Squeeze More Profit Out of Your Beverages
Extracting juice from fruits and vegetables certainly isn't a new idea, but it has become the foundation of the multi-billion dollar juice and smoothie bar industry.1 With the increasing consumer concern about healthy eating habits and fresh food, juicing is no longer thought of as a quick way to make a portable breakfast. Today, it's a versatile method of extracting fresh ingredients that's found its way into foodservice sectors outside of trendy juice and smoothie bars. By investing in a commercial juicer, businesses from bars to gyms can use freshly squeezed juice to create profitable and satisfying beverages.
Juicing Your Menu Up
Juicing can be a surprisingly controversial topic, with its most devoted fans crediting the trend with everything from detox to disease prevention. Casual observers don't attribute it with any major health benefits, but there's no denying that turning fruits and vegetables into a beverage makes it easier for consumers to meet their recommended daily servings. For adults, that recommended serving is currently between 11⁄2 to 2 cups of fruit and between 2 to 3 cups of vegetables.2 Aside from appealing to health-conscious customers, squeezing your own fruit and vegetable juice will help you provide a fresher final product that tastes better. Below, you'll find some tips for how to use a commercial juicer in different foodservice operations.
Elevate cocktails and mixed drinks. As craft cocktails become the expectation, rather than the exception, it will be harder to impress experienced drinkers. To keep up with this trend, you can add freshly squeezed juice to cocktails that call for it, enhancing the flavor of the drink. Restaurants serving popular brunch drinks, like mimosas and Bloody Marys, can start squeezing their own juice, as well. If that work is done in the front-of-the-house, the sight of a bartender squeezing fresh fruit is also a simple way to impress customers.
Provide an on-the-go meal solution. Many people struggle to find time for their gym routines, often having to sandwich them between work hours in the morning, on a lunch break, or around dinnertime. Juice bars located in or near a gym can make blended fruit and vegetable drinks packed with protein, nutrients, and flavor, providing a refreshing post-workout snack or even replacing a meal that may otherwise be missed by a busy gym goer.
Expand your drink menu. Cafés can take inspiration from some national coffee chains by using the convenience of juice-based drinks to expand their menus, adding smoothies alongside coffee and lattes. Your menu can include a set number of flavors or allow customers to create their own combinations that might incorporate extra ingredients to boost metabolism or energy. This will attract new traffic and encourage repeat visits from loyal customers who might want to stop by for a midday snack in addition to their morning coffee.
Despite juicing's immense popularity, some concerns have been raised about the food waste it produces. However, businesses can reduce wasted ingredients by using the leftover pulp as an ingredient in other menu items.3 If you're making smoothies and other blended drinks, it can give the resulting product the benefit of the healthy fibers that are otherwise lost. Pulp can also be used as a component in baked goods and salads or as the basis for a sauce or jam. If you work with local produce suppliers, consider asking them for the "ugly produce" that may otherwise be thrown out. Alternatively, vegetable scraps and pulp can be repurposed in a composting pile that produces nutrient-rich humus you can use in a garden that grows the produce you turn into juice.
- Juice & Smoothie Bars in the US: Market Research Report. IBISWorld. Accessed September 2016.
- Choose My Plate. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Accessed September 2016.
- Meet the Entrepreneurs Making Food Waste Edible (and Profitable). Eater. Accessed September 2016.