New research shows that a strong spirits-led offering can unlock the potential of dining occasions in your pub, which is why we've teamed with Diageo for a new campaign to reveal exactly how you can do just that.

Our #MixAndMatch initiative launched in September, when we looked at the important role alcoholic drinks play when it comes to dining out.

Exclusive research from Diageo shows that 51 per cent of people say alcohol is an important driver of where to eat* , for example. We also looked at the two main types of food-led occasions — spontaneous and planned – and this month we're taking a more in depth look into the latter.


Planning makes perfect

"Planned occasions offer a greater opportunity for licensees to trade up – customers stay longer, and look for more memorable experiences," says Clare Moscrop, senior on-trade category strategy manager at Diageo.

"It is also true that this type of occasion sees multiple drinks purchased and a lengthy dwell time." Pre- and post-meal drinks can be a big revenue driver here. Think about boosting your G&T offering by giving yours a twist — a seasonal or more imaginative garnish perhaps? Or swap your usual gin for something more premium or unusual (give the all new Gordon's Premium Pink Gin a try).

After the meal, think about offering cocktails with dessert or indeed instead of dessert. Why not try a Baileys Flat White Martini, for example. 




Special drinks for special occasions

During the meal there is a different opportunity. Diageo's research reveals the choice of drink here is usually quite considered, with diners looking for drinks that complement the sense of occasion.

These days people are also more open to new experiences and are moving away from the traditional wine option with their meals, making this a great opportunity to offer cocktails and long mixed drinks with dishes.

As Clare explains: "A drink choice outside of traditional wine helps consumers stand out, and it can even help to mark a special moment. This is a perfect opportunity for licensees to upsell to more premium brands."



*CGA Peach Brandtrack, February 2017