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Thursday, February 6, 2014

How frozen signature drinks can increase your restaurant's profitability

Increase restaurant profitability with creative frozen beverages
Demand for sophisticated drinks is high
Historically a signature drink has helped put some establishments on the map. From the refreshing Bellini of Harry’s New York Bar to the Bloody Mary of the King Cole Room, a signature drink can bring a large following of thirsty customers anxious to finish a long day with a tall drink. The recent frozen drink craze may be a profit generator you haven’t yet considered to help draw in a new and loyal customer base.

Beyond the tacky daiquiri

If you are cringing at the thought of trying to sell common drinks such as the frozen daiquiri found at popular chains at your upscale bar or restaurant don’t be worried. The frozen drinks that are growing in popularity and therefore demand are gourmet concoctions with top shelf liquor and home made syrups that are adding unparalleled flavorings rarely seen in the cocktail market in recent years. Long gone are the sickly sweet drinks such as the signature martini. Instead potent potables are becoming mature, sophisticated and addictive in the sense that people can’t get enough of them. It is an art form that doesn’t just have bar tenders jumping but chefs coming out from the kitchen and in behind the bar to develop sublime recipes that are making a mark with the demanding and fickle upscale crowd. You can consider working with a menu engineering firm to match your frozen cocktail offering to suit your image and menu.

Unique flavors, unique sales

You will have to invest some time and money up front to ensure you are coming up with unique flavors that will have mass appeal. Many bars are opting to have a slushy of the day such as Mother’s Ruin. Others have come up with a few signature slushies such as Battery Harris in Brooklyn. Ingredients might be unusual but they are surprising and impressing customers who are drinking them up. Flavors such as cardamom, ginger and Chinese five spices are livening up taste buds and bringing in regulars in bars and restaurants throughout NY. Other bars are mixing it up with traditional drinks but adding a new twist. Sangria becomes a whole new drink when run through a frozen drink machine. Frozen cocktails sell for as much as $10 to $13 each. Battery Harris told the New York Times they can sell as much as 36 litres in a night. Frozen drink machines can run anywhere from a few thousand to over $10,000 depending on the quality and amount of flavors you wish to offer.

Less mixing, more selling

Although it takes time up front to prepare the drinks, it is all done up front meaning the bar tenders have more time to sell with less need to mix. It is as easy as serving up a draft beer but with far more money for the effort involved. Many drinks can be prepared in large volume which makes it an easy serve for staff. As well, because they are made in large batches you are going to have more control over the measuring. Your restaurant accounting firm has probably told you waste and spillage can really eat into your profits. Precision becomes easier when bar tenders are not sloshing about with blenders and high demand that makes pouring more precarious. You can also consider choosing a frozen drink machine that allows you the option to provide frozen or chilled drinks. This way if you become tired of the whole frozen drink scene you can still get use of your machine.

All seasons

Some restaurant owners might hesitate with the fear their investment will only see an ROI in the summer months. However Tad Carducci of Tipplers told Robert Simonson of the New York Times they tried to remove the drinks from the menu in November and caused a “mini revolt” with customers who demanded their beloved drinks be available year round. With the appeal remaining throughout the winter it makes the investment all the more worthwhile. However there is no denying Spring is the perfect time of year to launch your new frozen drink line.

About the author: CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence, Menu Writing and CFO Restaurant Consulting Services.  For more information go to http://www.cforas.com

Image license: Klearchos Kapoutsis, CC BY 2.0