Bar Business April 2019

Page 1

April 2019




kitchen equipment solutions

On a

ROLL Restaurants & bars embrace barrel aging.


Japan’s national spirit reaches the U.S.


Tactics to bring in customers and staff

Tobin Ellis, founder and CEO of BarMagic.

Imagine bar equipment conceived by a renowned bartender, and built by Perlick Perlick’s new Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station is a breakthrough achievement in underbar design resulting from an ambitious collaboration between 6-time national bartending champion and celebrated bar designer, Tobin Ellis and the award-winning engineering team at Perlick.

“Together, we’ve built a cocktail station that’s perfect for everything from craft cocktail bars to high-volume nightclubs and 5-star/5-diamond hotel environments. It’s the tricked-out station every serious bartender has dreamt about and every savvy operator has hoped for.”

Tobin Ellis

Exclusively from Perlick Contact Perlick today to learn more! • 800.558.5592

Contents How Tos


Step Up Your Game


Equipment That Makes a Difference


From Paint Nite to Skee-Ball, gaming options for bars are expanding.

Three equipment solutions aimed at increasing efficiencies.


Tuning Up: Power Up!

These solutions offer more than just the convenience of a charge.



From the Editor


On Tap


Behind The Bar


A letter from our Editor Ashley Bray Industry news & announcements. In-depth analysis of beer, wine & spirits.


Important dates for the month.


Bar Tour





Worlds collide at the craft coffee and cocktail bar, The Mad Priest. Featured product releases. Nathanael Mehrens, Beverage Director at Stay Golden



The Right People


Beyond the Basics of Barrel Aging

Change the way you bring in new customers and staff.

Barrel aging adds a unique spin to tried-and-true classics.

Cover Photo: shutterstock/ RazoomGame Contents Photo: Shutterstock/ Atmosphere1

April 2019

Bar Business Magazine




April 2019

Vol. 12

No. 4

Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004

What spirits trends did you see at the Nightclub & Bar Show?

subscription department 800-895-4389

executive offices President Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Publisher Art Sutley 212-620-7247

“Organic spirits and mixers with lower sugar content continue to roll out as consumers demand healthier options.”

“Premium mixers continue to make headway. Ditch the soda guns—a great cocktail build should include a quality mixer!”


Editor Ashley Bray 212-620-7220 Contributing Writers Elyse Glickman, Maura Keller, Christopher Osburn


Art Director Nicole D’Antona Graphic Designer Aleza Leinwand


Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers Digital Ad Operations Associate Kevin Fuhrmann


“Sessionability continues to be important and there were plenty of low-ABV options on the show floor.”

Circulation Director Maureen Cooney

advertising sales Art Sutley 212-620-7247

Bar Business Magazine (Print ISSN 1944-7531, Digital ISSN 2161-5071) (USPS#000-342) is published February, April, June, August, October, and December. January, March, May, July, September, and November will only be offered in a digital format at no charge by Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, 55 Broad St. 26th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and Additional mailing offices. Pricing, Qualified U.S. Bar Owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified 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 & 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 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. COPYRIGHT © SimmonsBoardman Publishing Corporation 2019. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: Art Sutley, Phone (212) 620-7247, or For Subscriptions, & address changes, Please call (US Only) 1-800-553-8878 (CANADA/INTL) 1-319-364-6167, Fax 1-319-364-4278, e-mail or write to: Bar Business Magazine, Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled craftspeople with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all readers 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.


Bar Business Magazine

April 2019

From The Editor

Editor Ashley Bray & Publisher Art Sutley at the Nightclub & Bar Show.

from the T


he 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show took place at the end of March at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and as usual, it provided three days chockfull of education sessions, insights into trends, and a show floor filled with new products and innovations. A full recap of the event will appear in our June issue, but here’s a bird’s eye view of some of the trends found at this year’s show. Cannabis. Last year, the show floor had a pavilion dedicated to the emerging trend of cannabis. This year, the presence of cannabis had burst beyond just one pavilion and was all over the show floor. CBD- and THC-infused products were found in many aisles, and a variety of education sessions were dedicated to the topic as well. It’s clear that the bar industry is embracing the explosion of cannabis. Efficiency. Bar owners are looking to do more in less time, and there were plenty of apps, technologies, and products on the show floor aimed at improving efficiencies and workflow in the bar. Sustainability. In the last year, the battle to eliminate straws from venues has


Bar Business Magazine

spread from seaside communities to bars all over the U.S. Multiple companies offering alternatives to plastic straws in the form of paper or metal straws could be found on the show floor. Look for the sustainability trend to continue into the coming year and encompass more than just straws as bars search for ways to become greener. Health. Our industry is finally getting serious about health and wellness, and it shows. Education sessions addressing the topic as well as companies offering organic and healthier alternatives to things like sugary mixers could be found all around the show. For more on this topic, be sure to check out our article in March’s issue, “Health & Hospitality.” Technology. Technology is continually evolving and rapidly advancing—and the bar industry is no exception. Apps, digital screens, and even a company offering holographic DJs took over the convention center. The future is now. Coming Together. Bars are all about bringing people together, and so our industry should be no different. There were a number of efforts at this year’s show to bring together various groups of

people. For example, a female leadership panel sought to empower women in the industry, and the American Nightlife Association educated attendees about their efforts to help startups gain funding and get their innovations to the masses. Gaming. If you’re a frequent reader of this magazine, then you know it’s no longer enough to serve great food and drinks—you also need entertainment options to keep guests in your venue. One of the hottest new gaming trends? Axe throwing. Yes, drinking and throwing axes—together. Look for more on this adventurous activity in a future issue. Did you attend the Nightclub & Bar Show? What stood out to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s show—the 35th anniversary— March 30-April 1, 2020 in Las Vegas.

Ashley bray, Editor

April 2019

From ON TAP The Editor



Create a Tasty Burger Experience in Minutes

urgers have become a menu must-have for most operations. The challenge: meeting today’s discriminating tastes with the limited amount of time and resources at your disposal. TNT™ premium patties were created for operators who want to focus on the things they do best while assuring they don’t alienate potential customers who expect a tasty burger to be a part of their experience. TNT is always tasty and always tender—made foolproof to perform exceptionally in even the most demanding environments where back-of-house expertise and prep and storage space are at a minimum. TNT provides the conveniences of a frozen patty with a flavor and tenderness that stands up to fresh. With TNT, there is no prep work needed; each premium patty is perfectly seasoned to enhance right-off-the-grill natural beef flavors. TNT uses only premium ingredients and has created a proprietary recipe process that locks in the moisture of the patty to ensure 6

Bar Business Magazine

juiciness and tenderness in every bite. No prep work means no guesswork—just cook the patty from frozen without any slacking for best results. “The key to our creating TNT burgers was to provide the foodservice industry with a premium IQF patty,” says Heather George, Marketing Manager at Cargill Protein Foodservice. IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) is a technology used to naturally and rapidly cool TNT patties, locking in their fresh flavors without the use of preservatives. IQF allows TNT to capture all the desirable beef attributes and provide a consistent assurance that every burger delivers on flavor, aroma, and texture. IQF makes for a simpler process that translates into a more successful and satisfied staff. With less prep, dishes move quicker from kitchen to table. All of this, plus food safety is elevated while food waste is considerably reduced. Because TNT makes burger prep so simple, it also gives operators a chance to easily expand their burger offerings. “With a few ingredients that an operation

already has on-hand, they can quickly assemble burgers that convey ‘ethnic’ or be marketed as LTO,” says George. Along with TNT Original patties, TNT also offers other lines of IQF patties. For the ever-expanding clean label (very few ingredients used) and gluten-free movement, TNT offers TNT Simply Classic, which is made of seven simple ingredients and all the great flavor and performance attributes of TNT Original patties. TNT has also teamed up with the Certified Angus Beef® brand to menu an Angus burger that meets CAB’s stringent grading in marbling, maturity, sizing, and tenderness to allow operators to command a higher price. “It’s not just about TNT providing premium patties,” says George. “We are committed to working with operators to meet their specific needs and provide answers and solutions along with lowmaintenance, high-performance premium patties.”;

April 2019

ON TAP See the Bars of the Future at HostMilano


n an ever more competitive market, leasers must increase the quality and variety of their offering with a customer experience that involves all five senses. HostMilano 2019 presents distributors and importers with all the innovations for hospitality professionals—from ingredients to machines and formats. How many bars are there in the United States, and which occasions for consumption are most popular among Americans? This is an increasingly competitive market, in which leasers are in search of competitive advantage in line with evolving styles of consumption: from health foods and drinks with beneficial essences, to non-allergenic free-from ingredients, to foods without oxygenated fats and palm oil—all without compromising gratification and indulgent consumption in a comfortable designer setting. There are also new styles of consumption, which demand new equipment, innovative technologies, and original formats for the bar. So, what is the answer to this difficult equation? HostMilano, at Fiera Milano, Rho, from October 18-22, 2019, is the world’s leading exhibition for professional hospitality in all its forms, with a special attention to the world of bars, from individual ingredients to complete projects. There are also coffee machines, furnishings, and all the solutions for creating or running an innovative coffee shop in line with the requirements of the consumer. Not only is Milan the capital of Italian style and one of the world’s trendsetting cities for eating out, but there is a robust interchange of supplies for eating out between Italy and the United States, and the Made in Italy brand is the world leader in many product categories. According to EFCEM, the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers, Italy is the main exporter of professional cooking systems, for a value of almost $1 billion euro in 2018, and the second largest exporter of chilling equipment, at more than $950 million euro, and dishwashers, at around $250 million euro. HostMilano is a can’t-be-missed opportunity to get a first look at

innovations in food equipment, with genuine business opportunities for American companies, as confirmed by the endorsement of the exhibition by the US Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce. Don’t miss the coffee, tea, bar, coffee machines, vending, gelato, pastry macro area as well as the accessories, coffee machines, room equipment, and beverages. Everything required to offer a high-quality service is present in its most advanced versions. All guided by the concepts of product quality and innovative service: new trends, tools, and formulas dedicated to the world of coffee shops and bars. Another must-see is the FurnitureTechnology-Tableware area featuring not only products, but also, and especially, ideas. It includes the most original formats, concept stores, and hybrid configurations, and all the most innovative technologies starting with the choice of completely new, eclectic, and eco-friendly materials. There are original, functional, and welcoming dimensions, conceived and made real with the collaboration of international architects, designers, and art directors to give space to creativity in any direction it wishes to take.

