What will the hot beverage trends be for the coming year? SmartBlog on Restaurants identified some to watch. Here’s a rundown:
Familiar favorites with a new twist. Diners like familiarity but they also want to feel they’re trying something new, so drinks that combine a bit of both will be a hit in the coming year. Lemonade, coffee and tea are examples of three old favorites that will be served up with new twists—consider all the flavored lemonades that have hit the market in recent years.

Customization. Close to the concept of the “twist” is the fact that consumers want to feel they are drinking a beverage they have customized just the way they like it. (Starbucks, we have you to thank for this.) K Cups—individual brewed cups of coffee or tea—have proven popular in the foodservice environment for this reason. Think about how you can offer customers the chance to customize their drinks, whether it’s with a soda machine that serves 100 flavors of soda or just offering a wide range of flavors and add-ins.

How can you stay on top of trends? SmartBlog on Restaurants suggests looking at what eateries in other categories are doing. For instance, a fine-dining restaurant could consider what quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants are serving up and get inspired by that. Taking a trip to another region can also give you ideas and inspiration—when you travel, whether for business or pleasure, look for “tasting” tours at breweries, wineries or even coffee bars.

One thing is for sure in the coming year: Beverages will continue to be a profit center, so think of as many ways as you can to give your customers what they want. Drink up!