A look inside the best cocktail bar in the world with the owners of The Dead Rabbit.
The How-To Publication
BAR BUSINE$$ April 2016
M A G A Z I N E
Cider House Rules
The beer alternative is booming on-premise
How to: Find Financing TUNING UP: AMIâ€™s NGX Ultra COCKTAILS: Celebrity Sips
RumChata Sorbets T H E L I G H T E S T W AY T O E N J O Y T H E A M A Z I N G F L A V O R O F R U M C H ATA
RUMCHATA SORBETS RUMCHATA + 1 OZ LIMONCELLO OR CHAMBORD + 1.5 OZ CLUB SODA shake vigorously with ice, and strain into a champagne flute.
RumChata速, Caribbean Rum with Real Dairy Cream, Natural and Artificial Flavors, 13.75% alc./vol. Produced and Bottled by Agave Loco Brands, Pewaukee, WI 53072. Please Enjoy Responsibly. RUMCHATA and CHATA are Registered Trademarks of Agave Loco, LLC.
On Tap APRIL 2016
We look at how a Wisconsin bar owner took his booming Bloody Mary business and began to build a franchise around it. www.barbizmag.com
A well known New York City coffee company opens its first brick & mortar location with a focus on caffeinated cocktail concoctions.
A pair of industry experts explain some alternative avenues to finding financing for your nightlife operations. April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
32 Features 32 STAR POWER On-premise beverage programs around the country are using celebrity names and Hollywood association to name and promote new cocktails on their menu.
36 bar Balance
Departments 4 Bar room drawl
40 Big six
6 Booze News
The two owners of the world’s best cocktail bar tell us how The Dead Rabbit stays on top even after all their success and awards.
We bring you inside the 2016 Bar Biz Spirits Competition, held last month at The Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas, along with an inside look at this year’s judges.
10 liquid Assets Operating under the bright lights of its initial sales numbers, the U.S. hard cider market continues to offer an exciting alternative for beer while making a move for more on-premise exposure.
Experienced industry veteran Bob Johnson talks about the intimate details that make up the sometimes dangerous days and nights of a working professional bartender in America.
44 Inventory 46 h oliday happenings 48 Supply Side POS technology is not just about payment processing, it can also affect tips for your servers.
By the Trade, for the Trade
“Bar Business Magazine” (ISSN 1944-7531 [print], ISSN 2161-5071 [digital]) (USPS# 000-342) is published February, April, June, August, October, & December for $45.00 per year and January, March, May, July, September, & November will only be offered in a digital format at no charge by Simmons-Boardman, 55 Broad St, 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. Copyright © 2016 Simmons-Boardman. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any fashion without the expressed written consent of Simmons-Boardman. Qualified U.S. bar owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified U.S. subscriptions printed or digital version: 1 year US $45.00; Canada $90.00; foreign $189.00; foreign, air mail $289.00. 2 years US 75.00; Canada $120.00; foreign $300.00; foreign, air mail $500.00. BOTH Print and Digital Versions: 1 year US 68.00; Canada $135.00; foreign $284.00; foreign, air mail $384.00. 2 years US $113.00; Canada $180.00; foreign $450.00; foreign, air mail $650.00. Single Copies are $10.00 each. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. For subscriptions, address changes, and adjustments, write to: Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 1172, Skokie, IL 60076-8172. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled crafts people with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all reader to exercise care when engaging in any of the how-to activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 1172, Skokie, IL 60076-8172.
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
Bar Room Drawl
By Chris Ytuarte Editor
The Bonds of the Bar
BAR BUSINE$$ MAGAZINE
April 2016 Vol. 9, No. 4 Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004 executive offices
"Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.” — William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor
NEXT MONTH I’m taking a trip down to New Orleans with three of my oldest friends so we can all “celebrate” turning 40 this year. Needless to say, we are a group of guys who enjoy our beer and booze and food (and live music), so The Big Easy was a no-brainer. But planning this excursion and envisioning the weekend’s probable activities made me realize one thing: It’s very likely that, if bars did not exist, these three relationships might not either. To some that might sound odd, but I mean it as a compliment to the bar business. I have known this trio of friends for nearly my entire life: One of them I met freshman year of high school; another I became friends with when we were both ten-year-olds; and the third, being my cousin, I have known since the day he was born. Respectively, that is 20, 30, and 40 years of friendship, and collectively, we have spent an impressive amount of time bonding in bars (mostly The Pitz Stop) over beers and whiskey since the age of 21. And while some 4
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
acquaintances have come and gone over the decades, those strengthened by time spent in taverns have survived, and next month we head to New Orleans to continue the tradition. I see so many of today’s youth, millennials mostly, communicating and keeping in touch with old friends predominantly via social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram. And while these can be useful tools for maintaining connections, I like to think that my friends and I created stronger roots by being in bars together. We were face-toface, we haggled over jukebox selections, we toasted each other with shots of Jameson, we argued and laughed and we planned for the future. We spent countless hours each night, sometimes until the sun came up, shaping our world and forming our bonds—live and in-person. And most of all, we talked. We didn’t post funny quips or “like” someone’s vacation pictures while staring at a computer on our couch; we didn't refresh our smartphone screen waiting for a new status update. We rested our arms on the bar and we spoke to each other and drank beer. Trust me, there is a big difference. We’ve been friends now for more than three decades, and I think we owe some of that to the nature of the bar, to the original purpose of the public house. And next month, while some folks might be browsing a Facebook feed to find out what their friends are doing, we’ll be on Bourbon Street, resting our arms on the bar, speaking to each other and drinking beer. And I can’t wait.
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SPIRITS COMPETITION By the Trade, for the Trade
2016 Bar Business Spirits Competition Spills into The Nightclub & Bar Show
ollowing the success of the inaugural Bar Business Spirits Competition held in Austin, Texas in 2015, this year’s edition took place in Las Vegas as part of the wildly successful 2016 Nightclub & Bar Show. Once again, a highly respected panel of industry experts gathered to blindly taste every single spirit and mixer. Sponsored by Strahl® beverageware and judged “by the trade, for the trade,” the full list of the spirits and mixers that medaled at the 2016 Bar Business Spirits Competition can be found on page 9. Gathering in Las Vegas at the beginning of The Nightclub & Bar Show, the three judges, Jeff Isaacson, Kyle Thousand, and Niccole Trzaska made their way to Sin City courtesy of JetBlue airlines, which provided
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
each judge a great experience en route to the competition, including free onboard WiFi and topnotch inflight cocktails. “On behalf of the Bar Business Magazine staff, contributors, and our 2016 Bar Business Spirits Award judging panel, we’d like to thank JetBlue Airlines for the roundtrip experience, free WiFi, and crafty onboard cocktails that made our annual trip to The Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas—one of the top industry experiences of the season—even more overthe-top this year,” said Bar Business Magazine Publisher Art Sutley. “Let’s face it: Nightlife travel is simply better with JetBlue.” Here’s a closer look at this year’s judges: www.barbizmag.com
Jeff Isaacson Corporate Director Ark Restaurants Jeff Isaacson has always been an innovator and a leader in the nightlife and hospitality industry and continues to do as a Corporate Director with Ark Restaurants, overseeing over 20 venues with 40 million dollars in annual beverage revenue throughout the country. Isaacson’s iconic career prior to Ark began at the helm of the Midnight Oil Company as Managing Partner, where began his rapid ascent in the cutthroat industry of nightlife and hospitality. Later, as Managing Partner for the world-renowned Gerber Group, Isaacson oversaw day-to-day operations for the company's numerous venues across the globe. Isaacson personally directed the successful expansion and openings of over 25 properties for Gerber Group during his tenure. Isaacson was instrumental in helping define and create what would become the nation's first generation
Niccole Trzaska Bar Industry Expert Niccole Trzaska is a New York-based bar industry expert who has garnered a wealth of acclaim and a significant, loyal following for her style, personality and expertise behind the bar at some of New York’s most iconic cocktail and nightlife hotspots. A former model who has been featured in highprofile publications such as Maxim Magazine and is also the face of Nina shoes, Trzaska has turned her beauty, personality, and skills towards endearing herself with local and national press on a trade level and consumer level, featured in publications from Playboy to Marie Claire as well as the industry’s mustread Bar Business Magazine. Trzaska also at one point topped The New York Post’s “Top 25 Sexiest” list. Trzaska’s first years in the industry began at the historic Aubar working for the legendary Howard
of boutique hotel lounges and bars with Gerber Group. In addition, Isaacson developed the industry's first, "National Prestige Account" liquor program; these accomplishments have been his “signature” in the industry – a signature that still resonates amongst his peers and competitors today. Other Isaacson footprints in the industry include his experience with The Whiskey at The Paramount Hotel, New York; The Sunset Marquis, Los Angeles; and The Carlyle Hotel, Miami, where he was helped pioneer the renaissance of South Beach as a nightlife destination. Other standout experiences include: Director of Operations at M80/Match in South Hampton; partner in Bar None South Beach and partner in Big Sur New York; General Manager with the originator of upscale sports bars, The Sporting Club New York; and Food Service Director of Bergdorf Goodman and Goldman Sachs New York, serving over 2,000 meals daily. Isaacson is a frequent contributor and commentator to many industry trade media publications and local and national news outlets, along with being featured as a key note speaker and garnering numerous awards for his leadership and excellence in the nightlife and hospitality industry.
Stein, former owner of Xenon, which was parallel to the famed Studio 54. Her undeniable skills as a mixologist where praised and fostered by industry gurus who took her around the world showcasing her liquid talents, sharing them while educating others in the cocktail and nightlife industry. Other notable highlights for Trzaska include her work opening all of the sexy and stylish venues with the Tao/Strategic Group in their New York Nightlife department of the Dream Downtown, where she also held the keys to the most exclusive VIP room in New York City, the Electric Room. Peers, media, and VIPs alike praised her skills working “the hardest room in New York City.” Trzaska also put her mark on the New York scene with LDV Hospitality, where she was the Director of Beverage at Number 8, a re-branding of Amy Sacco’s famous New York must-be-seen nightspot Bungalow 8. Trzaska can currently be found shaking it up and overseeing the beverage and VIP program at The Liberty NYC, located in midtown Manhattan, where her creativity, spirit and passion for the industry shine on a daily and nightly basis.