In relation to design, the SMART Label Host Innovation Award is back: the prize, promoted by Host and Fiera Milano with, a Consortium of the Politecnico di Milano, and supported by ADI - Italian Association for Industrial Design, rewards products, services, and projects that stand out for their functionality, technologies, and environmental, ethical, and social implications. More than 70 projects from around the world competed at the last edition. Professional training rounds out the experience, with hundreds of events, workshops, and presentations, along with cookery demonstrations and tastings at which chefs, teachers, and baristas will share their most original and innovative ideas., @HostMilano, #Host2019

April 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Behind The Bar: shochu

Let’s talk

Journey to Japan for a look at what may be the next big international spirit. BY Ashley Bray


Bar Business Magazine


ove over sake, there’s another Japanese spirit in town—shochu. The origins of Japan’s national spirit are a bit murky, but the spirit can be traced all the way back to the 16th century. Today in Japan, shochu is enjoyed primarily with meals as it pairs extremely well with food. The spirit has continued to grow in popularity in Japan, and an increasing number of bars and restaurants in the country are now serving shochu. Whereas sake is a brewed spirit, shochu is a distilled liquor. Shochu is typically distilled from rice, barley,

sweet potato, buckwheat, or sugar cane. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on rice shochu. Skillful master distillers called Toji make shochu. To make rice shochu specifically, a distillery and its Toji start with a rice base that is steamed, which both sterilizes the rice and helps to dissolve starches. After the rice is cooled, koji is produced by sprinkling koji-kin (mold) on the rice. This forms koji mold, which creates enzymes as it grows that break down starch into fermentable sugars. Three types of koji mold are used in the production of shochu, which impart specific characteristics and tastes: white (most

April 2019

Photo: jazz3311.



Behind The Bar: Shochu common), black, and yellow. (Note: Koji is also used to make traditional Japanese seasonings like soy sauce and miso.) Next are the two stages of the fermentation mash known as moromi. In the first moromi, the rice koji is mixed with water and yeast to convert the sugars into alcohol. This fermentation takes about a week. In the second moromi, sweet potato that has been washed, steamed, cooled, and crushed is added to the mash and the mixture is fermented for about two weeks. Distillation, or the purifying of the moromi, occurs next. There are two types of distillation—single and consecutive. Single distillation is a very traditional distilling method and is used for making “otsu-rui” or “realthing” shochu. The consecutive distilling method removes any components without alcohol and results in a very pure, almost tasteless and odorless product. Depending on the quality desired, the shochu is then stored and aged accordingly in clay vats, tanks, or wooden barrels. From there, water is added to reduce the alcohol content of the original shochu (known as genshu) to between 24-36% depending on the type of shochu. The shochu is then bottled and shipped out. The Kumamoto Prefecture is particularly well known for its production of rice shochu, which is known as Kuma shochu. The shochu is mixed and ground with water from the underground stream of the Kuma river, a totally pure water source. There are 28 distilleries in this area, and the shochu produced in the hitoyoshi area of Kumamoto is protected with a geographical indication from the World Trade Organization to indicate its origin. This past February, Bar Business Magazine Publisher Art Sutley along with mixologists Phil Wills and Mia Mastroianni had the privilege to travel to Japan and the Kumamoto Prefecture to learn more about shochu. The eye-opening experience helped shed light on this spirit that’s just starting to emerge in the U.S.

“There is no better way to understand a liquor category than to be with the people that make it,” says Sutley. “There was such a passion for what these distillers are producing and a strong connection to its history. They ensure they encompass the tradition of the distillers before them.” The group got to learn about the shochu-making process at five different distilleries: Takahashi Distillery, Fukano Distillery, Sengetsu Distillery, Torikai Distillery, and Rokuchoshi Distillery. Torikai Distillery. This distillery boasts over 400 years of history and started producing shochu at the end of the Edo period (1600-1868). At this time, the family also produced sake, vinegar, miso, and soy sauce. While most Kuma shochu is made from white koji, Torikai is unique as it uses yellow koji. “We think the Kuma area used to use yellow koji back in the day,” explains Kurato Torikai. “To get back to the basics, we use yellow koji. By using yellow koji and ginjo techniques (which means rice is polished to less than 60% of it’s original volume), we produced the first shochu with a rich ginjo flavor.” Also separating Torikai from the pack is its selection of certain yeasts, use of low temperature, and long-term fermentation process, which takes twice as long compared to ordinary shochu production. The result is the distillery’s Ginka Torikai, a shochu with a distinctive ginjo aroma, reminiscent of tropical fruit, and a mellow taste. Sengetsu Distillery. Founded in 1903, the distillery is named after the beloved Hitoyoshi Castle of the Kumamoto Prefecture and has been producing rice shochu exclusively for 120 years. Its storied history includes its third Toji being named a “contemporary master craftsman” by Japan’s minister of health, labour, and welfare—the first time that happened in the shochu industry. Today, the distillery’s current and sixth Toji follows the technique of that third Toji. A few things that separate the Sengetsu Distllery are its still, which it designed on its own. It also only uses




April 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Behind The Bar: shochu

Shochu on display at Takahashi Distillery, including the popular Hakutake Shiro brand.

new oak barrels for aging, never secondhand ones. Sengetsu offers single-distilled shochu as well as Mugon Shochu, which is undiluted and aged in oak barrels for over 10 years. Fukano Distillery Founded in 1823, the Fukano Distillery is currently run by the seventh generation of the family, CEO Seiichi Fukano. The distillery values quality over quantity and only a few casks are bottled each year. The shochu is 100% handmade in the traditional way using a combination of malted and un-malted rice and a clay pot for distillation. Takahashi Distillery. With multiple locations, including one in Taragi whose founding dates back 120 years, Takahashi makes the very popular Hakutake Shiro shochu brand, which is the number-one selling premium rice shochu in Japan. Rokuchoshi Distillery. An innovator in the world of shochu, the distillery was the first to install a genatsu pot still. The distillery is known for its premium aged shochus, and it is always developing its aging methods, which is done in new oak barrels only. Even in just this one region of Japan focusing on rice shochu, there are vast differences between the methods of the distilleries. “What particularly intrigued me about the process of producing shochu was the fact that there are so 10

Bar Business Magazine

many methods that can be utilized to create categorically the same product. The shochu-making process is rather complex, using only rice, barley, sweet potato, or buckwheat as the base grains, with different areas geographically focusing on each style, and the base used can produce a vastly different variety of shochu, which can either be

I believe the U.S. market is ready for shochu. light, mild, fruity and fresh, or alternately be rich, heavy, and complex,” says Mastroianni. “There is no one definitive way to produce shochu, but the passion behind each distillery we visited was the common denominator.” Many of these distilleries have U.S. distribution for their shochu, and they hope for the product to take hold with consumers and bars here in the States. Sutley sees plenty of room for the spirit on cocktail lists. “The US market is always searching for the next

exciting component for cocktails,” he says. “I see this fitting nicely into the bartender’s arsenal of ingredients for exciting cocktail builds and signature cocktail lists.” Mastroianni agrees. “I 100% believe there is not only a home for shochu in the U.S. market, but I think it could potentially thrive here and emerge as the next international trend in cocktails,” she says. “Not only is it delicious on its own, but each variety offers a diverse palate for cocktail development, not to mention bringing in the inclusive story of its indigenous environment, rich history, culture, and growth in popularity among all demographics in the Japanese market. I believe the U.S. is ready for shochu.” The different styles of shochu can take bartenders in many directions when developing a cocktail. “The lighter, citrus forward styles are a bit more neutral so they’d need to be treated delicately—as a base spirit that wouldn’t be overpowered, but perhaps paired with a light ingredient that would highlight the subtle flavors that naturally come forward in the shochu,” says Mastroianni. “The richer and bolder styles of shochu have a bit more versatility. They can be enjoyed as a highball, but I could easily see them being paired with vegetal and earthy ingredients, or even play nicely with

April 2019

Photos: Art Sutley.

Shochu from the Torikai Distillery.

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Some shochu is distilled from rice, like Sengetsu’s single-distilled shochu.

Shochu bottles at the Rokuchoshi Distillery, known for its premium aged shochus.

Sengetsu’s Mugon Shochu is undiluted and aged in oak barrels for over 10 years.

some of the botanicals commonly found in gins.” Wills sees opportunities in the market for aged and unaged shochus. “It has such a unique aroma that is so different than any other libations we currently have behind our bars,” he says. “Shochu pairs well with a variety of ingredients.

The less aged shochus work well with simple things like citrus and sugar syrup to create a variation of your classic Daiquiri. The barrel-aged shochu is bold enough to be made in any variety of whiskey cocktails including Old Fashioneds and Manhattans. “Because of the complexity that shochu has when barrel aged, I see this style being used the most. It has flavors similar to whiskey yet is light and has a gentle mouth feel.” A big part of introducing shochu to consumers is through education—first of bartenders and bar owners who can trickle that education and story down to consumers. “As U.S. bartenders learn more about shochu and are able to taste it, I think we will see a rise in the creation of cocktails with it,” says Wills. The Fukano Distillery says that establishing shochu as a main ingredient in cocktails and developing shochubased cocktails, will help to spread the Japanese spirit in the U.S. market. Torikai Distillery agrees. “In Japan, shochu is drunk during meals, so we drink shochu neat, on the rocks, or with water or soda. Shochu has a wide variety of taste and character, so you can enjoy it by adding simple things,” says Torikai. “But we also expect American consumers and bartenders to find new ways to drink it, which we never imagined.” Shochu’s tradition as a food pairing can also be played on here in the States since it pairs with more than just Japanese cuisine. “With its wide variety

of tastes, it can match any type of cuisine, and I think that once U.S. bartenders have the chance to explore and play with the spirit, it can easily come to the forefront by being a base spirit or modifier and will be seen and featured within many cocktail menus,” says Mastroianni. One thing’s for certain—Japan made shochu believers out of Mastroianni, Sutley, and Wills. “The distillery tours provided so much information on a spirit that I had no information about,” says Wills. “What I hold dear to my pallet is the journey of shochu I experienced with each sip. What I hold dear to my heart from the distillery tours is how passionate, caring, hard working, and inviting everyone was to share the great spirit of this incredible country.” Mastroianni was also struck by each of the distillery’s passion. “I was personally blown away by the generosity of all of our hosts who genuinely shared the passion with which their products were produced. They were so forthcoming with knowledge, history, culture, and pride, and it was absolutely contagious,” she says. “I am forever changed by this experience on the other side of the world, and will do my best to honor and translate their passion into each and every shochu cocktail I produce.” Bar Business Magazine would like to thank Japan Airlines and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) for their roles in this incredible trip.

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Bar Business Magazine

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April 2019 2/1/19 12:31 PM

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Behind The Bar: shochu


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Happenings 11

May 2019

May 11 Eat What You Want Day Well, if you insist! Make a specials list of indulgent snacks and meals.

May 16 Mimosa Day Mimosas aren’t just for brunch. Get creative with flavors and garnishes and offer this classic all day.


