Throughout this summer, Cheers Magazine and freelance writer Amanda Baltazar is highlighting how chain restaurants are testing and implementing new products, equipment and tactics to produce unique experiences for guests.
The tequila category has been growing steadily in recent years, and consumers are becoming more sophisticated about the agave-based spirit.
That’s why all 11 locations of Atlanta-based Tin Lizzy’s Cantina’s now offer 30 different premium tequilas. The “FlexMex” cuisine chain didn’t always stock so many, though.
“We tried to keep our inventory controllable, but the guests keep coming in and asking for more,” says CEO Tory Bartlett. “It’s a pretty easy upsell to carry another premium brand or another flavor, and there’s not a lot of cost to it.”
Most (90%) of its tequila sales are from Margaritas. Tin Lizzy’s has 12 variations, each with a different brand of tequila, including Don Julio, Avión and 1800. This give guests the option of a stiff Margarita or something lower in alcohol.
Tin Lizzy’s best-selling Margaritas are The TLC (Lunazul 100% blue agave blanco tequila, Agavero orange liqueur and sour mix; Thai basil (1800 coconut tequila, agave nectar, fresh muddled lemons, basil and sour mix); and the Grand Patrón Rita (Patrón silver tequila, Grand Marnier and sour mix).
Despite all the different tequilas, the Margaritas are priced competitively, from $8 to $9.50. “We consider ourselves a value brand, and we are going to have premium drinks made with fresh juices but don’t want to serve a $17 tequila,” Bartlett says.
Consumers are ready for this, he adds. “They are becoming well-educated and are ordering by brand—they’re very brand loyal.”
Amanda Baltazar is a freelance writer based in the Pacific Northwest who frequently writes about food and beverages.