April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
Booze News Kyle Thousand Head Bartender and GM Kyle Thousand is the Head Bartender and General Manager of the Oakland Art Novelty Company in Ferndale, Michigan. Starting with humble beginnings in corporate serving jobs & high volume bars, he soon found a love an admiration for the craft behind bartending, which led him to working at Metro Detroit's first craft cocktail bar. After finishing the Bar Smarts program, he devoted himself to learning as much as he could about spirits and craft cocktails, joining the United States Bartender's Guild Greater Detroit Chapter and
attending tastings and private distillery tours while advancing the Oakland's formidable whiskey & vintage spirits selection. Through the Oakland he was able to compete locally, nationally, and globally in competitions, earning a slot with other finalists in Singapore at the Peter F. Heering Sling Award in 2015 with his cocktail, The Bengal Sling. When he isn't behind the bar at the Oakland, Kyle spends his time working with the areas top chefs in crafting cocktails to be paired with foods for private menus, as well as working with different liquor distribution companies to create the perfect cocktail for their events. Throughout his bartending career he has focused intensely on using the perfect spirit, freshest ingredients, and providing top notch service to every guest that walks in the door, surprising them with unusual and unique cocktails and spirits.
The Floor Show
ollowing the 2016 Bar Business Spirits Competition, each judge spent time with the Bar Business staff on the crowded floor of The Nightclub & Bar Show. Held March 7-9 in Las Vegas, this edition celebrated a momentous year with a cutting-edge convention floor, new beverage brand activations, product and technology exhibits and enhanced educational programming including breakout sessions, workshops, keynotes, celebrity brand appearances, certification and off-site trainings as well as networking events for visiting bar and nightlife industry professionals from throughout the United States and internationally over the course of the three-day event. “Our purpose is to create an unrivaled experience for bar, nightlife, food and beverage owners and professionals,” remarked Thom Greco, chairman of the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show Advisory Board. “2016 was one of the best conventions yet—from the diverse expo hall floor to the celebrities in our business, reinforced with more than 90 educational sessions—this event continues to embody everything our industry represents. We will continue to grow throughout this coming year and next year’s convention with attention to trending spirits brands, the expanding craft beer segment, sports bars and other sports-themed food and beverage venues and expanded educational opportunities, with the integration of beverage and food programs becoming an increasingly important component of our industry.”
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
The 2016 expo hall floor officially opened as “Nightclub & Bar Show Day” on Tuesday, March 8 with a red carpet and ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Academy Award nominated actor Chazz Palminteri, “Iron Chef America” winner Cat Cora, Actor John O’Hurley, Chef Brian Duffy, Comedians Ron White and Alex Reymundo, ABC’s “The Bachelor” Haley and Emily Ferguson and additional beloved Las Vegas celebrities. The Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show events are attended annually by over 30,000 industry professionals and will return to the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 27-29, 2017. For updates, visit www.ncbshow.com. www.barbizmag.com
CONGRATULATiONS! to the Bar Business Spirits Competition
2016 winners Double GolD
Rum Squeal Spiced Black Rum
liqueuRs Lefty O’Doul’s Key Lime Margarita
Gin Brockmans Gin Hill Country Texas Revenge Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin
Rum Gubba Rum Silver
BRandy E&J Gallo VSOP Gin Spirit of Hven Organic Gin mixeRs - CaRBonated Kapoya Premium Energy Drink Wild Grape
liqueuRs Lefty O’Doul’s Pomegranate Grenadine
mixeRs - non CaRBonated Backyard Mary Bloody Mary Mix
mixeRs - CaRBonated Kapoya Premium Energy Drink Blue Raspberry
Rum Tiburon Rum
mixeRs - non CaRBonated Unique Energy Drink With Sugar
tequila Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila Los Arango Blanco Tequila
tequila Familia Camarena Tequila Silver Soltado Tequila
Vodka New Amsterdam Vodka Punzoné Organic Vodka
Vodka Pyramid Vodka Spirit of Hven Vodka
tequila Familia Camarena Tequila Reposado Vodka Legend of Kremlin Vodka Whiskey Clyde May’s Whiskey
inDiviDual awarDS BaRRel aGed Gin of the yeaR Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin BRandy PRoduCeR of the yeaR E&J Gallo anejo tequila of the yeaR Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila Best Value Vodka of the yeaR New Amsterdam Vodka BlanCo tequila of the yeaR Los Arango Blanco Bloody maRy mix of the yeaR Backyard Mary Bloody Mary Mix
CaRBonated mixeR ComPany of the yeaR Kapoya Premium Energy Drinks denmaRk distilleRy of the yeaR Spirit of Hven
Rum of the yeaR Squeal Spiced Black Rum Russian Vodka of the yeaR Legend of Kremlin silVeR Rum distilleRy of the
enGland Gin of the yeaR Brockmans Gin
yeaR Gubba Rum
flaVoRed CoGnaC of the yeaR Xanté
sCotland Gin distilleRy of the
mixeR PRoduCeR of the yeaR Lefty O’Doul’s oRGaniC Vodka of the yeaR Punzoné
yeaR Hendrick’s texas distilleRy of the yeaR Hill Country Distillers
Hard Easy Cider Sell Facing new challengers in the marketplace and operating in the shadow of massive early sales numbers, the American hard cider category continues to impress and move merchandise, as an on-premise push shifts the focus to bigger business in bars. By Chris Ytuarte 10
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
s in any business, it’s hard to ignore the numbers. In the case of the hard cider category, the same holds true, and as we head toward the halfway point of 2016, this booming beer alternative is finding that sales numbers can be your greatest ally and, sometimes, your toughest opponent. But by channeling off-premise success into more on-premise profits, smart producers aim to maintain the cider surge going forward. At the close of 2015, the overall cider market in the U.S. was somewhat under scrutiny for several reasons, one of them being the sheer magnitude of the category’s sales numbers early in its domestic push into the States. Near triple-digit initial growth rates four and five years ago and 50 percent growth rate through 2014 have certainly spoiled some. At the end of 2015, total U.S. cider sales were down 3.4 percent, accounting mostly for retail sales; but for the full year, the category remained up 12%. Viewed in perspective of such enormous early growth, cider producers are not quite ready to panic just yet. “We believe the category is still in its early days, with considerable room to grow among a wide range of consumers,” says Alejandra de Obeso, Brand Director Strongbow, HEINEKEN USA. “In the case of Strongbow, our growth continues to accelerate thanks to our loyal fans: an equal balance of millennial men and women who are typically upscale consumers, in terms of their education, income and aspirations. Strongbow drinkers are more experimental and demand quality, complexity and products that fit their lifestyle. To these consumers, ingredients matter, and we are becoming their preferred cider brand.” Such insight from Strongbow should be heeded, as the brand was one of the few ciders to continue to show strong growth through the end of 2015. In fact, Strongbow Hard Apple Cider had a sales increase of 64.3% for the 52 weeks ending December 27, 2015, according to Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI). Now, the brand plans to focus on new flavor innovations, on-premise draught and bottle service, and marketing strategies to keep the momentum going.
It’s In the Flavor In March, Strongbow forged ahead with a flavor focus by unveiling its newest, Strongbow Cherry Blossom. Alongside the original lineup of Gold Apple, Honey, Red Berries, and Ginger, the new flavor and recipe delivers a cut-through, refreshing taste with delicate cherry blossom and red fruit aromas and an underlying note of apple, in a sophisticated shade of red. “As the best-selling global cider brand, Strongbow is always actively pursuing new quality flavors that satisfy the discerning taste of its consumers,” says de Obeso. “We aim to develop a range of upscale unique recipes, and to be first-to-market with flavors that will have long term success. However, this is a very thoughtful, purposeful process—we won’t rush innovation to keep a certain launch schedule.” Maintaining the highest quality standards through the innovation process is key to bringing new consumers www.barbizmag.com
”We believe the category is still in its early days, with considerable room to grow among a wide range of consumers.” — Alejandra de Obeso, Brand Director, Strongbow Hard Cider
into cider. “Strongbow innovations are built on the foundations of hard cider: always made from apples and always in natural, recognizable flavors,” de Obeso adds. “Strongbow Cherry Blossom is our most breakthrough flavor yet, in a beautiful shade of red and inspired by a rosé wine, which is set to attract the next wave of cider drinkers to the category.” Cherry Blossom was launched in a six-pack in March and will eventually replace Red Berries in the Strongbow Variety Pack in June. The new flavor will also be competing at the 2016 World Cider Championships this month. All flavors in the new Variety Pack are gluten-free and sold in 11.2 oz bottles. Strongbow Gold Apple and Strongbow Honey are 5% ABV, while new Strongbow Cherry Blossom and Strongbow Ginger are 4.5% ABV. “Seven out of ten of today’s millennial and multicultural consumers are eager to experiment and seek out new styles and flavor profiles, and 50% of them are willing to pay more for something new and unique,” explains de Obeso. “We have found out through research that having the right range of flavors attracts new consumers to cider, April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
To keep pace with its rapid growth, distribution channels for hard cider have been expanded nationwide, and even federal tax codes have been amended to support the category.
boosting the rate-of-sale of both our brand and the category. Developing interesting, quality flavors in our range is critical to expanding Strongbow’s presence and continuing our strong growth momentum, as these new consumers typically come in with high expectations of our products and more sophisticated tastes.”
Behind the Bar Many of those millennial and multicultural consumers sought after by Strongbow and other cider brands can be 12
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
found on-premise, whether carrying over the astounding sales trends from the retail side into their bar order, or perhaps finding cider for the first time. As such, improving the service experience and selection is key to growth behind the bar for cider. “On-premise service plays a critical part, as this is the ideal place to reach and attract new consumers to cider, but also to actually shape a vibrant category through education and by having its own place on the drink menu,” says de Obeso. “For Strongbow, the key is sampling— getting more consumers to taste and convert to Strongbow over ice. Pouring a Strongbow over ice amplifies the cider’s refreshing taste even further, which makes it the perfect drink to start the evening. We’re proud that our award-winning ciders sell themselves: 50% of consumers that try Strongbow become longtime fans of the brand.” As a HEINEKEN brand, Strongbow is uniquely positioned to elevate its on-premise service program thanks to its parent company’s patented pouring technology, BrewLock. While this system has been in place with a large number of HEINEKEN draught accounts www.barbizmag.com
nationwide since its introduction in 2015, BrewLock is now being offered as an option for Strongbow as well, taking a location’s cider service to a new level. “Our BrewLock draught system is a patented and revolutionary new technology developed by HEINEKEN to ensure that our products are served at the peak of freshness, as if they are ‘straight from the brewery/ distillery’ every time,” says de Obeso. “In this case, BrewLock captures the fresh apple taste straight from our orchards. BrewLock uses natural atmospheric pressure instead of propellant gases to push our cider out of a bladder, which prevents any outside elements— air, light, CO2 , mixed gasses—from coming in contact with the liquid. This results in a consistently better cider flow and superior cider taste with every pour. Imagine what a great experience this will be when consumers can enjoy the best tasting hard cider in the U.S., Strongbow Gold Apple, right after a fresh pour from BrewLock. That’s as good as it gets!” de Obeso also suggests several key steps that on-premise accounts can take to increase cider sales. First, offer a range of flavors on your menu or drink list to encourage experimentation. Second, host sampling events to encourage trial over ice and recruit more fans into the category. Finally, educate customers through POS materials and bartender/wait staff recommendations. “We let them know about Strongbow’s U.K. heritage and taste credentials, and we recommend you offer it to patrons as an introduction to cider and flavors.” To keep pace with the on-premise push across the nation, distribution channels for cider have been expanded across the country over the last few years, and even the government has taken notice. Toward the end of 2015, lawmakers included the “Cider Act” in a federal tax bill, stating that cider makers will not be taxed at a higher “Champagne Tax Rate” if carbonation levels exceed a certain point and, most importantly, will not be subject to higher taxes when their cider comes in at an alcohol level above the previous watermark of 7%. This benefits bar owners (and cider drinkers), as lower taxes on production typically means lower purchase prices.
