Archive for the ‘Restaurant Receiverships’ Category

3 Strategies to Keep Restaurant Opening Costs from Ballooning Out of Control

November 12, 2014

Restaurant buildouts are expensive, and opening costs can quickly get out of hand. Without careful planning and preparation, it’s easy to get in way over your head and quickly find yourself struggling for a life-preserver. Here are a few strategies to keep your up-front development costs low and help you gain some control over ongoing operational expenses.

Give Expert Evaluation to the Restaurant Location

Restaurant location is one of the most critical choices you have to make. Be sure to carefully evaluate whether or not the neighborhood can support your concept before investing. Furthermore, ensure that the structure itself can serve your needs. Can you efficiently produce your menu, serve your guests and monitor your dining room with the existing layout? Is the seating capacity the right size for the goals set in your business plan? It’s a good idea to bring in experts to help with the evaluation, especially those who are familiar with local building codes. They will see things you may not, such as the gas and electrical systems, proper venting of exhaust, the overall soundness of the structure and whether or not anything is going to need replacing.

Look for Lease Agreements with Concessions

All of this information will help you be a shrewd negotiator of the lease as well—another important aspect of controlling opening costs. Obviously, you want to be working with property owners who are flexible and fair; people you’d like to stay in business with a long time. Ask for a lease with a rent-free concession before the restaurant’s opening date to provide some cushion in case of last minute fixes or permit delays. If you’re sinking a lot of money into the building for renovations, approach the property owner about subsidies for the improvements you make to the building. If the opening of the establishment adds substantial value to the premises, some owners will even be willing to contribute some financial assistance to the venture.

Work Directly with Restaurant Architects and BuildersPlan for Maximum Efficiency

Sometimes a fresh coat of paint and new décor is all that is needed to open your restaurant’s doors. If renovations are in order, however, don’t miss the opportunity to plan the perfectly designed restaurant by working directly with your architects and builders. While it’s nice to find an architect with restaurant-specific expertise, the more important qualifier is how well he or she knows the local building codes and is able to bring your idea to life. Design for maximum efficiency in the layout of your kitchen and dining areas. Don’t make your servers and kitchen staff walk a mile to have what they need at hand. Review all plans with a fine-tooth comb. Now is the time to catch mistakes in design—changes made down the line can get costly.

Once you have your plans, it’s time to collect your builders. It’s smart to utilize a contractor for their carpenter contacts, project management and permit expertise. If you want to save a little on contractor costs, interview and get quotes from the plumbers, electricians and HVAC specialists yourself.

Opening a new restaurant can be an expensive and risky endeavor. With careful and strategic planning ahead of time, however, both cost and risk can be managed more successfully.

3 Franchise Success Markers to Consider Before Buying that Restaurant

October 8, 2014

There are a number of benefits to buying a restaurant franchise rather than trying to start your own single-store location. You get to set up shop under an established brand name with a proven system of operations. Depending on which franchise you choose, you may also get handed trained staff, marketing plans, in-place supplier relationships and an existing customer base. That said, not all franchises are created equally, and finding the brand that is the right fit for your personal style and needs takes some research. Here are the three biggest success markers to consider before determining which franchise brand is best for you.

Restaurant Brand Perception: Don’t Pick a Bad Egg

The first marker of restaurant franchise success is the local populace’s overall perception of the brand. The last thing you need when starting a new business is to try to fight a bad reputation for poor service or inedible food before you’ve even gotten started. That’s like hobbling your horse before you push him onto the race track. It’s a waste of time and effort. Make sure that you’ve done your research on consumer perception of the brand before you buy.

Is It Better to Pick a New or an Already-Established Franchise?

Assuming you have narrowed your list of potential franchise options down to only those with a neutral or positive consumer perception, the next question to ask yourself is whether or not you want to go with an already-established, well-known brand or a new restaurant franchise startup. There are pros and cons to both choices.

The benefits of going with an established brand include an established track record, customer base and system of operation. The cons can include higher franchise fees and less management flexibility. Before you go this route, ask the seller for detailed financial information for a minimum of the past three years. This information will give you a much clearer picture of the highs, lows and warning signs it is critical to know about before striking any deal.

The benefits of going with a new startup restaurant franchise are that you’re able to start from scratch, often forging your own relationships and being totally in charge of creating the brand perception for the franchise in your area. New franchises are often cheaper to get into as well, since you won’t have to pay a higher fee for goodwill or purchase past cash flow. The cons include greater risk and more elbow grease to get going.

