Page 1

July 2018




Achieve balance with quality mixers


The key to finding good employees


Opportunities How to leverage Wi-Fi and social media for marketing.


U. S .



Contents How Tos


Lessons on Security


Get in on the Game


Tuning Up: A Social Engagement


Don’t let negligent security ruin business. Use games to create an interactive experience in your bar.

Give your customers screen time to increase social media exposure.



From The Editor


On Tap

A letter from our Editor Ashley Bray Industry news & announcements.


Behind The Bar



In-depth analysis of beer, wine & spirits. Important dates for the month.





Featured product releases. Jordan Silbert – Q Mixers



Wi-Fi Marketing is a Winner


Hiring Help

Turn your one-time customer into a regular with Wi-Fi marketing. The key to finding good employees.

Contents photo: Van Gogh Vodka Cover photo: Shutterstock/ Art_Photo

July 2018

Bar Business Magazine




July 2018

what is your favorite game to play in a bar?

Vol. 11

No. 7

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

subscription department 800-895-4389

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


Editor Ashley Bray 212-620-7220

“I’m a big fan of Jenga Giant!”

Contributing Writers Tony Cross, Justin Parafinczuk, Andria Park, David Scott Peters, Erik Shellenberger, Erin Spicer


Art Director Nicole Cassano Graphic Designer Aleza Leinwand


Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers Digital Ad Operations Associate Kevin Fuhrmann


advertising sales

“Who doesn’t love an action-packed game of Beer Pong.”

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 © Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 2018. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: Art Sutley, Phone (212) 620-7247, or asutley@ For Subscriptions, & address changes, Please call (800) 895-4389, (402) 346-4740, Fax (402) 346-3670, e-mail or write to: Bar Business Magazine, SimmonsBoardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 3135, Northbrook, IL 60062-3135. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 3135, Northbrook, IL 60062-3135. 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

July 2018

Photos: Shutterstock

“I love when bars have oldschool arcade games like pinball machines.”

Circulation Director Maureen Cooney

Getting the beer right isn’t

Rocket Science It’s Beer Science

Scan the code to learn more about the art and science of beer systems.

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from the editor

From The Editor


Always go to the bathroom when you have a chance. - King George V


Bar Business Magazine

s your bar or restaurant hiding a dirty secret? I’m talking about the state of your restrooms. Are they clean, stocked, and free of unpleasant odors? If not, you may want to rethink your approach. Sofidel, a global provider of paper for hygienic and domestic use, conducted a survey of 101 restaurant industry professionals at the National Restaurant Association Show in May and found that 98% agreed that restroom cleanliness impacts customer satisfaction. “Customers today consider the entire experience when dining out, from the ambiance of the restaurant to the service to cleanliness,” said Fabio Vitali, Vice President AFH Marketing & Sales for Sofidel America. “Our survey indicates that the industry recognizes that restroom cleanliness can positively impact business.” The findings aren’t surprising— anyone would prefer using a clean, stocked bathroom over one full of messes and a lack of soap and toilet paper. What may come as a surprise is just how much opinions about your bathroom can influence a customer’s perception of your whole establishment. Sofidel’s survey found that 83% of restaurant professionals say clean restrooms communicate to customers that the kitchen is also clean. And customers aren’t afraid to share their opinions—the survey found that two in five restaurant professionals believe a clean restroom can result in a positive review on social media and review sites. A little more than two in five respondents

also said that clean restrooms help secure repeat business. So what constitutes a clean, quality restroom? According to survey respondents, toilets free of clogs and messes (84%), stocked essentials like soap and paper towels (79%), floors free of puddles and sticky residues (79%), an absence of unpleasant odors (71%), and soft, absorbent toilet paper (47%). Sofidel is just one company that offers a variety of products to keep your restrooms in tip-top shape. There are a number of other providers who supply cleaning products, solutions for unpleasant odors, bathroom supplies, etc. You manage and track your bar’s food and liquor inventory (and if you’re not, you should be!), so what’s stopping you from doing the same with your cleaning supplies? If a current process isn’t working, you’re missing a necessary product, or you’re looking for an all-new solution to an ongoing problem, start shopping around. We suggest starting with our Buyer’s Guide in the bathroom supplies/accessories category: Keep an eye out for more information on all things bathroom supplies and cleanliness in a future issue.

Ashley bray, Editor

July 2018

From ON TAP The Editor


Garnishes make sure your cocktails look great and are infused with a touch of added flavor and aroma.

The Goods on Garnishes

Lime/Lemon Wedge Start by cutting off both ends of the lemon or lime. Then sit the fruit the long way so the cut portion sits on the cutting board before slicing down the middle.

This will leave you with two equal halves. Next, use your paring knife to cut into the fruit the short way to create a small slit that will allow the garnish to sit on the rim of a glass. Finally, cut the fruit into three wedges going the long way. Orange/Grapefruit Half Moon Cut off both ends of the fruit, a little more than with a lemon or lime. Next, lay the fruit the long way before cutting it in half. Lay one half on the cutting board exposed side down so you can easily slice thin half-moon slices that are equal in size and shape. Orange/Lemon “Peel” or “Twist” You can create the peel using either a knife or a “Y” peeler. Using the “Y” peeler, take the fruit in one hand and carefully run the peeler from the top of the fruit to the bottom until you have a nice long peel. The larger the surface area of the peel, the more prominent the flavor and scent will be. Using a knife, cut off one end of the fruit and lay it on the cutting board. Then use the knife to cut out a peel from


Bar Business Magazine

the top of the fruit to the bottom, being careful to cut just the skin of the fruit. You should also try to avoid cutting into the white pith, as that part is bitter. Don’t Forget! Pre-screening garnishes is essential to creating a successful drink. Citrus fruits should be stored at room temperature and checked for any discoloration. Mint leaves should be examined for spots as well and stored in ice water with the leaf side down. For the best results, garnishes should be cut daily. Want to try some garnishing of your own? Mix up this recipe from Van Gogh Vodka, the Van Gogh Masterpiece: 1½ oz. Van Gogh Vodka ¾ oz. Bianco Vermouth ½ oz. orange liqueur ½ lemon, squeezed Stir ingredients well with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange peel expressed over the top of the drink, around the rim, and dropped in. —Erin Spicer

July 2018

Photos: Van Gogh Vodka.


ooking for a way to make your cocktails stand apart in this outdoor entertainment season? The Van Gogh Vodka team suggests perfecting a simple drink garnish to ensure your cocktails not only look great but are infused with a touch of added flavor and scent for the ultimate drink.



KEEP RUMCHATA ON THE BACK BAR AND IN THE COOLER. IF PEOPLE SEE RUMCHATA, THEY WILL BUY IT. 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.

From ON TAP The Editor The “Star of the Bar” is Crowned at the NRA Show


his year’s “Star of the Bar” Award, presented by the National Restaurant Association, went to Kristo Tomingas, a New York resident mixologist from Mayahuel Mariposa. He and nine other bartenders competed at four live, semifinal competitions with one winner from each semifinal advancing to the finals at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago this past May. The competition was open to all bartenders across the United States with the semifinal rounds held earlier this year in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Orlando, and Chicago. The other Star of the Bar finalists included Niall McCourt of St. Petersburg, Florida’s Mandarin Hide; Derrick Li of San Francisco’s Vintage Courts; Adam Rains of Las Vegas’ Flock & Fowl; Morgan Zuch of Tampa, Florida’s Datz; and Luke Nevin-Gattle of Chicago’s Room 13.

