Restaurants Get Creative with At-Home Booze

Even as more Americans get vaccinated and states start lifting lockdown restrictions, it’s clear to foodservice leaders that the at-home market is thriving and is definitely worth investing in. It’s still hard to know what the long-term effects of the pandemic will be on the restaurant industry, and it could be a slow return to full-capacity dining in many areas. With boozy new product offerings from some of the country’s most recognizable chains, customers are able to bring the bar experience home with them.


Sonic® Reimagines their Famous Slushies by Launching Hard Seltzers

Hard seltzer has been one of the hottest CPG categories of the last few years, with consumers embracing new products that are lightly sweet and low in calories. Sonic®, the fast-food drive-in chain, is getting in on the trend by reimagining their famous slushies as a line of canned spiked seltzers. The line comes as the result of a collaboration with COOP Ale Works©, a fellow Oklahoma-based company. It has been reported that this collaboration will triple COOP Ale Works’© current production, and that the seltzers will be available on-shelf starting May 1.


Waffle House® Isn’t Above Having Beer for Breakfast

For some, the idea of bacon and beer together is a breakfast-lover’s dream come true. This unique collaboration between Waffle House® and Oconee Brewing Company® is a canned red ale infused with bacon, which became available exclusively through the brewer in mid-December.

According to a social media post from Oconee Brewing Company®, “the beloved scent of bacon stands out from the typical medium hop aroma of a red ale.  The malty sweetness of the base beer blends perfectly with the salty, savory, and smokey bacon extract to create a delicious and unique beer.  Bacon & Kegs pairs well with breakfast food items (obviously!) or can be enjoyed as a stand-alone, soon to be iconic beer.”


Chili’s® Launches a One Gallon Margarita Bag for At-Home Fiestas

Chili’s® likes to celebrate their birthday the same way that many of us do – with tequila. In honor of the company’s 46th anniversary, Chili’s® is helping patrons celebrate their own special occasions at home with the “Mar-Go-Rita.” This one-gallon pouch is reminiscent of boxed wine, making for a convenient (and delicious) takeout night with friends. This new release also shows that for foodservice brands that are hesitant to experiment with CPG, innovative take-home products are a great alternative for connecting with consumers that crave the restaurant experience from the safety and comfort of home.

Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up, consumers are looking forward to enjoying new boozy products at home. When foodservice brands get creative with CPG and takeout offerings, they have a real opportunity to connect with many more consumers during the pandemic – not just the ones that are willing and able to make it out to bars. It’s likely that some consumers will permanently reduce their frequency of going out to restaurants after the pandemic, and it is more vital than ever for foodservice brands to find ways to appeal to diners wherever they are.

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