We spoke with Alex Wrethman, Founder and CEO of Charlotte’s W5, part of the award winning British hospitality group, Charlotte’s.
At Charlotte’s we are a team that is passionate about food, drink and community. Acknowledging that our relationship with food, drink and wellbeing is constantly evolving and changing the way we socialise, it seems only natural for us at Charlotte’s W5, Ealing’s local hub, to develop a creative offering for those that prefer a non-alcoholic beverage.
We spent a lot of time researching the best soft drinks in London and with inspiration from Grain Store, we experimented with home-made non-alcoholic wine. We also asked beer expert, Melissa Cole to curate an exclusive low alcohol beer list for us. These options are at the front of our menu and we ensure everyone at Charlotte’s is knowledgeable about the non-alcoholic drinks we offer.
Charlotte’s W5 is a modern idea of what a public house should be, it’s open all day and everyone is welcome, from co-workers to families to those on date nights. Not having a non-alcoholic offering is a self-fulfilling prophecy – you need to be bold with the soft drinks offering and customers will come. Even the person who comes in and just has coffee for two hours is an opportunity. It is about frequency of visit.
My advice for other venues looking to improve their non-alcoholic offering is to list what you have and educate the staff about it. You can also command a higher margin if you provide a great customer experience – from the venue, glassware, ice, great presentation of the drink to good customer service and providing something that others don’t have.