Total Franchise Cost and Management Flexibility

The last considerations to take into account when choosing a successful restaurant franchise are the total cost of getting going and the amount of management flexibility the franchise allows. Franchises are often prone to a number of additional fees and royalties, including the upfront franchise fee, as well as possible fees for renovations, marketing campaigns, training materials, extra suppliers and annual “membership” to the franchise. Brands vary widely on the fees that are included in the agreement, so be sure you have read the fine print before you sign!

While most franchises have a set of guidelines about how the business should be operated and marketed, management flexibility varies widely from franchise to franchise as well. Some will dictate all promotions and policies (leaving you free to run the shop); others will give you much greater freedom (giving you more choice and control over how you run your business). Which you choose has a lot to do with how much control you want over your restaurant.

Buying a franchise isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but can be quite a successful venture if the franchise is properly selected. The bottom line: don’t pick your franchise because it makes your favorite dish. Do your homework and pick your franchise based on the one that has the best chances of success.

Highlights of the 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast

April 25, 2014

Every year, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) puts out a comprehensive annual forecast for restaurant industry opportunities and challenges that are likely to arise in the year to come. The NRA bases these predictions on the most current economic data available, as well as extensive surveys of both restaurant operators and restaurant patrons alike, providing valuable insights across all dining segments. Here are some highlights of the 2014 Restaurant Industry Report.

Restaurant Industry Sales will Increase but Consumer Confidence May Remain Fragile

Sales in the restaurant industry have been steadily increasing since the recession four years ago. While the gains still aren’t near what they were after any of the previous four recessions, 2014 is actually projected to be a record year in terms of restaurant industry sales. Early reports indicate industry sales will reach $683 billion in 2014; a 1.2% increase from last year (after adjusting for inflation.) It is interesting to note that in terms of size and scope, the restaurant industry is larger than 90% of the world’s economies. If the industry were a country, it would rank number 20 in terms of economic strength!

One of the biggest factors that influences sales in the restaurant industry is consumer confidence—in other words, their willingness and ability to spend their hard-earned cash. It would appear that many consumers are stuck in a ‘recessionary mindset’ and, unfortunately, this aspect really hasn’t improved much over the course of the past several years despite the addition of several million jobs and the economy gaining momentum. An NRA survey conducted at the end of 2013 reported nearly 60% of respondents as describing their personal finances as either fair or poor. What’s more, nearly half said that they aren’t dining out or ordering in as much as they would like to, creating what some are terming a “pent up demand.” The good news is that 35% of respondents in this same survey also indicated that they felt their personal finances would improve in 2014, and the odds that restaurants will be a beneficiary of that pent up desire to spend are good.

Restaurant Industry Job Growth and Expectations in Terms of Recruiting and Retaining Employees

Another key driver of restaurant sales has always been job growth, and 2014 stands to be a good year in that arena as well. The NRA expects total employment to rise 1.8% this year (the most impressive increase since 2006.) The increase in the availability and security of jobs helps boost consumer confidence as well, which should unlock some consumer spending.

Nearly half of restaurant operators across all segments (except fine dining) expect recruiting and retaining employees to be more difficult in 2014. Many plan to put more focus on labor issues this year and bolster their training budgets in an effort to develop existing employees and enhance overall productivity.

Food Prices & Other Top Challenges Restaurants Face in 2014

The average wholesale price of food rose 2% in 2013. Food prices this year are expected to be mixed, but to continue to advance overall. Beef, in particular, is projected to move up higher than any other commodity group in 2014. In terms of other top challenges operators expect to face this year, many are similar to concerns voiced in 2013. Topping the list is complying with health care reform, followed by building and maintaining sales volume, dealing with fierce competition for the market share and the state of the economy in general.

In sum, 2014 stands to be a good year in the restaurant industry, despite cautious consumer spending and a host of operational challenges that must be addressed. If you’d like some help getting geared up for the coming year, the Restaurant Management Group provides comprehensive operational and turnaround management assistance. They can help identify specific areas of opportunity as well as effective strategies to maximize your margins, reduce your costs and improve your overall profitability.

Potential Challenges to Restaurant Operators in 2014

January 17, 2014

Each year brings a new set of challenges to restaurant operators. While it’s impossible to predict every challenge a business might face, there are some that we can predict with a fair amount of certainty. Here’s the list of potential road bumps for 2014.

