5 Easy Ways to Increase Bar Sales

Regardless of your décor, offerings, and menu, any establishment with beverage service can benefit from a few tips to increase beverage sales and protect the bottom line. As the weather warms up, consider a little spring-cleaning behind the bar and rethinking to maximize your beverage service profits and efficiency.

Practical Ways to Increase Bar Sales

1. Presentation:
Bar-goers drink first with their eyes. To begin, consider your budget for investment. If you’re just looking to spend minimal money, consider a signature piece of glassware for a signature drink. If not, consider a collection of drinkware that highlights your highest profit drinks. The unique presentation pieces will give your beverages a look worthy of a higher price tag and that’s likely to catch the eyes of other customers drinking from a generic glass. Allow the presentation to enhance the value.

2. Measure:
BArtendingBar tenders are neither mathematicians nor perfectionists. The product you serve your guests is expensive. Whether it be a well drink or top shelf, liquor, garnishes, and mixers are costly. Help your staff out by providing them with jiggers, liquor portion control tops, or other measurement tools to limit over pouring. Include recipe execution as a formal portion of the onboarding process for each new bartender to insure that anyone preparing a beverage is doing so in a manner that is both profitable and consistent. You may even consider “pop-quizzes” to double check your staff’s knowledge throughout their tenure with your establishment.

3. Stop Taking Orders:
Your regulars are probably too comfortable with their choice. You spend countless hours pouring over your bar menu, developing new cocktails, and stocking your establishment with quality product only to have your patrons continue purchasing their same go-to drinks. Conduct menu training for your wait staff and bartenders so that they can educate your patrons on your wide offering. Suggest specific drink pairings for certain foods and encourage your staff to promote top shelf product.

4. Experiment:
Blood Mary JarsDon’t become too comfortable with your own offering.Utilize your bar as a hub for calculated experimentation. Develop drink specials with product that isn’t moving, create seasonal offerings with unique or house-made syrups, consider serving non-alcoholic beverages, or simply spruce up an old favorite with new glassware or garnishes. Any of these simple experiments will merit a higher price tag for minimal creativity. Experimentation can also go beyond the bar. Consider including cocktail pairings as part of the description on your menu.

5. Stay Organized:
Chaos is bad for business. Organization is key when operating a bar. It’s the best defense against theft, the ideal way to stay aware of what is successful, important for providing a good customer experience, and vital when relying on technology to decipher your bottom line. Organization and accuracy go hand-in-hand. If you operate an organized bar, you are more likely to catch a POS glitch. Imagine if your system is set to allow happy hour pricing for premium beverages all night. By staying organized, you develop a system geared toward accuracy and awareness. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s much easier to disguise missing product when your liquor closet is a mess. Don’t create a favorable environment for theft.

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.

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