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How To Cater For Customers Who Are Doing Dry Jan

UK Hospitality

Dry January is a great opportunity for people to dip their toe into sobriety or drinking less alcohol. While you might think that a pause on drinking isn’t good for your business, there are lots of ways that it can be a positive thing for pubs and restaurants.

So long as you know how to cater for those doing Dry Jan, you’ll be a new favourite of your customers.  

5 Ways To Make The Most Of Dry January

Dry January was started by Alcohol Change, a leading UK charity helping people give up booze. The idea behind Dry January was to allow people to experience sobriety and go on a cleanse after the festive season.

The first Dry Jan event started in 2013, and only had 4000 participants. However, the event quickly grew and now hundreds of thousands of people take part every year, many unofficially. The results for those who take part in Dry Jan are said to be things like improved sleep, better mental health and enriched relationships.

Dry Jan has become a colloquial term, and is now recognised not only by individuals but by businesses too. For hospitality businesses, it’s a great way to show that you care about the welfare of your customers, and are there to support them no matter what their tipple of choice.

Some of the positives of Dry Jan are:

Get on board with Dry Jan

Take a look at our top tips for getting on board with Dry Jan.

The majority of people who quit drinking alcohol still want the experience of having a nice relaxing drink amongst friends. Mocktails give people the chance to have a delicious drink in hand, without having to worry about breaking their dry January pledge.

Some of the most popular mocktails include an alcohol-free mojito, alcohol-free daiquiris and alcohol-free pina coladas. You could also experiment with different alcohol free spirits, like those from Lyre, Seeplip, Sipsmith and many more.

These spirits make great replacements in traditional cocktails and also allow people to enjoy their usual tipple like a G&T or Rum and Coke, without the alcohol.

Mocktails and alcohol free spirits are great, but 0% beers and wines can really hit the spot too. If a customer’s usual tipple is beer or wine, 0% versions can be surprisingly similar to the real thing.

By providing more 0% or 0.5% alcohol options, you will likely attract a broader demographic outside of Dry January too. Nearly 30% of millennials aged 16-25 don’t drink, so by creating a menu that caters to their needs, you may even win new customers.

For people who are allergic to alcohol, have addiction issues or are taking their Dry Jan commitments super seriously, highlighting meals with alcohol in them can be a great move.

While most sober people won’t mind eating a beef stew with red wine in it, or a dessert that is laden with coffee liqueur, for others it can be really triggering. By highlighting your meals that feature alcohol, you’ll show your support for those who are trying to limit any alcohol in their system at all.

Dry January is a challenge, and for those who go the whole month it can be a major commitment. The last thing that customers need is to see promotions for alcohol everywhere.

Temptation is always going to be around in a pub or bar, but if you can change the  narrative and run promotions on alcohol-free drinks instead, you’ll soon become a favourite of any punter trying to ditch the booze.

If you really want to commit to the cause, why not run a Dry January event? You could use the event as a way to showcase your alcohol-free options, or even celebrate the end of Dry Jan.

When the clock strikes 12 on the last day of January, your customers will have completed their challenge. That calls for a celebratory drink or two. Or, they might be feeling so good in their new found sobriety that they’d rather reach for a mocktail or alcohol-free beer.

Whatever they choose, you’ll have created a deeper connection with your customers and made sure that everyone is catered for during Dry January and beyond

Isabella Mawer
January 14, 2022

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