Health Care, Hourly Wages, and Garnering Valuable Knowledge Effect Restaurants

The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare,” is set to take full effect in January, 2014. Most analysts are predicting that the act will create a two to four percent increase in costs to businesses with more than 50 employees. If your margin is more than 30 percent, this won’t have much effect, but since the foodservice industry’s average pretax profit is less than five percent, this could cause challenges and a focus on improving your profit margins is going to be critical to success.

The living wage debate flared up strongly in 2013, and is unlikely to go away any time soon. The odds that strikes, demonstrations, and discussions around increasing minimum wage will continue into 2014, is pretty good.

We have a ton of information at our disposal, but sorting what is valuable from what is not can be a major challenge. Vendors who can supply “Big Data” overviews and insights will surpass those who cannot garner such comprehensive information in 2014 and beyond. 

Restaurants must Deal with Increased Commodity Prices and New Consumer Trends

No one can predict how weather and climate change will affect growing conditions in 2014. Commodity prices are always an unpredictable, uncontrollable cost to restaurant operators. You can bet that the prices won’t be dropping though, so the best you can do is make certain that your controllable costs are optimized to give you the best leverage possible in the face of these uncertainties.

How diners are choosing and using foodservice is vastly different than it was even five years ago. There is a new set of expectations involving everything from what consumers want to see on the menu to which devices they can use to interact with your restaurant. Restaurant operators who wish to succeed in 2014 and beyond must keep a keen ear to these new trends and expectations and make regular judgment calls about whether or not to follow suit.

Building Leaders Rather than Employees for the New Age in Restaurants

You can’t predict your company’s future, but you can give it the best chance for success possible by hiring and developing people to be leaders rather than just employees. Picking people based on competencies that were valued ten years ago isn’t going to do much for you now or in the future. To best succeed in 2014, ask yourself what competencies are going to be needed now and in the future and start focusing on hiring and developing your employees into the leaders that they will need to be in this day and age.

Your company will have a better chance for success if you plan for contingencies and educate yourself to make the best choices for your business as possible. Being average is easy, but being awesome takes some work – so make a plan for how you are going to address upcoming challenges and get started now!

New Gluten-Free Standards set to Change Restaurant Offerings

August 14, 2013

It is estimated that roughly 18 million Americans have a non-celiac, gluten sensitivity while another 2 million have a diagnosis of celiac disease. Add on the growing number of people who are avoiding gluten for various other health-related reasons and it’s no wonder that so many restaurants are making the move to offering gluten-free items on the menu.

‘Gluten-Free’ has Varied Widely from Restaurant to Restaurant

That said, what the term ‘gluten-free’ actually reflects can vary greatly from one restaurant to another, with as much as 90% of restaurant items currently labeled as gluten-free actually containing quite a bit of gluten. Part of the problem is inadvertent cross-contamination. The other part of the problem is that gluten is found in a number of items a person wouldn’t necessarily suspect. As a result, those whose health can be seriously affected by gluten currently can’t trust gluten-free labels or menus.

This safety risk has led the FDA to put out a new rule which requires items voluntarily labeled as gluten-free (or with similar terms such as “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” or “without gluten”) to contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten.

The rule was added to the Federal Register on August 5th, and gives packaged food companies one year to comply with the new standard. Once in effect, restaurateurs will be able to purchase anything with a gluten-free label without having to examine the ingredient list for hidden sources of gluten.

Next Step: Preventing Cross Contamination

Cross contaminating an otherwise gluten-free food in the restaurant is very easy to do and is another area of real concern for those with health issues related to gluten. For example, a gluten-free food cannot be fried in the same oil as foods with gluten; nor can knives, cutting boards, or other food preparation tools be shared. Airborne flour can even be a gluten culprit, meaning that gluten-free foods must be prepped in a sealed area.

Many restaurants are developing company-wide training programs to teach staffers proper food handling and preparation for their gluten-free customers. Some restaurants have even gone so far as to develop a “GF” prefix code for their point-of-sale systems so that employees can follow specific plating instructions and recipes when a gluten-free item rings up.

Education and Alternatives for Restaurants to Meet the Gluten-Free Demand

In some cases, it is simply not feasible for a restaurant to be able to prepare gluten-free foods in the establishment itself. For example, many restaurants don’t have a dedicated fryer for gluten-free items nor the capability to prep gluten-free foods in an area sealed from airborne flour. Some restaurants are working around such problems by simply not offering any gluten-free items that are fried or by purchasing pre-made pizzas, for example, which have been packaged and sealed in a certified gluten-free facility, cooked in the bag, and are opened only by the gluten-free customer.

