Setting Prices for Beverages: Factors to Consider

How to Set Beverage Prices

Whether your patrons are enjoying a steak dinner with wine or a cheeseburger and fries, they’ll appreciate quality beverages that complement their meal. And a well-managed beverage program can boost your profits.

Industry averages provide a good guide for beverage pricing. But remember that other factors can impact your profitability, including your location and the types of drinks you offer.

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages are consumed worldwide in a variety of social contexts. They are also the subject of ongoing debate regarding their health effects. Moderate consumption can have many positive benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, it is important to remember that drinking in excess can cause serious harm.

The prices of alcoholic beverages are highly variable, depending on the type of beverage and its alcohol content. For example, a bottle of wine may have a lower price than a bottle of beer or whiskey. This is a result of the different levels of taxation applied to each type of beverage.

When pricing drinks, consider the cost of other items such as mixers and garnishes. It is also a good idea to round your drink prices up to the nearest quarter to make calculations easier for customers and bartenders. Additionally, remember to factor in the cost of shrinkage variance, which is typically around 20%.


In the beverage world, beer prices can vary widely. Often, restaurants price their beer based on pour cost, while off-premise locations like bottleshops price their beverages based on markups. This difference in pricing strategies can be a result of a bar’s specific market or its customers’ preferences.

In a restaurant, you can use an efficient inventory management system to optimize your beverage prices and maximize profits. This system allows you to track all your drinks and ingredients, so you can see what’s selling and what isn’t. This can help you make better decisions about your menu items, such as adjusting the pricing of a signature cocktail that’s not flying off the bar.

The best way to determine a drink’s price is by calculating its cost per ounce. This can be done by dividing the cost of the bottle by the number of ounces in it. This calculation can also be used for wine or draft beer.


There are a lot of factors that play into wine prices. One major factor is location. Certain regions are known for producing great values, whether due to economies of scale, long-term experience making wine, lower land value or larger crop tonnage.

Another factor is the quality of the grapes. High-quality grapes tend to be more expensive than lower-quality grapes. Additionally, the style of the wine can influence the price, and different styles of wine require different equipment to produce.

In addition, the size of the bottle can impact the price. Smaller bottles of wine typically have higher prices than larger bottles. Another factor is the overall cost of a beverage program. A restaurant’s pour costs should be based on its direct and gross margins, but many restaurants have indirect or fixed costs that aren’t included in their pour costs. These include taxes, liquor licenses and staffing. Finally, a restaurant’s brand and reputation can also influence its prices.


Liquor is a high profit margin item in most bars and restaurants, but prices can easily depress sales if they are too high. Setting drink prices correctly is a complicated task that requires balancing several factors, including liquor cost, pour costs, and garnish and waste charges.

Establishing a base drink price is the first step to pricing your drinks properly. The base drink price is determined by your initial drink cost, which is calculated using the formula – Liquor Cost Percentage / Pour Size = Drink Price.

The liquor cost percentage is the amount of money that your establishment spends to purchase and prepare a drink. This is typically set between twenty and twenty-five percent, and can be adjusted based on the quality of your drinks and the size of your pours.

Another important factor to consider is your shrinkage cost, which is the amount of money that you lose due to evaporation, spillage, and theft. This can be reduced by minimizing the number of kegs, bottles, and cans that you purchase and tracking inventory closely.

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