What are some of the best strategies for developing a menu of cocktail specialties to boost bar and restaurant sales? According to Restaurant Business, Jon Taffer – who is host and executive producer of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, as well as the founder and chairman of the hospitality consulting and business services firm Taffer Dynamics – says that drinks that offer visual appeal (and that can be made quickly, using what he calls “one minute mixology”) allow for the greatest return on investment. While exotic ingredients found in cocktails served at popular establishments in New York and San Francisco (Weather Up and Bourbon and Branch, for example) appeal to many consumers, it is how a cocktail is presented (both on the table and on the menu) that matters more than factors like using premium spirits and other special ingredients. A simple but eye-catching cocktail served in an attractive glass – and with a colorful garnish – is really what allows for a higher markup. Read more
Restaurant week is one of the most exciting times of the year for local foodies, but sometimes it isn’t the most exciting time of the year for restaurants. Restaurant week’s high advertising costs and deep price-slashing can make it tough for restaurants to succeed during such a competitive time, and if your restaurant is feeling the strain of cutting your margins too thin without a reasonable return, you might be thinking that it’s about time to call it quits between you and that darn restaurant week. Here are some common restaurant week problems, with advice for fixing them, as well as ways to tell when you should just skip restaurant week altogether.
Mention hard cider ten years ago, and the name of this cold alcoholic beverage might not even register with more than a handful of traditional American beer drinkers. Not so today. Consumer demand for cider is increasing, and big corporations are moving in on this promising market, with Angry Orchard cider the fastest growing brand of the Boston Beer Company (producer of Samuel Adams). Even Stella Artois and Michelob – both owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev – now sell hard cider. Last year, MillerCoors bought the Crispin Cider Company. European financial institution the Rabobank describes the U.S. market for hard cider as “just emerging.” Read more
Hey you, listen up. We’re making a New Year’s prediction. Let’s just consult this crystal ball here… Aha! We see more money for you in 2014! According to our amazing powers, this year should be filled with profits for you and your restaurant, because your new iPad wine list means that you’ll increase your drink sales and then live it up with your earnings. Don’t give us that look, we’re sure we’re right because we have the facts to back us up. Here are three money-making secrets to get your tablet wine list working for you this year. Read more
Winter is in full swing in much of the country, with cold weather and people looking to warm up. We took a look at cocktails on menus getting the most interest right now together with some great ideas to spruce up your cocktail list. Read more
The scene is a common one. A group of diners are out for a nice meal when suddenly the server hands over the wine list. It’s pages long and feels as heavy as your high school chemistry book. As you scan the list, you are overwhelmed by the hundreds of wine you have never even heard of before. You ask the server for a few recommendations but he seems equally nonplussed, not to mention, frantically busy.
Then you glance at the prices. One hundred dollars for a bottle of wine you might not even like? No way. You give up and order the cheapest bottle of wine (or the second cheapest, just to be a little decadent). You don’t know if you made the right choice, but at least it didn’t break the bank.
Thankfully, there is a better way. Electronic menus are changing the way people choose wine and enhancing the dining experience from start to finish. With an electronic menu, the guest is empowered to make the best decision for his or her palette as well as for their meal. Read more
Not every wine program is created equal. Some restaurants devote plenty of time and effort to their wine program, and those efforts are made evident almost the moment a guest walks into the door. However, some restaurants place their focus elsewhere, which means that serious wine lovers (also known as oenophiles) might miss out on quality and variety when dining out. Considering the markup that is on wine and alcohol when dining out, guests definitely don’t want to make the wrong decision when it comes to choosing a restaurant.
Here are some telltale signs that differentiate a great wine program from an inferior one: Read more