May 20 Pick Strawberries Day Add this favorite fruity flavor to cocktails and frozen drinks.

It’s no coincidence that this holiday is the day after Memorial Day. Celebrate the start of grilling season by adding burgers and hot dogs to your menu.


Bar Business Magazine

May 4 Star Wars Day May the force— and out-of-this-world cocktails—be with you.

April 2019

All Photos:

May 28 National Hamburger Day



May 18 World Whiskey Day


Neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail—however your patrons enjoy it, be sure to have plenty of this spirit today. Bonus points for highlighting craft or unique whiskies.

May nra show

May 18-21, 2019 Chicago, Illinois

May 21 National Waiters and Waitresses Day Staff is what makes an establishment great. Celebrate yours today.

June bar convent brooklyn June 11-12, 2019 Brooklyn, New York



May 12 Mother’s Day Celebrate moms today with drink specials for these very special ladies.

texas restaurant association marketplace July 14-15, 2019 Houston, Texas

tales of the cocktail July 16-21, 2019 New Orleans, Louisiana

august texas bar & Night club convention May 25 National Wine Day

August 19, 2019 San Antonio, Texas

Host a tasting or offer wine flights.

April 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To

How To: Gaming

From Paint Nite to Skee-Ball, gaming options for bars are expanding.

Step Up Your Game 16

Bar Business Magazine

By Christopher Osburn April 2019

How To: Gaming


Photos (left to right): Yaymaker, Betson Enterprises.

ustomers visit bars to socialize, meet a date, or just enjoy high-quality cocktails, pints of beer, and glasses of wine. But even with the right atmosphere and decor, it can be difficult to hold customers’ attention for an extended period of time. This is especially true given the level of competition not only in the bar industry but with home entertainment options like Netflix. So, how do bars and pubs step up their “game” (so to speak)? There are various entertainment options for bars that can help generate revenue by keeping customers occupied and engaged. These entertainment options can be as simple as a dartboard, Skee-Ball machine, or as elaborate as themed nights. Beyond Paint Nite If you’ve paid attention to bar trends, you’ve probably heard of Paint Nite where customers visit a bar or restaurant and paint and drink. It’s as simple as that. “Yaymaker is the next evolution of Paint Nite, the company that originated the paint and sip concept in local bars and restaurants,” says Dan Hermann, Co-Founder of Yaymaker. “As a multiexperience company, Yaymaker offers a variety of experience options across North America where people can laugh, drink, connect, and try their hand at something new.” There’s no cost for bars to host Yaymaker events. “The only contribution on the part of the bar is space to host the event and a server to attend to guests,” says Hermann. Any bar can host a Yaymaker event as long as they have space for a party of up to 25 people. “We are always looking for new venues to add to our experience of getting people together and experiencing new places while creating something they are proud of,” says Hermann. Events like this are designed to bring incremental food and beverage purchases, new customers, and a lively and fun atmosphere to bars and restaurants. “Our events are flexible and customizable and can be held anytime,” says Hermann. “Many bars find them a great way to improve business on days and nights that are typically slower.”

Betson’s extensive entertainment equipment includes arcade games.

All Yaymaker events benefit from both local and national support to drive attendance. Prospective bar patrons simply have to visit to find out the location of the next local Paint Nite. Every event includes instruction from expert hosts, and guests don’t need to bring anything as all materials are provided. “We work with local entrepreneurs who own and manage their Yaymaker business in each market and are able to leverage their local network to bring business to our partner venues,” explains Hermann. They also invest in national media to support awareness of and attendance at events. “Many of our attendees cite the opportunity to try out a bar in their neighborhood as a benefit of a Yaymaker event.” Event brands like Yaymaker evolved from Paint Nite and Plant Nite as a response to consumer demand for more fun, shared experiences. “Yaymaker appeals to those who love to try new things, are highly social, and believe that shared experiences are an important way to connect with friends, their community, and the world,” says Hermann. “With new experiences continuously coming online, we are giving these people even more opportunities to get out and get together.” Yaymaker offers a number of different guest experiences, including: Original Paint Nite: This is the classic painting bar experience. Everyone paints their own interpretation of one painting while they drink.

Plant Nite: Customers learn the step-bystep creation of a mini Zen garden. Design a Sign: Instead of painting, participants create personalized signs using stencils and their own creativity. Candle Maker: Guests craft their own candles using soy-based wax, essential oils, and their own decorations. Flower Workshop: Guests get directions on how to design and create beautiful arrangements using fresh-cut flowers. The brand is constantly evolving beyond the locally crafted events currently hosted. They also have plans to launch new events soon. “Ideas for new creative experiences come from everywhere,” says Hermann. “We listen to our guests’ feedback to hear what they love and what they are looking for next. Our local partners and hosts live to bring fun, creative ideas to life.” Retro is the Name of the Game Beyond paint nights and other similar experiences, bars are also looking to bring in customers (and keep them occupied) with classic bar games and photo booths. The leading distributor of location-based entertainment equipment is Betson Enterprises. “We specialize in layout and design, carefully selecting the games that work best with each location,” says James Liess, Senior Director of Marketing for Betson Enterprises. “For bars, patrons tend to favor the more retro or old school games, but games can still have that classic feel and be completely new.” Betson’s entertainment equipment includes everything from arcade games, boxing games, mini bowling, air hockey, and photo booths, to shuffleboard, pinball machines, Skee-Ball, jukeboxes, and electronic dart machines.

Pro Tip Are your customers occupied and engaged? There are various entertainment options for bars that are fun and help generate revenue. April 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To: Gaming Betson offers a wide array of products and games from pinball machines to a massive version of Space Invaders. “We created a landing page specifically for Bar Arcades with info on games that make sense for that market,” says Liess. Although bars can choose any game from their product catalog to add to their arcade, the games featured on their landing page were carefully selected by their knowledgeable sales team who are experienced in working with bars, restaurants, and hospitality locations all around the nation. “These products not only brought in more revenue but kept patrons staying longer and purchasing food and drinks,” says Liess. These gaming options also give people a reason to get out and socialize. “Bars that can offer differentiators can stand out from the crowd,” says Liess. “There is a trend of bars adding games to provide their customers additional entertainment options. “By purchasing bar games, bars are adding additional entertainment that

requires very little hands-on activity from owners or their staff. It also lends itself to promotional nights including Free Game Night or Pinball Tournaments that give customers a reason to come in on a slow night,” continues Liess. “Some games also include an advertising feature, such as Space Invaders Frenzy and Big Buck HD, which allows you to promote an event or drink special.” What’s old is new again, and new takes on classic titles like Space Invader Frenzy, Pac-Man Pixel Bash, Jurassic Park Arcade, and Centipede are big hits. “There is nostalgia for some of these games and the experiences we had as kids,” says Liess, who explains he’s seen a trend in the popularity of retro games. Also, with new nostalgia-based movies such as Ready Player One, younger adults have become more interested in the classic arcade games, and if they can enjoy the nightlife while playing the latest game in their neighborhood bar, all the better. However, Liess cautions owners not to turn their backs on new games. “When

New takes on classic arcade titles, like Pac-Man Pixel Bash, are big hits.

you just focus on retro games, though, you’re missing out on the opportunity of some really great new games like Injustice, Walking Dead, or even Buck Hunter HD,” he says. “These games will be crowd pleasers gathering people to take part.”

A hook for a bag. A charger for a phone. A game changer for customer service.

ChargiqueTM Charging System, the only device that allows customers to hang a bag and charge their cell phone. One outlet can power up to twelve devices, located in an out of the way place underneath the bar counter, while completely in the control of the customer.

• Secure USB charging • Durable, attractive and economical retrofit environments To win in today’s amenity–driven environment, get the ChargiqueTM Charging System, today. ChargiqueTM Charging System, made by Elegant Port & Power LLC


Bar Business Magazine • 781-826-2400

April 2019

Photo: Betson Enterprises.

• Easy installation in new or

How To

How To: bar tools

Equipment That Makes a DifferencE Three equipment solutions aimed at increasing efficiencies.


treamlined efficiencies. Costeffective measures. New revenue streams. In today’s bar industry, owners and operators are pulling out all the stops when it comes to equipment—eager to find ways to stay ahead of the game and make their job easier. We took a look at three different types of equipment aimed at doing just that—enhancing efficiencies and

Pro Tip Consumers’ tastes and preferences have evolved. Make sure you have the proper equipment to meet those changing needs.


Bar Business Magazine

increasing revenue. Improved Efficiencies Here’s one thing we know: Soda guns within the bar environment are consistently problematic when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Luckily, Gary Smith, Co-Founder of Soda Gun Jetter, has developed a solution that is making bar owners’ jobs a whole lot easier. Soda Gun Jetter’s story began in New Jersey in 2016 when Gary Smith, an electrician and business owner, and Joseph Nicholson, Process Control Engineer, were approached by industry professionals in the bar business about the problem of bar soda gun cleaning. “Initially, I rejected the idea, but Joe thought it might be a fun side project,” says Smith. After developing initial prototypes and partnering with industry giants Dave & Buster’s, MGM, and other companies, the Soda Gun Jetter was

finalized and has become the most reliable bar soda gun cleaning system on the market. In fact, in February 2018, the Soda Gun Jetter was recognized by a panel of third-party experts from across the foodservice industry as one of the most innovative products of 2018 and awarded the Kitchen Innovations 2018 Award presented by the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. “From our short time in this industry, we are seeing equipment that is technology driven to improve quality and reduce labor and waste,” says Smith. “The thought behind the Soda Gun Jetter was to keep the bartender doing their core task of customer service and let the Soda Gun Jetter maintain the cleanliness and quality of their beverages.” Here’s how it works: The Soda Gun Jetter is a fully automatic pressure washing system that uses only water to

April 2019

Photo: Shutterstock/ Hunter Bliss Images.

By Maura Keller

Bar business booms! Introducing the Ventless Countertop Fryer and Instant Burger®, two pieces of convenient countertop equipment that heat up profits quickly and deliciously. Why have your patrons leave your establishment when cravings hit? Now you can serve up tasty meals to hungry guests anytime, anywhere! Both machines fit most establishments, no matter your size, because both pieces fit easily on a countertop for a minimal footprint.

Perfect foods for nibbling, sharing and satisfying any craving! Our Ventless Countertop Fryers cook up french fries, onion rings, popcorn shrimp, chicken tenders and more in no time! Our ultra-compact design of less than 2 square feet fits just about any countertop.


The Instant Burger can cook two burgers in under a minute! It’s also great for hot dogs, chicken, fish filets, turkey patties and more. No cooking skills are required, and training is simple. No supervision is needed because meat can’t overcook or burn.

