Last week I shared all of the new products from booze to food that I sampled at the recent food show, as well as highlights from a seminar on restaurant business. This week I devote to Mixologist Rob Floyd, and all that I learned in his seminar.
Liquid Demonstration by Rob Floyd, RX Liquid Chef on the Center Stage: Molecular Gastronomy Demonstration and Trending Beverages.
This was my first time seeing Bar Rescue’s Rob Floyd in action. He created a cocktail for the entire audience with liquid nitrogen. Clearly making a statement that the show is as important as the drink. He was also awarded with the Bartender of the Year by Show Director Tom Loughran. These are my takeaways:
- Molecular cocktails are trending so you need to be aware and competitive.
- Drinking is not a “man’s world” only thing anymore. A whopping 75% of your bar customers are women. Beginning with the popularity of the Cosmopolitan when Sex and the City was in its heyday, ladies now want more savory-based (think whisky) cocktails. It’s also been proven that women have a better palate.
- Taste, Fundamental Technique and a “Tale” are crucial. The Tale is the story that makes the customer “connect” to the drink. You have to find out what speaks to them. It’s akin to the “secret sauce.”
- Speed kills or saves a place. With craft cocktails taking 7-9 steps that has got be narrowed down to 3-4 so the drink doesn’t take longer than 3-5 minutes to deliver to the table.
- By the fourth visit you have a regular. Comp them something at visits one or two to make sure they make it to a fourth.
- If you can get a diner to order that second drink, it will triple your money and create an order for food.
- Managers must “touch” each table, make the visit personal, tell diner to “ask for me” next time they come in so that you can “send something” to their table.
- Your bar, like any business, needs a short mission statement. (I believe that you need a employee guide/policy book too. So everyone’s training is always the same.)
- Be aware of popular trends, like organic products, and bring into bar menu.
- Cheapest marketing is social media.
Instagram is huge for food/drink photos. Gain followers on Instagram and Facebook, and re-tweets from Twitter.
- Test market your new cocktails, and let the ones go that aren’t popular. This should be on-going. Roll out a different cocktail each night. Accept mistakes, learn from them and move on.
- How do you evaluate a bar manager? Floyd said that unfortunately most aren’t good. They have to put the business first, be a team worker and can’t be a partier. Keep the floor clean, never drink on the property (unless it’s a scheduled tasting) and overpay them.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com