As the largest theatrical exhibitor in the U.S. and in the world, AMC Theatres delivers movie-going experiences to hundreds of millions of consumers each year. The company recently revamped its beverage program in 2022, a move that helped it win a BevX award for in the Single-Concept Entertainment category. AMC’s Macguffins Bars now highlight flavorful, on-trend cocktails — many with ties to recognizable actors and actresses — and well-known beers and wines.
With this new menu, AMC Theatres took a deep dive into how a guest thinks and feels when they enter a movie theater — the excitement and the permissibility of treats and indulgence they are anticipating as they look forward to a two- to three-hour mini vacation and escape to another world.
“We looked to those same movies that brought our guests to us and found common themes that could amplify the big screen experience all the way down to the unique beverages in their hands,” says Kelley Augspurger, manager of F&B product strategy for AMC Theatres.
The term “macguffin,” coined by Alfred Hitchcock, refers to a plot device that propels a movie forward. Augspurger notes that AMC’s signature drinks focus four main macguffins to drive the bar story forward:
Icons: Classic cocktails as big as the theater experience.
Red Carpet Ready: Over the top drinks — instantly Instagrammable.
Buzzworthy: New and interesting flavors and the
Escape: Whatever you need a vacation from — it starts here.
AMC also re-engineered the core beverage book, highlighting cocktails by flavor, with beautiful photography, including a pull-out page for more space to showcase drinks.
“The biggest challenge for any movie theatre is credibility in the bar and restaurant space,” Augspurger says. “This menu was no different, so we had to work extra hard to ensure each cocktail was not only simple to execute, beautiful and grand for our audience, but also contained simple and accessible ingredients for all theatre-goers.”
AMC’s “Movie Feature Drink” program focuses on driving sales during key features with new cocktails that complement the movie and branding. These Movie Feature drinks have generated up to 11% of liquor, beverage and wine revenue.
As AMC continues its focus on “We Make Movies Better,” key stakeholders in AMC — moviegoers, associates, shareholders and studio partners — can continue to expect innovative and creative ways of ensuring a great guest experience at the movies.
“We are always looking at the drinking habits throughout our spaces and other similar environments, as well as seeking and delivering new ways to enhance the theatre experience and delight our guests with amazing and unique offerings,” Augspurger says.