White Castle suggests cocktail pairings to recapture late-night crowd

  • On Tuesday, White Castle released cocktail recipe pairings for its menu as states continue to urge bars to close early.
  • The late-night segment has long been vital to White Castle’s business, but the chain’s popularity with late-night workers and drinkers has been dampened by the pandemic.
  • White Castle’s vice president, Jamie Richardson, told Business Insider that the company didn’t anticipate the bar curfews, but is optimistic the company can retain sales.
  • The chain launched the cocktail pairings in the hopes that it would recapture some of its lost late-night revenue.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

White Castle released a list of cocktail recipes on Tuesday to be paired with popular menu items, in an attempt to recapture its late-night segment sales from partygoers and remain connected to its loyal customers.

The chain’s new “Cocktails and Cravings” marketing campaign features three recipes for homemade cocktails to go with three kinds of sliders – including White Castle’s Original Slider and Cheese Slider.

“People are trying to find what the new normal is, and if we can give them something to smile about, that’s part of how we feed the souls,” Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle, told Business Insider. “In the summer months, White Castle turns into Night Castle.”

Before the pandemic, White Castle was especially popular in the late-night segment. This was by design, according to the company. 

“Over the years, we’ve located restaurants near where late-night workers are,” Richardson said.

Many of those workers, which include healthcare professionals, have remained late-night customers. However, the coronavirus is keeping another vital population of late-night customers at home: partiers.

As the coronavirus case count remains high, local and state governments are pushing bars and restaurants to close earlier to limit the amount of time people can party. And White Castle is a popular destination for the drinking crowd.

“We didn’t anticipate the recent local government actions with drinks not being served after 10:00 p.m. in some places,” Richardson said.

But Richardson remains optimistic about the chain’s ability to recapture the late-night segment. While some fast-food chains including Taco Bell have reduced hours for some restaurants to mitigate the loss of breakfast and late-night revenue, White Castle restaurants largely remain open 24 hours a day.


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