Make your bar business boom! With Ventless Countertop Fryers and Instant Burger from Broaster Company, you’ll be building bigger bar business in no time. Get cooking by calling 800-365-8278 or visit

How To: bar tools

Broaster Instant Burger

clean bar soda guns during a bar’s off or slow hours. It is easily programmed with the Soda Gun Jetter App. The Soda Gun Jetter company supplies the system from the cold-water supply of the soda gun with a 3/8-inch water input and reduces the tubing size to 1/8-inch on the output side. This builds the speed of the fluid without the need for a pump. “Not only does it clean your soda gun nozzles, it also cleans the drip cups and f lushes the drain lines daily,” explains Smith. “It f lushes the drain lines with approximately one gallon of water—significantly reducing fruit f lies and eliminating major breeding areas.” As Smith explains, the current recommended method of cleaning bar soda guns is a 13-step procedure that involves chlorine-based sanitizer and is not practical for any bartender to do on a daily basis. “Our system reduces that cleaning procedure to a simple exterior cleaning and once a week to remove the cap and wipe around the O-ring,” says Smith. “The amazing spray action of the Soda Gun Jetter cleans out the nozzle better and more consistently than manual cleaning.” Soda Gun Jetter’s recent advances include a black anti-microbial drain tubing and improved splash guard material to prevent the water from spraying out of the holder in the event the soda gun is left out of the holder.

has a long history of supporting foodservice in this segment, especially in the Midwest U.S. with its Genuine Broaster Chicken. “Overall, our equipment and branded programs are positioned to grow sales and increase traffic,” says West. “Additionally, we have food and equipment solutions to meet tight kitchen space requirements and simplicity of execution.” Equipment solutions might include the Broaster 1600 and 1800 pressure fryers, designed to fit in limited hood space situations. Broaster pressure fryers come in a variety of sizes—the Broaster 1600 unit only needs 16 inches of hood space. Frying under pressure, up to 14 psi, will yield a tender and moist product, which means handbreaded, pressurefried chicken tenders are now within reach for a bar owner. The Broaster VF-2 and VF-3 Ventless Countertop Fryers provide a cooking solution for limited spaces and require no hoods. A threestage air filtration system is a key component. The Instant Burger cooking platform offers an innovative solution that utilizes direct energy transfer in a clamshell format to cook burgers in less than a minute. Broaster’s newly marketed Smokaroma Pressure Smoker brings the possibility of executing real wood-smoked barbeque for the bar and tavern segment. Occupying a footprint of only 23 inchesby-29 inches, this equipment allows bar owners to smoke meats in just a fraction of the time as compared to traditional “slow and low” smokehouses. Designed to work in tight kitchen spaces, the Smokarama can provide great tasting smoked chicken wings or even baby back ribs in less than 45 minutes. “Generally our equipment and food choices provide bar operators solutions to take advantage of food sales growth,” says West. “The key is how this all fits

Great food will drive sales and traffic.

Broaster 1800 Pressure Fryer

Broaster VF-3 Ventless Countertop Fryer 22

Bar Business Magazine

Enhanced Foodservice As more and more bars enhance their food service offerings, they are looking for equipment that offers streamlined efficiencies while maintaining the quality of the food being prepared. As such, Broaster offers several pieces of equipment that are ideal for bars and taverns. According to Gregory West, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Food Innovation for Broaster, the company

April 2019

How To: bar tools

Perlick’s Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station

Soda Gun Jetter

within the operation—specifically kitchen space and labor. There is no doubt great food will drive sales and traffic; even elevating more high-margin beverage incidence. “Generally speaking for any foodservice channel, an operator should ask themselves how committed they are to driving food sales,” continues West. “Is there adequate kitchen or food preparation space, and just as important, is there labor to execute flawlessly?” Superior Refrigeration and Bar Setup At the forefront of any successful bar 24

Bar Business Magazine

are proper refrigeration units. For more than 100 years, Perlick has offered unrivaled quality and attention to detail, boasting refrigeration products that have earned a reputation for being best of class in construction and performance. “Consumers’ tastes and preferences have evolved and continue to evolve,” says Dave Kearns, Product Marketing Manager of Commercial Products at Perlick. “This is creating new challenges for beverage equipment manufactures to provide practical and cost-effective beverage dispensing solutions for a broader range of beverages than ever before.

“Also, new energy standards have dictated that manufacturers transition to hydrocarbon refrigerants in their refrigeration.” The launch of Perlick’s Tobin Ellis Signature Series Cocktail Station also took superior refrigeration into consideration. The station includes NSF-approved refrigerated drawers designed specifically to keep drink garnishes fresh and close at hand as well as to provide storage for fresh juices and other cocktail ingredients that require chilling. Perlick will be expanding the Tobin Ellis Signature Series Cocktail Station product offering this year with the addition of the “Ice Vault,” which is a compact freezer designed specifically for storing specialty ice, such as large format cubes within the cockpit for easy access. It also provides a space for tempering ice or chilling vermouth and other cocktail ingredients. The Tobin Ellis Signature Series Cocktail Station has also revolutionized bar design with the concept of zerostep bartending. The equipment included in the station is arranged to keep everything a bartender needs within easy reach. For example, the ice chest is shallower than a typical ice chest, which allows the specially designed curved speed rail to be moved closer to the bar. “This reduces the amount of bending and reaching the bartender is subjected to, which reduces repetitive motion injuries and missed days of work,” explains Kearns. “The speed rail was designed to create a functional cockpit for the bartender and to eliminate the discomfort of banging into hard edges, which are typical of conventional speed rails.” As Kearns explains, the Tobin Ellis Signature Series Cocktail Station was engineered for speed and built for comfort. “Zero-step bartending improves efficiency, productivity, and return on investment,” he says. “The equipment places the bartender closer to the bar in an OSHA-neutral position, which reduces muscle fatigue that may result in injury and missed work.”

April 2019




ALL NATURAL! NO REFRIGERATION NEEDED • Classic Red and Tropical White • No refrigeration needed — Sangria gets poured over ice • One-way keg = no deposit, no return • Lighter in calories — fruit-sweet, not sugary • Product stays fresh for 9 months after tapping • No special gas needed to dispense — can even be hand-pumped with air


• Kegs may be untapped, stored, then retapped (perfect for caterers)








• Clamp-on towers allow for portability and create an extra offering — don’t replace a draft product, add one!

Draft Wine Product in America

Tuning Up

How To: charging


Power Up! These solutions offer more than just the convenience of a charge. ar owners are no strangers to the need for charging options in their venues, and luckily, there are a slew of options to choose from. The value of offering charging is clear—retaining happy customers and increased check sizes—but many of today’s charging solutions go beyond these benefits.


Bar Business Magazine

We took a look at three companies that offer energy savings, conveniences for customers and staff, and even advertising screens in addition to the service of charging. Not to mention, all three solutions enable customers to keep their phones on them, and hopefully, promote your food, drinks, and service through social media.

Voltek: Energy Savings Voltek (formerly known as 2Wire Technologies) offers a unique lowvoltage charging solution. Available in both powerbox and wall mount formats, the USB charging outlets require no more than a simple low-voltage cable and can be mounted just about anywhere. “Voltek USB outlets are powered from

April 2019

Photo: Chargique.


By Ashley Bray

How To: charging a remote power supply located in a back closet or behind the bar,” explains Lee Snedaker, Owner of Voltek. “DC power is then delivered over a simple low voltage cable to each outlet location. Voltek USB outlets do not require the use of an AC to DC power converter (wall wort) so all a customer needs is a charging cable.” Additionally, power supplies with an optional battery backup provide several hours of power and charge time in the event of a power outage. Installation of Voltek’s products is simple and doesn’t require a licensed electrician or any expensive electrical cabling. While the company doesn’t offer installation, it will recommend a contractor if one is needed. Wall mounts are typically used in new construction since the wiring can be completed while the walls are still open. Snedaker says the surface mount powerbox option, which is mounted underneath the bar, is what most bars use when retrofitting charging solutions. “The surface mounts are a much better retrofit option and a really cost-effective solution,” he says. “You might drill a hole to get some cables to the backside of the bar, but for the most part, everything is mounted underneath the bar.” Snedaker recommends adding one dual USB outlet per two bar stools when placed under a bar or at a table. He also says the outlets are great for use not just in the front of the house, but the back of the house as well. “Several Voltek customers have added outlets to their back of house for different reasons. Tablet-based POS systems can be powered from USB outlets, and because our system can be powered from a battery backup in the event of a power outage, the POS system will stay up for several hours allowing for additional sales,” says Snedaker. “Plus, with AC outlets being used for kitchen equipment, we hear complaints about those devices getting unplugged so an employee can charge a device. By adding Voltek outlets for a very minimal cost, the employees can now have dedicated charging locations for personal devices.” At the back of house, Voltek recommends adding a couple of outlets behind the bar, one in the office, and several around the kitchen for

convenience. When used in conjunction with POS systems, Voltek recommends placing them at every tablet location where an order might need to be viewed. These outlets may be low-voltage, but that doesn’t mean they lack the necessary power. “Most AC outlets do not provide QC 2.0 or USB-C PD fast charging or increased voltage charging abilities built into them. Voltek outlets contain both technologies that provide the latest in fast-charging capabilities to many of today’s phones, tablets, and laptops,” says Snedaker. “Our outlets can deliver up to 45 watts of power— fulfilling the needs of most of today’s higher technology devices.”

Charging options now offer benefits like screens and energy savings.

Voltek’s charging options go beyond just providing the right amount of power—they also help bars save on energy and install costs. “By using a lowvoltage powered solution such as Voltek, customers are reducing the amount of raw plastic and copper in an installation by up to 65%. Most of today’s mobile devices have no need for AC electrical outlets and can be powered by either a USB-A / USB-C outlet. Voltek can save a customer up to 75% on material costs versus a traditional AC outlet installation and 50% on labor savings versus using a licensed electrician for an install,” says Snedaker. “Also, by converting AC power to DC at the power supply source, we offer less wasted energy loss during conversion by doing this step one time.” With a switch to USB-C outlets on the horizon, Voltek will soon be rolling out a product featuring the new outlet type. “We’re coming out with a new surface mount and a new wall plate that’s one

USB Type A and one USB Type C, and the Type C is a much higher power availability to charge laptops and bigger powerconsuming items,” says Snedaker. “It’s where the technology shift is headed.” OneStone: Screens & Sales The OneStone Hub Phone Charger and Digital Advertiser Table Tent offers the dual solution of a charging solution and a sales tool for your venue. The OneStone Hub is a dual-screen, Wi-Fi-controlled, 40,000-milliamp device that gives bar owners the option to advertise in HD—replacing the need for paper table tents (which need to be repeatedly printed) with a dynamic digital solution. The high-capacity batteries in the Hub allow the advertising to run and customers to charge their phones all day, and staff only needs to recharge the Hub at night. On the screens, OneStone recommends bar owners feature drink and food specials, special events, or anything they want to draw attention to. “If they’re really smart, they will promote the appetizer that has the highest margin and quickest turnaround for their kitchen, and they’ll really promote the alcohol that has the highest margin or that they’re getting the best deal from their vendors for,” says David Schooley, Chief Business Development & Marketing at OneStone. “We’re getting reports back from our venue partners that every time they feature something new on there, they see a 15%-plus, sometimes up to 30%, increase in sales of that particular item or special.” Schooley says two things contribute to this high conversion rate. One, people are visual and what they see, they want— especially if it’s featured on something as dynamic as digital signage. “Engagement and interactivity in digital is actually much higher than on print,” says Schooley. “People are starting to just ignore the prints, and digital is engaging—you can have moving graphics, you can have it change, and you can do more.” Secondly, by providing someone with a solution like charging for free, the bar owner is creating a feeling of goodwill. “When you give someone something for free, they respond more positively,” says Schooley. “It makes them more open to April 2019

Bar Business Magazine


How To: charging offer customers the convenience of a hook and a charger.