Meet the Market Strongbow and other ciders riding the wave into the U.S. marketplace have creatively utilized marketing materials, campaigns, and promotional events to get their product into more hands. And the enthusiasm is palpable. There are now cider-centric events like CiderCon in Chicago (which took place in February), Cider Rite of Spring in Portland (March), and New York Cider Week in November. There is even The Hard Cider Run, a 5k race that takes place in or near local cider producers in several different states. Supporting such events—both on-premise and off—is key for a cider brand to become www.barbizmag.com
“On-premise service plays a critical part as the ideal place to attract new customers to cider for the first time.” recognized as part of the push into America. “Brands can become more attractive to consumers by continuously adding unique quality flavors that appeal to consumers’ palates and that satisfy their flavorseeking interests, but brands also have a role to play in supporting our on-premise partners through sampling events, premium glassware, POS elements, and staff education on recipes and serving recommendations,” says de Obeso. Promoting the brand further, Strongbow recently launched its latest television commercial campaign starring legendary actor Sir Patrick Stewart. The humorous new commercials showcase Strongbow’s awardwinning range of flavors by poking fun at Sir Patrick Stewart’s impressive acting range. The ads follow the brand’s highly successful 2015 “All You Need is Ice” campaign, which highlighted how Strongbow over ice is the “bestest” cider, to a point that a celebrity of Sir Patrick’s caliber is not required to get consumers to try it. “Whether it’s at retail or on-premise, the crisp refreshment of a Strongbow over ice stands out compared to that of other products,” says de Obeso. “We know how to make great tasting ciders—we have been expertly crafting hard ciders for 128 years in the U.K., making Strongbow the #1 best-selling brand in the world. We’re also very proud that our commitment to quality is being recognized in the U.S. as best-in-class: Our Strongbow Gold Apple has been awarded Best Tasting Common Cider at the 2014 and 2015 Tastings.com World Cider Championships, and our Strongbow Honey has taken home two gold medals in the Specialty Cider category. Our other flavors, Red Berries and Ginger, have also been awarded. We want consumers to know that whenever they choose a Strongbow cider at a bar or restaurant, they can trust us to deliver on our cider-making heritage and credentials with great taste.” The U.S. cider market will always live in the shadow of its explosive introductory growth numbers, but the category—especially on-premise—is poised to maintain a strong presence going forward thanks to innovative approaches from brands like Strongbow. At the aforementioned CiderCon, more than 1,000 people from 44 states and five countries in attendance were informed that, four years ago, there were only 5 million total cider drinkers in the U.S. In 2015, there were 18 million cider drinkers generating $1 billion worth of sales. Those are numbers we can live with. April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
NXG Tuning Up
At last month’s Amusement Expo, AMI Entertainment officially unveiled its latest jukebox advances designed to increase patron engagement on-premise. By Chris Ytuarte
mart manufacturers of on-premise equipment realize the effective amusement of consumers in bars is all about engagement, which keeps customers on-site and spending more, which keeps bar owners who buy that equipment happy (and financially flush to spend more on equipment in the future). It’s a long cycle of amusement. As such, AMI last month unveiled two new jukeboxes to be added to its popular NGX jukebox line-up—the NGX Ultra and NGX Mini 2—as well as exciting new accessories for existing models. These latest innovations from AMI take aim at amusing a tough crowd on-premise. “Millennials are a spending powerhouse,” explains A.J. Russo, Chief Creative Officer, AMI Entertainment Network. “Although they make up only about 25% of the U.S. population, they go out more than any other 14
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
generation combined, and on top of that, they consume and spend more on media than any other generation. We believe that it’s really becoming increasingly important for businesses to start building strategies around what millennials respond to, and that’s video.” As Russo describes it, AMI’s new NGX Ultra was created to not only deliver millions of songs, but also has the added benefit of now being able to deliver music videos on top of that, which allows bar owners to create a more encompassing music listening and viewing experience. The NGX Ultra is a dual-screen music video jukebox capable of simultaneously delivering hit songs, whole albums, the hottest music videos from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and today, as well as programmable digital signage that can promote a bar’s business via the new Ad Manager function. Its 16:9 wide touchscreen display offers a robust, yet simple-to-use interface for song and www.barbizmag.com
music video selection. “The unit itself has two screens, one for music selection and other functions, and at the top of the jukebox is a 32-inch HDT V that you can watch videos on—through the jukebox itself or connected to other T Vs in your venue, which allows you to essentially spread that viewing experience throughout the whole place,” says Russo. “The NGX Ultra stands out because it brings everything into one unit, and it’s probably also one of the best looking jukeboxes that we’ve created to date.” The NGX Ultra boasts a powerful 1,000-watt, 4-channel amp system designed to deliver immersive, room-filling sound, and like all AMI jukeboxes, it supports music selections made via the AMI BarLink mobile app for Android and iOS devices. “Through that app you can find AMI locations with our jukeboxes, you can browse available songs, you can browse available music videos, and you can make those songs or music videos play on the jukebox,” Russo details. As AMI sees it, the NGX Ultra offers similar benefits as premium liquors might over your rail spirits—the opportunity to invite customers to spend more. “Millennials are the ‘I want it now’ generation and our new NGX Ultra jukebox, in combination with our mobile app, AMI BarLink, enables that instant gratification,” says Russo. “And remember: the bar benefits financially from this because music video is an upsell. Patrons pay a small up-charge to have a music video accompany their song selection. It’s not just entertainment or something cute on T V that’s interactive, it’s a revenue booster.” In addition to NGX Ultra, AMI has also launched the NGX Mini 2, a new and improved version of AMI’s topselling compact jukebox. Similar to the Ultra, the Mini 2 also boasts a new 16:9 wide touchscreen display, accent lighting that beats to the music, and also features a newly integrated illuminated marquee www.barbizmag.com
The NGX Ultra is one of the best looking jukeboxes we’ve created to date. April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
Music and videos capture and hold the attention of millennials better than any other media.
The NGX Ultra allows customers to view music videos along with their chosen song.
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Bar Business Magazine April 2016
that promotes AMI’s companion mobile app. The Mini 2 can also be upgraded to support music video with AMI’s Video Upgrade Kit, which enables videos to be played on surrounding T Vs connected to the jukebox via an HDMI cable. The new technology from AMI is not solely about amusement, however. The aforementioned Ad Manager function available on both the NGX Ultra and NGX Mini 2 (as well as all other AMI jukeboxes) allows bar owners to actively and fluidly promote drink specials, upcoming events, music/video activity and suggestions, and basic brand exposure for the bar, all done via an easy-to-use platform—an added benefit that bartenders would be wise to utilize as often as possible on-premise. “With Ad Manager, locations can essentially build their own television-quality ads very easily,” says Russo. “They can basically choose from one of 1,400 different templates that we provide to promote everything from food and drink specials to social media to upcoming sports games. “You can create an ad and have it play all the time, or you can schedule it to only play sometimes, where if you know that every Friday between X hours you have special or tequila shots, or martinis, etc. You set that all up in advance and have those ads come on and come off during that time frame. It’s super simple to do. It’s literally four steps, it can take less than three minutes to build an ad, and those ads can appear not only on the jukebox, but on connected T Vs as well, so it enables a venue to put their T V screens to work for them.” In addition to new jukebox models, AMI is also releasing two new accessories—an audio stand and a new illuminating frame for AMI’s original and flagship NGX model. “AMI’s earlier entrance into with the world of ‘twoscreen entertainment’ combined with our expertise in creating jukeboxes since 1926 quickly brought us to the realization that there was an even bigger opportunity to create a multi-entertainment experience that combined mobile, T Vs, and our jukeboxes,” Russo sums up. “Music and videos have the ability to capture and hold the attention of millennials better than any other media, so their combination into one product is pretty powerful, especially when you make them available on-demand.” www.barbizmag.com
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Figure If Franchising is For You
By Chris Ytuarte
A Bloody Good Idea A Wisconsin bar owner builds a business based on the best Bloody Mary’s in the Midwest and then decides it’s time to multiply. Here’s how he did it.
efore you can even consider franchising your concept for a bar, you need to have passion—for the single venue where you started, and for the industry on whole. In Wisconsin, Dave Sobelman didn’t know he had either at first; today, three venues in and counting, his Sobleman’s Pub & Grill is a certified success. And he owes much of it to the Bloody Mary.
