MYTHS: PRICING AND PROFIT


Non-alcoholic beverages are too expensive


Prices of non-alcoholic beverages vary, as do prices for those with alcohol. Much depends on the brand. At the heart of the argument is the mistaken belief that non-alcoholic products should always cost less because they are lacking the key ingredient, the alcohol. But to a person wanting a beverage without alcohol, the alcohol has no value; thus the drink without alcohol is just as valuable and worth the same price as an alcoholic drink.


In many cases a non-alcoholic product should cost more, because its production process is more complex - it includes the extra step of removing the alcohol. People understand this with other products, such as decaffeinated coffee, sugar-free sodas, and unleaded gas. The public accepts that these products often cost more, and, if informed, the public will accept higher costs for non-alcoholic beverages, too. In fact, establishments can rightfully position these products as quality alternatives, with added value.

People who drink non-alcoholic products don't tip


Nobody who receives poor service should tip, and, unfortunately, people who order non-alcoholic beverages frequently are treated by servers as second-class citizens. When nondrinkers receive good service, they tip well, just as drinkers do. However, the bill for a patron abstaining from alcohol may be lower, because establishments frequently do not offer alternative beverages with much purchase appeal or do not price them properly - or even charge for them. If the bill is lower, so is the tip.

We can't make as much money on non-alcoholic products as we can on alcoholic products


Once again, this is a pricing problem. An establishment needs to examine its costs and pricing strategies in light of the new trend away from alcohol, and then invest effort in promoting non-alcoholic products so they may be a profit center for the operation. Promoting non-alcoholic products does much more than increase existing profit potential. If the present trend continue, and more and more people reduce or discontinue their alcohol intake, the customer base at establishments not offering alternative beverages will decline. In addition, because of the veto vote, non-drinkers will be taking their drinking friends (and their business), away from the old familiar places and to those establishments offering an alcoholic and non-alcoholic menu mix with something for everyone.