The contestants were judged on creativity; appearance, aroma, and taste of drink; and overall impression. The panel of judges at the finals included Tony Abou-Ganim, Elayne Duff, Dale DeGroff, and Agostino Perrone. Tomingas’ winning cocktail was “Pine and Passion,” a combination of Riazuleño Classico Mezcal with passion liqueur, chickpea water, fresh pineapple, and lemon. Riazuleño Classico Mezcal, a family-owned brand that has only recently been introduced in the United States, is the house pour at Mayahuel Mariposa, which is widely considered to be the premier mezcal bar in Manhattan. Riazuleño Classico Mezcal is crafted from 100% Espadin agave harvested in the foothills region of Oaxaca. The piñas are cooked for up to three days in conic pits with hot volcanic rocks and covered with a hay-like fabric to hold in the

smoke. This results in an intensely flavorful spirit that offers notes of ripe tropical fruit, sweet agave, and smoke. Along with the bragging rights and satisfaction of beating out nine other finalists, Tomingas took home a grand prize of $5,000. This was Tomingas’ 65th cocktail competition award, but he stated it was “my biggest win in the United States – and I’m very happy and excited to have achieved that.” —Erin Spicer

HD displays mounted along every corner and wall to ensure viewing from any table. Each of the five restaurants was equipped with MuxLab’s HDMI/RS232 over IP Extender Kit with PoE, which delivers AV content to one or more displays through an Ethernet switch. MuxLab’s Video Wall over IP Extender Kit with PoE created the video wall using one receiver for each display. The MuxLab ProDigital Network Controller simplified the connecting and control of all sources and displays with a personalized, graphical floor plan that is exceedingly user friendly. Two mini iPads control everything. One is wall mounted and one is mobile to handle customer requests from anywhere in the bar or restaurant. “Each implementation from start to finish took less than five days,” explained Tellier. “There were actually no significant challenges at all. MuxLab was ideal for this scenario. We presented the right solution at the right price and the customer went for it.” MuxLab’s IP-based Extender Kits enable point-to-multipoint and multipoint-to-multipoint configurations

transmitting through an Ethernet switch. All equipment can be connected to the Switch from up to 100m away using CAT-X cable. “We championed AV over IP because it gives mobility combined with the stability of cable. We never recommend going totally wireless in commercial environments,” added Tellier. “Fixed cables win every time. For a bar/restaurant selling entertainment, you need reliable, dependable infrastructures because they are quite frankly superior. In this case, they can control the complete AV system using one Digital Controller; that’s a couple transmitters and multiple receivers for the displays using two iPads. It’s completely compact, still mobile friendly, and totally reliable.”

An Appetizing AV Makeover


hen you operate more than 380 restaurants and serve more than 40 million guests, you know what your customers want and you provide it to them perfectly. In addition to the gourmet pizzas and pastas, juicy burgers, and famous wings, customers frequent Boston Pizza to enjoy high-definition sports viewing in both the sports bar section and the family-friendly restaurant. No matter which side you select, Boston Pizza makes sure you’re not sitting in the bleachers. Instead, with an average of 25 big-screen HD displays and a ninedisplay video wall per restaurant, you feel like you’re in the front row for all the action. Christian Tellier’s company, Câblage Expert, implemented comprehensive AV over IP systems at five Boston Pizza restaurants to make sports viewing from any seat a reality. Designed with the User Experience in mind, Tellier installed MuxLab’s IP-based extenders with its ProDigital Network Controller for anytime control via two mini iPads. Each restaurant averages four AV sources that feed content to a ninedisplay video wall above the bar, plus 16 8

Bar Business Magazine

July 2018

JEVO ™ does all the work to make hundreds of gelatin shots in minutes.

The great customer experience, the high profit margin, these are reasons why we love gelatin shots. But making them is a hassle. Jevo is fully automated and makes hundreds of shots in minutes, turning gelatin shots into a steady source of fast, hassle-free incremental revenue for your bar. Jevo also promotes at the point of decision and tracks usage. Then, it smartly ships you more flavor pod supplies right when you need them. Basically, Jevo is everything you could want from a profit center.


Behind The Bar: MIXERS

Let’s talk

Quality mixers lead to a balanced cocktail. BY Tony Cross


Bar Business Magazine


n the past ten years, mixology has quickly crept into the mainstream. Quality, hand-crafted cocktails are not just for speakeasies anymore. Myriad restaurants—big and small, high-end and casual—have all found their own niche for creating delicious libations for their guests. (Almost) gone are the “Tini” menus from the early 2000’s; these days, bartenders are actually trying, without dumping a bunch of alcohol, juices, and copious sugars into a martini glass and calling it a “cocktail.” Even sports bars are rolling out the red carpet for new drink menus. As we already know, the key to a great cocktail is balance, but what good is

balance if the ingredients aren’t worth a damn? There’s no point in using a midto top-shelf spirit if all of the remaining ingredients are less than satisfactory. Depending on the type and size of establishment you run, it could be easier to make a lot of mixers for these cocktails yourself, and lots of places do exactly that. However, it might make more sense (and cents) to just purchase good quality mixers; this will save you time, especially if your business has a very high turnover. Here are a few that will not only save you time, but also raise your profit margins. Ginger Beer The Moscow Mule has been one of, if

July 2018

Photo: Shutterstock/ Elena Veselova.


inventory management

has never

been easier

Behind The Bar: MIXERS





not the most popular cocktail as of late. Some of you reading this might think, “The Moscow Mule isn’t anything new!” Trust me: here in the South, we’re slow to catch on. On a regular basis, I get asked, “What’s exactly in one of those?” In a way, I liken the Mule to the Margarita in terms of it being an asexual cocktail—men and women both love these drinks. Yet, there are still some establishments that don’t carry ginger beer. Please don’t pour vodka and ginger ale into a glass and call it a Mule. (Notice I said “glass” instead of “copper mug.” I’m all for authenticity, but the amount of stolen copper mugs is getting out of hand.) Unless you’ve got a great recipe for ginger beer and the time to batch your own, you’re going to have to order it from a distributor. There’s more than a few on the market, so let me recommend Barritt’s Ginger Beer for you. Conceived in Bermuda, this ginger beer has been around for generations— since 1874 to be exact. What’s appealing about Barritt’s is that it’s not overly sweet or spicy. The folks over at Barritt’s have a few options to choose from for their ginger beer: their canned “retro look” (as they call it), a canned diet version, and then a regular and diet ginger beer that’s bottled (I’d opt for the bottles). The regular is made with pure cane sugar, and the diet has zero calories. This ginger beer will keep your Mules, and any other cocktail containing ginger beer, consistent and delicious. Check out my “Cuke Mule” cocktail (page 14) I’ve made with Barritt’s that goes down way too easy. The recipe uses Durham Distillery (out of Durham, NC) cucumber vodka, which will make you reconsider your stance on flavored vodkas (it’s out of this world). Using fresh cucumbers, they cold distill them “under vacuum” in a 20-liter Rotary Evaporator. Just wow. Tomato Juice Those of you that run an establishment that’s open for brunch should be crushing sales when it comes to Bloody Marys. But how many of you that prepare tons of them on the weekends actually make your own mix? A small


Bar Business Magazine

percentage, I’m sure. The problem with making your own mix is the gamble you take if sales for Bloody Marys are dismal that weekend—profit down the drain. Enter Sacramento Premium Tomato Juice. Based out of Indiana, not California, Sacramento Premium Tomato Juice has delivered quality tomato juice from the help of Midwestern farmers for over 70 years. Besides delicious, their juice contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and it is non-GMO, gluten-free, and cholesterol- and fat-free. Another profit drain is the over-thetop garnishing some establishments have taken to using. I’ve overheard before, “Can I get some Bloody Mary with my garnish?” It’s understandable. Some bartenders try to compete with each other and out-do the other’s garnish. The only problem with that is when your business isn’t making extra profit from those extravagant garnishes. Throwing a $6 burger slider on a $6 Bloody Mary and still only charging $6 for said drink is costing your business money. But there are ways to raise the profit during brunch time. Try placing individual garnishes priced at one dollar (or more) a piece on your menu. It’s a clever way to slowly build your profits. While your guests are showing off their beautifully constructed Bloody Marys, you’ll be able to take pride in your staff’s effortless upselling abilities. Sacramento Tomato Juice unveiled a new program just for bars and restaurants that will help bartenders expertly arrange those garnishes. Red Gold (the makers of Sacramento Tomato Juice) is partnering with Skewdats, a patent-pending hub that locks up to eight skewers in place for one Bloody Mary. From a recent press release, Red Gold Divisional Vice President for Foodservice Sales David Holt says, “The new, exclusive offer by Sacramento provides 25 free Skewdats with the purchase of five cases of Sacramento Tomato Juice or Bloody Mary Mix. With no extra cost, using appetizer items already on the menu, operators can promote an appetizer cocktail that can dramatically increase profitability. The trend toward appetizer

July 2018

Behind The Bar: MIXERS

Cuke Mule

2 oz. Durham Distillery Cold Distilled Cucumber Flavored Vodka 4 oz. Barritt’s Ginger Beer 2 dashes Angostura Bitters Add vodka in rocks glass or copper mug. Add bitters, ice, and then top with ginger beer. Lime wedge and cucumber slice for garnish. Tony Cross

