An international bar chain, Burger & Lobster, was mocked online after rolling out a new menu to two of its London locations that feature colorless versions of five cocktails “in a bid to remove stereotypes surrounding drinks” and make them more gender-neutral.
The menu rollout was part of a social experiment the chain was testing at its Soho and Bread Street outposts. Each location served a different menu of five updated classics: mojito, cosmopolitan, margarita, Negroni and piña colada. At the Soho locations, each of the reimagined clear cocktails was assigned a number 1-5 on the menu. While at Bread Street, guests were given a menu that listed the drinks as “Mojito Twist,” “White Cosmopolitan,” “Margarita Twist,” “White Negroni,” “Piña Colada Twist.”
The goal was to “demonstrate how stereotypes can and do affect consumer choice on a daily basis” after research showed 21 percent of UK citizens “don’t feel comfortable drinking certain drinks, considering them more suitable for the opposite gender,” a press release shared.
According to the experiment results, the external research held true. The No. 1 – the Mojito Twist – was the most popular drink when guests were given a menu that only focused on the cocktail’s ingredients. However, when guests were given menus using the typical names, customers polled seemed to still be concerned about cocktail image.
“A huge 31 [percent] of male customers were put off choosing a particular cocktail such as a Cosmopolitan or Pina Colada because the name was too ‘feminine,” the release reported. While “shockingly 11 [percent] of female customers were too embarrassed to order drinks considered more ‘masculine’ such as a Negroni or an Old Fashioned.”
Though the bar chain considers the experiment an “exciting concept” and hopeful it will “encourage more people to feel comfortable in what they are drinking,” those on Twitter have not been as impressed with the gimmick.
Not everyone was a critic, though. At least one person on Twitter expressed support for the cheeky menu.
It was not shared if the updated menu will be rolled out to more locations.