“One of the great sales opportunities in a restaurant meal is to add a dollop of satisfaction at the end,” says Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark, a beverage consultancy in Santa Barbara, Calif. And premium hot beverages — typically alcoholic, but not always — he adds, could be the post-meal pizzazz needed to boost long-static check averages in casual-dining operations. “Consumers are bored and searching for different experiences,” he says. “And when ...

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