“Me and my wife were from inner city high schools here in Milwaukee, and she was my waitress at another restaurant where the owner also owned the building, which is now the original Sobelman's Pub & Grill,” explains Sobelman. “He was ready to retire and he offered us his bar, which is in an industrial area of Milwaukee. Neither my wife nor I had any experience in the bar business, but we went for it.” April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
The passion was born, and with it came a concept— building a better Bloody Mary. Sobelman started out focused on food, early on creating some of the burgers for which his namesake bars are also well known. Eventually the culinary creep made its way from the kitchen to the bar, and Sobelman’s now infamous Bloody Mary concoctions started to come to life. “Next to me is a pickling plant owned by a thirdgeneration pickler,” says Sobelman. “He had numerous kinds of olives. He had pickled onions, pickled mushrooms, pickled asparagus, green beans. I walked back that day and I thought, ‘If I put my neighbor's stuff in my Bloody Marys, I’ll have the best Bloody Marys in town because nobody would be putting this many ingredients in theirs.’ And that's how it all started.” Eventually Sobleman’s Bloody Marys became the stuff of local legend (and legendary revenue—Sobelman’s currently sells through more Tito’s Handmade Vodka than any establishment in the state of Wisconsin thanks to its booming Bloody business); so much so that the idea of expanding and potentially franchising the concept took root. With business booming at the original downtown historic Milwaukee location, Sobelman decided to build two new local venues, one just off the campus of nearby Marquette University and another in the affluent suburb of Mequon. “My second location was Marquette,” says Sobelman. “It's in a building which is not as old and historical as the original, but it was built in the 50s and it is cool as hell on the inside. My third has only been opened eight months, but it's just three years younger than my original, built in 1892. The inside is older and has more character than the inside of my first. It's a weird thing.” The original Sobelman’s Pub & Grill is housed in a historic building. As Sobelman considers franchising his bar concept, one thing he hopes to stipulate for any potential future owners—including the two candidates presently under contract—is that new build-outs utilize existing structures with some historical significance. “One of the guys is opening a building that is very similar to my original location,” says Sobelman. “The other couple, they have an older building. It makes selling the franchise fun. 20
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
There's no cookie-cutter template on paper, something that I could present to people. That makes it a little difficult, but ultimately if some guy can use his imagination, you'll see that this is more of a unique brand.” Sobelman’s process of exploring and eventually executing a franchise expansion of his bar concept led him to work with an expert in the field. Rick Robinson, a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), is President of Services For Franchising (www.services4franchising.com), a full service franchise consulting business that brings its resources and expertise— along with more than 30 years of experience—in providing any level of outsourcing support a business owner might need to make this move. In his years as Master Franchisor, Robinson has supported 230 unit francshisees, 1,000+ customers, and 50 support employees. Knowing full well the challenges inherent in franchising, Sobelman was glad to have him onboard to help guide him through the process. “I've got three restaurants. Some days are going to be difficult for me, but I'm going to find time to help these other guys open theirs. So far I'm doing it.”
Sobelman's famously over-the-top Bloody Marys were inspired by a neighbor's pickling plant, where a variety of ingredients were available.
Coyote Ugly Launches Boot Stomping Franchise Expansion
n 1993, Liliana “Lil” Lovell founded the Coyote Ugly Saloon, a rowdy, westernthemed spot in New York City’s East Village. More than 20 years and a million bar antics later, Coyote Ugly is now a household name and looking to further expand its international footprint. With 21 locations already open and operating in nine states and four countries, Coyote Ugly is focusing on aggressive franchise expansion in non-U.S. territories, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom, among others. Meanwhile, the iconic brand is continuing to grow through corporate locations in the United States. “I always saw bartending as a means to an end, but I think it never really hit me how far this thing had gone until we started opening saloons abroad,” said Lovell, who quit a Wall Street job at the age of 24 to
launch Coyote Ugly. “As Coyote Ugly’s fame continues to grow, we look forward to taking the world by storm one boot-stomping, drink pouring bar at a time.” After graduating from New York University in 1990, Lovell began her career as a stock broker’s assistant on Wall Street. Making only $250 a week, she moonlighted at an East Village bar where her wild antics—dancing on the bar and yelling at patrons—garnered her more tips a night than the brokerage paid in a week. By 1993,
she had saved about $70,000, enough to open the first Coyote Ugly. Today, Coyote Ugly has become widely recognized as the most famous bar on the planet, featuring beautiful female bartenders and dancers who have made pouring drinks an art form. Each night sexy, sassy, tough-talking “Coyotes” ascend the bars to perform bold shows filled with choreographed dance numbers and stunts ranging from body shots to clogging. As for the drinks, the rule is hard-nosed: no “frou frou” shaken or stirred concoctions, and nothing that requires a blender or more than two ingredients to make. “The energy inside our bars is amazing. From the moment you walk in the door it is a sensory overload of great music, entertainment and fun,” Lovell said. Find more information on franchise opportunity: www.coyoteuglysaloon.com/franchising/.
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April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
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n New York City, Kobrick Coffee Co. has launched a one-of-kind cocktail menu at its first brickand-mortar location, challenging surrounding spirits purveyors to step up their game when comes to stimulating sips. This past fall, the family behind Kobrick Coffee Co., one of Manhattan’s oldest and most respected craft coffee roasters, quietly opened its first flagship space—creating a hybrid of a café and cocktail bar, merging the two into one reinvented convivial environment for quality imbibing day or night. Now, with the first cocktail menu officially ready to go, this fourth-
generation coffee roasting family is finally debuting its unique beverage program in full force, transforming the space from an authentic brew house during the day to an inviting, old-world drinking den at night. The Kobrick family began to establish its rich history and stellar reputation in the 1920s when Founder Samuel Kobrick first started roasting quality coffee on Manhattan’s lower waterfront. The passion and artistry for roasting and supplying coffee stayed in the family, and now, 96 years later, the brick-and-mortar at 24 Ninth Avenue is the exciting new chapter for the company. The
visionaries behind the craft roaster’s first café bar concept are Steven Kobrick, his nephew and niece, brother-and-sister team Scott and Nikole Kobrick, their mother, Jerilyn Kobrick, as well as Brian Averbuch and Eric Segal. “At Kobricks we have always taken our drinks seriously. From the cupping table, to creating blends, or pouring the perfect latte—our attention to detail and quest for perfection has helped us to stand out in the coffee world,” says Scott Kobrick. “My sister and I felt that opening a Kobrick Coffee Co. brick-and-mortar, where we could showcase our rich history, April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
four roses bourbon aeropressed sulawesi demerara sugar hella aromatic and orange bitters
house jalapeno infused montelobos mezcal lime juice simple syrup muddled ginger
medley brothers bourbon contratto rosso hella aromatic and citrus bitters
Mexican Jumping Vean
Chemex Bloody Mary
fords gin dolin dry punt e mes fresh squeezed orange juice
reposado tequila tiger stripe ristretto shot amer china china agave nectar
vodka pour over with fresh horseradish habanero lemon, salt, pepper worsteschire with organic tomato juice
The Loca Mocha
Wet The Biscuit [ hot or cold ]
ancho chile liqueur jameson irish whiskey chocolate milk cold brew hella aromatic bitters
Three Hour Kyoto Negroni london dry gin sweet vermouth campari kobricks kenya aa
Stay at Home Dad nola st. george coffee liqueur cointreau green chartreuse laphroig 10 year
Lucky Spike Latte jameson irish whiskey amaretto tiger stripe sugar espresso and steamed milk
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
light rum aged rum lime juice hibiscus syrup smith hibiscus tea, angostura bitters
Misty Flip four roses bourbon half and half egg tiger stripe espresso syrup
Sherry, Sherry Baby amontillado sherry ancho chile liqueur bonal
Mackin Scotch johnnie walker black scotch boiled cider lime juice hella aromatic bitters
Brooklyn rittenhouse rye dolin dry maraschino liqueur amer china china
Astoria greenhook old tom gin dolin dry hella orange bitters
Jersey Lightning lairds applejack contratto rosso lime juice maple syrup angostura bitters
Strong Island Iced Tea gin, tequila rum, vodka triple sec cynar hella cola tonic lime juice, soda
coffee culture and craft, was a key element in the company’s future, and in doing so, we wanted to offer an experience that was reflective of the romance and energy of Manhattan. The opportunity to add a twist to our concept, offering creative cocktails in a vibrant setting reminiscent of both the origin of the coffeehouse and the spirit of the age in which our company was founded, seemed like the perfect fit for us and a natural evolution of the American coffee bar.” Kobrick Coffee Co. is a place where one might whilst away an hour, spend a relaxed day sipping espresso, snack on a selection of café favorites or immerse oneself within for the better part of an evening with a potent coffeeinspired libation. During the day, the locale focuses on crafting outstanding specialty coffee drinks, including unique single origin pour-overs, along with a farm-fresh brunch menu. Even some of
the dishes are inspired by coffee, such as the signature steamed eggs, which are made using the steam wand on the espresso machine. At night, the lights are dimmed, the décor subtlety switched, and the space transforms into a bespoke drinking den. The evening food menu is offered, serving locally sourced items perfect for sharing, and the Kobrick Coffee Co. Cocktail Menu, where the perfect marriage of both coffee and cocktails comes to life, is placed into eagerly awaiting hands. The new cocktail menu at Kobrick Coffee Co. was a collaboration between the Kobrick family and cocktail and spirits guru Tobin Ludwig of HELLA Bitters. Together, they set out to create a drink list that was both reflective of the Kobrick Coffee Co. heritage and a standout showcase of the creative and broad spectrum of possibilities when it comes to the union of coffee and
mixology. Divided into three sections; Coffee, Seasonal, and Classic, each part of the menu is an exploration into cocktails born through both traditional and innovative techniques as well as unexpected combinations. By applying methods of extraction traditionally used for coffee to the cocktails, Tobin and the Kobrick team have crafted stellar cocktails with out-of-the-box flavors, ensuring the history and legacy of the coffee roasting family comes to life in this distinctive establishment. Coffee: These cocktails use traditional coffee tools, methods and actual coffee to create uniquely delicious drinks. The Three Hour Kyoto Negroni, incorporates gin, sweet vermouth and Campari with Kobrick’s bright, full-bodied single-origin Kenya coffee and is made over a three-hour period in a Yama Cold Brew Drip
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April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
How To: Tower, while the Old Slip is created by aero-pressing mellow and earthy Sulawesi coffee with bourbon and HELLA aromatic and orange bitters. Signature & Seasonal: Inspired by the timeless as well as the seasonal, the cocktails in this section
are thoughtful and distinctive. The signature Chemex Bloody Mary reinvents the traditional Bloody Mary by infusing vodka with fresh horseradish, habanero, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire in the Chemex filter with lemon and organic tomato juice added a la minute per order. Perfect
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Bar Business Magazine April 2016
for a cold night, the Mackin Scotch mixes boiled cider with the smokiness of Scotch, acidity of fresh lime juice and the spice of aromatic bitters to truly embody the winter season. Classic: These drinks pay homage to New York City and its surrounding areas. The Jersey Lightening uses Lairds Applejack, Contratto Rosso, lime juice, maple syrup and Angostura bitters while The Strong Island Iced Tea holds up to its name and includes gin, tequila, rum, vodka, triple sec, Cynar, Hella Cola Tonic, lime-juice and soda. Housed in a historic building in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, Kobrick Coffee Co. is the intersection where the café and cocktail worlds collide. Wanting to create a space that was evocative of the family’s 1920s roots and that could easily transform from a busy brewhouse during the day to a sultry and stylish bar at night, the Kobrick Family brought in the help of designer Mark Zeff to make their vision a reality. Upon entering Kobrick Coffee Co., the coffee counter and bar greets guests before they make their way to the back, where the den-like lounge space, modeled after the cupping room at the Kobrick Coffee plant, invites guests to sit and linger. Everything within the hybrid space—from its tiger wallpaper (a nod to Tiger Stripe Espresso) to the tin ceiling, antique furniture (including marble tables made from urns that actually brewed coffee in countless NYC establishments over the past 96 years), as well as the family heirlooms and relics throughout—were put into place to create a striking environment that, morning or night, invokes visions of Manhattan’s bygone days and reflects the family’s rich coffee heritage. A homage to its coffee filled history and the future of the café cocktail bar, Kobrick Coffee Co. is a one-of-a-kind destination, where history and the unexpectedly collide, all in an authentic environment, laying the foundation of a genuine New York establishment for another four generations to come.
