In response to the slumping economy, Southern Wine and Spirits of Arizona has launched an educational program designed to help restaurateurs and bar owners become more profitable, a full-day seminar called Successful Beverage Management-Profitable Strategies for the On-Premise Operator.
The course was developed and presented by industry notables Jack Robertiello, beverage writer and former editor of Cheers magazine; Robert Plotkin, author and beverage consultant; Mac Gregory, director of food & beverage at The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale; and Dr. Gail Bellamy, executive food editor of Restaurant Hospitality magazine.
"These guys are the pros from Dover," says Tom Boyle, vice president of sales for Southern Wine and Spirits of Arizona. "The downturn in the economy necessitates that beverage operators focus on improving their profitability, which is exactly what this invaluable program is designed to help them accomplish."
Registration for the daylong program is $295, but Southern Wine & Spirits is offering all attendees a scholarship of $200, dropping the cost to $95 for operators.
During the morning session, attendees learn how to significantly reduce costs by preventing internal theft, tracking bartender sales productivity, analyzing pour costs and effectively managing payroll. The afternoon session advanced strategies for increasing beverage sales by enhancing drink quality and appeal, improving guest service, taking advantage of beverage trends, increasing the effectiveness of in-house marketing and building repeat business.
Boyle was extremely pleased with the response to the first of these programs, held earlier this year. "Continuing education is a crucial aspect of success that's especially important in the food and beverage industry. How else can working on-premise professionals augment their knowledge of the business than through a program such as this?"
The program concludes with a practical demonstration behind the bar by master mixologist Jason Gerard, Southern Wine and Spirits of Arizona's cocktail specialist. During the program, Plotkin and Robertiello emphasized that using premium spirit brands greatly improves drink quality, guest satisfaction and profit margin. Putting the matter to the test, Gerard prepared for attendees 3 sample Margaritas, each made with a different tequila. Not surprisingly, those made with super-premium scored the highest marks, which drove home the point.
After presenting the course again in Phoenix on January 12, 2010, the foursome will take the daylong Successful Beverage Management program on the road with 16 seminar dates scheduled through 2011. The next three dates include Tampa on March 16th, San Jose on May 4th and Denver on June 29th. The program will also be offered at the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas on March 8th.
Attendees' evaluations revealed the degree to which they felt the program had improved their chances of financially surviving the recession. "I've been in the bar business for over 40 years and I'm surprised that I learned as many new things as I did," said Kevin McNeal of Corbins Bar in Phoenix. "You can't put a dollar figure on the value on this type of information."
Registration information and tour schedule can be obtained at BarProfits.com or by calling BarMedia at 800.421.7179.