Introduce panelists Leo – Bars Manager 11 Madison Park, 5 th best restaurant in World and NoMad, World's best Hotel Bar Phil – Liquid Solutions Consultancy, World's Best Presenter 2012 and owner of the award-winning door 74 in Amsterdam Jamie – GCP winner 2013, multiple UK final winner and drinks consultant in UK
Some of the best bars in the world: Artesian London PDT, New York, Schumann's, Munich Lebensstern, Berlin All incredible bars, but none of them are restaurants? They may serve some kind of food, but they're not restaurant bars.
What is the difference? Image 1: unlikely to see this in a high end restaurant. Fire, loud music, urgency to get served. Image 2: more likely to see this. Stylish, elegant, paced. Restaurants have a captive audience. Pre meal drinks, post meal drinks. Consumer has more time to enjoy a good drink, not rushing. Bartender can invest more time in their guest. Aperitifs and Digestifs. A more relaxed environment. Image 3: Is wetherspoons a restaurant bar? Serves food, and BAD cocktails? Probably makes a lot more than most restaurant bars in the uk! But they're not craft cocktails. And there's no atmosphere! But not all like this! On to a great example...
British dining and cocktail culture is a lot different from the US. We haven't become accustomed with eating at the bar, unlike the USA where you can eat at the bar of some of the greatest restaurants. However we do have great restaurants with stand out bars. Social Eating House have just earned their first Michelin Star, and the drinks program headed up by Gareth Evans is far from stuffy. Thermo nuclear daiquiri anyone? Fun drinks, in a Michelin Restaurant. Why not! This bar established a name for itself outside of the restaurant it is a part of, and a lot of it is to do with Gareth's great reputation for great drinks, and having fun.
Thanks Leo. Great insight in to how successful restaurant bars are. I have some figures from one of the largest operators in the UK, Living Ventures. They have over 30 sites, of which some are chains. The Alchemist group has 3 restaurants, 2 in Manchester and one in Leeds. These 3 restaurant bars in a 90 day period made 124, 859 cocktails. That's 1780 a day. They also hit a 74% GP. Their sales split is 80/20 liquor to food! That's a lot of booze! Cocktails alone contribute to almost 40% off the total revenue sales. Last financial year the whole group of 30 restaurants and bars made a little over 650,000 cocktails. About £4million in revenue, £3.6 in profit.
So how do they do it stateside? I'm now going to hand over to Leo, who will talk you through the drinks program at Nomad in New York. Over to you Leo... Click 1: 15,000 people per week Click 2: $10,230 per day Click 3: Run at a 74% GP
Nomads best selling drinks. Discuss these drinks briefly. Discuss how these compare to other drinks volumes (spirit & mixer, wine, beer). Lead in to how long it takes to make cocktails, and putting out craft cocktails in high volume establishments. How do you make it work so well? What prep needs to be done to make it so smooth?
Sales are great, but how much does it cost to run the business. From staffing, general maintenance and liquor costs as well as any other notables. Talk about saving techniques in restaurants v bars: no waste if shared with kitchen. What you pitfalls you faced and how you over came them.
Using the power of purchase from the kitchen to drive down costs of fruit etc. Also having the money to buy equipment a bar alone may not be able to afford
Discuss how the bar can support the food sales and it's importance. How hard it can be to make a bar or restaurant make money. Both rely on each other heavily, together make a strong business Hand back to Jamie
All of these operators say that their sales are built through social media pushes from each unit, photos and videos of cocktails. Core training for staff, and incentives drive sales.
Success comes down to many things, but building a reputation for your bar, restaurant and yourself will be what drives people in and your charisma and making people enjoy themselves, making them have fun whilst giving them exceptional service will be what improves volumes. But remember that escaping overheads, unnecessary spending and piss poor preparation will also be what stops you from succeeding. Europe has a strong set of up an coming bar and restaurant operators who are learning from the success of America.
Thank you all for listening, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask the panel.
It's More Fun to Drink in a Restaurant
It's More Fun to Drink in a
Making Restaurant Bars Pay in Europe vs USA
PDT, New YorkSchumann's, Munich