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ng Find Fundi For Your Bar
Show Me the Money! There is more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to find financing for your nightlife operations, so we let a pair of industry experts explain some alternative avenues for finding cash today. By Nathan Abadi and Chad Otar
e all know how challenging the task of running a bar can be. To add to the difficulty, high start-up costs, expenditures involved in obtaining a liquor license, bad credit, and unforeseen circumstances that come up along the way can make for sleepless nights and financial turmoil. With the way things have been going in todayâ€™s economy, financial institutions will rarely take the risk of funding a business considered high-risk or with bad credit or bad credit history. Finding other sources of funding for a
business, especially a bar, is the only way to make sure that you, as business owners, can thrive, survive and grow. In order to succeed in the ever changing bar business, you must improve the operational efficiency of your establishment and develop a unique ambience to keep your customers coming back. To keep up with the trends, almost all bar owners will, at one point or another, need some form of quick and easy financing. This is never a bad thing. It can help to get you out of a rut; or, when things April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
How To: you financing as quickly as possible to allow you to continue generating revenue. It’s a win-win for all involved. For example, Merchant Cash Advance companies do not require any collateral. Once you have the funding you need, you are free to spend towards your business in any way you want.
are going well, allow for investment and growth. Forget the days of applying for a traditional bank loan. That process is a bit old-fashioned, tiresome, wastes lot of time, and can be disheartening if you are declined. And if you are declined, the question is what do you do now?
Apply for Bar Financing via Alternative Lending Companies Traditional banks and financial institutions can take a long time to process your application leaving you stranded in the woods, which is something that you want to avoid because you need the cash to accommodate liquidity and cash flow for your business. We all know that old saying, “Time is Money.” Here is where the alternative lending companies come in. Alternative lending products, such as a Merchant Cash Advances and ACH Loan Products, have designed simple and fulfilling loaning alternatives for struggling bar and
A Few Types of Alternative Financing Solutions
restaurant businesses, and many are renowned for providing quick and efficient funding, allowing you to avoid wasting time while trying to secure financing; instead, you can fix cash flow issues immediately. On top of that, most alternative lending companies do not require anything from you during the initial consultation process. To receive a quote, all you need is a basic application and a few months of bank statements. These products are designed to get
Merchant Cash Advance: These are short-term financing transactions that are collected through a set percentage of your Visa and MasterCard sales or other credit cards that are accepted at your place of business. Probably the most common term used in the industry, these do not have a set repayment schedule and are based on the volume of your business’ credit card processing sales. Merchant Cash Advances are usually only guaranteed by the future sales of your business. ACH Advance: This is a form of a merchant cash advance that is repaid on a
Bevinco Releases New Mobile App to Manage Liquor Inventory
evinco, a bar inventory management company, recently announced its new Bevinco Mobile inventory app for the iOS platform. For more than 25 years, the company has provided the hospitality industry with leading inventory management software and now, for the first time, has scaled it for mobile use. With an extensive database of more than 30,000 liquor brands with the option to upload additional products, Bevinco Mobile allows for seamless counting and measuring, while offering the addition of a Bluetooth enabled scale for a precise inventory calculation that is twice as fast as estimating. Utilizing the preferred weight method for tracking liquor, the app allows users to track variances down to 1/30th of an ounce. “The mobile version of our state-of-
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
the-art management software enables bar and restaurant operators to efficiently and accurately handle liquor inventory, down to the last drop,” said Vanessa De Caria COO of Sculpture Hospitality, the parent company of Bevinco. “Our goal is to provide an industry-leading mobile inventory system to eliminate the hassle and equip owners with tools and in-depth data to improve their bottom line.” Bevinco Mobile allows for different users to simultaneously use the app across multiple devices to complete inventory more efficiently. All information is recorded and sent to a secure cloud-based storage system, where it is collated into an easy-to-read set of management reports. Bevinco Mobile is now offering a free 30-day trail. The app is available at bevincomobile.com and through the Apple store at http://tinyurl.com/zz6fjhx.
daily basis by direct ACH debits rather than a merchant account. These are still a purchase of receivables, and the amount debited via ACH is determined by the amount of credit card processing sales that are batched out the previous day. ACH Loan Products: These are a bit different than cash advances as they are considered loans and may require personal guarantees. They have a fixed repayment schedule that is paid daily, weekly or monthly. These products are catered to industries that do not accept credit cards and need a fixed payment.
up to you, but when deciding to take on capital it is very important to always have a plan. If you have a plan and have the capital to turn that plan into a reality, there is no stopping success. Excel Capital Management is an industry leader in providing financial products that are hard to obtain or
unavailable through traditional lending channels. With years of experience in providing many bar owners with the capital they need to grow their business, owners Nathan Abadi and Chad Otar come to you with some tips and insight on funding for your bar. Visit excelcapmanagement.com.
Easy Application Process Many alternative lenders have a quick and easy application process, as well as simple requirements for applying. This allows for a quick turnaround and funding within days. Approximately 95% of applicants are approved in 24 to 48 hours, and the funds are deposited in your bank in 3 to 5 days (and in some cases in 24 hours), unlike traditional bank loans which can take weeks just for an answer.
Flexibility with Your Funds Alternative financing allows you to focus your working capital anywhere you deem suitable. Here are few examples to give you an idea of how you can spend your cash on-premise: • Hiring bouncers and buying new ID equipment • Investing in the environment of the bar by adding new lighting and changing your interior décor • Getting a technological makeover by incorporating new e-menus, getting updated software for managing your accounts, and an improved Point of Sale system • Integrating digital taps and getting new pouring devices to make things efficient • Inviting top DJs to play at your bar • Updating your menus and drink list • Investing in marketing to advertise your events In closing, we know that every business can utilize funding when looking to grow. What you do with the funding is
April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
Now Playing at a Bar Near You Bars make their cocktails the star attraction, with a little help from their famous friends. By Elyse Glickman
Hillary Clinton – Southern Sunset
ther than deliver high-quality comfort food, how does the all-American New York delicatessen or hot dog stand do one better to get their customers through their doors? Turn to celebrities for inspiration. You can look no further than the storied New York City institution Stage Deli, which during its 75-year run honored famous patrons with creatively crafted sandwiches. You could have dinner with “Clint
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
Eastwood,” “Adam Sandler” or “Katie Couric” anytime you wanted…until the restaurant closed in 2012, that is. The tradition, however, lives on from coast to coast. For your consideration, there is the “Anna Kendrick” at Chicago’s Hot Doug’s; the “Woody Allen” from New York’s Carnegie Deli; and the “Alfred Hitchcock” at Fritzankotter’s Sandwich Factory in Huntington Beach, California. So what about drinks? www.barbizmag.com
Drinks That ‘Pop’
Good Taste in Music
Perhaps not surprisingly, several bars in Los Angeles and Las Vegas have co-opted the concept, especially during awards season, with music-, celebrity- and movie-inspired cocktails coinciding with cultural milestone movies opening up. Some of the bartenders at such restaurants as CliQue Bar & Lounge, Pearl’s Rooftop, STK LA and Tilted Kilt have drawn inspiration from their celebrity regulars, in a similar fashion to delis in New York and elsewhere. Spirits companies, meanwhile, have also found a way to get into the act, starting the trend in Hollywood before taking the show on the road. This is significant, with more celebrities putting their might into beverage companies and restaurants. “Now we have high quality craft spirits endorsed, financed, and even created by high profile individuals, and people are buying,” points out Patina Restaurant Group mixologist Evan Charest, who is based in L.A. “From George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s Casamigos Tequila to Steven Soderbergh’s Singani 63 Muscat Brandy, these spirits have only helped the quickly developing juggernaut that is the craft spirits industry. I think people are drawn to celebrity cocktails for the same reason they follow these people on Twitter or follow them in the news.” While cocktail trends are almost impossible to predict, even among pros, Charest says that when celebrities help set trends, they have an easier time programming their menus, which in turn can only help raise the bottom line. And while celebrity and pop culture cocktails are a natural fit for such events as the GR AMMYs, Oscars, movie premieres, he has observed many instances of people spotting a celebrity simply drinking a new or classic cocktail and suddenly the cocktail becomes in vogue. “I’ve seen so many ‘Celebrity Favorite Drink’ pieces this past year I think I could design a celebrity VIP bar around every influential person in the country,” Charest says coyly. “Pop culture and celebrity have always influenced the public,” concurs Misty Mansouri, Partner at Xperiment USA, a Los Angeles nightlife group. “Thanks to the age of social media, we are able to keep a close eye on celebrity’s daily lives including what they are eating and drinking. So we work with key liquor brands that attach themselves to high profile events such as the Oscars.” Given that political candidates also capture the imagination of the public in election years, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar in Minneapolis had a little fun in creating four politically inspired cocktails starting President’s Day through Super Tuesday (see the recipes on page 35). “Celebrity-themed cocktails are a creative way for us to showcase quality ingredients while connecting the valued relationships we have,” says Mike Olsen, Director of Operations for Chef Emeril Lagasse’s four Las Vegas restaurants.