2 oz. Beefeater’s Gin 5 oz. Sacramento Tomato Juice ½ oz. Lemon Juice ¼ oz. Lime Juice ¼ tsp. Horseradish 3 Dashes Scrappy’s Celery Bitters 2 Dashes Worchester’s 1 Dash Tabasco Sauce Pinch of Celtic Salt 3 Grinds of Pepper To make this cocktail in a more timely fashion, pre-batch everything sans the gin and tomato juice. Then just add 1 ounce of the “mix” to the gin and tomato juice over ice and garnish appropriately. Tony Cross


2 oz. Del Maguey Vida Mezcal ¾ oz. TONYC syrup ¼ oz. simple syrup (2:1) 2 oz. sparkling water Combine syrups in a rocks glass with mezcal. Add ice and top with sparkling water. Stir briefly with bar spoon. Express oils from an orange peel over the drink and then drop peel into cocktail. Santé! Tony Cross


Bar Business Magazine

Bloody Marys began with the explosion of breakfast/ brunch chains and sports bars. Our exclusive offer for free Skewdats makes it easy for any operator to upsell their cocktails. To take advantage of the special, limited-time offer, operators can visit and download the Skewdats rebate form, purchase a minimum of five cases of any Sacramento product, then mail in their completed rebate form along with proof of purchase. Skewdats will then be shipped to them.” A few years ago, I became a big Bloody Mary fan after I had one with gin. The many botanicals in this spirit go well with all of the flavors that go into this cocktail. Check out my gin twist on the Bloody Mary for a quick, easy, and delicious rendition to get your bartenders started. Tonic Speaking of gin, the gin and tonic is usually dubbed the cocktail of the summer, and why not? The light, slightly carbonated, citric, and bitter cocktail makes it hard to just have one during the hottest time of the year. But the question again is, “what’s in your fridge?” Are you using a generic, high-fructose corn syrup base, or are you implementing quality, while still gaining a profit? I must admit that I was never a huge fan of the cocktail until I tried a small-batch tonic syrup during a trip to Oregon. In that moment, I was convinced that I had to make my own tonic. So, I did. But it took

quite a bit of trial and error until it was just right. The restaurant I ran at the time was small enough for me to run while implementing a cocktail and wine program. With our cocktails, I was the only bartender, and I made most of our mixes from scratch, including our tonic syrup. When I parted ways to pursue my current business, I was constantly hounded by locals for a bottle of “that tonic.” I didn’t need long to decide that I should give my tonic syrup a shot on the market. TONYC (pronounced “tonic” but spelled like my name) hit the shelves here in North Carolina in late winter/early spring of 2016. My syrup is more bitter than sweet with flavors of baking spices and orange oil. It also contains cinchona bark, the source of quinine, but in low doses. If you’re considering making your own, take heed: too much cinchona can kill you. Literally. Use caution. Now that I’ve probably scared you out of making your own, feel free to pick up a bottle of my tonic and try it for yourself. I’ve included a cocktail recipe I love making with my TONYC that’s a departure from the typical gin and tonic—replacing the gin with mezcal.

Tony Cross runs cocktail catering company, Reverie Cocktails, which distributes kegs of carbonated cocktails to bars, restaurants, and other venues. For more about his company or TONYC, email reveriecocktails@ or visit

July 2018

Photo: Sacramento Tomato Juice.

Bloody Gin


Speed. Control. Profit. THE BAR, RESTAURANT & NIGHTCLUB INDUSTRY’S POS SYSTEM 82 Saint Paul Street Floor 1 Rochester, New York 14604-1311

Phone: (888) 756-7994 Ext 1 Email:

Happenings 19

August 2018

AUGUST 19 National Potato Day We have a lot to thank potatoes for—fries, mashed potatoes, some vodkas. Pick your favorite and add it to today’s menu.

AUGUST 6 National Root Beer Float Day Kick this favorite drink up a notch by adding liquor, liqueurs, or even root beerflavored beer or whiskey.


August 26 National Dog Day Honor man and woman’s best friend. If your establishment is dog friendly, invite guests to bring in Fido and have some “yappy hour” specials for both man and beast.

The saying goes if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, but we won’t stop you from experimenting with this classic through the addition of herbs, fruit juices, or even bitters.


Bar Business Magazine

August 27 Just Because Day Today is the day to do something for no reason. If you have an unusual cocktail recipe you’ve wanted to try or a really unique craft brew to sell, now’s the time to do it.

July 2018

All Photos:

August 25 National Whiskey Sour Day



August 28 Red Wine Day


Malbec, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon—they should all be at the top of your wine list specials.

august Western Food Expo August 19-21, 2018 Los Angeles, CA

August 2 India Pale Ale Day Today celebrates one of craft beer’s most popular and enduring styles. Create a list of IPA specials and encourage your guests to try something new.

San Diego Spirits Festival August 25-26, 2018 San Diego, CA

texas bar & night club convention August 27, 2018 San Antonio, TX


August 20 National Lemonade Day There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a cold, tall glass of (spiked) lemonade. There’s no end to boozy lemonade recipes, so take your pick and offer it as a special today.

ECRM On-Premise Adult Beverage EPPS August 28-30, 2018 Anaheim, CA Sessions/2018/08/ OnPremiseAdultBeverageEPPS

September Florida Restaurant & Lodging show September 6-8, 2018 Orlando, FL

August 18 National Honey Bee Day Bees have faced an uphill battle over the last few years. Mix up a honey-centric cocktail and consider donating the proceeds to a bee conservancy or nonprofit.

Sacramento Cocktail Week

September 10-17, 2018 Sacramento, CA

July 2018

Bar Business Magazine


How To

How To: Security

Don’t let negligent security ruin business.

Lessons On Security 18

Bar Business Magazine

By Justin Parafinczuk July 2018

How To: Security

Photos: (Left) Shutterstock/ kondrukhov, (right) Shutterstock/ ImageFlow.


epending on your bar’s location, the summer months can represent the height of your busy season. While greater traffic and more patrons can equal additional profits, it can also mean rowdy crowds and a greater risk of negligent security claims. There are numerous ramifications stemming from negligent security that can impact your business. Injuries and resulting lawsuits are no fun. From a safety and personal injury liability perspective, property owners must be proactive to prevent harm and damage. By the very nature of the business, bars may be considered more prone to damage, particularly during heavily trafficked holidays or parties. But there are proactive steps that can be taken to reduce the possibilities of problems. Whether during spring break, a holiday weekend, or any vacation season, consider these lessons to help avoid negligent security claims. Don’t let mayhem reign. Problems start when property managers lose control. If you haven’t already, install and monitor security cameras with additional lighting property wide. Hire uniformed security during highactivity, high-mischief times and respond immediately to complaints, extreme intoxication, and illegal behavior. Survey all f loors, bathrooms, bar counters, and kitchens, and where appropriate, intervene in raucous behavior. If you have any issues or meet resistance, consider hiring a professional to train your staff to observe and report any questionable activities at your establishment. Know your guests. If your property is known as a hotspot for crowds and possibly a criminal element, think about a method to track your customers. For example, you may consider issuing wristbands for those who enter your bar. Explain that wristbands help ensure their safety while on property. If your bar is in a hotel, consider using guest key cards as a way to track attendance. Make sure to thoroughly check government-issued identification

Cameras deter crime and are great for piecing together how events unfolded.

to ensure your guests are of legal drinking age. Know your employees. Most businesses do a criminal background check at a minimum before hiring anyone. There are several cheap websites to obtain background checks, but with inexpensive reports come accuracy problems. To ensure someone with a criminal background does not obtain employment, consider hiring a professional. It will cost more, but it’s worth it in the long run. Post and enforce your rules. Signs warning about underage drinking, noise curfews, dancing on tables and bar tops, and designated smoking areas should be posted conspicuously around the property. Security and staff must enforce posted rules or report violations. Also, be certain to know when you reach capacity, and set a cut-off for entry. Crowded bars can be fun— overcrowded bars can be a recipe for disaster. Alert the authorities. Don’t expect staff or even security to break up fights or enforce laws. Call the police. Meet with your city officials or the police before the next holiday weekend to create a partnership. This can reduce your own risk, as well as the risk for your patrons. Document every incident. Whether for internal reporting or litigation defense later, incident reports must be logged immediately regarding injuries, damages, and any event where police or