A number of restaurants have been utilizing the training provided by nutrition consulting groups and advocacy organizations such as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to train staff, implement procedures, and find new methods of meeting the gluten-free demand in their establishments. The prevalence of gluten sensitivity is a real issue that has a significant impact on consumer choices. New labeling standards, staff education, and the willingness of restaurateurs to be a part of the solution are making all the difference in the world to the 20 million Americans who need gluten-free options.

Cause Marketing in the Restaurant: Charitable Strategies for Growth

August 6, 2013

The degree to which a business makes the world a better place has a major impact on the purchasing decisions of its consumers. In fact, research has shown that nearly half of U.S. consumers are already making a monthly purchase from an establishment that supports a cause while 64% say they would switch their loyalties to a similar brand if the company decided to support a cause they care about.

What does this mean for you, the restaurateur? Put simply, doing good is good business and charitable strategies are well worth the time and effort of implementing if you are not already doing so.

The Difference between Philanthropy and Cause Marketing in the Restaurant

Whereas philanthropy is given purely through the desire to do something good in the world without any expectations for return (other than perhaps a ‘thank you’), the goal in cause marketing is to do the most good while simultaneously creating measurable business benefits.

In cause marketing, you build relationships with your customers by supporting causes that both appeal to their values as well as align with the values of your business.

The idea is to build your establishment’s reputation as a business with strong morals and ethics that make your customers and employees feel good about supporting it.

Selecting the Right Cause to get Your Restaurant Behind

Given the high number of donation requests that restaurants get each year, it’s critical to set parameters for giving and charitable participation. Rather than taking a broad-wash approach, restaurants have found it far more valuable to focus on supporting issues which tie to their brand identities, leverage their currently available resources, and appeal to their target audiences.

Providing your customers and employees with the opportunity to select causes that they care about is one way to keep them engaged and involved in your efforts.

Keeping your charitable giving at the local level is another way to ensure that your efforts are maximized and that the results can be easily seen. Focusing on building long-term partnerships with the charities you select is also a savvy approach, and helps your program build momentum and notoriety over time.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to give to anyone and everyone to benefit from the cause marketing model. Instead, focus on building relationships and harnessing the power and energy in your local community by selecting strategic, meaningful causes to get behind.

Keep an Eye on Your Restaurant’s Return on Investment for its Charitable Efforts

Keeping an eye on and being transparent about the success of your charitable efforts is the final ingredient to cause marketing success. Not only do you want to ensure that your efforts are worth the while, but you also want the consumers who have participated in your campaign to see the results of their efforts.

Being transparent about the success or failure of your campaign builds confidence in the integrity of your establishment and allows your followers the opportunity to help you improve your program. This creates a collaborative experience that will continue to build loyalty and participation for years to come.

Everyone likes to feel like they are doing something good and to feel like their money is going towards a worthy cause. There are a number of easy and creative ways that restaurants around the country are utilizing this basic truth to improve their bottom line while simultaneously improving the world we live in.

If you’ve been looking for ways to build your business and inspire people to help you do it, cause marketing is an extremely effective method of doing so.

Creative Ways to Make Your Restaurant Training Stick with Your Employees

July 30, 2013

When you’re in the restaurant business, having well-trained staff is critical to your establishment’s success. That said, making the training that you provide really stick with your team members can be somewhat of a challenge. Here’s some techniques you can use to help your staff retain the information that they have learned regarding your policies, procedures, and product knowledge, ultimately lowering the cost of training and minimizing costly mistakes.

Training is a Daily Process, Not a One-Time Event

The first thing that is important to recognize is that the most effective training is a daily process, not a one-time event. The human brain can only absorb small amounts of information at a time. Therefore, it is only logical to train your employees with this understanding in mind.  While every employee will still have to undergo some sort of orientation training, finding creative ways to reinforce and strengthen their knowledge on a daily basis will result in staff members who are thoroughly educated on all of the important information that they need to know in order to do their jobs well.

Teach Your Restaurant Team Members Something New Each Time They Clock In

As you are well aware, there is always something new that can be learned about the policies, procedures, and product knowledge pertinent to your restaurant. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to make pre-shift meetings mandatory rather than optional and to teach your employees something new every time they clock in. Hosting such mandatory meetings not only provides an opportunity to further educate your team members on a daily basis, but it also creates a shared learning environment that fosters team work and mutual support. These meetings are also an opportunity to check in with your employees and to keep your finger on the pulse of what is working and what isn’t – allowing you to act on issues before they become problems.