Chargique Advertise food & drink specials to customers charging up.

OneStone save on energy and install costs with a low-voltage solution.



Bar Business Magazine

whatever they see on that device. They now have a connection to the advertising showing on the same device that’s giving them something free.” OneStone customers can opt to lease or purchase the devices and completely control their ad content. Or, customers can choose a shared program, where OneStone offers 50% off the lease. Customers get 10 slides for their own advertising or for advertising they want to sell to third parties, and OneStone controls another 10 slides that they sell to non-competing advertisers. Bar owners control the advertising on the screens through Wi-Fi, so the creative can be uploaded and scheduled from anywhere through the content management system. This is ideal for owners with multiple locations who can now control advertising across all venues. OneStone has even started offering owners the ability to use the content management system to control advertising on other screens in their venues, like TVs. “Our content management system that manages the advertising on the screens is enterprise, world-class level. We can manage screens anywhere from wall displays to floor displays,” says Schooley. “Where most digital signage companies change anywhere from $20-30 per screen, per month to run ads, we only charge $30 per venue up to 50 screens. Now they can have one log-in for running all of their advertising on their Hubs, and start running advertising on TVs.” To try the system, Schooley recommends owners buy a 12-pack of the Hubs and place them at every four to six stools on the bar, or on the tables most frequently occupied. And because they’re doublesided, there’s no need to worry about them facing a certain way. Owners looking to make a bigger commitment can place devices on every table. “If they want to reduce the clutter on the table and reduce their carbon footprint by replacing their printed table tents, then obviously they want them on every table,” says Schooley. “Putting them on 50 tables in a large bar gets a little bit more expensive, but I would challenge them to compare their sales, their uptick in conversions, and their uptick in extra rounds of drinks because of the charging—it massively offsets it.”

Chargique: Convenience The Chargique™ Charging System enables USB charging for cell phones while also providing a sturdy hook for personal items such as a bag or purse. “One power supply, requiring only one outlet, can power up to 12 of these individual hooks/USB charging devices,” says Robert Tuffy, Manager and Co-Founder of Chargique. “The devices are located in an out-of-the-way place underneath the bar counter. They can be mounted either on the front face of the bar or under the bar top, using our optional mounting bracket. “It frees the bartender from the annoyance and liability of charging requests and keeps phones and personal items off seats, bar tops, and the floor. It also promotes repeat business when customers know that they can get a charge while they are out and about.” Chargique™ provides a detailed Installation and Usage Guide along with a mounting template with every order. Chargique™’s system is ideal for new construction and is also an easy retrofit option. “Customers have done either every seat or every other seat,” says Tuffy. “Peak activity levels of the bar are the key determinant for the number of devices.” By choosing a USB charging option versus a traditional 120-volt outlet, bar owners save on power capacity in their electrical panel. And while this charging option helps retain customers, it also helps with turnover, which is just as important. “120-volt outlets also encourage an element that most bartenders prefer to avoid—the laptop on the bar as the customer sets up office,” says Tuffy. “This office activity will reduce turnover and sales in addition to being an irritant to other customers.” This charging option is also beneficial because it provides multiple levels of security—it keeps the phone in the customer’s possession and it keeps data secure. “Chargique terminates data lines, thus preventing data transfer,” says Tuffy. “With the Chargique™ Charging System, USB data lines are terminated to preclude any attack through our charging system. Furthermore, individual charging stations are connected only by power cables—preventing any data transfer between modules.”

April 2019



people By Ashley Bray

Change the way you bring in new customers and staff.


hen it comes down to it, there are two main profit drivers in your bar: your customers and your staff. So when it comes to focusing on operations, your bar should have a strategy for hiring as well as for bringing customers through the door. 30

Bar Business Magazine

Hiring Help The bar industry has undergone plenty of changes in recent years, and the hiring process has not been excluded. It’s no longer enough to hire a friend of a friend—bar managers are seeking highly qualified employees who will stick around for the long-term. “Bar managers are adding another

skill to their resume, and it is ‘hiring manager,’” says Nina Churchill, PPC/ SEO Manager for Breezy, an end-to-end recruiting software. “The industry is demanding highly skilled bartenders that have a knack for being personable, have a true passion for learning more about the liquor/beer/wine they sell, and, just as importantly, know just what

April 2019

Photo: Rewards Network.


it takes to make the best damn Old Fashioned you’ve ever tasted. It’s that pride in doing the best job they can, while making it look effortless, that is attractive to the new wave of managers looking for top-notch candidates.” Changes to the hiring process have benefitted both bar managers and their employees. “The bar benefits from more experienced bartenders with the proper skills to make guests happy, improve drink quality, and increase the bottom line, while bartenders benefit with

longer-term employment and increased job satisfaction,” says Churchill. The hiring process may have become more methodical, but bar managers and owners still face challenges. “Some of the major hurdles bars encounter when hiring new employees are time and organization,” says Churchill. “There are occasions when the bar needs to hire someone ASAP and that need can outweigh the time it takes to attract a top-quality candidate. There are also times when the bar manager in charge of hiring is swamped with their other duties and hiring someone just seems to be yet another responsibility tacked on, which ties into the organization. If a hiring manager has dozens of candidates to interview and no real way of organizing their applications, candidate notes, and team member input, the task can seem daunting at best.” The solution? Hiring software. Solutions like Breezy help manage the entire hiring process from start to finish. “From the moment your job description is complete, Breezy is there to help you post that job, collect applicants, screen those applicants, and manage all of the materials that are a part of the process,” says Churchill. “By giving you access to multiple jobs boards, your job posting instantly has an increased reach without manually posting to individual boards. You then collect and review all applications in one place with your team rather than having to track emails and individual replies to all people involved.” Centralizing materials and keeping managers organized also helps to speed up the hiring process. “By putting everything, i.e., applications, emails, screening questions, and interview responses, in one central location, you shorten the amount of time it takes to qualify candidates,” says Churchill. “With so much competition for roles, a day can mean the difference between your top candidate accepting your offer, or you settling for someone not as qualified because you took too long making a decision. So software like Breezy helps you save time, keep track of where candidates are, and create a process that you can use over and over again.” Depending on what a bar needs, Breezy offers a few plans with different features.

“The biggest thing to consider when looking at Breezy is the number of roles you are hiring for. If you have different screenings and interview processes for bartenders, waiters/waitresses, and cooks, you would want to consider a Startup Plan to manage those unique differences,” says Churchill. “For those that might need background checks and want to maintain a list of potential candidates for future openings, the Business plan would make more sense.” Reliable Rewards Customers, especially repeat customers, who spend money at your establishment, are the lifeblood of any bar. “One of the things that I think restaurant owners grapple with is that the most expensive thing in their restaurant is an empty table,” says Steve Fusco, President of Rewards Network, a company dedicated to helping businesses grow through restaurant financing and marketing. “You can never go back in time and replace the lost revenue from not having someone sitting at that table right now. So finding different vehicles to drive people into your restaurant, is very, very important for restaurant owners.” One of the most effective drivers is a rewards program. “Twenty years of payment card history has proven that rewards is the single most powerful tool that you can use to drive customer behavior as it relates to spending,” says Fusco. It’s important to remember that there is a difference between rewards and discounts. “Discounts are a powerful tool, but the challenge with them is you’re discounting the service that you’re providing in a restaurant. People come in and they’re incentivized to spend less money,” says Fusco. “So while you might get some revenue out of that, it’s revenue at a very high cost, and it doesn’t create a meaningful or repeatable customer experience. With rewards, you have the opposite effect. Customers are coming into your restaurant, and they’re incented to spend more. And when they do spend more, they get a benefit that is specifically associated with you.” So how does Rewards Network operate? The 35-year-old company was one of the principal innovators in the April 2019

Bar Business Magazine



concept of card-linked offer programs for restaurants, and today, it is the largest promotional program for the restaurant industry in the United States with 17 million members and 20-plus loyalty program partners. Rewards Network provides three main

benefits: it delivers diners, offers flexible capital solutions, and provides unique marketing insights. Driving in Loyal Diners. Bars and restaurants have an exclusive connection to the largest customer rewards programs and their members, who earn rewards just

for dining with your restaurant. Linked rewards programs include Uber, major airlines like United and American, and popular hotel chains like IHG and Hilton. Members register their credit or debit cards with the restaurant loyalty program of their choice. Rewards Network then markets your bar through weekly emails to members that spotlight restaurants and bars in their area, as well as popular dining sites and mobile apps. When members dine in your bar or restaurant and pay with their linked card, they automatically earn rewards for every dollar they spend with you. This is an especially powerful tool for smaller bars and restaurants that don’t have the platform to create a rewards program of this size on their own. Partnering with Rewards Network enables these smaller businesses to compete with programs offered by larger chains. “We find customers are naturally attracted to major brands, they’re naturally attracted to the experiences that those brands cultivate for our

Photo: Breezy.


