such as low-alcohol coffee drinks.

h. Although the use of alternative beverages is not solely for replacing alcohol in potentially problematic situations, it is certainly one reason for suggesting them. All servers must become familiar with the techniques of responsible beverage service as they relate to pacing drinking and refusing continued service of alcohol to customers who are drinking too quickly or too much.