EMTs were called. Keep pathways clear from spills and other debris to avoid these incidents in the first place. Be especially diligent during party weekends such as St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, or the weekend of the NFL’s biggest game. There are many opportunities for trouble but just as many ways to prevent problems and reduce the ramifications. Video surveillance. Cameras deter crime and are great for piecing together how events unfolded inside and outside of your bar. The technology is easy to use, quickly accessible, and relatively cheap. Once you install your cameras, you need to make sure someone is monitoring video. Unattended bags, suspicious behavior, or even cars parked overnight should be of concern. Areas with restricted access need to be monitored just as closely as public places for your patrons. Keep areas clean. We see it all the time. Slips and falls—even on the smallest amount of liquid or debris— can lead to a lawsuit. Make sure to clean floors as soon as a spill or breakage occurs, and post caution signs to warn of any dangers. Address any uneven surfaces, construction in progress, and any exposed electrical wires, which of course, should be taken care of immediately. Colder climate bars should address any hanging icicles or iced sidewalks. On-site Security. Oftentimes, it’s not enough to have cameras, bright lighting situated around the property, or signage warning of potential dangers. Consider bringing in a security expert to examine your property and suggest how you can improve your safety practices. While

Pro Tip In the unfortunate event that something negative does happen at your bar, have a plan and train your staff on it.

July 2018

Bar Business Magazine


How To: Security

If your venue is known as a hotspot for crowds, think about implementing a method to track your customers, like wristbands.


Bar Business Magazine

site manager to waitresses should know what to do. How can you put out a warning during mass chaos? Where should people huddle for safety? Find a plan that works best for your bar and then practice it. Train the staff and hold periodic drills with a variety of situations—from a brawl to a fire to a robbery. Is your bar a frequent meet-up location? Today’s technology has changed the dating scene and how things once unfolded. Many bars now have special signs giving patrons a way out of a bad date by ordering special cocktails that are a code word for danger. Consider implementing a similar practice at your next staff meeting so your guests feel your establishment is safe. Remember, your best deterrent against chaos today and damage claims or lawsuits tomorrow is how prepared you are to avoid an accident or incident in the first place. No one is surprised to see an uptick in drinking and rowdy behavior during St. Patrick’s Day weekend or spring

break, but there are plenty of other days where the opportunity for mischief can lead to serious damage and consequences. Prepare now in order to avoid legal action later.

Justin R. Parafinczuk, Esq. is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney and shareholder with the law firm Koch Parafinczuk Wolf Susen, P.A. He can be contacted at

July 2018

Photo: Shutterstock/ By wavebreakmedia

they don’t prevent crime, security companies and off-duty police are a crime deterrent. During peak season and on big party days, consider hiring a guard for each foyer or entrance versus having one guard do rounds. You’ll want multiple guards to provide backup and to patrol public areas, indoor and outdoor areas, and those areas dedicated to employees. In high-crime areas, armed police is the best practice. Alcohol. Of course your business is all about alcohol sales, but some venues have found it reasonable to have some policies in effect regarding drinking by customers in your bar. You should monitor excessive service of alcohol to patrons at a bar—it’s no secret that this generally leads to bad things, mainly fights. Highly intoxicated individuals leave ready for an altercation in the parking lot, which is still considered your property and thus your responsibility. Have a plan. In the unfortunate event that something negative does occur, all of your employees from the

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How To


Get in on the Game Use games to create an interactive experience in your bar.


ustomer retention is the name of the game, and for some establishments— well, they’re taking that sentiment literally. Ways to hook customers and get them to stay a little longer, spend a little larger, and come back with a few more friends, may look different for every crowd. But for bar patrons whose goal is likely nothing more than to eat, drink, and be merry, your answer may

Pro Tip Want to bring in more millennials? Games may be your best bet as more and more of this generation is getting in on games.


Bar Business Magazine

lie in providing a means of good old friendly competition.

And what better way to provide one than with interactive and social games?

What’s Old is New Again Old-school games like shuffleboard, darts, billiards, and even retro arcade games are suddenly “new” again and are being tapped by a growing number of innovative operators to incorporate in their bars (and not just the dives). These vintage games aren’t meant to attract an “old-school” crowd. In fact, it’s quite the opposite—more and more millennials are getting in on these retro games and others as well. And these games may be your best bet for bringing in those millennials, as a 2016 article in Forbes titled “Millennials Gone Mild” admits an unsettling reality for bar and nightlife owners everywhere: young Americans aren’t drinking like they used to. Younger generations, and really all bar patrons, are now looking for an experience when they go out to drink.

AHoles Take, for instance, the AHoles game, invented in 2017 by Mike Rivard, whose idea for the game came from throwing cornhole bags against a wall in his office one night. But this wasn’t just any wall, it was one made from Western Red Cedar, a material that provides the basis for the gardening products under his company, Gronomics. Though Gronomics planted its roots in 2008 as a company of innovative gardening products and accessories, the line quickly expanded to include outdoor furniture, games, and even chicken coops by 2013. Just shy of a year in launching AHoles, the game is already taking off with 800-1000 bars carrying it throughout the country as well as a few outsiders in New Zealand and Germany. Not bad for a game that

July 2018

Photo: Shutterstock/ Artem Oleshko.

By Andria Park


Drink-A-Palooza board game

initially garnered sales through doorto-door bar hops. As described by Sales Manager of Rivard Companies Jamie Reitz, the game itself is a cross between cornhole and darts, but it can be played with up to eight players. Each player proceeds to throw four bean bags into the holes of the vertical A-shaped tower. The smallest target (top hole) counts for five points, the second target (middle hole) counts for three points, and the last target (bottom hole) counts for one point. Hitting the shelf won’t count for anything, but hitting the floor will set you back one point (even if the bean bag falls off the shelf). Each player throws from a distance back of 11 feet, 4 inches. Why 11 feet, 4 inches? “He went with [that] because you can fit this in a dorm room,” explains Reitz. “And the height of the game off the ground is 42 inches because your average pub tables are 42 inches off the ground. So you can either hang this on the wall, or you can put it right on a pub table with a weighted base so it won’t fall over.” The games include remote24

Bar Business Magazine

controlled LED lights, and custom backdrops are also available so that bars can include their branding on the back of the game. The player totals up their score (the best possible high score on the first round would be 20 points with the

Games can lead to higher customer retention rates.

lowest possible score being a -4), and the next person then proceeds to throw his/her bean bags until everyone has had a chance to take their best shots. The first person to exceed 22 points wins the game. But don’t let that number stop you. Reitz ensures that there are multiple ways to play the game including “race to

40,” “call your shot,” or playing in teams with two bean bags per team member. The concept of the game is straightforward, but it proves to be highly addictive due to its user-friendly yet challenging nature. In fact, after explaining the rules and hanging the game at a bar for solicited feedback, Reitz was contacted back within half an hour. “They said, ‘I need three more of these for my wall, everybody loves it!’” says Reitz. “Bar owners will call and say, ‘Hey, my slow night is Tuesday night usually, and I hung the game and let people play it, and now Tuesday night’s my busy night.’” Reitz also says there’s a large profit advantage to a game like AHoles over some of the more traditional ones you may find at bars. “Usually on your dart boards and your pool tables and so forth, the bar usually leases those and only gets 50 cents on the dollar,” he explains. “With our game, they’re playing for free. “So let’s say I had 40 dollars to spend that night at the bar: I put 20 dollars into the pool table and had a couple beers. The bar only gets 10 dollars of that. But if I had 40 dollars in my pocket and I was drinking and having a good time playing AHoles for free, the bar got all of my money.” Drink-A-Palooza Another company offering bars a way to capitalize on games is Drink-APalooza: The Pregame Edition. The game was first created by David Wagner, CEO of Wagner Concepts Inc., in 2001 as a way for him to combine all the drinking games he learned in college into one. Since then, the game has undergone many revisions, developments, and even a name change (it was originally called “The College Experience”) to become what it is today. Drink-A-Palooza borrows elements from classic games such as King’s Cup, Quarters, and Asshole and fuses them with newer games like Beer Pong and Flip Cup to construct the ultimate drinking game experience reminiscent of the college years. The premise of the game is to fill up

July 2018

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How To: GAMING your empty six-pack holder game piece with miniature bottles that you can win as you play the game. To start the game, you will grab your game piece and spin the bottle located in the middle of the board. Whoever the bottle lands on starts the game. By rolling the dice and moving along, you’ll land on spaces that will prompt a group competition (such as High

Low, King’s Cup, Waterfalls, Socials, or “Cheers”) or a dual competition (either Beer Pong, Flip Cup, or Quarters). When you land on any of the spaces that cue a one-on-one, you spin the bottle to determine who you’ll be competing against for that specific game. The winner of the competition will collect a mini beer bottle while the


defeated opponent(s) drinks from their cup(s). From the game pieces right down to the spinner, Drink-A-Palooza’s detailed nuances and classic touches of college nostalgia are sure to keep patrons entertained for hours on end. “It’s more about the competition rather than really trying to drink as much as you can,” explains Wagner. “The more excitement that you have coming from your bar, the more people are standing around the table wanting to get on the table and play, and the longer people are going to stay, and the better time they’re going to have. They’re going to want to go back to that bar because they’re having a good time there.” In fact, the game has become so successful that bar owners can actually purchase the game as a physical table where people can play it right on the tabletop. Bar owners who are interested in purchasing either of these games for their business will receive a special discount off the retail price.