Bar Business Magazine

April 2019

operations customers, so it’s a massive platform for restaurants to be present for a highvalue customer segment wherever they are all over the country,” says Fusco. “It’s a pretty powerful platform that the restaurants use, and we find that when they do use it, they tend to get more diners coming to their restaurants but also diners that then repeat and come back again and again and spend a little bit more than the average diner.” Marketing. In addition to driving in customers, Rewards Network also provides insights on those patrons. After members visit your establishment, they’re sent an online survey to fill out, providing you with their thoughts on food, service, and the likelihood to return. “We provide really unique market insights to these restaurants because we’re able to give them feedback on the dining experience directly from people we have verified have dined at their restaurants,” says Fusco. “We also provide all manner of different reporting to them about new diners, demographics on the

diners, and things like that that helps them run the business.” With feedback from verified customers— versus unverified information on message boards, forums, and review sites—bars and restaurants can really hone in on areas that need improvement. “Ignoring feedback can be very detrimental to a restaurant’s success, but so can acting on feedback that isn’t credible and isn’t coming from your customers,” says Fusco. “By capturing feedback from diners that they can confirm with certainty are their own customers, restaurants can identify the things that are working and the things that they need to tweak. So you can isolate service issues, you can identify challenges with menu items or the diversity of your menu, or you can generally identify aspects of the experience itself that need to be improved.” And customer experience is key in a bar or restaurant. “People come to a restaurant because the entire end-to-end experience of what makes that meal special,” says Fusco. Capital Solutions. If a bar or

restaurant needs capital to make improvements or buy equipment that will enhance that customer experience, Rewards Network has financing solutions. “That’s one of the reasons why our working capital product is so valuable to customers,” says Fusco. “What they can do is they can make that investment, build that deck, paint that room, add tables and chairs, add a piece of equipment, and they can do all that in a way that’s convenient for them because they only pay it back as we send business to them.” The way the financing works is Rewards Network pre-purchases credit card receivables from your bar, with an easy application and approval in as little as 48 hours. From there, bars pay it back when people dine as Rewards Network collects a percentage of your credit card sales only when you generate them, until the receivables purchase is fully delivered. In addition, the company provides exclusive marketing to new, high-income, frequent diners who spend 13% more on average per check than other customers.

BUILT BY BARTENDERS FOR BARTENDERS • Built with lightweight and durable aircraft aluminum • Folds to 5 Inches wide for storage and transport • Easy interchangeable bar panels • A variety of interchangeable bar top options • LED lighting …waterproof and rechargeable • No tools required • American Made Since 2005! (714) 849-1340


1 2/1/19 2:20 PM 34 UltimateBar_HalfPageAd_BLUEPRINT_0219.indd Bar Business Magazine April 2019

With the right point of sale system, you can do so much more than settle tabs and process payments. Paradise POS systems equip you with innovative solutions that allow you to operate your nightclub or bar smarter, more efficiently and more profitably. Paradise POS systems are designed for iOS, so they are perfectly suited for mobile POS applications at the bar or tableside, and they are configurable, so you can optimize screens for greater employee productivity. Contact us to learn how Paradise POS systems can help your business be more successful.




Mixed Up

Beyond the Basics of

Barrel Aging


hen does a marketing strategy with visual appeal transcend into something lasting? When the resulting product ends up being better than the sum of its parts. And this is true of barrel-aged cocktails. 36

Bar Business Magazine

Or, as Doug Chippewa, Senior Beverage Manager for all Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Restaurants, puts it, “The barrelaged cocktail is a great conversation piece, as it can be utilized in any bar or restaurant concept, [is] cost effective, and almost always results in the most popular cocktail on the menu. Barrel aging

enhances and brings new complexity to that specific cocktail, while mellowing out any harshness of the original recipe.� While most on-premise promotions can help raise the bottom line for a limited amount of time while a new spirit, technique, or flavor profile is relevant, barrel-aged cocktails buck trends.

April 2019

Mixed UP along a wall lined with ready-to-pour cocktails contained in 50 American Oak barrels attained from his vendors. He predicts the barrel count will double by late 2019 or early 2020, especially as there is a waiting list of spirits companies wanting in on the program. “After we started with one barrel-aged cocktail, it occurred to me that it made sense to offer many barrel-aged classics like Manhattans and Sidecars,” says Aguirre. “Initially, our spirits distributors did not believe in the idea, and we put in almost as much time getting them interested as we did developing our recipes. However, our regular customers loved it, and new customers came in through word of mouth. Now, those distributors and many others want to be a part of what we’re doing.”

Photo: Nuno’s Bistro & Bar, Upland, California.

Barrel aging adds a unique spin to tried-and-true classics. “People are interested in cocktails that are different, and they like to pull back the curtain and see how things are made,” says Jake Larowe, Manager of Birds & Bees, a 1950s-inspired underground lounge in downtown Los Angeles. “A barrel sitting on the back bar is a great way to hit both those

By Elyse Glickman

points. When customers can see the barrel, it gets them excited about what you’re doing as a bartender.” Ramon Aguirre, Bar Manager at Nuno’s Bistro & Bar in Upland, California, can attest to this. His program, launched in 2014 with the restaurant’s opening, is on full display

A Counter Offer guests Can’t Refuse Barrel aging ensures your cocktails will be different from those offered by other bars. “Barrel aging allows a bartender to take familiar flavors and add more layers of flavor and texture,” says Larowe. “Another really interesting thing about barrel aging cocktails in-house—especially for the customer—is that as time progresses, the flavor will continue to change. A bar could have three or more barrels of the same cocktail going at different times, allowing guests to taste them side-by-side to truly experience the effect that aging time in wood has on them.” When Sherry Barrow of Glencoe Distillery, a Ruidoso, New Mexico-based artisanal spirits producer, and her partners (husband Glen, Master Distiller Will Ponder and his wife, Rebecca) considered whether the best way to showcase the distinctive qualities of their hand-crafted barrel-aged spirits was alone or in a cocktail, they wanted every sip to be grounded in a sense of place. “We try to utilize ingredients we have locally when possible and appeal to all of the senses, even touch,” she says. “We also want to maintain an ongoing conversation with our customers about the aging tasting process of our spirits both on their own and in a barrel-aged cocktail that enhances the original flavors. These customers become our Glencoe Distillery ambassadors, April 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Mixed Up

creating word of mouth and demand for whatever we may be doing next.” John McAuliffe, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country, had been working with barrels for the last eight years at various venues. However, he observes the practice took off “in waves” over the past two years, and he introduced it to his current place of business back in October with the hook that everything that makes Sonoma County a destination is in the barrel. “As many classic cocktails are booze forward, especially the Manhattan and the Last Word, barrel aging takes a cocktail forward, leaving the components intact but providing the cocktail a rounded-off finish,” says McAuliffe. “It’s similar to comparing cheap wine to higher-end wine. The final drink will rise or fall based on the care you give it while you were making it—especially if you allow it to age in the right place.” Advice in Stor(age) There is a consensus that the biggest misconception about barrel aging is that once you put a mix in the barrel, you are done. Those we spoke with emphasized that as aging is continuous, the cocktail needs to be tasted at least once or twice a week. Just as wine can be over-oaked or barrel-aged beers can be aged too much, a cocktail can age past its prime. “It’s a complex drink, and at some 38

Bar Business Magazine

point, you need to pull it out of the barrel and put it in another container such as the glass jars we use once (the recipe) has reached its prime,” says McAuliffe. “From there, we start a new batch from scratch.” Another myth debunked is that brown spirits are the best base for barrel-aged cocktails. Nuno’s and Glencoe Distillery regularly prove that summery cocktails made with gin, agave spirits, or vodkas can be just as complex and interesting with the proper ingredients and aging. At Birds & Bees, Larowe will age a London dry gin for a month or two in a little barrel to later use for gin and tonics, noting the bright herbal flavors of the gin blended with the tonic’s bitter flavors are the perfect foil for the oak’s tannic flavor. Jonathan Dahl, Co-Owner of the recently opened Redondo Beach cocktail bar Georgia, says barrel-aged cocktails with white spirit foundations are a natural for warmer months. He points to his riff on the Paper Plane, which unites the botanicals of gin with the smoothness of bourbon. Adding elements of cinnamon and vanilla beans, meanwhile, can bring an original twist to older recipes. “If you are doing something with aging vodka or gin, you’ll want to leave out some of the bright, fresh tasting components until the customer orders the drink,” says Dahl. “For summer drinks, you’ll only want to alter part of the cocktail, in contrast to a

Dispensing Advice Chippewa notes that the approach at Puck’s CUT restaurants is “less is more,” which has helped keep the tableside presentation program relevant to its choosy clientele for the past six years. However, the “how many” question depends on the property, as evidenced by Nuno’s approach of being a destination for all things barrel aged. Larowe suggests that, when deciding whether or not to add a barrel-aged cocktail to the menu, a good first step is to determine how adding a barrel to the

April 2019

Photo: Nuno’s Bistro & Bar, Upland, California.

Just like a wine flight, a customer will enjoy comparing cocktails made with the same ingredients in two different lights—barrel aged and a freshly made cocktail.

heavier cocktail like a Manhattan where you will alter almost everything inside the barrel when you age it.” McAuliffe illustrates this idea with a Mezcal-rita he created for a former venue where he put a clear mezcal and orange liqueur in the barrel to refine the smoky, scotch-like bite that some people don’t like. When making the cocktail fresh, one adds the fresh orange and lime to make the finished drink light enough to enjoy by the pool. Larowe, meanwhile, seasoned a twoliter barrel with absinthe for a month then drained it and refilled it with rye whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a Demerara simple syrup. What came out after a month was a ready-to-drink Sazerac with a hearty kick of absinthe infused throughout the drink. Larowe, Chippewa, Dahl, and Barrow agree that the combined ingredients of a recipe should sit for the first week of aging. From there, one should taste it every few days until it starts to taste right. Once the cocktail reaches the perfect flavor and mouth feel, drain the barrel and rebottle the aged spirit so it doesn’t get any more barrel notes. Doing “test barrels,” meanwhile, can also pay off. “You can tinker with it like a barbecue, experimenting with the woods on which you char your meat to impart different flavors,” adds McAuliffe. “Barrel aging inspires creativity because the barrel finish and length of that finish, definition, and depth of the oak, or the char that impart complexities from the different types of wood—all those things can be altered depending on the barrel you get, whether its French Oak, New American Oak, or used American Oak.”