Require Employees to Demonstrate Their Knowledge Each Time They Clock In

One very simple and effective method of ensuring that the training you have provided has been driven home is to test your employees’ knowledge every day. Do this by working with your vendor to configure your clock-in system so that team members have to answer at least two multiple-choice questions correctly before they can even proceed to their positions.  Questions can cover any information you feel they need to know regarding your policies, procedures, or product knowledge. If they don’t answer correctly, they can’t move on to the clock-in screen, simple as that.

Aside from the obvious benefit of reinforcing the training you have provided on a daily basis, this method adds the extended benefit of helping you to identify which employees are worth keeping around and which aren’t. Someone who gets a question wrong time and time again is probably not worth the effort of continued investment!

Using simple methods such as those described above to train your restaurant staff on a regular basis results is employees who are more keyed-in and knowledgeable about the intricacies of your business. Better trained employees result in more satisfying customer experiences which, in turn, translates into higher profits for your restaurant business!

A New Perspective on Special Offers in the Restaurant

July 24, 2013

Providing special offers such as ‘daily deals’ and ‘happy hours’ in the restaurant is nothing new. That said, creation and participation in such programs can be a rather costly affair. As a result, an increasing number of chain and independent restaurants alike have been creating, managing, and posting their own special offers and coupons on their websites and utilizing the new technology that is available as a cost-effective means of stimulating more visits from their best customers.

Giving Your Best Restaurant Customers Exclusive Benefits

The general rule of thumb is that 80% of your restaurant’s business comes from about 20% of your customers. Therefore, it makes sense to do everything within your power to reward that 20% for their patronage. While it’s smart to have regular coupons posted on your website which any consumer can use, it’s even smarter to provide exclusive coupons and offers to your most loyal customers.

Typically, this is done through the creation of membership programs or the joining of exclusive mailing lists. A recent study by LoyaltyPulse shows that 77% of participants feel that the most important feature of a loyalty program would be earning points toward free or discounted meals. Another 70% said they would like to receive unexpected benefits in the restaurant, such as receiving a free appetizer or dessert. Special birthday coupons were in high demand for 72% of participants, and an additional 58% wanted holiday coupons and discounts for trying new menu items. More that 50% said that being the recipient of exclusive offers unavailable to non-members was their primary motivator for joining.

Cause-related marketing is also powerful and using the technology that is available would allow you to easily set up a system in which you donate x% of a customer’s bill toward the charity of their choice. Additional examples of exclusive membership rewards include offering a certain percentage off their ticket during their entire birthday month or even year-round discounts for members!

Tailoring Your Special Offers to the Unique Tastes of Each Customer

With the technology that we have available to us, it is easier than ever to create highly customized, special offers unique to each customer. For example, if a customer never orders dessert when they visit your restaurant, it’s useless to send them a coupon for discounted dessert!

Instead, it is far more powerful to send that customer a coupon for a meal or food item that they regularly order when they visit your establishment. Not only does this increase the likelihood that they will actually use the coupon, but it demonstrates that you are really paying attention to what they like and are doing everything within your power to reward them for giving you their business.

Utilizing Technology to Track and Retain Customers

Aside from allowing you to really customize coupon deals, using technology to track your customers’ behavior also tells you important information such as how frequently they come to your restaurant. This is useful because if a customer who normally comes in once a week hasn’t shown up for three weeks straight, you can set up the system to automatically generate, say, a 10% off coupon to be delivered to their in-box, encouraging them to return.

The take-away message here is that it is critical to look for creative ways to engage and exclusively reward your most loyal customers. With the technology that we now have available to us, this is a task that is easier than ever to do.

Restaurants can Expect Beef Prices to Continue to Rise

June 24, 2013

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, beef prices have hit an all-time high – topping the record set in 2003 at more than $2.11 per pound for choice grade beef. While this is a record in dollar value, when adjusted for inflation the number isn’t quite so startling. These prices represent a long-term sustained inflation on beef and veal prices that won’t end any time soon.

Factors Influencing Rising Beef Costs

There are a number of factors that have been contributing to the rising cost of beef over the last several years. The most obvious is the unusual weather patterns that have affected the ability of farmers and ranchers to be able to provide enough feed for their herds. Sustained drought last year made the production of corn difficult. It also caused many ranchers to sell their cattle because they couldn’t come up with enough grass or water on their land to sustain the herd.