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AHoles bean bag toss game

July 2018


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Tuning Up



A Social Engagement Give your customers screen time to increase social media exposure. y now, very few businesses doubt the power of social media as an effective marketing tool. But building a social platform can be easier said than done—especially if it’s a task that consistently falls to the bottom of your to-do list. We spoke with two companies— 28

Bar Business Magazine

UPshow and BuzzyBooth—who aim to make social media marketing easy and effective for bars by taking the responsibility off of them and putting it into their customers’ hands. Customer Referrals According to an oft-cited Nielsen statistic (in fact, both UPshow and BuzzyBooth

referenced the finding), 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above other types of advertising. This means word of mouth can be the most powerful means of driving new customers into your venue. But how do you cultivate it? By giving your existing customers a reason to promote and post about your business.

July 2018

Photo: Shutterstock/ Lordn


By Ashley Bray

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Guest Referrals

turn your customers into social media marketers for your bar

Length of Stay

get guests to stay longer and increase check size

Data Marketing

Collect customer data and know who’s interacting with your venue


Bar Business Magazine

BuzzyBooth is one of the fastest growing photo-marketing companies with its devices in over 300 locations and over 3.8 million photos shared. The company offers a portable selfie station that only requires a WiFi connection and power. Using the station, guests can take photos and videos using virtual “props” similar to filters found on popular social media apps. Each photo/video is branded with the bar or restaurants’ contact information and logo, which can be custom designed with BuzzyBooth’s designers and changed each month to keep things fresh. Guests can send the branded photos or videos to themselves via text or email. From there, it’s easy for guests to share the photos on their social media accounts. “Because we embedded the social media buttons underneath it, it’s very easy for them to share. Since most people’s smartphones are already connected to their social media accounts, they just click the Facebook or Twitter button, and then it will get posted on their account,” explains Jolina Li, Founder & CEO of BuzzyBooth. “If they share it from their email, we have an API in which we put in a customized caption so that when they upload the photo, the caption comes with it. If they share it from the text message side, the customer can put in their own caption.” The email or text message the customer receives with the image is customizable, so bars can choose to include whatever message they’d like. “A lot of businesses use this opportunity to enter a Facebook link, Yelp link, or Google Review link to encourage their customers to write reviews for them,” says Li. By sharing the pictures on social media or posting reviews, the guests’ social media followers are exposed to the bar, and as a result, the bar receives invaluable word-of-mouth marketing. “The benefit of BuzzyBooth is you’re allowing customers to easily promote for the brand or business. It helps increase the brand exposure,” says Li. “It’s definitely a lot more effective when their customers are advertising or marketing for them.” Social TV platform UPshow also aims to increase customer engagement through social media using what they call the “Jumbotron Effect.” “The Jumbotron

Effect is essentially giving every customer inside of that bar or that club the chance to have their 15 seconds of fame on the TVs right there inside the venue,” explains Matt Gibbs, Co-Founder & CMO of UPshow. “It’s great because you’re leveraging existing consumer behaviors. All somebody has to do when they see an UPshow screen inside of a venue is post on their Instagram or Twitter account, use the venue’s hashtag or geotag, and then within a minute, their photo or video is going to be right up on the TVs inside the venue.” When people see themselves on the screen, they experience the same excitement they would if they were to appear on the Jumbotron screen at a sports game. And that excitement creates a domino effect inside the bar— attracting the attention of people at other tables who also want to see themselves on the screen. “It becomes a whole bunch of free word-of-mouth marketing for the venue,” says Gibbs. “The struggle that a lot of bars have is they know the importance of social media and social media marketing and getting customer referrals, but it’s easier said than done. And a lot of bars don’t necessarily have a real marketing manager who’s focused on social media. So when a bar has UPshow screens installed, this is essentially putting their social media marketing on autopilot. It’s putting it into the hands of their customers and turning every customer that walks through the door into a promoter. “Every single bar we’ve ever launched with, if you look at the before and after in terms of user-generated content on Instagram and Twitter, it goes up any where from double to 100 times what they had, depending on the venue.” Length of Stay UPshow also enables bars to increase its guests’ length of stay through gaming and entertainment offerings. Dubbed BYOD (bring your own device), guests are invited to participate in games like Trivia or This or That (coming soon, the game invites players to choose between two options) using their own mobile device. Guests simply log on to, enter the venue’s

July 2018



Bar Business Magazine

Data Marketing Aside from control over screens, UPshow also gives bars and restaurants greater control over how they market to their customers. In the backend of UPshow, users have access to everything happening on social media in the venue as well as who is posting. Bars then have the option to do something about those social media users. “Whether it’s simply interacting with them and responding on Instagram or Twitter straight through the platform, or giving them the ability to offer a coupon or some type of incentive to return because bounceback is a really important metric for all venues—especially bars that want to build that repeat visitation,” says Gibbs. BuzzyBooth also offers a number of ways to interact with the social media users in your venue while collecting customer data. “The problem with people in the hospitality industry is it’s not easy getting customers’ data or contact information,” says Li. “Traditionally, people will do a loyalty program, but with loyalty programs, now you have to get your staff to ask the customer, and sometimes it’s quite annoying for the customer. “It’s proven that our system collects contacts much faster compared to existing loyalty programs out there.” With BuzzyBooth, customers can share their contact information with bars by choosing to opt in to the mailing list when they share or send their photo. Bars can then take that opportunity to market to customers with coupons and other offers to encourage repeat visits. Users can either send out blasts directly through BuzzyBooth’s system, or by exporting contact data to their existing marketing platform (i.e., Constant Contact). Both BuzzyBooth and UPshow are available through monthly subscription packages. BuzzyBooth is available for $250/month and a one-time shipping fee, and the company will replace the hardware for free if it is damaged. UPshow offers a variety of packages ranging from $75$100/month with a one-time hardware fee for the HDMI device. Most bars choose a core package that includes social media engagement, digital signage, and UpshowNow, and they add on trivia and gaming for an additional $25/month.

July 2018

Photo: UPshow.

code, and they’re added to the game and can answer questions or make selections on their phone. This method of play eliminates the cost of buying into a gaming platform with devices or hiring a host for trivia. “We thought why don’t we just make it really simple and leverage the device guests all have in their pocket to play?” says Gibbs. UPshow allows offers UPshowNow, a collection of social media feeds powered by the top social media publishers on any given topic. A bar can choose a feed for a particular sports team, pop culture topic, or even a feel-good feed. These gaming and entertainment options hold customers’

attention and lead them to stay in your establishment longer— increasing check size. These content and gaming platforms also provide a perfect opportunity for an establishment to take advantage of a captive, captivated audience and push their own digital signage and ads. “It’s going to be an impactful digital signage ad thanks to the fact that all of this great content that we’re pushing to the screen is grabbing people’s attention,” says Gibbs. “Our digital signage, which is essentially just suggested selling, works, and it’s going to drive people to buy the beer that you want, try the new appetizer, and beyond. “[For example,] we prove a 10% lift in beer sales when our partners are promoting a specific beer on heavy rotation.” An added bonus for large national chains is that UPshow ensures a competitor’s ad will never appear on their TVs. “We give the customer total control over what’s going to appear on their screens,” says Gibbs. “This is a way to guarantee that your competitor’s ads are never gonna show up on your screen.”


