Hooray! Today is National Beer Day!

April 7 marks National Beer Day in the United Sates. Though some claim it to be a fake holiday, it is celebrated to mark the end of Prohibition in 1933. After 13 years, beer was finally legally allowed to be produced, sold and consumed by Americans. Restaurants and consumers should embrace the occasion and these facts will give you a reason to celebrate (as if you needed one).

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Uncorkd iPad Menus for Restaurants

Consumer Behavior When Ordering Drinks in Restaurants

Last week, Uncorkd went cross-country and visited Las Vegas for the VIBE Conference. The largest on-premise beverage conference included interactive workshops, guest speakers and access to extensive research. Our employees gained insight into why consumers act the way they do, and we want to share some of that information with you! Start improving your restaurant by focusing on these facts and tips.

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The Arsenic Argument: Are Some California Wines Dangerous?

On March 19, four California residents filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen California wineries, making the claim that the producers had distributed wine that contains dangerously high levels of arsenic. The Wine Institute, composed of more that 1,000 California vintners, stated that the claim was “false and misleading.” The news caused a panic within the wine drinking community, as many began to stray away from certain brands that were named in the case. But is there truly reason to worry? Knowing the facts can help wine consumers everywhere understand the situation and determine the steps to take from there.

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Job Growth in Restaurant Industry Expected for 2015

2014 will mark the 15th consecutive year that the restaurant industry job growth outdid the overall economy by adding jobs at an incredible 3.5 percent rate. The National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy states that “The restaurant industry continues to be a driving force behind the nation’s recovery,” as steady job growth convinces consumers to break away from the recession mindset. Grindy predicts that 2015 is to be a year with continued economic gains in addition to the 300,000 jobs that are to be added to the restaurant industry.

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How Will You Deal with Increasing Beer Prices?

Have you heard? The price of craft beer is expected to rise quite a bit over the next year—and for the restaurants and bars that base a lot of their business on craft beers, a price hike can be devastating. Here are the main facts you need to know about the impending beer shortage your establishment may have to deal with in 2015. 

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What Restaurants Can Learn from Olive Garden to Improve Alcoholic Beverage Sales

The last few days has seen quite a bit of news about Olive Garden and their parent company, Darden.  Starboard Value, a hedge fund that is one of the largest shareholders of the public company, has recently put forward a slate of 12 new board prospects to replace the entire board of Darden.  Now, Starboard has released a 300 slide deck blasting the inefficiencies they see with Olive Garden and other concepts like Longhorn Steakhouse, while outlining turnaround steps they would take to get the brands on the right track.  According to Starboard, Olive Garden is missing out on $56 million in annual earnings by not taking basic steps with their beverage program.

If you are in the hospitality industry, I highly recommend taking a look at Starboard’s analysis and proposal for yourself.  But after spending hours reading through their materials, I’m going to highlight several things called out in the report that all restaurants should be focused on to improve the guest experience and bottom line.  While there are a lot of problems identified and solutions proposed in the report, I’m going to focus on alcoholic beverages based on our experience at Uncorkd and provide information on how to improve your beverage sales. Read more

How Can Bars and Restaurants Respond to the 2014 Lime Shortage?

 2014 is being called the year of the Great Lime Shortage, and bars and restaurants are scrambling to figure out what to do about the rising costs that have resulted. The fruit is used in popular bar foods like fish tacos, guacamole, ceviche, and Thai food, and while such items can always come off the menu for now, what’s more important to many is how the shortage threatens the fate of the margarita and the famously lime-garnished Corona.

We as a country typically consume 500,000 tons of limes every year, so there’s no way around the fact that this is going to sting. So far, bars are coping with the lime shortage in many ways, from simply breaking the news to patrons to actually offering customers deep discounts for bringing in their own bags of the fruit. Read more

What Kind of Bar is this, Anyway?

What’s the oddest thing that any of your bar patrons have ever done? Some customers have strong opinions about whether a bar is an appropriate place to, say, bring small children or read a book; however, not everyone agrees on these matters.

The basic definition of a bar is really just a place where one can go to order a drink. Beyond that most basic fact, the rest gets decided through those who run the bar and those who patronize it. If you’re operating a drinking establishment, you may feel as though you’ve seen it all. Subtle and not-so-subtle ways you run your business have a direct effect on what most patrons will and won’t do. In any case, it’s best to be prepared to handle any situation that might one day arise. Read more

Coffee Prices Are Skyrocketing, Here’s What to Do

On April 25, 2014, the Financial Times reported that coffee prices had reached a “26-month high,” with bags of Arabica coffee costing an average of $2.09 per pound for wholesalers. The price hikes were due to droughts in Brazil (where much of the world’s Arabica is grown), and coffee growers warn that the bad weather is likely to affect next year’s coffee prices as well. Ouch.

As if higher prices weren’t bad enough, coffee experts are also predicting that the current supply will be unable to met demand…and that’s bad news for your business. Or is it? This article will explain coffee basics, and makes some recommendations about how your restaurant or bar can leverage the coffee price hikes to your advantage. Read more

Burgers Too Expensive? Try Food Mashups on Your Bar Menu

It’s official now: Beef is too darn expensive. What started as a surprising price increase at the beginning of the year has turned into a long, drawn-out phase of disappointment for those of us who love bar food, and who especially love burgers. The price of beef is at it’s highest since 1987, and it’s high time you rethought your bar menu–before it’s too late. Here are 7 creative food mashup ideas you can use to brainstorm for what you want to add to your new bar menu.

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