How Cocktails Can Improve Your Bar

Cocktails are beautiful and delicious.

Yet their purpose goes far deeper than merely looking and tasting great.


8 Ways properly made cocktails can improve your bar instantaneously:


Almost everyone enjoys a good cocktail.  It can introduce you to new flavors and smells, interesting experiences, and even new friends (in more ways than one).


However, few know the incredible effectiveness of cocktails when it comes to a bar’s business.  I want to delve into why cocktails are so important to a bar’s culture, as well as why it works so well for business.


1. Increases Revenue


A tried and true business model:  Take parts, combine them expertly, and sell at a higher price for the whole.

Customers don’t mind paying extra for the care and knowledge put into a good drink.  Similar to a special dish at your favorite restaurant.  You’re not just paying for the product, but also the expertise and experience.  Cocktails can provide a unique experience like no other.  Utilize this often.


2. Training Tools for Your Bartenders


Teaches and improves basic drink making techniques, attentiveness to detail, enhances knowledge of the products behind the bar, creates awareness for the environment (grabbing necessary ingredients as quickly as possible), and motivates organization and cleanliness (so that service runs accurately and efficiently, resulting in more revenue/tips). What a value. 


3. Engages Clientele


In my experience, when customers see you make a cocktail, they want to ask questions.  They want to learn.  If they don’t say anything, you’ll usually see them eyeing what you’re doing.  Satiate their curiosity with transparency.  Tell them what you’re up to.  Show them the ingredients, the bottles, the syrups, and whatever else you may be using.  People tend to get a kick out of that. 


4. Moves Inventory


Every bar and restaurant has to move inventory to make sure sales exceed purchasing cost.  Cocktails, similar to a chef’s special, takes infrequently used ingredients and makes them the stars of a show.  Or at the very least, a supporting character that the clientele will want to experience.  A win for both the bar and the guests.


5. Sparks Creativity


As tasty cocktails can engage customers, so too can it get your bartenders excited in trying new flavors and combinations.  This ties in beautifully with the training aspect.  You want your bartenders and staff interested in the products they serve.  It helps them remember, to take care of items, and produces overall improved morale.  Even the kitchen staff can get involved by creating dishes to pair with unique cocktail forward flavors.


6. Educates Staff (& Indirectly, Customers)


Learning why cocktails work is informative and sometimes fun.  Lots of liqueurs, bitters, and mixers have such unique capabilities, it can be fascinating to experience them together.  Even commonly used ingredients can be utilized in new ways, changing the way you or your staff approach new drinks.  The process can be the most fun part.  As a bonus, it branches into engaging with the clientele, sometimes helping them learn as well.


7. Improves Storytelling


Bartenders engaging a bar’s clientele is paramount.  Stories help bridge that gap quite well.  Even introverted staff can use stories as an opportunity to get the guests interested.


Many famous cocktails have neat stories that pair well with the customers’ curiosity.  The French 75 is named for the 75 mm artillery shells in WWI.  The Vieux Carre is named for the French Quarter in New Orleans.  The Last Word is incredibly popular in New Orleans and larger cities like Manhattan.  However it originated in Detroit.  These stories help your clientele enjoy their experience that much more.  The world loves stories.  Why not tell them some?


8. Stunning Aesthetic for the Bar


A beautiful cocktail is worth its weight in gold.  Once people see it, it piques curiosity (and sales).  These attractive beverages aren’t just good for digital marketing, but even more importantly, for in house marketing.  It’s said hearing bacon crackle before eating it makes it taste that much better.  A properly made cocktail engages as many senses as possible.  Smell, colors, taste, texture, and even the way it sounds in ice.  All enhance experience.


Thanks for reading!