Sarah Dart, TimeForge Educator

Nation’s Restaurant Newshas recently posted an article about the top five beverages that are currently being purchased at restaurants.

Their results included:

  • Iced/frozen/slushy coffee
  • Smoothies
  • Cappuccino/espresso/latte
  • Iced tea
  • Frozen/slushy soft drink

According to the NRN article, “[Consumers] opt for beverages they believe are worth the extra cost, are refreshing, have better flavors, offer more health benefits, and provide a means for socializing and relaxing.” My beverage of choice is a skinny vanilla latte. With less than 200 calories and 0 grams of fat, not only are am I drinking something that will provide me with the energy I need to get through the day, but I am drinking something with many health benefits.

There is a downside to purchasing a skinny vanilla latte. This drink includes nonfat milk, sugar free vanilla syrup, and a shot of espresso. These three simple ingredients cost an average of $4 for a medium size (approximately 16 oz.). So, if I were to go to a restaurant every morning for an entire year, and order this drink everyday, it would cost me about $1,460 for the year.

Doing the math has made me reconsider my morning routine, especially since I can make my own drink for a fraction of the cost. Nation’s Restaurant news argues that, “consumers say they’re purchasing beverages based on value and quality.” The value of ordering specialty drinks is subjective. In the fast-paced world we live in, I think the value is time and convenience. Picking up my favorite cup of coffee on my way to work saves me time and is extremely convenient.

Nation’s Restaurant News concluded that, “the beverages growing in popularity provide restaurant consumers with what they’re looking for in terms of flavors, taste, thirst quenching, price, and less calories”. Restaurants have hit the jackpot with these specialty drinks. These drinks provide options to Americans that are trying to eat healthier and live more active lifestyles. This may be reason enough for some to spend a large amount of money on specialty beverages. All in all, understanding how to budget money and being aware of nutritional facts can help you decide on the best option for your morning cup of joe (or whatever else you choose to drink).


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