For the fifth year in a row, Hennessy teamed with the 58th Annual GR AMMYs award host LL Cool J to release cocktails that could be enjoyed anywhere a bar would be screening the show...and beyond the telecast. Jordan Bushell, Hennessy Master Mixologist, points out that customers are inherently interested in learning and replicating many of the things that celebrities incorporate into their everyday life, from where they shop to what they eat and drink. “The creation of a celebrity-inspired cocktail opens the door for dialogue because there’s a contemporary story behind it, beyond a historical context that a classic recipe might have,” Bushell says, reflecting one of the themes of the 2016 awards show. “Celebrities, whether an athlete, musician, or actor, embody the very essence of the ‘Never stop. Never stop’ mantra; it’s what has propelled them to such levels of success.” But how can a brand keep the inspiration going beyond the show and into other seasons? Bushell says one trick is to capture a moment and make a cocktail so well-crafted and relatable it can be an experience worth repeating. The other is to create a flavor profile that fits the celebrity’s personality and persona. “If it’s for a specific occasion, like the GR AMMY Awards, there needs to be a ‘wow’ factor,” he continues. “The real secret to creating celebrity-inspired cocktails is finding out what they actually like and asking them what cocktail flavors or styles they currently enjoy. Once we understand that, we can create a perfectly balanced custom Hennessy cocktail.”
Hennessy Stars Punch
That said, there are also bars/restaurants in Los Angeles that feel they don’t need to wait for an award show to be inspired by popular culture. The Wokano Restaurant at the high-traffic area of Sunset Blvd & Laurel Canyon Boulevard recently updated its bar menu with four cocktails inspired by the classic Super Mario Brothers video games that spurred film and TV spinoffs. (The latest installment of cocktails is made with Leaf Organic Vodkas and Bundaberg sodas.) According to General Manager Justin Kim, “We love shaking things April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
The following cocktails were created by Jordan Bushell, Hennessy Master Mixologist:
The following recipes are from FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar in Minneapolis, MN:
c ‘Earned It’ French 75
c Ted Cruz – Maple Leaf
1½ oz Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège ½ oz simple syrup ¾ oz fresh lemon juice Sparkling wine or Champagne
2 oz Evan Williams Bourbon 1 oz fresh lemon juice ¾ oz maple syrup Garnished with a cinnamon stick. Served in a Coupe.
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice, except Champagne. Shake to chill, strain into a flute and top with Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
c The Gagné 58 Bramble 1½ oz Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège ½ oz fresh lemon juice 4-5 blackberries or any other berry will work ½ oz simple syrup 1 dash of Cassis, Chambord or another berry liqueur Muddle berries in the bottom of a shaker tin and add all ingredients with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Splash cassis over the top and garnish with lemon twist and a few blackberries.
c Hennessy Stars Punch (serves 20)
c Donald Trump – Last Word ¾ oz JCarver Grimms Farm Gin ¾ oz Green Chartreuse ¾ oz Luxardo ¾ oz fresh lime juice Garnished with a lime wedge. Served in a Coupe.
c Bernie Sanders – Feel The Bern 1½ oz Illegal Mezcal Joven ½ oz fresh lime juice ½ oz Sprite 3 dashes Sriracha Hot Sauce Served with salted rim. Served in a Martini glass
1 bottle Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège 1½ liters grapefruit juice 1½ cups honey syrup (equal parts water and honey) 1 bottle Moët Chandon Brut 2 grapefruits sliced into half moons
c Hillary Clinton – Southern Sunset
Add all ingredients to a large vessel. Add ice and stir to combine.
Garnished with an apple slice. Served in a low ball.
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
1½ oz Tattersall Vodka 1 oz Southern Comfort ½ oz Apple Pucker ½ oz Sweet & Sour
up with new cocktails, and our customers really get a kick out of our fun themes and creations.” That notion travels well, evidenced by the mostly rock music-inspired drink menu at Ada St. in Chicago. “I think people simply like to see familiarity on a menu, something they recognize and know,” says Scott Koehl, Bar Manager. “People go down the menu, and before they even notice the ingredients, they recognize the songs, and it gets them excited about the experience. They engage with the bartender and ask them who created the cocktail. In terms of the bottom line, you see a lot of people who will order extra drinks based on their familiarity with the songs. People will be motivated to order more than one.” According to Koehl, the trick to making a drink resonate with customers is to assess their tastes and ordering habits and see what behaviors are predictable. He also agrees that one needs to be true to the celebrity that inspires the drink. “A lot of people will order drinks based on the name, so you have to give guests confidence that you won’t put something on the menu that will be outrageous or polarizing depending on what you name the drink after,” says Koehl. “We won’t make a drink based on a Christina Aguilera song that’s super boozy, like a stirred Manhattan. Instead, we would do it as a cava cocktail, sparkling and light. Just as you would pair food with alcohol, you want to pair the drink with the song.”
Local Flavor On the East Coast Jeremy Goldberg, a New Jersey native who is a partner and CEO of Essex Junction Craft Kitchen & Bar in Bloomfield, has created a cocktail program inspired by notable and diverse hometown heroes, running the gamut from Queen Latifah (The Queen’s Cocktail, with Chivas), to astronaut Mark Kelly (with Tito’s Vodka and Cointreau), Stephen Colbert (with Journey Man Gin, Cherry Heering) and chef Tom Colicchio (with Bulleit Bourbon). Although he points out that familiarity breeds interest in these cocktails, the drinks also advance the new bar/restaurant’s social media efforts in ways conventional advertising and promotion can’t. “Social media is a big part of what we do,” Goldberg says. “During our soft opening and grand opening, Tweets and other forms of social media allowed our customers to reach out and tell people how cool the drinks were, and celebrities themselves posted on how cool it was that the drinks were named after them.” With both sushi rolls and drinks commemorating celebrities and memorable movie characters at New York City’s SUSHI ROX X, bar director Gary Wallach says his goal is to capture memories in liquid form but to also be sure things are switched up so things never lose their relevancy, much like the entertainment industry itself. “I believe people are drawn to cocktails inspired by or named after celebrities due to the memories that are triggered within themselves,” says Wallach. “It’s about the characters in film or that iconic place or moment”. www.barbizmag.com
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IMPORTED BY PARIS GOURMET 1 800-727-8791 www.parisgourmet.com April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
An industry veteran takes a look at the ups and downs, the highs and lows, and the long nights that make up the sometimes perilous life of a working bartender.
The Balancing Act: Tending Bar, Minding Life
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
By Bob Johnson, aka BobTheBarGuy.com
hen I first became a bartender, I thought greatness was dependent upon how many different drinks you could make. Silly me! Granted, drink-making knowledge is a necessary prerequisite before stepping behind a bar, but it’s one of the least important functions of today’s bartender. Most drink orders are basic highballs, i.e., “rum and Coke,” “vodka cranberry,” etc., or “give me a bottle of Bud,” or “how about a mug of Miller draft.” Every now and then a recipe drink comes into play, but not as often as the above. Today’s bartender must have more important skills to achieve in today’s bar business.
left: Shutterstock / santypan ;right: Shutterstock / the24studio
It’s Personal Today’s bartender must know how to deal with bosses and fellow employees, particularly when the majority of owners and managers don’t know much about bartending, or running a bar. It’s not their fault. There’s no education or training offered about running a bar (except for the “Bar Manager Workshop” seminar that is available through Beverage Management Services: (800) 447-4384). And the customers? Sooner or later you are required to be a policeman, psychoanalyst, mother, father, baby-sitter, sports authority, referee, divorce counselor, social director, lawyer, and who knows what else? You need to have all of these “talents” combined with a flair for entertaining, looking alert, smiling, joking, being the “life of the party,” and, throughout, giving quality service. To do this, all you need are brains, maturity, physical stamina, charm, the innate ability to listen, will power (don’t drink on the job), outrageous personality, accounting ability (ringing up correctly and giving change back correctly, hundreds of times a day) and simultaneously handle a dozen other things. Sound easy? Putting up with insults, rudeness, bad language (to a point) and macho “jerks” is S.O.P. The ability to show restraint in a difficult situation or refuse to serve an intoxicated customer another drink is easier said than done. Today’s bartender must represent order and stability in a potentially disorderly environment. The product that bartenders dispense can be a dangerous, mind-altering drug. This weighs heavily on a bartender’s mind, particularly when it comes to the customer’s last drink. “Should I have served him or her that last drink?” is a question I have asked myself many times. The moral responsibility of the job, listening to so many different types of customer problems, along with the intensity of the job, can drive one to drink after a tough night. Did you know that the insurance underwriter’s guidebook, “Who Writes What,” listed bartending as the third most dangerous job, next to professional acrobats and race car drivers? “It is too easy for a bartender to climb into a bottle himself,” wrote one insurance analyst. www.barbizmag.com
Today’s bartender must represent order and stability in a potentially disorderly environment. Today’s bartender must be at 100-percent full mental and physical capacity in order to handle the many pressures, nightly situations and problems with which he or she is confronted. He or she must also correctly account for the money, and maintain the customer’s respect. Bartending can be a great fullor part-time vocation, but it can also be the ruin of an easily influenced, less disciplined person. Bartending is a great full or part- time vocation, but it has been the ruin of many well-intended people. Many bar-tenders get carried away with drinking the product, thinking it’s part of the job.
A Pro’s Pro It’s very refreshing to go to a bar and be served by a professional bartender—the smile, the good drink (fair, but not over-poured), the quick word or two, the alertness, the courtesy, the care, involving all of the customers at the bar (not just a privileged few), the un-wasted motion, the cleanliness of the bar and bar top, the immaculate and well groomed appearance. There is a big difference between the drink maker, “order taker” type of bartender (ho-hum) and the professional, multifunctional bartender. “Order taker” bartenders don’t last long in today’s bar business, or don’t make much money. You only have to look at yourself and your abilities as to why you aren’t April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
bartenders to drink because “it’s good for customer relations and helps sales”? In my opinion, there ought to be a law against this kind of mentality and practice. Wake up bartenders! The owner or manager who allows or encourages you to drink with customers makes a statistic out of you. The house ends up with the money, you end up with the problem. When the problem becomes uncontrollable, the house hires another bartender. Do you think you can’t be replaced. And if you’re ever injured on the job and have to get medical attention, you will lose your workman’s comp benefits if there is alcohol or any other illegal drug in your system. That means you pay for emergency room treatment to fix that cut hand requiring seven stitches because of the foggy, hung-over condition you were in that morning from the day before while attempting to cut fruit.