WIFI marketing is a 34

Bar Business Magazine


July 2018


Turn your one-time customer into a regular with Wi-Fi marketing.


Photo: Shutterstock/ Art_Photo.

ave you ever signed up for one of those newsletters that you see on bar and restaurant websites so they can market to you?

Me either. Almost every restaurant and bar website still has a newsletter sign-up form somewhere on it, yet the public hasn’t actually trusted or used them in a decade. The bar industry for some reason tends to keep doing what every other competing bar or restaurant does just because “that’s how it’s done.” I see the same thing going on in social media every day with people using outdated methods or practices that just don’t work. But for some reason, bars look at their competition and think, “Well, if they’re doing it, I should be doing it too. Maybe they know something I don’t?” Chances are they don’t, and the merrygo-round of useless marketing techniques continues. What makes things worse is that the miniscule amount of data that actually is collected this way never really goes anywhere. Marketers often forget to actually send out an email blast to these people for multiple reasons. Sometimes they have nothing to say, or they can’t find the password to their Constant Contact or MailChimp account, or they just plain forget they are collecting this data in the first place. Wi-Fi marketing has changed all that. These days if you’re not leveraging free Wi-Fi in exchange for a customer’s email address, phone number, or Facebook account, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Not only do people use free Wi-Fi and are more than willing to give up their contact information in exchange to get online, but the customer already sitting in your bar is the most valuable person to be collecting this information from. The people that are already aware of your bar or restaurant are true customers and not a “potential” visitor. They are

by Erik Shellenberger not somebody who entered their email address via your website and lives five states away, or somebody who lives in the next town over but is nowhere near your target demographic. Leveraging existing customers and cultivating them into regulars is a hell of a lot cheaper and light years more effective than mindless online data collection. Keep in mind—I do not get compensated by any of these companies to promote them. This is all based on personal opinion. There are several Wi-Fi marketing routers available out there including Zenreach and Yelp WiFi (Yelp recently purchased a platform called Turnstyle Analytics and renamed it Yelp WiFi).

Use free Wi-Fi to gather customer data for marketing.

Bar Restaurant Success has a Wi-Fi marketing feature built into their suite of products as well. There is a new player in the market called CoGoBuzz, which allows you to market via Facebook, email, or text. So far this one looks like the most diverse. I am currently testing the platform out and like what I see so far. I will provide a full product review soon on My go-to favorite is Zenreach because of their Smart Email feature. This feature allows automated emails to go out dictated by certain criteria. Yelp WiFi has a similar system, but I personally prefer the ease of Zenreach. For example, after a customer signs up the first time, it’s able to send an email out

hours after their visit asking them how their experience was. It basically can be used as a reputation management tool in order to field any negative reviews or complaints before they end up on Yelp for the world to read. Zenreach also has easily redeemable offers that cannot be fraudulently duplicated that you can send out to loyal customers, return customers, or lost customers. The redemption process is usually where everything traditionally goes wrong, and the customer ends up getting annoyed by the amount of hassle a simple offer usually creates. The Zenreach redemption process cannot be any easier. The server or bartender just has to read the screen and do what it says. As long as the conditions for the offer are met, the server taps the “redeem” button on the customer’s phone, and the offer disappears, never to be used again. Do not forget the step of adding a button for this in your POS system to track redemptions. Don’t guess on how many were redeemed—know your numbers. Zenreach can also capture customer’s birthdays and send out smart emails a week prior to the special day for a specific offer geared to getting large parties in for a special birthday celebration. Something like, “Free bottle of champagne for every 6 people in your party.” It sounds impressive but costs the bar under $20 in most cases to bring in a large party. No brainer. The reason why I like smart emails is because it’s kind of a set-it-and-forget-it type of system. In my opinion, automated emails are typically a bad idea because you lose that personal touch, and they might come off robotic. With the Zenreach offers, you can create and word these however you’d like, and it’s up to their system to send these offers out at the right times, with the right conditions (that you choose), and with the right frequency. You’re hitting the most important customer at July 2018

Bar Business Magazine


the most important time with the most important offer. Remember—don’t cheap out! A “10% off your next tab over $100” offer is going to bring zero people in the door. People will not abuse these offers if they are aggressive, so get aggressive. Examples of offers that work are: “50% off” and higher, “2 for 1 entrees,” and “first round on the house.” Zenreach also has a built-in email blast platform just like Constant Contact or MailChimp, so if you would also like to send a blast out to everybody in your database, this can be done through this system without thirdparty software. The best part is there is no “export/import” of email addresses—they’re already there. Traditional email marketing has become a thing of the past in my opinion because not only does the quality of the emails collected usually not translate to people walking in the door, but the content of most email blasts is just plain awful. Most email blasts end up in the spam folder or Google’s “promotions” tab anyway and never actually get seen in the first place. Because smart emails go out one-by-one instead of in bulk, they 36

Bar Business Magazine

are way less likely to get flagged as spam. Systems like this, however, get set up initially with default smart emails, which in my opinion are pretty worthless. For the smart emails to work, they have to be customized to your specific needs. A default email like, “Thank you for recently visiting _____ . For more info, check out our website here______,” is not going to bring people in the door. The right offer aimed at the right customer will. We often forget that marketing isn’t posting three to five times a week on social media, it isn’t making flyers for happy hour, and it isn’t taking selfies. It’s about one thing and one thing only—increasing revenue. Wi-Fi marketing with systems like Zenreach, to me, are a no-brainer, and I recommend this service to all of my clients. Oftentimes, we fail to take advantage of leveraging the most valuable customer of all—the customer sitting right in front of us. Wi-Fi marketing allows us to do so with zero staff training and zero instructions for anybody to learn. Remember, a return customer is five times cheaper than attracting a new customer, so work smarter and not harder.

Erik Shellenberger has been in the restaurant and bar industry since he was 13 years old and worked for his mother in the food and beverage department at a ski resort. Since then, he has held every position from dishwasher to bartender to marketing director and everything in between. With a decade of corporate marketing experience, he has gone from student to teacher and now runs Bar Marketing Basics ( He has quickly grown his client base from his hometown of Scottsdale, AZ to across the nation with clients as far away as Caldwell, NJ.

July 2018

Photos: (top) Shutterstocl/ Dean Drobot; (bottom) Shutterstock/ Sergey Peterman.


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1.855.714.7210 to order! ¹Based on a January 2018 national survey of Bar and Restaurant Subscribers who expressed an opinion. N=500 current Public Viewing subscribers (Bar or BLK) with a tenure of at least 3 months. COMMERCIAL XTRA PACK 24-MO. OFFER: Ends 10/28/18. To receive the promotional price of $89.99/mo., a 24-mo. agreement is required. After 24 mos., then-prevailing rate for base pkg applies unless canceled or changed by customer prior to end of the promotional period. Not stackable with any base package offers. ABP OFFER: New customers who subscribe to BUSINESS SELECT PACK or above with 24-mo. agmt. and enroll in Auto Bill Pay at time of sale will receive $10/ mo. bill credit for 24 mos. starting in the second mo. After 24 mos., the credit will end and services will automatically continue at the then-prevailing rate. $200 BILL CREDIT OFFER: To receive the promotional one-time credit of $200, customers must sign up for 2018 NFL SUNDAY TICKET with Fire Code Occupancy (FCO) 1-200 (excluding Small Bar Offer). Credit to be issued on or after 9/9/18. May take up to two billing cycles for credit to appear after 9/9/18. FCO validation certificate must be approved. NFL SUNDAY TICKET must be activated. $500 BILL CREDIT OFFER: To receive the promotional one-time credit of $500, customers must sign up for 2018 NFL SUNDAY TICKET with Fire Code Occupancy (FCO) 201 or above. Credit to be issued on or after 9/9/18. May take up to two billing cycles for credit to appear. FCO validation certificate must be approved. NFL SUNDAY TICKET must be activated. HARDWARE OFFER: Programming agreement, as defined by customer’s commercial programming rate card, required. Offer available to new commercial customers in commercial structures no more than three stories high. No single-family residences allowed. Up to four HD Receivers included per commercial location. Make and model of system at DIRECTV’s sole discretion. Offer void where prohibited or restricted. DIRECTV SVC TERMS: Subject to terms of DIRECTV Commercial Customer Agreement. Add’l Fees & Terms: Regional Sports Network Fee of up to $24.99/mo. applies in certain markets for COMMERCIAL XTRA PACK subscribers residing in a RSN ZIP code and one of the Collegiate-in-Market regions where BTN, Longhorn Network or SEC Network is included. Regional Sports Network fees are updated biannually based on the presence of Regional Sports Networks and/or Collegiate-in-Market programming in applicable ZIP codes. Receiver fees of $15/mo. apply for each receiver for COMMERCIAL XTRA PACK. $19.95 Handling and Delivery fee may apply. Taxes not included. Programming, pricing, terms and conditions subject to change at any time. INSTALLATION: Standard commercial installation included for BUSINESS SELECT PACK and above customers. Complex/custom installation extra. Applicable use tax adjustment may apply on retail value of installation. Visit or call for details. To access HD programming, HD equipment required. Number of HD channels based on package selection. All DIRECTV Receivers must be continuously connected to the same land-based phone line or the Internet. NFL, the NFL Shield design and the NFL SUNDAY TICKET name and logo are registered trademarks of the NFL and its affiliates. NFL team names and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. ©2018 AT&T Intellectual Property. All Rights Reserved. AT&T, Globe logo, DIRECTV and all other DIRECTV marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.


