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Driving water sales – how to move customers away from the tap

You’ll spend hours perfecting your wine and drinks list, but the water available in your establishment is often an afterthought. Let’s dive in and look at the importance of not overlooking water on your menu.

Water offers a potentially valuable revenue stream and is currently worth £451m[1] within the channel. But only 10% of the 499m water occasions per year in hospitality are currently commercialised[2], there’s a clear opportunity for outlets of all sizes to change the way they think about serving water.

Does it all come down to price?

There are several factors to consider when it comes to serving water within pubs, bars and restaurants, and with spending predicted to be squeezed in the year ahead, free tap water is understandably going to appeal to customers. Price is usually perceived to be the driving factor behind asking for tap water, but recent research has undermined the argument that consumers choose tap water simply as it’s free.

Interestingly, only 35% said they would ask for tap water because it’s free, with 81% opting for it as it’s ‘more natural and better for me’ and 43% simply for ease and the fact they don’t have to look at a menu to order[3].

Is sustainability an issue?

With 72% of consumers looking to lead more sustainable lifestyles[4], packaged water in hospitality has taken a hit in recent years, and therefore people are potentially choosing to swap bottled for tap water. Water revenues needn’t dry up for this reason though. Operators can tap into both planet- and business-friendly options by offering on-demand dispense solutions, that can reduce road miles and single-use packaging, as well as minimising your carbon footprint.

Hospitality is already creating value by selling other sustainable products, so why should water be any different? On top of this, with the Deposit Return Scheme expected to come into effect in Scotland later in 2023 – and then set to roll out further – there is motivation for the hospitality industry to focus on minimising packaging.

There's still a demand for taste & quality

Water from the tap doesn’t necessarily hit the taste mark and satisfy guests. Businesses also can’t guarantee taste and temperature with regular sink water, meaning that they could end up compromising on quality, which wouldn’t be a consideration for any other serve on the menu.

Water in the home is also evolving – we’re seeing that people are demanding and paying for better quality water in their own kitchens with the installation of filtered water taps, so why should hospitality fall behind?

What else is available to businesses?

Unless the hospitality sector looks at other options rather than traditional bottled water, the status quo will remain, and a lack of appealing alternatives will mean the majority continue to choose free tap water. There’s a clear need for innovation within water that gives scalable and profitable solutions to businesses, whilst also reengaging consumers and providing a viable alternative to tap water.

As a leading supplier of soft drinks brands, we’re committed to provide operators with more sustainable, revenue-driving solutions. There are numerous options to choose when opting for Aqua Libra Co, from different coloured to various bottle formats and glassware to deploy in your outlet. 

The Aqua Libra Co infused water cans are performing strongly in retail, and with big marketing plans in the pipeline, we expect awareness of the brand to increase in the months ahead, supporting the use of our taps within hospitality.

Say hello to Aqua Libra Co.

Aqua Libra Co delivers pure tasting, filtered still and sparkling water on tap for pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants. As well as offering a 100% reduction in packaging use, it can also be utilised as an affordable, high-quality upsell to consumers looking to manage their budgets without impacting taste and experience.

[1] CGA Foodservice & Licensed Data 30.06.2022 MAT

[2] KAM Low & No Report 2022 

[3] KAM Low & No Report 2022 

[4] CGA Mixed Drinks Q3 2022

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