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Boozeless Britain? How To Protect Your Profits As Drinking Declines

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29% of young Brits now identify as non-drinkers, up from just 18% in 2005. And with 700 pubs closing last year, their drinking habits are beginning to impact businesses. So what can you do to survive the sober surge?

Lots, actually! Here’s six simple ways to profit in a less boozy Britain.

For more hints and tips, check out our article on non alcoholic drinks.

1. Alcohol-free drinks

A booming business and one of the success stories of 2018, temperance-friendly tipples really took off last year. Low or no-alcohol wine soared to 1000% it’s 2009 value, taking in £70m, while alcohol-free pints saw a 58% year-on-year rise. With 29% of young Brits now identifying as teetotal, the time is ripe to broaden your base of boozeless beers.

And with a greater alcohol free menu comes greater marketing opportunities. Turn the tide of the sober surge to your advantage with our article on how to market your restaurant.

2. Mocktails

All the fun of a cocktail without the hangover. Mocktails are tipped as one of the top food trends for 2019, appealing to both the alcohol-averse (with their lack of spirits) and the health conscious (with their capacity to be stuffed with fruit and other wellness boosting goodies).

World champion flair bartender Tom Dyer has mixed us up a recipe to get your mocktail ideas flowing.

Read our article on why you need to serve non-alcoholic drinks for Tom’s recipe, as well as inspiration on mixing up mocktails so tasty they’d make a dedicated drinker look twice.

3. Tea and coffee

With Brits chugging 95million coffees a day in 2018, you’d think we’d have reached peak java by now – but not so! The latte and its less caffeinated cousin, the humble cuppa, show no sign of slowing.

Coffee is set to continue its domination of the drinks industry, while tea is due its moment in the sun, tipped to explode in 2019 as health-conscious Millennials search for the next wellness boosting beverage to get creative with.

Up your tea game this January and you might give teatotal a whole new meaning (and spelling). Plus, the margin isn’t bad either – around 90% for a gourmet brew.

4. Juice

Instagram’s favourite beverage and the darling of the wellness warriors, juice shows no sign of slowing down either. Offer a freshly made selection and you’ll not only tempt the newly sober, but the New year, New Me determined dieters too. Make them look as good as they taste and they’re bound to find their way onto social media. 

Free advertising: what’s not to love?

5. Entertainment

Diners and drinkers are increasingly looking for more than just a good meal or a well poured pint, so if you’re not already laying on the entertainment, now is the time. Pub quizzes, board game nights, gigs, live singers, themed nights – the list of entertainment options at your disposal is endless.
Put on something unmissable and even the most determined dry January participant won’t be able to resist a trip to the pub.

Advertise your entertainment offering with our blackboards and signs to really get the message out there.

6. Food

If diversifying your drinks menu doesn’t work (and it should), give your food menu a kick. Offers work well here, as do Man vs Food style challenges.

Plus, they look great on social media. What’s better for boosting your online buzz than an intimidating burger stack with a prize for any diner daring enough to finish it?

Get more tips on supercharging your menu from our ‘your menu’ articles section, where you'll find tips on everything from how to cater for vegetarians and vegans, to the top food trends 2019.


Drinking habits are changing, but that doesn’t mean pubs have to lose out - diversify, experiment and do something a little out of the ordinary and you’ll future proof your business against any boozing backlash. Plus, you might just give your pub, bar or restaurant a new lease of life too. 
Cheers to that!


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