Hiring The key to finding good employees

By David Scott Peters 38

Bar Business Magazine



estaurants across the country are struggling to find employees. Candidates aren’t showing up to interviews, and even when someone gets through an interview and accepts the job, they don’t show up for their first training shift. Heck, you might not even have applicants walking in the door. This shortage in restaurant staff and job candidates is trending across the country. To overcome it, take this approach: good employees are not found—they are trained! Finding potential employees feels

July 2018

Photo: Shutterstock/ tsyhun

harder right now than usual because of two key reasons. First, unemployment is the lowest it has been in a decade—in the 4% range—which translates to fewer people actually looking for work. Second, the most common age demographic for the restaurant and catering industry is the millennial generation, which presents its own challenges. Although many people are quick to put down millennials, in an article published by the Harvard Business Review titled, “What Millennials Want from a New Job,” authors Brandon

Rigoni, Ph.D., and Amy Adkins say, “Millennials fundamentally think about their role as a stepping stone and a growth opportunity. But they also want to feel deeply committed to their role and to work for a manager who will invest in their development, which isn’t entirely different from what other generations value.” Yes, anecdotal evidence says this generation presents challenges, but we’ve said that about every new generation. The key with millennials is not to be hung up on how different they are, but like the article above said, look

at the values this group of employees can bring to the table for your business. These employees want: • The opportunity to learn and grow • To work for an employer that has created a positive work environment with good management • To like the work they do • To receive a good wage None of these requirements should be hard to meet for a well functioning business, but creating good employees is still a challenge for many businesses. That is why I encourage a three-step approach: 1. Find candidates that are a good fit July 2018

Bar Business Magazine


FIND EMPLOYEES for your bar or restaurant based on personality rather than experience. If an employee is excited to be a part of your company and eager to learn, then that’s a great place to start creating top-notch team members. 2. Understand the importance of training. 3. Create a great training system for your business. Step 1: Find Candidates When it comes to finding candidates, there are, of course, the go-to job websites. But it’s not just about getting warm bodies to walk through your door and apply—it’s about getting the right candidates. This is why I like to tell clients to not only post your job to multiple sites, but to also add a personality profile test to the application process. To submit a resume or fill out an application, the candidate must complete and submit a personality test. What these kinds of tests do is let the hiring employer know if the potential candidate is a good fit for the job. It doesn’t tell you who to hire, it simply tells you who would be best to interview because they would potentially be a good fit for the job. Let me be perfectly clear—it does not solve the challenge of the person actually showing up to the interview or the job itself. That is just a hazard of today’s circumstances. To increase the chances of a good match from your pool of candidates, make sure they meet these five criteria:

1. Pay: Are they asking for a salary in your range? 2. Availability: Do they meet your scheduling needs? 3. Transportation: Do they have a dependable way to get to work on time for the shifts that are needed? 4. Appearance: Do they understand that appearance is a condition of employment as far as being well groomed? 5. Culture: Do they fit your company culture? Step 2: Understand the Importance of Training Why do I emphasize training as the key to creating good employees? First, you must understand what happens when you ignore the importance of training. In a study called “The Spirit of Service” done by the National Institute for the Foodservice Industry (NIFI) studying “why customers leave,” they found that customers don’t return to a restaurant for a variety of reasons, the top five being: 5. 3% Move out of the area 4. 5% Find new interests and friends 3. 9% Change for competitive reasons 2. 14% Change because they are dissatisfied with the restaurant 1. 68% Encounter an attitude of indifference by one or more employees This study’s top two reasons show that 82% of customers who no longer dine with you don’t call on you again because of the people you selected, hired, trained, and manage on a daily basis. Need another reason why training is so important? In March of 2017, the National Restaurant Association reported that the hospitality employee turnover rate had edged higher in 2016 to 70%. To outline why a high-turnover rate is so bad for your business, consider a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Human Capital Benchmarking Report,” which says the average costper-hire for companies is $4,129. In a nutshell, having poorly trained staff on your team costs your business tens of thousands of dollars annually in lost revenue. Plus, high turnover robs you of your hard-earned profits quickly. To overcome these challenges, I say, again, you need a great training system. Step 3: Create a Great Training System What does a great training system look like? Here are the key components you need in place: Job Description. A great job description is more than “here’s what the job is.” It’s detailed and includes what the job is, how to do it, how well you want it done, and by when. It provides clear expectations and gives employees a guide for performing to the best of their ability. Daily Tests. New hires do the most damage to any business when they are poorly trained and no longer have a trainer with them. With daily testing, if they don’t pass the daily test, they don’t get to move on to the next day of training. And even if you give a new hire extra days of training until they get


Bar Business Magazine

July 2018

FIND EMPLOYEES it, you still win because they finish training 100% ready. Evaluations. These are not the ones with a 1–10 grade scale; instead they use the exact language from your job description. The employee either Exceeds, Meets, or Does Not Meet the standards you trained and tested them on. Trainers Guide. Having a new hire simply follow a longtime employee around for a shift or two does not work. They need to have a trainer who is following the same training plan that every employee follows. Consistency in training is critical for the success of your employees, and in turn, your business. In summary, good employees are not found—they are trained. The benefits of a great training system are huge! It increases sales by having happy guests. It lowers turnover rates, saving you thousands. It demonstrates to your employees you are committed to helping them learn and grow.

A training system in place means managers manage consistently to a single standard, creating a positive work environment. And finally, when an employee knows their job, they are more likely to enjoy the work they do. All you have to do is add in a competitive wage and boom, you have a team of good employees. Low employment rate and generational differences are no longer obstacles. is helping independent restaurants find success in the highly competitive restaurant industry. Download a free report at to discover the #1 secret to lowering food and labor costs and running the independent restaurant you’ve always dreamed of. Learn more about how David can help you at

David Scott Peters is a restaurant consultant, event speaker, and founder of, a company committed to the success of independent restaurants. offers an exclusive online restaurant management software designed specifically to meet the complete operational needs of independent operators, including holding their managers accountable and running a profitable business. Combined with oneon-one coaching and group workshops,


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July 2018

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Bar Business Magazine



REVEL Takes Agave Spirits to a New Level

Cult Status Blended Whisky Arrives in U.S.

Revel Spirits, the maker of artisanal, award-winning agave-based spirits, is launching both its flagship brand, REVEL, and a new category of distilled liquor, Avila®. Avila is made from 100% blue weber agave—the same plant base as tequila— but grown in the Morelos region, a small state in the south central part of Mexico. The Revel Spirits team created the new Avila® category to differentiate its REVEL agave spirit from tequila, which can only bear that name if produced in the Tequila region of Mexico. The ultra-premium agave spirit is handcrafted using both roasted and steamed piñas, a process that marries the old-world characteristics of mezcal with newer tequila-like techniques. REVEL Avila® provides a truly one-of-a-kind profile. REVEL is offered in three expressions: Blanco (white), which is immediately bottled after distillation; Reposado (rest), which is aged for 12 months in a once-used whisky oak barrel to provide a scotch-like taste; and Añejo (old age), a 96-proof spirit that is aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels, taking on the flavors of a cognac.

