Spirits have a lot to offer foodservice

Hotels, restaurants and caterers provide a big opportunity for Diageo, according to Paul Downing, channel director of route to market and convenience for Diageo.

He said that 65% of all on-trade outlets are HORECA (hotels, restaurants and caterers) or food led pubs. The sector already accounts for 1.2 million cases of spirits a year, worth £830m.

He said there was a “tend to focus on the core offering of beer or wine, but nobody is looking after the spirits offering”.

Downing said that spirits provide ways for hotels to make some extra money, by encouraging people to stay longer in the hotel bar with a quality drink experience. Spirits can also be used in restaurants to top and tail a meal out at restaurants with a Gordon’s and Tonic before the meal and a Baileys after. “In food occasions people don’t actually drink that much alcohol, so there is an opportunity there.”

He added that pubs should develop their spirit and mixer offering as this is the most profitable category in the bar. He offered suggestions such as the RTD cans and the Guinness ‘Surgers’ which allows the canned product to be sold in draught quality.

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