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Mixed Up bar would benefit the bottom line and fill gap within the existing cocktail program. From there, do a series of test runs until the cocktail is perfected. “I would recommend getting two or three small barrels and do some test runs,” says Larowe. “When you have perfected a recipe, then move up to larger, more sustainable barrels for aging. Once you have the larger barrels, you can batch out the recipe, put it in the barrel, and let it sit.” McAuliffe says barrel-aged programs rise and fall based on how effectively a bar can sell the concept to customers. “Our bartenders are great storytellers (who can) sell customers on the fact that we have two Manhattans—one made on the spot and the other barrel aged. Just like a wine flight, a customer will enjoy comparing two cocktails made with the same ingredients in two different lights, between 90 days and a freshly made cocktail.” The easiest way to get a barrel program rolling is to approach vendors and distributors of spirits (especially bourbon

and whiskey), as Nuno’s did. However, if your barrel-aged cocktail program is wellestablished or customization is critical (like the program at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country), websites like barrelsonline. com allow you to select the desired barrel’s wood, char, and the color of the band outside of the barrel, as well as upload an image to the site with your desired brand or logo to be emblazoned on the side. “If you decided to go with a barrel program, my ultimate suggestion is to use your imagination as a chef would,” says Dahl. “See what flavors balance with different spirits and how aging will expand the possibilities within different cocktails.” Preparing Your Barrels When sourcing barrels, Barrow says a white oak barrel source is a good investment of time and money. She also recommends getting barrels with various “toasteds” (i.e., light, medium, and dark char). Chippewa sums up the barrel preparation process: First, rinse the barrel three times with hot water and

then rinse to remove any large pieces of wood or char that could possibly cause the barrel to clog. Second, cure the barrel by filling it with hot water and letting it sit for three days. This allows the wood to seal itself and prevent leaking. Third, when the three days have passed, empty the barrel and begin the process of making the cocktail for that barrel. McAuliffe suggests completely submerging your barrels in water for 48 hours as it prevents the wood from absorbing any of the cocktail or liquor because the cracks filled up with the water, keeping the barrel full. When preparing the barrel soak, be sure that the water has no chlorine or iron content, which can turn a whiskey black. Barrow also advises against using a mallet to install the spigot because the wood in the spigot may crack and leak. Barrow will rotate the casks in and out of the storage cabinet one week at a time. She says the difference in temperature and humidity allows for more interaction between the cask and the liquid.



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April 2019




BAR BUSINESS MAGAZINE provides nightclub and bar owners, operators, and managers the chance to find out what is going on in the industry, and more importantly, how to benefit from it all. Each issue includes our signature “how-to” columns with detailed, step-by-step instructions on various ways to improve your business through aesthetic alterations, managerial practices, marketing strategies, and more.



JARED BAILEY! The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY hosted a premier cocktail competition to find the bartender with the best “New Orleans” cocktail. Hip Sip’s Battle of the Modern Bartender brought the Big Easy to the Big Apple. Top bartender finalists were judged on creativity, use of product, taste, presentation and flair.

Congrats to Jared Bailey being crowned the winner.

Yay’s & Nay’s 2 oz Breckenridge Bourbon 3/4 oz Sonoma County Vanilla Bean Syrup 4 dashes Bitterman’s Scarborough Bitters

Jared Bailey of Soho Cigar Bar, New York City

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir until well-chilled. Rinse the inside of rocks glass with a spritz of Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur. Strain the contents of the mixing glass neat into the rinsed rocks glass and garnish with a grapefruit twist.



MAY 18-21, 2019 • CHICAGO, IL

Bar Tour

Bar Tour


The Mad Priest Chattanooga, Tennessee

Worlds collide in this craft coffee and cocktail bar.


Bar Business Magazine

ibliophiles will immediately associate the name the “Mad Priest” with the character from the classic adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo. In the novel, the Mad Priest embodies the fight for justice, freedom, and opportunity, which is just what Owners Michael & Cherita Rice are striving to do with their company, The Mad Priest. The first iteration of The Mad Priest was a coffee roastery on the southside of town called Mad Priest Coffee Roasters. The roastery had a small retail space, but the Rices wanted a full space with a bigger café. They were also looking to fill a void in the Chattanooga area. “We didn’t have any coffee shops at the time that were open late. Versus any other larger city, you can go somewhere at 10 pm and get a good latte,” says Michael. “So we wanted to increase the time and presence of coffee, but then also bring in that bar element.” The Mad Priest was born, and it opened its doors on Halloween 2018.

The craft coffee and cocktail bar is open from 7 am until midnight most days with breakfast, lunch, and tapasstyle food at night, in addition to coffee and cocktails. (Note: Mad Priest Coffee Roasters is still going strong and is even expanding to a new production space.) With an extensive background in both coffee and hospitality, the Rices were outfitted to handle both. Plus, coffee and cocktails are kindred beverages. “The more I started diving into spirits, I realized it was the same thing as coffee,” says Michael. “You’re taking a crop, and you’re producing it, and it has all these hands down to the barista or bartender.” To prepare, Michael became CSS (Certified Specialist of Spirits) certified. He also spent 2018 on an eleven-city tour of 90-plus bars in the U.S. to conduct market research. On his tour, he found about 20% of bars doing some iteration of both coffee and cocktails. “I do see it growing, but I see it more from the coffee side trying to pull [the bar element] in,” he explains. “From the coffee side, the reason people are

April 2019

Photos (this spread): Karen Culp Photography.

By Ashley Bray

Bar Tour moving [into the bar industry] is because of sustainability. Coffee doesn’t have nearly as good margins as the bar side. “I don’t see a lot of bars trying to combine with coffee. It’s kind of a oneway thing, which has been interesting to see develop,” continues Michael, who explains that adding coffee to an existing bar also adds a great deal of overhead. Michael’s plan was to successfully execute both the bar and café concepts—The Mad Priest didn’t want to just be an all-day café that happened to serve cocktails at night. “I wanted to fuse those two things together and execute them well because I didn’t see a lot of people doing that,” he says. “When you come into my space at 5 pm, it turns around. The music, atmosphere, and turndown of the lights are very different. You can still get a good latte throughout the rest of the night, but you’re going to feel like you’re in a really awesome bar because of these added elements. During the daytime, we have that coffee shop vibe with higher lights, and the music’s more chill, calmer, and at a lower volume.” The Mad Priest curated an aesthetic that leant itself to both concepts as well as the overarching old world European theme of The Count of Monte Cristo. In the book, the Count ultimately ends up traveling the world and collecting things from all over, and this fit into the Rices’ goal of infusing some worldliness into the space. “My wife and I, having not only lived in India and worked in the beverage industry there, also got to travel a bit of the world because we were so close to so much of that part of the world,” says Michael. “So we were fusing the story and our brand together with our experience and the things we’ve loved from all these cultures, which was ultimately rooted in this desire to bring more worldly experience and culture to Chattanooga.” Described as “old world French woodwork meets Ottoman empire tile,” the space features Persian rugs, Moroccan tile work, handmade lighting from Turkey and India, and plenty of custom woodwork. “My partner in the new venture is actually one of Chattanooga’s most well known contractors and woodworkers, and three years ago, he bought the

building,” says Michael. “We don’t have to worry about crazy rent hikes or someone wanting to buy out the building.” The Rices’ partner, Matt Sears of Haskel Sears Design, oversaw the contracting work on the bar and completed all the woodwork in the space. “He intentionally used a darker stain and did some old, 19th-century style woodwork that just fit together with everything,” says Michael.

Coffee and cocktails are kindred beverages.

Some of the more standout elements are the tall, intimate wooden booths, which were built to resemble confessionals (see below). The worldly aesthetic is not just for show—it also extends into the establishment’s dedication to a triple bottom line, which includes environmental and social goals. On the environmental side, The Mad Priest aims to be 100% compostable/

green-light certified. The venue has a full compostable setup that allows it to be zero waste, and everything in-house and that leaves the building is compostable— including silverware and utensils. They work with a commercial composting facility in town that picks up from them once a week. Any other remaining waste they try to find a place for. For example, spent grounds, roasting chafe, burlap, etc. all goes to local farms, which The Mad Priest frequently sources ingredients from as well. On the social front, the company is committed to hiring resettled refugees in the city. While in India, the Rices interacted frequently with Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Learning more about them, their stories, and their culture inspired the Rices to do more for refugees. When they got back to Chattanooga, they realized a way to do that was to offer employment through their company, and they established a relationship with the local resettlement office. The Mad Priest has hired newly resettled refugees from Sudan and Iraq (both at the bar and the roastery) with the goal of helping them to excel and move on—whether that’s through an opportunity outside of The Mad Priest or through a promotion within the company. The company also offers a number of opportunities aimed at helping all of their employees to succeed. For example, they pay for parking, and they have an employment education

April 2019

Bar Business Magazine


Bar Tour

Co-Owners of The Mad Priest


ith an extensive background in hospitality and coffee, it was only a matter of time before Michael & Cherita Rice combined the two. Michael has been in the food and beverage industry since high school, and the couple has been involved in the coffee industry for the last few years as well. “My wife and I were traveling abroad, and I had always wanted to get into the coffee industry,” says Michael. “We ended up connecting with a local Indian man who had started a couple of coffee shops and was looking to expand. We came onboard with him as consultants and contractors and helped him double his coffee shops. And we started an entire network of coffee shops across India where we could go and train and get them self-sustaining.” When they came back to the States, the Rices opened Mad Priest Coffee Roasters. A few years later, they followed up with The Mad Priest, a craft coffee and cocktail bar, which allowed them to delve even deeper into beverages.


Bar Business Magazine

a veteran in the industry that was contracted to help with the cocktails and bar setup. Choices include Sinbad the Sailor, featuring Don Q Añejo tequila, spiced syrup, and lime; Hundred Days, with George Dickel Rye, chartreuse, lime, pineapple, kiwi, and Makrut salt; and Ambrosia, with cardamom-infused vodka, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, pomegranate, and grapefruit soda. Yesteryear cocktails showcase the classics. Some are well known, and some come with a twist—for example, the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, which uses mezcal. By featuring unique or lesser-known ingredients and spirits, The Mad Priest embraces the opportunity to educate its customers. “Tying education into a lot of this is huge because I think the more we can elevate the empowerment of education for the consumer, alongside our staff, then we can create an experience that makes them feel special and makes them feel good all while they’re learning,” says Michael. The Mad Priest also educates and spreads cultural awareness through events. “The goal was to bring cultural opportunity to Chattanooga,” says Michael. “We started the series called “An Evening in __.” We choose a country, and we do this holistic, experiential event where you are immersed into that culture for the evening through music, food, other forms of entertainment, décor, things like that. We’ve done five, and they were all sold out, successful, and showed there was a demand for Chattanooga to have these experiences.”


April 2019

Photos (this page): Sowing Clover Photography.

