Iced Tea — Let’s Add some Sparkle to Your Offering!

Iced tea: the multi-functional drink that quenches thirst, provides a nice pick-me-up and pairs well with most lunch and dinner offerings. It fits most any person’s taste, whether it is southern sweet, lightly sweet, unsweetened or flavored — even served sparkling. What single drink can fill this many needs?

The difficult question for a foodservice operator is how much counter space you devote to this beverage. In some cases you can have only one urn; most will need two but to get the best bang for the buck, you really should consider a third urn.

You must first consider in which region of the country you are located. All regions should have an unsweet tea. This allows your customers the option of sweetening it themselves with pure cane sugar or a sugar substitute. If you are in the south… you must have a sweet tea offering. It is required. It may need to be a “Southern sweet” which can taste (to those from other regions) like sugar with a touch of tea added to dissolve it! In all other regions, a sweet tea offering is optional.

So, now you have one or two urns sitting on the counter. What should you offer next? A flavored, limited-time-only tea is next to add to the menu. Rotate the flavor at least once a quarter. You can find the standards, such as raspberry and peach, just about anywhere. But why not get adventurous with combo flavors built on either black or green tea bases? Mint Mojito Green, Watermelon Black and Black Currant — just to name a few. Flexing your creativity muscle will be a delight to your customers, especially if you are trying to attract a younger crowd that craves variety.

Already have sweet, unsweet and flavored on the menu? Let’s kick it up — add some sparkle to your offering. It can even be menued as a craft tea… built by hand at the time of order. How do you make a good sparkling iced tea? Fill the glass with ice, add about 1 oz. of a flavored tea concentrate and add 7-8 oz. of the carbonated water from your bar gun or sparkling water dispenser. Garnish with fresh fruit and serve. Not only will you delight your customers, but you will also delight your bottom line. You can charge a premium for your crafted sparkling tea beverage over your regular iced tea options.

Now that is what I call adding sparkle to your offering!