The Right Bar Tools, Bar Products and Bartender Is Crucial For Success
IMPROVE YOUR IMAGE WITH PROFESSIONAL BAR SUPPLIES AND A CONSISTENT COMMITMENT TO HOSPITALITY
There’s a real good chance that your bar and your bar staff could use a little tune-up before the holiday season. All over the United States wine lists are being updated, carpets are being cleaned and bands are getting booked in anticipation of increased business, but most often the most visible and vital revenue center in restaurants is neglected.
On-premise beverage sales have become both more elusive and more important for every beverage license holder and trust me…it’s time to rally or replace the troops, scrape up a few hundred bucks and get a ‘check-up from the neck-up’ before heading into what the industry calls O-N-D.
It must be a team effort, and all links of the chain must be examined for cracks from the ownership commitment, the management guidance and the staff compliance to give the guests the best beverage and bar experience possible.
Every other industry employs sales motivators, consultants and coaches when its ‘big game’ time. Many vocations require continued education and gather for seminars and retreats to improve their sales, and most know the importance of perception and image as they compete within their own industry.
But the hospitality industry consistently falls short and forgets that continued marketing is intended to bring attention and act as a reminder and that the experience is how we are judged long after. The public determines our fate and our image remains as the most important factor of continued customer support and allegiance to your brand. Are you relying on ‘luck’ and the 20 minute seminar from the guy who sold you the wine ‘deal’ to motivate your staff this season? Contact us at www.BarMechanics.com for a comprehensive ‘check-up’ from the neck-up’ to improve sales, service and your image.
We typically forget that our guests see and hear way more than we’d like and visually every bar needs attention., I mean virtually every bar, has cosmetic gremlins and a myriad of eyesores and sight glitches. From old tents and flyers, menus and back bar clutter to the wear on the salt shakers and margarita rimmer, your guests and ‘clients’ can tell you need a makeover.
When was the last time the image of your environment was upgraded by the management and even the staff? Each and every staff member and bar manager can pay more attention to details and even spend a little money on enhancing their business. when the ownership, management and staff can each do their part the guest benefits and the job security for all increases. certainly a change in equipment, fixtures, decor and even supplies comes from management, but the staff must invest as well. Car Mechanics buy their own tools, chefs invest in their own knives, hair stylists have scissors for various cuts and it seems that servers must get free wine keys and bartenders forget to bring a pen with them.
First take a good look at your BARTOP. Does it look like a more like a NASCAR driver’s uniform, with 13 image-seeking logo’s bouncing from the bar rails, napkin holders, shakers and even the tip cup? Are your straws skinny and black this week and wider and striped next week depending on who the chef gets them from? Now take a look at the shape they are in…does the napkin holder and mat match the decor or each other? Does it promote a brand that never sold or you don’t carry? It’s all too typical, and so is the answer that justifies this image fumble. “They were FREE’.
As retailers we often use and are abused by the word FREE, but this is an instance and example that the trade-off of receiving a free bar mat may not be worth the VALUE of having a coordinated and uniformed look. Removing the logos (that aren’t yours) and selecting bar supplies that have one color or colors that will enhance your image could immediately improve THAT image. Now coordinate throughout the bar to tie it together with the same color bar rail mats, get new stainless shakers that could be wrapped in matching slip proof vinyl, throw out the rolled mesh and get interlocking deck mat squares to store and stack glasses. Oh yea, don’t forget to make them all the same color…down to the straws and see how quickly you ‘class up’ while ‘shoring up’ the bar.
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But what about those really cool branded napkin holders and shaker cups that the companies “give away for for free’? Keep them, store them and then use them for what they were intended for…promotions. You’ll get, and the product will get more attention and sales if you replace your bar supplies for a night or week of promotions with the branded napkin holders, bar rails and other POS merchandise displayed along with a drink value feature, a menu and a sales incentive for the servers and bartenders.
You can also improve your image and sales for very little money by upgrading the PRODUCTS that are used behind the bar. Are you making the rent with the savings found by pumping the juice through the gun or buying a brand of sour mix and lime juice just because its ships in a ‘store & pour’ container? When was the last time you checked the calibration of the soda gun? More syrup means more cost and weaker drinks which leads to over-pouring and…red ink.
Surveys show that many customers order down or order the bottled light beer special because of the grade of orange juice you’re pouring. certainly the vodka and juice is more profit friendly than the bottle beer special (systematically raised annually before football season) so maybe a better, ‘more real’ orange juice or a cranberry juice will improve sales and inspire new ones. Have you had a cocktail mixed with bottled tonic lately?An upgrade in the products that you use as modifiers to your $40 vodka and $60 bourbon will be noticed by your guests more than the ‘glacial waters’ and extra year in ‘American oak’.
The GARNISH tray too often hurts more than helps your image. Best case scenario is to have in out of sight the best you can, but this is not realistic for efficient service and best use of bar space. The garnish experience is perhaps the most memorable and should have the attention of every staff member from chef to server. When fruit is delivered the bar should immediately sort lemons, limes oranges and any other berries, fruit or vegetables used at the bar selecting the best available for garnishing cocktails. The garnish tray as well as the salt and sugar rimmers must be kept clean on the outside as well as the inside, and they too should and could be in the same color selected in your now mono-chromatic and uniformed bar.
The BARTENDER must be much more than just ‘on-time’ and available to work nights. Harder to define in each establishment, but the position of bartender, and the attitude of the beverage staff as a whole is key to the success of your establishment. Each staff member should appreciate and respect the industry, the products and the craft at any and every level of service. Knowledge of the products and the trends are required and commitment to proper and efficient service, friendly and genuine hospitality a passion for sales and an insistence for profit must be balanced every shift and by every owner, manager and employee.
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