Cherita & Michael Rice

opportunity where they take 2% of their net operating profits from each department and put it in a separate account. Employees can access the account and use the funds to attend industry events and competitions, which hone their skills and knowledge in food and beverage. Speaking of food and drink, international influences are clearly present on the menu as well. “We have all these cultural elements, but it would be weird if we came in and had bar nachos or hot dogs,” laughs Michael. The menu aims to introduce patrons to new things through a selection of tapas that showcase cuisine from all over the world, including Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Dishes include spring rolls, South-Asian meatballs, a kebab plate, and a mediterranean plate with vegetarian options like hummus, baba ganoush, and grilled veggies. Selections will rotate seasonally. The beverage menu offers a full coffee selection as well a list of house and “Yesteryear” cocktails—all featuring the influence of the international flavors guests have come to expect from The Mad Priest. The venue keeps a maximum of 20 drinks on the menu, and the house cocktails rotate seasonally. “I find myself very torn between the world of innovative craft mixology/ coffee. We see it increasing, but then we see it also take on, a lot of times, an unnecessary form of complexity,” says Michael. “I don’t feel like that appeals to the average customer. And if at the end of the day we’re in the hospitality industry, then the goal is to serve them and to have good customer service while presenting an excellent beverage. So for us, how do we fuse the excellence that we want to execute but take out any sort of complexity and pretentiousness and just simplify it? For the cocktail menu, part of that was we don’t want too many cocktails. It was also about not overcomplicating the menu to where you have to memorize so many cocktails and have all these extra ingredients.” House cocktails come from bartenders across the nation, but the majority were created by Jen Gregory,


Houston: The New Culinary Capital of the South July 14-15, 2019 GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER 800.395.2872



Stoli Vodka Launches New Lime Flavor Stoli Lime

Stoli has launched their first new citrus flavored vodka in more than a decade—Stoli Lime. The new vodka provides a sweet, fresh flavor that blends perfectly for delicious cocktails or tastes refreshing on the rocks. Stoli is conquering the challenges bartenders and consumers face when making limeflavored cocktails—the sour and overpowering flavor from bottled lime juices and the short shelf life of fresh juice and limes. The Stoli brand portfolio has featured flavored vodkas since 1962 and launched a bold Cucumber flavor last year. Stoli Lime is 75 proof or 37.5% ABV. It will be available nationwide at the end of April.

Stillhouse Breaks into New Category with Debut of Classic Vodka Stillhouse Classic Vodka

Renowned for their award-winning Stillhouse Whiskey and Stillhouse Black Bourbon, as well as their awardwinning, recognizable stainless steel can, Stillhouse Spirits Co. is now breaking into the biggest spirits category with the debut of Stillhouse Classic Vodka. With the introduction of Stillhouse Classic Vodka, the company is positioned to broaden their expanding portfolio. The all-natural and gluten-free vodka is 80 proof and distilled from 100% estate-grown corn and limestone water, then filtered to perfection through sugar maple charcoal, resulting in a polished finish. It is encased in a striking bone-white version of the brand’s signature 100% stainless steel can. “Our aim was to establish Stillhouse as America’s Finest within multiple spirit categories while being encased in our one-of-a kind stainless steel can,” said Brad Beckerman, Founder & CEO of Stillhouse Spirits Co., “first with our clear Whiskey portfolio, then with our Black Bourbon, and now, with the creation of our Stillhouse Classic Vodka.”

Q Mixers Adds Two Light Flavors Q Light Tonic and Q Light Ginger Beer

Q, the Brooklyn born-and-bred brand of spectacular carbonated mixers crafted with authentic ingredients, more carbonation, and much less sweetness, announces the addition of Light Tonic and Light Ginger Beer to its collection of flavors. Q Light Tonic and Q Light Ginger Beer will be available nationwide in 6.7 oz, 500 ml, and 750 ml glass bottles and 7.5-ounce cans. Q Light Tonic has 75% fewer calories (13 per six ounce) than Schweppes regular tonic (65 per 6 oz) and half the calories of Fever Tree light tonic (26 per 6 oz). Q Light Ginger Beer has 68% fewer calories (31 per 6 oz) compared to Gosling’s Ginger Beer (96 per 6 oz). Q Light Tonic and Light Ginger Beer achieve a significant calorie reduction without sacrificing flavor. They are ideal for skinny versions of cocktails like Gin and Tonics or Moscow Mules. “Q is always crafted with one goal in mind: creating the world’s best tasting mixers,” said Q Founder and CEO Jordan Silbert. “In the case of our new light flavors, we achieved that goal of delivering great, distinctive taste while reducing calorie count.”


Bar Business Magazine

April 2019



Save Thousands One Ounce at a Time

Plastic Jack

The Pure Pour

Say hello to Plastic Jack, the new industry standard in delivering cocktail goodness. Made for bars/ restaurants, events, hotels, casinos—if it’s social, it’s Plastic Jack. These plastic mule mugs have the same iconic look of the original, without the cost, and are a perfect keepsake. This affordable plastic mule mug doesn’t start and stop with the Moscow Mule cocktail. This vessel can deliver goodness of all kinds to increase your sales or promote your business. All cocktails are great in a mule. • Made in the USA (yes indeed) • Offered in 12 oz Copper and Tin colors (custom colors upon request) • Solid color through and through (not plated) • Customize with your logo, perfect customer keepsake • Affordable alternative to real copper mules • Increase your sales, promote your business • Serve up all your cocktails in an iconic mug • Reusable, dishwasher safe (top rack only) • BPA-free, FDA-approved materials • Recyclable

The Pure Pour is a revolutionary product changing the restaurant and bar industry. It is a liquor pour spout that does not leak or rust—ever. This spout increases profits and reduces spillage that leads to lost revenue. The spout is made of FDA-approved food grade material, functions as a grip to hold the bottle, which protects the bottle from breakage, and lasts twice as long as other spouts on the market ensuring every drop pours into a cash-generating cocktail glass. It comes with a bug cover, is dishwasher safe, recyclable, low profile, and won’t injure your bartender. The Pure Pour spout will be featured by Edward Don & Company at the National Restaurant & Bar Show in Chicago, May 18-21. This patent-pending pour spout fits most bottles, and our next product is coming soon for hardto-fit fluted Tequila bottles. The Pure Pour is the preferred pour spout of Universal Studios Florida.

Featured Featured


HeadLimes, a New Lime Paradigm HeadLimes

We created HeadLimes for two reasons: 1) to get a twist of lime where it’s supposed to go—in the drink! and, 2) to make a cocktail or beer stand out from the crowd. And, we accomplished both! As you will see, HeadLimes are very functional, but the real value is in their branding and promotional impact. We’ve tested them, and people want drinks served with HeadLimes and go out of their way to get them. HeadLimes draw attention, are conversation starters, and provoke social media posting—all to the benefit of bars and liquor and beer brands. Bars and restaurants use them as branded giveaways. Similarly, beer and liquor brands use them as on-premise promotional items to draw attention to their beverages. HeadLimes are food and dishwasher safe and are meant to be reused or taken home by customers. Currently, there are three editions of HeadLimes (Gator, Limes, and Footballs). New editions (custom) can be created in any color and all can be printed with your brand / logo. Purchase small batches online or contact sales@ for larger orders, customization, and questions. Happy Liming!

April 2019

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April 2019 Bar Business Magazine



with Nathanael Mehrens


Tell me a bit about Stay Golden.

Stay Golden is a full-service restaurant, bar, and coffee company with a focus on seasonal menus and local sustainable ingredients. Executive Chef Simoni Kigweba serves elevated versions of classic American diner food like crispy, yeasted waffles; smashed patty burgers with local beef; and breakfast sandwiches with house-made biscuits and sausage. Our ethically sourced coffee is roasted in-house, and our staff is stacked with coffee veterans who put endless care and attention into making drinks to the highest standard. The bar program is built around craft and coffee cocktails, but we also make seasonal sodas and put them on tap along with beer and wine. The roastery also supplies other cafes, restaurants, and hotels, and we also have a training lab for all our wholesale customers to utilize whenever they need.

2 Beverage Director at Stay Golden (Nashville, Tennessee)


athanael Mehrens is a 14-year coffee and cocktail veteran and entrepreneur with experience founding cafés, cocktail bars, catering companies, and wholesale beverage companies, as well as creating training programs and menus for esteemed Nashville concepts including Steadfast Coffee, Steadfast Commons, and CREMA. With a knack for thinking outside of the box and a passion for pursuing the culinary potential of coffee in different contexts, Mehrens is the creator of coffee soda, now distributed by Matchless Coffee Soda, that has necessitated the evolution of an entirely new brewing process. Mehrens is actively involved in the regional and national coffee scene through the Barista Guild of America and the Specialty Coffee Association of America. He is also a founding member of the Nashville Coffee Collective.


Bar Business Magazine

Why did you open Stay Golden and focus on coffee, food, and cocktails?

Honestly, it was because we (myself, Director of Hospitality Jamie Cunningham, and Director of Roasting Sean Stewart) love all three, and there just aren’t enough places that really balance them well. Most bars and restaurants don’t have a great coffee program and most cafés aren’t equipped to really execute food and cocktails on a high level. We wanted to change the expectations around that and set some new standards.


Tell me about the coffee cocktails.

The menu is what I’m most excited about, as I think there’s still a lot of undeveloped theory here, but I wanted to provide a good variety of flavors, temperatures, and techniques. I build all my cocktails around a basic philosophy of mother drinks that act as

Johnny Up

a springboard for creativity, but when you add coffee to the mix and start messing with temperature, that theory starts to break down a little. Thankfully, I’ve discovered some tricks, like preserving and chilling espresso for later use, and I’m starting to feel like I really know what I’m doing. Ultimately, I’d like to develop a good list of “classics” and go from there.


Tips for crafting coffee cocktails?

First, don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of liquor to complement the drinking temperature. Alcohol triggers the same receptors that heat does so it’s easy to overdo the booze. To me, it’s more important that the drink tastes delicious than gets you drunk. Second, saline takes the edge off coffee’s bitterness and goes a long way toward marrying flavors. Just a drop or two will make a huge difference. I like brandy a lot in coffee, especially lightly roasted specialty coffee where the brightness is on full display. Coffee is a fruit, so it makes sense to pair it with fruity spirits. Also, Amari and coffee are best friends. You can’t go wrong, really.


Tell me about your craft cocktails.

A lot of those drinks tend to be riffs on classics, if for no other reason than it’s surprisingly difficult to get a good Daiquiri, and I prefer substance to flair. I want to give my bar staff, who are almost all from a coffee background, a solid foundation and training they can build on in the future.


Any advice for bar owners?

My best advice is to control your costs, tell a story, and take care of your staff. Treat everyone with respect and care about what you do, and people will come back.

25 ml Laird’s Apple Brandy 10 ml Demerara syrup 1 extraction Espresso 1 dash Stay Golden (or Angostura) aromatic bitters 2 drops Saline Water at 200°F Build in a seven-ounce juice glass. Top with warm water. Garnish with a lemon peel.

April 2019


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RumChata is proud to be A TOP FIVE SELLING LIQUEUR BRAND IN THE U.S.* Is this money maker on your cordials list ?

*Source Impact Databank 2018. RumChata®. Caribbean Rum with Real Dairy Cream, Natural & Artificial Flavors, 13.75% alc/vol. Agave Loco Brands, Pewaukee, WI. Please Enjoy Responsibly. RUMCHATA and CHATA are Registered Trademarks of Agave Loco, LLC.