Written By: Sean Beckingham
The holiday season is fast approaching, and as a bar owner or manager, you’re likely gearing up for the busiest time of the year. However, challenges such as staff shortages, the need to turn tables quickly, and the addition of new staff can make this period particularly demanding. To ensure that your bar not only survives but thrives during this festive season, we’ve got two tips that can help boost your sales and efficiency.
1. Batch Cocktails: Streamlining the Art of Mixology
Cocktail culture continues to gain momentum with each passing season. Many patrons are now looking to kick off their evening with a well-crafted cocktail before transitioning to their usual libations. Whiskey, with its warm and comforting notes, is a staple during the holidays. However, not all bars have bartenders with extensive experience, and even skilled bartenders may not have the time to meticulously craft each cocktail, especially when it gets busy.
This is where batch cocktailing comes to the rescue. Take, for example, the beloved classic cocktail, the Negroni. A simple swap of gin for bourbon turns it into a Boulevardier, great for the cooler winter weather. With a straightforward 1-1-1 mix of bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth, you can batch-prepare these cocktails in advance. The key is to find the right vessel to house your pre-batched cocktails. Larger establishments often dedicate a tap on their bar and fill a 30-litre pony keg with cocktails, while smaller boutique bars can use vessels that match their décor or even opt for vintage containers for a premium look.
When batching cocktails, always consider how many bottles you’ll need to fill that keg. Can’t do the math? There are apps available to help you with that too. One bonus of batch cocktails is that they significantly reduce shrinkage, ensuring that you get the most out of your ingredients and maximize your profits.
2. Whiskey Pairing Tasting Flights: Elevating Holiday Parties
If you’ve ever received a call from an event planner asking for a unique way to impress guests beyond a sit-down dinner, we’ve got a simple, profitable concept for you – whiskey pairing tasting flights. Tasting flights offer patrons the opportunity to sample different whiskeys without committing to full glasses, making them an attractive option for those looking to explore a variety of flavours.
Creating a whiskey-tasting flight can be a breeze with the American Whiskey 101 concept. Start by downloading and printing the tasting mat, and then design your customers’ flights. Begin with a bourbon, transition into an American rye, and conclude with an American single malt. This progression allows your customers to savour the distinct flavours of each American whiskey and discover their preferences.
To take it a step further, consider pairing your whiskey flights with food. This not only enhances the tasting experience but also opens up additional revenue streams. Moreover, it promotes responsible drinking by providing patrons with food to complement their whiskey choices.
To extend the reach of your tasting flights, offer 4 oz sample bottles of each whiskey, package them neatly in a gift box, and sell them as stocking stuffers as customers leave your establishment. This not only increases your immediate sales but also spreads the joy of whiskey appreciation beyond your bar.
Use these two creative ideas to drive higher sales during the holiday season, and remember that Dry January is just around the corner. Wishing you a prosperous and successful 2023 holiday season!
Sláinte or, as the American whiskey distillers say, Cheers!