One of the best things you can take away from a convention like Nightclub and Bar Show 2011, is education for your restaurant or bar.
Yes, there’s a lot of liquor, great entertainment, and of course, schmoozing at VIP parties, but after all, if you are a venue owner or a bartender-learning something new to increase sales is what it’s all about.
One of the most educational seminars during NCB Show was hosted by Robert Plotkin and Jack Robertiello, regarding Successful Beverage Management Strategies.
The discussion revolved around the concept of brand conscious vs. price conscious consumers, and why the suggestive sale benefits both you and your clientele.
Understanding your customer demographic is key. Generally, when it comes to buying a drink, they fall into one of three categories.
- Cost conscious.
- Value conscious.
- Brand conscious. This is the type of customer that will ask ‘What is your well gin?’ They care about quality, and want options.
Properly understanding these customers is important, and will determine the success of your bar-both financially, and in terms of word of mouth marketing.
Building ‘up’ from well drinks is a challenge for many bars and restaurants, but according to Plotkin and Robertiello, how ‘far you take them’ in this journey and where, is what matters more than saving a few nickels.
The backbar was another hot topic in the discussion. Backbars, according to Robertiello, need to tell a story. The middle front is the center stage. What’s there need to represent YOUR brand and business focus. If cognac is center stage, and you’re regular customers aren’t buying, you need to re-think your real estate.
Under performing products need to be reassessed regularly. Plotkin pointed out that if your bar should be depleting supplies within four months or so, and if it’s taking nine months or more-don’t ever order it again. You might have the one customer that will miss it, but the likelihood that your bar needs four different types of orange vodka is highly unlikely, and isn’t worth the inventory space.
How to figure out which ‘orange’ to keep? That’s easy, says Plotkin. Do a blind vodka taste test with all your staff, let them choose the best, and you’ll have a winner everyone can stand behind.
They continuously emphasized how incredibly important it was to pay attention what was going on in your local neighborhoods.
Not sure what customers will buy? Whatever’s at your eye level in your nearby liquor store is likely what your clients are drinking, and you’ll be safe to say, buying from you.
It’s important to pick a type of brand to become known for, and stick with it. Make sure you have an ultra super premium, in the event that someone wants to come in and celebrate, impress a date, a boss, or their parents.
Another great way to test a beverage program is to create three cocktail menus at once, rolling out each separately to see what sells, and comparing results from there.
The discussion trended into the important financial benefits of creating cocktail menus. We’ll follow that up on our next blog post.
Have you found this article helpful? Send us a comment or an email to ‘venues’ (at) cravelocal (dot) com, we’d love to hear from you!