Solotel is looking to lead the way with non-alcoholic drink options for its customers and is working with new non-alc brand Lyre’s to deliver on that aim.

Experience Director Tara Sullivan said it was “absolutely important” for the group to lead in the category and deliver options on people’s decisions around what they are drinking and wanting to have non-alc options available that weren’t too heavy on sugar.

“We are definitely seeing an increase in demand to have these kind of options available,” Sullivan said. “Corporate groups are definitely looking for more non-alc options and even our group has taken on a lens of social conscious around drinking. But definitely from a guests’ perspective there is increasing demand for non-alc and healthier drinks.

“We are very much improving how we look at what we offer people and how we help those people who choose not to drink for a period, but still want to engage socially.

“Consumers are definitely getting wiser about their alcohol intake and now that people are more aware it’s important to have different low and non-alc options available.”

Solotel is using Lyre’s as a fully non-alc cocktail option and are mainly using it to create non-alcohol versions of classic cocktails, something Sullivan said, is really driving engagement with Lyre’s for the bar teams.

“Our guys are loving working with Lyre’s, they are impressed with the products in the range, with the flavours and with the depths they can actually go to with their creations. So many people have said they can’t believe the Espresso Martini we’re doing doesn’t have alcohol in it and that’s just one example. It’s great.

“It’s also a lot more fun for our teams as well, these guys are wired to make cocktails and they would much rather do that than give people a non-alc drink from a gun.”

At the moment Solotel has Lyre’s in all its restaurants and large format venues, and Sullivan said the aim is to have the brand available in all its venues and so make the social occasion more engaging for those who are choosing not to drink.

“I’ve been quite passionate about delivering health-based cocktails into the group. The focus on fresh ingredients and minimal interference, so seeing products like Lyre’s is a really important step in being able to deliver a drink that is of quality and is an alternative.

“I’m seeing a lot of people who are making the choice to drink less, but they also don’t want to miss out on social interactions which are important.”

Lyre’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, Mark Livings said it was great to see Solotel embracing Lyre’s.

“It is forward thinking groups like Solotel that are showing the rest of the country how to do it right, how to do it to a really high quality, how to delight people when they come into a venue. The rest of the industry does look to groups like Solotel and to venues like Smoke to set the tempo,” he said.

“It was pretty special seeing Lyre’s at Opera Bar. It has to be one of the most iconic venues in the country and for us to have secured a ranging so early is incredible.”

Sullivan added: “It’s really great for us as well, it’s a great partnership. We’re both in it for the right reasons, but I think it’s the quality as well, that’s the really important part and we are both driving that quality.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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