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What’s A Good Number?

What’s a good number? I can’t begin to tell you how often I get the question. In our day-to-day operations, or out and about, at a convention, even at a party. When someone finds out what I do, they ask “What’s a good number for (blank)?” I also get inquiries from operators, owners, industry people and vendors. So here are some of my answers to the more commonly asked questions.

In Bar Management, Controlling Costs

Training Your Bar Staff on Free Pouring

There are two kinds of bar managers in this world: those who encourage the free pour and those who are wholeheartedly against it. While each side of the argument certainly has some valid points, a lot of it might just come down to proper training. The free pour is a skill that needs to be practiced and perfected so that the drinks still taste great, customers are happy, and the bar is still turning a healthy profit

In Bar Management, Staff Training

Bar Practices: The Best and the Worst

Bar Practices:  The Best and the Worst

A well run, profitable bar reflects a disciplined code of conduct.  When you establish a clear set of rules and expectations, you set the scene for success.  When you communicate your expectations both verbally and in writing, you’ll leave no room for doubt.  You’re also able to create a benchmark for performance measurement, incentive programs, staff rewards or disciplinary action.

In Bar Management, Staff Training

How Top Bars and Restaurants Cut Costs, Not Quality

Even small expenses can add up over the course of a day as your bar or restaurant pours hundreds of drinks and serves countless meals. From putting fewer nuts and berries on salads to not salting pasta water to preserve the life of pots, some businesses are more than happy to cut corners if it means more profit. While sacrificing quality in the name of savings may be a short-term solution, you will have a lot more to worry about if customers stop coming to your establishment. Fortunately, there are some ways how top bars and restaurants cut costs while ensuring quality isn't impacted, that will not only preserve existing customers, but work to increase the number of patrons.

In Bar Management, Controlling Costs

Top Bar Management KPIs You Need to Watch

Introducing a new menu or running a new promotion can help reduce sitting inventory and increase sales, but how do you know just how successful your efforts have been? It is important to identify and use Key Performance Indicators to measure whether you are getting the most out of your time and money.

In Bar Management

Creativity + Analytics = Profitable Cocktails

A great mixologist will bring plenty of creativity to their drinks, but they can make even more profitable cocktails by using a little bit of data to further inform their ingredient choices. While it may sound counterintuitive to argue that crunching numbers can be a tool for creativity, today's technology allows these two areas to blend seamlessly. Before you put together your next drink menu, here are some ways you can be more strategic about designing delicious drinks.

In Bar Management, Controlling Costs

How to Become a Multi-Location Bar Owner

You put in the hard work and long hours, and your bar has become a success. While most people would sit back, catch their breath and enjoy the moment, your mind is already focused on opening a second and third location. Your friends and family may be questioning your sanity, but we certainly applaud your ambition. However, before you make another huge commitment, there are some important topics to consider. Here is what you need to think about before you decide to become a multi-location bar owner:

In Restaurant Operations

Great Promotions to Kick Off Spring

With the worst of winter behind us, people are starting to take advantage of the nice weather and come out of hibernation. Now it is the perfect time to run promotions and encourage patrons to cross your threshold once spring fever has them up and about and looking for a good time. Here are some ideas, tips and promotions to kick off spring.
In Restaurant Marketing

The Tipping Point - The Step in Inventory Control That's Overlooked

This blog is about the most important aspect of sales and inventory control.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of important steps and procedures a manager or owner must do and put in place to make sure his or her inventory and sales are correct and nothing is missing. And if I want to be literal, clearly locking the doors at nighttime is the most important step!

In Bar Management, Kitchen Management, Stocking a Bar

Do You Suspect Employee Theft at Your Bar?

Owning and managing a bar is a labor of love. You have to work late nights and holidays, deal with disgruntled customers and try to keep track of an inventory and make sure that the books always balance out. With so many challenges, it is important to surround yourself with a stellar team. Bartenders handle more cash and are responsible for more sales than anyone else in your establishment. They are charged with a lot of trust and responsibility, which can make it all the more disheartening when you start to suspect that an employee is stealing.

In Staff Morale, Staff Training

4 Ways to Take Your Restaurant to the Next Level

In today’s unpredictable economy, many restaurant owners are in need of a jolt - something that doesn’t only attract new customers, but will also want to make existing customers come back every time. There are many elements that affect the overall value of your restaurant, from marketing and the menu to hygiene and technology. It’s important to take all these features into account when you’re trying to improve your business. There are of course many potential ways you can achieve growth, some of which we will discuss in this article.

In Restaurant Marketing, Restaurant Operations

4 Ways to Order Liquor Like a Pro

A wise bar operator once told me, “any schmuck can put together a liquor order, but a smart bar manager knows the fine line of ordering enough so they never run out of anything, but never unnecessarily purchase too much inventory and have money tied up in stock that does not sell.”

When I was given this advice, I was managing a bar with approximately $150 to $200K in liquor, draft and bottled beer sales a week. My weekly liquor order would vary from $30 – $50K a week depending on what was going on. It was one of the biggest expenses of the bar. The raw size of the liquor order made it a huge concern for the owners, who wanted to make sure it was done right every week. Every week was challenge to find a balance between making sure stock was always where it needed to be so we never ran out of anything, but also not to over spend. Over spending could have meant thousands of dollars tied up in inventory that the business could have used elsewhere.

In Stocking a Bar, Controlling Costs

3 Types of Content that Get Your Newsletter Read

Whether printed or emailed, many companies regularly publish newsletters in the hopes of getting customers returning for repeat business. But what differentiates an average newsletter that gets grouped with the junk mail from a great newsletter that earns its place in the “A” pile of mail? The content that a newsletter contains is the main factor that determines readership by those to whom it is sent. Plain, boring and vanilla content gets skipped over and tossed into the garbage with the rest of the junk mail.

In Restaurant Marketing

5 Reasons Why Bar Owners Choose an Inventory Control Company

As a bar manager, your afternoons, evenings and early morning hours are spent trying to create a unique experience for patrons so that they become loyal customers and brand ambassadors. While this might sound like a glamorous gig to outsiders, you know that it also involves hard work, much of which can be downright monotonous. Inventory alone can be enough to make you reconsider your career choice. But what if you could streamline and simplify the worst parts of your job? In a world where cars can now drive themselves, there is no reason you should ever spend hours counting and measuring bottles by hand. If you are, it is time to hire an inventory control company and take back your free time.

In Bar Management

3 Reasons Why You Need to Keep a List of Your Guests

Most operators do not collect their customers’ contact information, nor do they have a follow up strategy to continuously communicate with customers outside of their nightclub or bar. The strategy of keeping a list of your present customers is the easiest, fastest and most cost effective way to get new customers into your bar. After all, your present customers have a positive opinion of you, know who you are, and are more responsive to marketing messages from you. Operators who are vigilant about incorporating some form of list building and execute regular follow-ups reap many benefits from doing so.

In Restaurant Marketing