Putting up with insults, rudeness, bad language and macho jerks is S.O.P. in the bar industry. making much money tending bar, if that’s the case. It’s no one’s fault but yours. In order to survive in today’s bar business, you have to know and do more than just make a drink. You have to listen. Bartenders stand behind a bar for long periods of time and listen to complaints and problems. People open up to bartenders. People trust bartenders. A couple of drinks is all it takes. The stories and problems a bartender must listen to can drive anybody to drink. This is one of the aspects that make bartending a dangerous job. Everyone’s problems, added to his own, can drive the bartender to his or her favorite watering hole after work, where they may chug a few before going home. Five or six nights of this, week after week, and the bartender develops a need for the “drug” alcohol, just so he can make it through another day. Then a routine sets in. From there, bartenders begin drinking on the job, whether it’s allowed or not. Vodka, for example, is easy to drink. It’s barely detectable on the breath, especially with any type of mix, and the bottle is right at the bartender’s fingertips. There are also many generous customers who want to buy the bartender a drink. How many bartenders can refuse a free drink? There are only a few states that do not allow a bartender to drink while working. How many owners and managers encourage their 38
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
I was sitting at a bar recently, observing the bartender’s inability to handle business due to drinking on the job. I saw her “shooting” Peppermint Schnapps with friends. It took forever, it seemed, to get her attention for my drink order. She took my $10 bill and brought me change for a $20. Then the bar manager walked behind the bar and said, “Hey, Joanie, there’s a customer over there who wants to buy you a drink,” and off she went to get another free drink. Alcohol is an anesthetic, a central nervous system depressant, a drug. It dulls your senses. In moderate amounts it appears to stimulate because it inhibits the “new” part of the brain – the part that records new learning, judgment, and social controls. It also makes you feel physically able and emotionally freer. At first it can be a great “pick-me-up”. But, in excess, alcohol puts the “new” brain parts to sleep. You’re not as sharp or aware. You don’t even realize your mistakes. Your personality can radically change. Most bartenders don’t realize how quick acting alcohol can be. When alcohol enters the stomach, about 20 percent of it is absorbed by the capillaries, which line the stomach, which then takes it to the brain. The remainder is absorbed through the intestine after the pyloric valve (a little “trap door” at the base of the stomach) opens. One could have three or four drinks in a short time and hardly feel anything. Most of the alcohol is being stored at the base of one’s stomach. Then the pyloric valve opens and the alcohol hits all at once. Ever notice that? It happens often at Happy Hour time, when customers come in for a couple of drinks and have no food in their stomachs. The alcohol goes straight into the small intestine where about 80 percent of it is absorbed into the blood stream immediately. Once alcohol gets into the bloodstream, it circulates up to the central nervous system, the part of your brain that controls behavior, judgment and the ability to use motor skills, like drive a car. www.barbizmag.com
left: Shutterstock / Wallenrock ; right: Shutterstock / Tadeusz Wejkszo
Not So Pro
Why is it that bartenders can’t qualify for life insurance, disability insurance, or a car loan, or a home loan? Is it because we work in a violent place— a bar? Not necessarily. According to one insurance analyst, it’s because, “it is too easy for a bartender to climb into a bottle himself and run away from the problems he has to hear about all the time.” (Another reason is because bartenders don’t report all of their tips, thereby showing a small yearly income—not enough to qualify for any kind of a loan. You are also depriving yourself of substantial Social Security income and unemployment compensation benefits.) Many bartenders find themselves exploited, taken advantage of, because of the availability of the product alcohol. Many bartenders have succumbed to the temptations of the very product they’re required to regulate. How can they regulate others in a bar
environment when they can’t regulate themselves? It’s time many bartenders took a long, hard look at themselves. What were your drinking habits before you entered the bar business? Have they changed? Are you drinking more? Are you drinking everyday? What improvements have you made in your life because of the bartending profession? Are you involved in your community? Do you go to school? Do you participate in sporting events? Are you healthy? Do you work out four times a week? Don’t kid yourselves, bartenders! Bartending does not require great physical or mental prowess. It’s a business—a way to make money—nothing more or less. Don’t let it rule your life. Don’t let the product of our business take over your life. Don’t let it deter your personal development and growth. Use the profession of bartending to better yourself! Use bartending to become a better and more accomplished person.
Bob Johnson, Bar Management expert, is a multi-unit beverage director who specializes in inventory control, bar management and bartending. His latest book release, “Manage Your Bar My Way!” is a compilation of 50 years of making mistakes and finally getting it right. It’s a “one of a kind” publication that every owner/manager should have. Contact Bob at 800-447-4384 or check out his website at BobTheBarGuy.com.
April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
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Upstairs at The Dead Rabbit, which is only this empty when itâ€™s closed.
The Great, Full Dead
By Chris Ytuarte
Three years later, The Dead Rabbit is alive and kicking. Despite the pressures of being the best cocktail bar in the world and the temptation to rest on oneâ€™s laurels, owners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry continue to pack the place every night, and have even begun looking toward the future.
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
n early February, invitations were sent out to select industry insiders to partake in an exclusive event marking the third anniversary of The Dead Rabbit, one of (if not the) most celebrated cocktail bars of the last two decades, worldwide. Almost quietly—if you don’t count the countless accolades and awards—this small tavern on the southern tip of Manhattan island has seen three years go by while perched atop the nightlife world, and just as quietly, was set to honor that feat; a fitting tribute to such humble domination. Not surprisingly, that kind of humility and sense of general amiableness as a venue comes almost directly from The Dead Rabbit’s pair of Irish owners, Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry. A quick glance at the distinctions their bar has earned the last three years alone should allow them an air of arrogance: Tales of the Cocktail named it the World’s Best Bar in 2014 and 2015, home of the World’s Best Cocktail Menu in 2013 and 2015, World’s Best Cocktail Bar in 2014, and host of the World’s Best Drink Selection in 2014. In its opening year alone, it was declared the World’s Best New Cocktail Bar, and McGarry was named International Bartender of the Year. Most bar owners might look at that lineup of awards, sit back, and simply maintain the status quo every night. But what led The Dead Rabbit to the pinnacle is what, Muldoon and McGarry say, will help keep them there. “I tell everybody that in order to be ‘the best in the world’ you need to want to be the best in the world every single waking day,” says Muldoon. “We are always looking at ways to improve and stay relevant; be it simple adjustments such as changing the style of glassware, changing the format of our menus, changing the music playlists or changing décor items—we are never content with what we’ve got.” In fact, even as the duo celebrated three years of unparalleled success, the party in their honor featured that same type of forward thinking. The evening provided a sneak peek at The Dead Rabbit’s fourth new menu, representing a radical departure from the first three while remaining utterly true to the bar’s narrative and DNA. It’s that kind of work ethic and commitment to evolving, even in the wake of such annual triumphs, that keeps The Dead Rabbit at the top of the pile. “I remember reading in some British tabloid many years ago about (then) Aussie pop sensation Peter Andre, where the interviewer asked Andre about his gym routine and if he ever took steroids, adding that some people thought he did,” Muldoon describes. “Andre replied, ‘Watch me in the gym everyday, watch the effort I put into looking the way I do, then tell me I take steroids.’ It’s a bit like that with the ‘world’s best bar.’ People tell us, ‘It’s amazing what you’ve accomplished in such a short time, you should be really www.barbizmag.com
happy!’ We say to them, ‘Understand what we’ve been through, understand what we go through every single day, then tell us it’s been such a short time.’ And we are never happy; we can’t allow ourselves to be happy.” Co-founded by Muldoon and McGarry, The Dead Rabbit is housed in a landmarked building dating back to 1828. On the ground floor is the Taproom, “an honest working person’s pub in the best Anglo-Hibernian tradition,” that offers an informal setting for craft beer, bottled punch and many, many whiskeys. “We always intended on selling a lot of Irish whiskey, and it currently makes up over 60% of our liquor sales,” explains Muldoon. “Guests coming into the bar seem to know a lot about whiskey in general and are interested in learning more about Irish whiskey because it’s relatively new to them. And with more good expressions coming out each and every year, guests are much more inclined to try it now than they would have been before.” The second-floor Parlor at The Dead Rabbit focuses on small plates, communal punch, and 76 original cocktails dreamed up by the nineteenth century’s most celebrated bartenders. Both upstairs and downstairs, however, the drinks and the vibe coming from any of their bars and all of April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
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The Dead Rabbit’s décor gives it a warm, classic Irish feel.
their bartenders play a major role in winning all those shiny awards each year. “I don’t really think there is a difference between mixology and cocktailing; however, there is most definitely a difference between mixology and bartending,” says Muldoon. “Mixology is the art of creating and serving skillfully prepared drinks, whereas bartending is hospitality. Mixologists can draw guests to a bar just based on the quality of their drinks, but bartenders draw guests to a bar because of their personality and warmth, as well as their drinks. “At The Dead Rabbit, we have two bars featuring personality-driven bartenders and one bar featuring mixologists. For us, it is the best of both worlds: Guests can either go to the cocktail bar for great drinks and a more regimented style of service, or they can go to the other two bars for a bit more of a fun and chaotic experience.” Success is not necessarily a new concept to Muldoon and McGarry. Both barmen worked formerly at The Merchant Hotel in Ireland, which in 2010 was named World’s Best 42
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
Cocktail Bar by Tales of the Cocktail. Transferring a mutual approach to the bar business from their native land to the streets of New York City, however, was a task they knew would be imposing. “Opening a bar in a foreign country was always going to pose challenges to us,” says Muldoon. “We first had to learn the way the city works and the way that guests and staff do things over here. And through time, we’ve had to change and adapt in order to keep our guests and staff interested. We’ve had to become less serious and a lot more fun. For instance, the music is a lot more fun and upbeat than it was originally; the drinks are more fun and colorful than they were originally; and the art on the walls is a lot less historic and more contemporary Irish than it was originally. I feel we have actually become more youthful over the course of the last three years.” The Dead Rabbit, as a success story, feels rightly earned by two owners who are doing it right. “We treat our staff well, we keep them informed, involve them and listen to them,” says Muldoon. “We fully believe that our staff will treat us as www.barbizmag.com
First Glimpse: GreenRiver Beverage Program GreenRiver, a new restaurant and bar to open in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood in September, has released details of the opening bar and culinary offerings. A collaboration between The Best Bar in the World (BBITW) and Union Square Events, GreenRiver will celebrate legendary Irish-American artists, inventors, activists, brutes, politicians, developers, and others who helped transform the city into a formidable metropolis following the Great Fire of 1871. Located on the 18th floor of 259 East Erie, GreenRiver will feature one of the city’s largest outdoor terraces and sweeping views of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan. Developed by BBITW’s Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry in collaboration with head bartender Julia Momose, GreenRiver’s cocktail menu will feature eight sections organized by the raw materials used for distilling spirits—rye, corn, barley, agave, wheat & oat, sugarcane & molasses, grape & apple, and juniper—and given a “personality type” inspired by the flavor profile. Each section will include four cocktails named after Irish-American Chicagoans whose life stories are reflected in the spirit’s personality type. “We researched hundreds of historical Irish characters and chose an exemplary few who stirred our mixological creativity,” says McGarry. “The menu celebrates Chicago and its history in every drink.” GreenRiver’s spirits list will feature an extensive selection of Irish and American whiskey, including bourbon and rye, as well as Scotch and Japanese whisky. GreenRiver will offer an approachable wine list and 12 beers on tap, predominantly from Chicago breweries.