This year the opposite problem is occurring in many parts of the Corn Belt, wherein they are getting too much rain to get the crop planted. The fact that many ranchers have been forced to significantly reduce their herd numbers, or worse, sell out completely, has also contributed to the rising cost of beef, as quite simply, there is no longer as much beef on the market as there used to be.

Given that it takes about two years for a cow to be old enough to go to market, it will take ranchers some time to be able to build their numbers up again, assuming weather and economic conditions permit the ability to do so. As a result, the cost of beef is projected to continue its rise well through 2016.

What Rising Beef Costs Means for Restaurants

A major issue for restaurants is the fact that their menu prices aren’t rising in-step with the increasing cost of beef. As a result, profit margins are much thinner than they once were. This puts restaurant owners in a tough position, given the fact that increasing your establishment’s menu prices typically doesn’t go over well with your consumer base. As a result, restaurateurs are having to get creative to make up the difference in other ways.

How Restaurants are Managing Rising Beef Costs

One obvious way to deal with the rising cost of beef is to simply rely more heavily on alternative protein sources such as chicken or pork, which are typically much cheaper than beef and veal. Aggressively promoting these menu options allows a restaurant to keep menu prices fixed while still receiving a decent profit margin.

Choosing less expensive cuts of beef is another option some restaurants are resorting to in order to close margins without increasing menu prices. Working with beef suppliers to ensure that the measurement specs for a cut of beef are as accurate as possible and looking for other ways to reduce cost such as eliminating packaging are methods that are also helping restaurants address the inflating cost of beef.

One positive in all of this is that the higher cost of beef is tempering its demand, which ultimately will help bring things back into balance. Until the time at which beef prices level out again, however, restaurants are going to have to keep looking for creative strategies to manage the rising cost of America’s favorite meat.

Why Developing Your Virgin Cocktail Menu is Good for Business

June 19, 2013

The demand for a well-crafted cocktail has seen a resurgence over the last few years and has restored some of the honor and respect that a good bartender deserves. While having a distinctive cocktail menu can do a lot to set your restaurant apart from the crowd, having a well-developed virgin cocktail menu can do as much or more for your business. Here’s why.

‘Mocktails’ are Sadly Missing from many Restaurant Menus

The biggest reason that it’s smart to develop your virgin cocktail, or ‘mocktail’, menu is quite simply because there aren’t a whole lot of restaurants doing it. When it comes to virgin drink options many customers are stuck with club soda and cranberry juice as the extent of their choices, so it’s no surprise that their eyes light up when they discover that they too can get the same delicious drink options as their alcohol-drinking counterparts. 

Virgin Cocktails Appeal to a more Diverse Crowd, Equaling more Money for You

The second obvious reason it’s a savvy move to vamp up your virgin cocktail drink menu is the fact that you can then appeal to a more diverse crowd of customers – which, in turn, means more money coming into your establishment. It’s a well known fact that people who are ordering drinks end up creating a higher tab.

It’s also not uncommon for tables who are ordering drinks to get better service from the waitstaff than those who are not. Having mocktails on the menu means that customers who are underage or are simply not interested in consuming alcohol are not relegated to having only boring drink options.

Instead, they too can enjoy the treat of having the palette-pleasing variety that cocktails have to offer. This also helps them feel more included if they are among alcohol drinkers and gives them the added benefit of receiving the more attentive customer service that alcohol drinkers tend to get.

Cocktails are an Opportunity to Show off Your Quality Ingredients and Classy Taste

The final reason why it’s smart to develop both your cocktail and mocktail menus alike lies in the opportunity that cocktails are a way to show off a well-developed palette and the use of classy, high-quality ingredients. Instead of relying on your big soda houses for your carbonated options, scout out the beautifully crafted tonics and sodas that are lower in sugar and offer more unique flavor combinations. When developing your cocktail menu, stay in communication with your savory and pastry chefs so that you can utilize the fresh fruit, herbs, and spices stored in their pantries.

Finally, make sure that several of your cocktail options can then be converted into virgin versions that are equally tasty.

Developing a signature cocktail menu is an easy way to set your establishment apart from the crowd and adding virgin cocktail options to the mix distinguishes your business that much more. Doing so is a simple way to extend your hospitality to your non-drinking consumers while significantly increasing the average tab per customer in a way that feels truly special and distinctive.