First introduced in Japan in 1986, Nikka From The Barrel has developed a cult-like status in the world of Japanese whisky. Now, Nikka Japanese Whisky and U.S. importer Hotaling & Co. announce the arrival of Nikka From The Barrel in the U.S. The ultimate expression of Nikka’s skillful blending and housed in a distinctive square 750ml bottle, the 51.4% ABV whisky is available nationwide. An extremely complex blended whisky, Nikka From The Barrel was created to deliver full flavors and richness drawn from a blend of more than 100 different batches of malt whisky and grain whisky produced at Nikka’s Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries, and aged in multiple types of ex-Bourbon barrels and puncheons, ex-sherry butts, refilled, recharred, and remade hogsheads. The higher proof helps to merge the wide array of flavor compounds, while the 3-6 months of additional aging at Nikka’s aging cellar ensures a perfect marriage of flavors to harmonize the liquid. The iconic bottle is designed to reflect “a small block of whisky” – embodying the rich, strong taste of the whisky within.

REVEL Avila®

Nikka Whisky

Belvedere Introduces the Notion of Terroir in Vodka Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series

The Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series includes two distinct vodkas: Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek, each named for the village of the estate and crafted to capture the distinctive essence of their respective terroirs. The Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series represents an extraordinary exploration into the idea of terroir (soil, topography, and climate) in vodka, making the claim that climate variation affects the taste yielded from the same Polish Dankowskie Diamond Rye used in each unique expression. Smogóry Forest is made entirely from Dankowskie Diamond Rye grown at a single small estate in western Poland. The region is known for its vast forests; short, continental weather fronts; mild winters; and fertile soils. This lush, forested terroir is reflected in notes of salted caramel, a touch of honey, and white pepper. Lake Bartężek is crafted from Dankowskie Diamond Rye grown at a single farm in northern Poland’s Mazury lake district, a region renowned for its crystal-clear glacial lakes; weather shaped by Baltic winds; and long, snowy winters. This lakeside terroir is reflected in notes of black pepper, toasted nuts, and cream.


Bar Business Magazine

July 2018


A Classic in Cans

Prairie Organic Spirits Gets a New Look

Anchor Brewing Company announces a new spin on Anchor Steam® Beer, San Francisco’s original since 1896. Arriving just in time for summer adventures, Anchor’s flagship beer is now available in cans for the first time, and this 19.2-ounce offering gives beer fans even more opportunities to enjoy Anchor Steam wherever they go. The distinctly flavored San Francisco original has been classically handcrafted in Anchor’s copper brewhouse for 122 years and counting. Neither fully a lager nor fully an ale, Anchor Steam is in a category of its own, created by fermenting a lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures in shallow open-air fermenters, and gentle carbonation in Anchor’s cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening. With flavors of mild toasted malt and a touch of caramel, Anchor Steam is balanced by bright, piney hoppiness. It has aromas of toasted bread crust maltiness followed by bright evergreen Northern Brewer hops and floral esters. A smooth and velvety mouthfeel is accompanied by lively bubbles and a crisp, bright hop finish.

Prairie Organic Spirits debuts its revamped look, which represents its commitment to making organic spirits with unmatched quality. The bottles feature a new custom hammered design and wooden cork cap. The label features familiar and new colors, including earth tones and design elements representative of Prairie’s organic sourcing and farmcrafted commitment, as well as a common blue denim Prairie logo banner to unify the family line up. The vodkas feature longer bottlenecks for an easier pour, and the gin gets its own custom bottle.

Anchor Steam® Beer

Prairie Organic Spirits



New White Rum Blend Pays Tribute to America’s Bootlegging History Owney’s Rum

Introducing Owney’s Rum, a new, super-premium blended white rum inspired by Prohibition-era rum runners. Owney’s Rum and its distillery, The Noble Experiment NYC, were both founded in 2012 by New York native, Bridget Firtle, who left a successful Wall Street career to pursue her passion for rum. The first release, known as Owney’s Distiller’s Reserve Rum, is a super-premium, unaged white rum completely made in New York City. It is distilled with three ingredients: yeast, New York City water, and all natural, non-GMO sugar cane molasses. Owney’s Rum is a blend of Owney’s Distiller’s Reserve and two year-old, cask-aged Dominican rum that is blended and bottled in New York City. There is no other white rum quite like it – smooth but with a true New York City edge. Owney’s Rum is bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof) and available nationally.

July 2018

Bar Business Magazine


Ad Index




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25 FLOH Vodka



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July 2018

Bar Business Magazine



with Jordan Silbert


What led you to create Q Mixers?

A night of drinking gin and tonics in my backyard in Brooklyn with some of my best friends where I was drinking really good gin on this beautiful summer night. Everything was perfect except for the tonic water. After a couple of drinks, I looked up and saw the gin bottle glowing in the moonlight, and I asked myself why isn’t the tonic water as good as the gin, or as good as my friends, or as good as this night? And the answer was that the world needed a better tonic water. So I made one. I started mixing stuff up in my kitchen, and I eventually came up with a prototype that some of the best bars and restaurants not only in New York but the country reached out to me and wanted to buy.

2 Founder & Owner of Q Mixers


ordan Silbert created Q Mixers back in 2007 based on an idea, but he was no stranger to good ideas prior to that launch. In fact, Silbert worked on post-9/11 rebuilding in New York City, which required plenty of brainstorming. “I was in charge of coming up with ideas, and then getting them funded and implemented, that would revitalize the area surrounding the former World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan below Chambers Street,” he says. “It was coming up with ideas and making things happen, but it was a completely different industry.” Today, Silbert works in the world of quality, carbonated mixers with his company Q Mixers, which come in seven varieties: Ginger Beer, Tonic Water, Indian Tonic Water, Ginger Ale, Club Soda, Kola, and Sparkling Grapefruit. Q Mixers are nationally distributed and can be found in many of America’s best restaurants, bars, and retailers.


Bar Business Magazine

What makes your mixers different from others on the market?

I treat these mixers like the best distiller treats their craft spirit, the best brewer treats their craft beer, the best wine maker treats their wine. So it ends up being a much better product. There’s a couple of specific reasons for that. We use much better ingredients—real quinine from Peru, real grapefruits from Florida, real lemons from Sicily, real organic agave from Mexico, real cinnamon from Africa. The second thing is we use a lot less sugars and we use fancy sugars—organic agave and organic cane sugars—instead of loads of high fructose corn syrup. The third thing is our product has more carbonation. A gin and tonic stays more carbonated if it starts more carbonated. So we have a custom glass bottle that’s a little thicker that enables us to put more carbonation in our bottles. Then we treat carbonation like an ingredient, and each of our flavors has a different amount of carbonation in it. It makes for a much more fizzy, refreshing cocktail.


making really interesting spirits, so you need a mixer that enables you to taste those subtleties in each of those spirits. And if your mixer has less sugars, you can taste those subtleties a lot better. Sugar is a masking agent. If you put a bunch of sugar in something, you can’t taste anything else in the drink.


You spent some time coming up with the bottle design. What is the importance of bottle aesthetic? We have a beautiful, silk-screened bottle. Instead of being a little plastic bottle that you have behind the bar or a soda gun, it’s actually delightful and beautiful. And it can be brought out to the guest and placed right in front of them.


Any advice for bar owners/ bartenders in our industry?

Get credit for making the investment in better mixers. Our mixers, now, are very price competitive relative to other glass bottle mixers, but they are more expensive than the soda gun. At the same time, they’re loads better. I’ve heard that the soda gun is the number-one reason for violations in New York City. Those lines are dirty, not cleaned well, and make lousy tasting product. So if a bar or restaurant is going to make the investment in a mixer, they should get credit for it. And that means really bringing it out to the guest. When someone orders a gin and tonic, vodka soda, or Moscow Mule, bring the bottled mixer out to the guest and pour it right in front of them. It delights the guest and gives them an experience they could not or would not have at their own house. And at the end of the day, that’s why people go out to bars and restaurants—to get an experience they wouldn’t have at home. It makes the guest feel special not only about their drink, but their entire experience at the establishment.

What is the importance of using a quality mixer in a cocktail?

It’s a terrific time to be a drinker because there are so many awesome spirits. The big guys make spirits, all these craft distilleries are

July 2018

Where Food Means Business!


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Profile for Bar Business Magazine

Bar Business July 2018