Top: Andrew Kist; Right: Galdones Photography
The Best Bar in the World is the hospitality consulting firm of Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, the creative forces behind The Dead Rabbit in New York and The Merchant Hotel in Belfast. For more information, visit www.bestbarintheworld.com. good as we treat them.” All the recognition is rich, and richly deserved. “We wanted to take all the best elements from the traditional Irish pub and bring them with us into the 21st century,” he adds. But neither Muldoon nor McGarry take a moment of it for granted, understanding that it takes more to stay on top than it does to get there. “It goes back to what I said earlier about us never being satisfied, and always wanting to be better,” says Muldoon. “The day we think we’ve made it is the day for us to give up, because the truth is we’ll never, ever make it. In the five years since I came to New York, being voted the ‘best in the world’ was all I ever wanted. I thought about nothing else. So for me personally, it was the realization of a dream. The moment we were declared winners I was on a high and a whole range of emotions went through my head. I felt elation for the staff and regular guests, I was grateful to our partners and I was proud of my Belfast roots, all at the same time. “But our philosophy is to be the best in the world and to keep being the best in the world—it’s a mindset, and it doesn’t ever stop.” www.barbizmag.com
GreenRiver cocktails, by Muldoon & McGarry.
April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
Inventory A Curiously Sophisticated Rum
What Sets Your Bar Apart From the Next?
Squeal Black Spiced Rum has taken the market by storm with its fun and positive marketing. Defining itself as a World Class Rum while remaining unique has given Squeal its edge. Owners JP and Monika Krause have put their heart and soul into Squeal Rum. The ‘flying pig’ logo reminds them of their love for each other. JP, a chef, and Monika met in the hospitality world ten years ago. A trip halfway around the world and a courageous heart kept their love strong. Their roots in the hospitality world have prepared them to ‘go bold’ with creative marketing yet maintain a personal connection with the customer. This product has a voice of the refined but the spirited feeling of urban culture and has a unique approach to each market. To learn more visit www.SquealRum.com.
DreamSeats line of XZipit branded furnishings can give you that added edge over your competition. Our full line of quality bar stools and loose furniture utilizes a patented interchangeable logo design allowing you to display any logo you deem appropriate. Display promotional liquor logos, pro sports teams or colleges, special events logos or simply display your bar's logo—the options are endless. DreamSeat is dedicated to creating an unforgettable experience for each and every one of your customers by providing durable and high- quality furnishings that they will not forget. We pride ourselves on being able to set you apart from the competition with the ability to customize your furniture's look in seconds! Contact us to see how you can continuously update the look of your bar by day, week, season, or year! Visit www.DreamSeat.com.
Perlick Introduces 48' Front-Venting Refrigerator
Jameson Caskmates™ KelSo Pale Ale Edition
Perlick, a leader in total package bar equipment and dispensing systems, presents the 48” Front Venting Refrigerator and Wine Reserve, an energy efficient cabinet unit that maximizes storage capacity in small rooms where space is at a premium. Perlick’s 48” refrigerator can replace two 24” refrigeration units and reduce energy costs because it runs off one compressor. As a single-zone unit, the entire refrigerator can be kept at one temperature. Also available as a dual-zone, the refrigerator can be programmed on each side for different yet accurate temperatures to safely store red and white wines, beer and food. The refrigerator can fit in compact spaces because venting is located in the bottom front of the unit, instead of venting on the side that requires additional space. Key features of the cabinet include: Exterior stainless steel finish, interior light, optional full-extension wine shelves, door options for solid stainless, solid black, glass with black vinyl, glass with stainless steel, solid glass, ADA compliant for easy access, and single or dual-zone options. Learn more at www.perlick.com.
Jameson Irish Whiskey’s passion for craft, quality and neighborhood collaboration continues with the release of this one-of-a-kind limited edition whiskey. Jameson Caskmates KelSo Pale Ale Edition was born from a collaboration between the world’s best selling Irish whiskey and Brooklyn microbrewer KelSo Beer Co. Jameson Caskmates is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks or paired with a KelSo IPA in order to truly appreciate the new, fresh flavors that the Pale Ale-finishing brings. The product will retail for a suggested price of $29.99, and is only available in New York for a limited time. For additional information visit www.jamesonwhiskey.com/us/ ourwhiskeys/jameson-caskmates. To see more about the original beer collaboration with Kelso please visit www.jamesonwhiskey. com/us/article/kelso.
Bar Business Magazine April 2016 www.barbizmag.com
DIGITAL ROUNDTABLE BAR PROFITS: YOUR #1 DRAFT PICK Find out how to sell a fantasy draft party package to your patrons. LISTEN TO THE BAR BUSINESS DIGITAL ROUNDTABLE AND LEARN TO: Build a profitable draft party event Promote draft party options to customers Successfully execute the event using turn-key components, concepts and marketing tools Differentiate one draft party from another and create varied experiences
May 1: Amtrak Day. There’s just something about drinking on a train traveling across this great country of ours that makes us feel like Jack Kerouac. Tonight, raffle off a free Amtrak gift card and encourage your regulars to hit the rails.
May 2: Melanoma Monday. What better way to help your patrons avoid melanoma scares than by having them hang out in your dark bar for a few hours. Consider it your good deed for the day.
May 3: Paranormal Day. Free drink tonight to any customer who can prove to you they have had a paranormal experience. In other words, no free drinks tonight.
May 11: National Night Shift Workers Day. AKA, every single day of a bartender’s life.
May 15: World Migratory Bird Day. Celebrate this holiday by suggesting your customers honor a particular migratory bird by doing one simple thing: Swallow more drinks.
May 18: Buy a Musical Instrument Day. Free drink tonight for anyone who can produce a receipt showing they purchased a musical instrument that day. With proper prepromotion, this holiday could single-handedly cause a run on plastic ten-cent kazoos.
6 May 6: International Space Day. May we suggest, in honor of this holiday, you try selling some of Fire Island’s finest drink—Flynn’s famous Rocket Fuel: 151 Rum Pina Colada Mix Light rum Amaretto Crushed ice
21 May 21: Rapture Party Day. Ever notice that when faced with the end of the world, people want to drink more? There’s something comforting about that.
7 May 7: Free Comic Book Day. Leave some comics on the bar tonight and give one away with each drink poured. Tonight we separate the DC fans from the Marvel drinkers.
23 May 23: World Turtle Day. Congratulations to the mighty Terps of Maryland on their successful Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Cheers!
Bar Business Magazine April 2016 www.barbizmag.com
May 1: Shutterstock/Richard Thornton, May 2: Shutterstock/Sergey Nepsha, May 3: Shutterstock/Lemon Tree Images, May 7: Shutterstock/Vectomart, May 11: Shutterstock/nisimo, May 15: Shutterstock/xpixel, May 18: Shutterstock/Christian Bertrand, May 21: Shutterstock/Milkovasa, May 23: Shutterstock/Richard Paul Kane
Index of Advertisers Company
web site address
Agave Loco LLC (RumChata)
AMI Entertainment Network LLC
Hospitality Security Management
Innova Products US LLC
Squeal Black Spiced Rum
To advertise in Bar Business Magazine contact Art Sutley Phone: 212-620-7247 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 2016 Bar Business Magazine
Supply Side Spotlight
Technology and Tips It’s not just about service; POS systems can also affect tips. By Kristen Gramigna When you own a bar or restaurant, implementing a POS can streamline your service, and expedite the process of billing and collecting payment from customers. However, because your staff may need to predict how much gratuity they can reasonably anticipate, it’s important that all business owners know the impact that a POS can have on tips. Here’s a look at the factors that motivate customers to leave a gratuity, and how POS systems may impact the tips your staff members receive. Happier employees lead to happier (and more generous) customers. Tipping expert and Cornell University professor Michael Lynn writes that behavioral scientists think customers tip for all kinds of reasons—including a desire to help the employees who serve them, to reward a positive experience, to buy future service, and in some cases to fulfill their own social esteem. Though the psychology behind why, when and how much customers tip can be complex, the basic premise of gratuity is simple. It’s a monetary means the customer can use to thank an employee for making them feel appreciated and positive about their experience. Employee happiness is impacted by a variety of factors, including your business culture, engagement in the job and opportunities to advance in the organization. But some studies indicate that giving employees operational support and capabilities like a POS can be a key ingredient that leads to job satisfaction. When employees are equipped with the tools they need to do their jobs confidently and effectively, they’re more likely to feel successful. Not only will their positive attitude be apparent to customers (who may in turn feel motivated to tip them for providing a positive experience), your business model as a whole could benefit. As Jack in The Box CEO Linda A. Lang once told the Society of Human Resource Professionals, the fast food chain noticed, “restaurants with happier employees had happier guests and higher sales and profits.” POS systems streamline the tip process. POS system providers differ in how the option to tip is presented to the customer. Some may allow you 48
Bar Business Magazine April 2016
to choose whether you want to give the customer the option of a range of tip percentages, to present a flat tip amount based on the payment due, or that prompts the customers to customize their tip amount. Regardless of which tip format you incorporate into your POS, customers are more likely to respond to suggestions that eliminate the amount of effort and thought they must invest into the tip process. People spend more when they don’t have to monitor their cash. A POS system gives customers control over how they want to pay, which may include cash, a gift card, credit card or debit card. Studies repeatedly confirm that people spend more freely when they use a form of payment other than cash. When customers have the ability to choose how they want to tip, they aren’t forced to choose based on an amount in their checking account, their wallet or to choose if they can afford to tip at all (based on their other expenses). Records of tips can increase gratuity likelihood. Lynn found that customers are especially motivated to tip bartenders and servers, compared to housekeepers and bellhops. He writes that part of the likelihood to tip the former is primarily driven by customers’ collective desire to help servers, reward good service and fulfill social obligations—especially if they expect to return to your business. When customers pay using a POS system, they may have a greater sense that their past purchases (and tip history) could be retained in their customer profile (regardless of whether it is in reality). As Lynn notes in his research, this sense of social obligation to service staff can act as a form of motivation in tipping behaviors. Today’s customers are accustomed to having a choice—in where they spend, how they pay and whether they’ll tip. Though a POS doesn’t force the customer to leave a gratuity, it adds one more form of payment convenience that customers (and your service employees) will likely appreciate. Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. Follow her on Twitter at @BluePay_CMO. www.barbizmag.com
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