Training Archives | Sparkler City

Summer at a Bar

Enjoying a Profitable Summer at your Bar

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With summer upon us, putting together a game plan to maximize your revenues is vital for your bar or nightclub to have a profitable season. Potential customers are eager to enjoy their summer, so if you offer them what they want you can make huge profits in just a few short months. On the flipside, if you don’t entice your customer base, they will be just as content to stay home and drink in their backyard with friends. The key is to offer them something at your bar or nightclub that they can’t get anywhere else in town, and there are a few simple ways to accomplish that.

Get Your Staff Ready

Before you even consider trying to pull in more customers over the summer, you need to make sure your staff is set and ready to go. That means making sure you have enough bartenders and servers hired to accommodate any demand that may arise, as well as making sure that bar staff is properly trained. If you can have a complete staff of pros who know exactly what they are supposed to, your guests will stay longer and keep coming back to your bar which will lead to massively higher profits.

Plan Summertime Events

Events are the lifeblood to any successful summer marketing program for a bar or nightclub, so this is where much of your attention needs to be devoted in the months leading up to summer. You’re going to want to book a great variety of bands and come up with themed party nights such as beach attire or even a toga party. Make sure you book the most popular local bands in your area as soon as possible because they will get snatched up quickly for summer show. If you create events that are entertaining and make your customers feel like it is an exclusive experience, you can expect to see large profits follow.

Marketing

No matter how great your summertime event strategy is, it will be all for not if you can’t market it properly. You need to do all of the standard methods such as social media, your website, and even radio ads if you’re in a large enough market, but never underestimate the power of in-house marketing. By putting table tents of your next event on every table and having large banners boasting upcoming parties or bands, you will directly market to your best demographic of all: people who already want to come to your bar or nightclub.

Summer can be the most profitable season for a bar or nightclub, but if can also lead to a completely empty venue if you don’t know how to attract customers. It all starts with having a well-trained and competent staff that is ready to work, and everything else stems from there. Once you have a great staff in place, you can focus on putting together summertime entertainment and marketing it so your bar or nightclub packs out each night. If you can conquer those three factors, you can easily have a very profitable summer at your venue.

Entrance at an Exclusive Bar

5 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Bar

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If you’re looking to make a little more money with your bar or you’re just trying to keep the doors open, it can seem like it’s too late to do anything about the underlying issues. Most marketing campaigns take a lot of time to setup, money to get them off the ground, and time to actually see results. Since all three of those things are something you likely won’t have in abundance, throwing in the towel may seem like the sensible choice. However, before you give up completely, there are a few things that you can try to see some immediate results. These 5 ways to immediately improve your bar will work best if you have a long-term strategy in place as well, but if push comes to shove these may just keep your lights on and your doors open.

Know Your Customers

Attracting the right type of customers to your bar is the most reliable way to get repeat customers. By knowing your customers and targeting your bar to their wants and needs, you can create an environment where they want to return on a frequent basis. Additionally, if you target a specific demographic, chances are you will build new friendships among your customers since they will have similar interests. This is good for your customers, but more importantly it’s going to improve your bottom line.

Appear Exclusive

A big part of making people want to come to your bar is because they know it will be a good time. Creating the impression that your bar is exclusive will generate more desire to get in the doors and thus will encourage each customer to spend more money. Additionally, you can use this edge to improve the customer experience, so in the end you are creating a truly exclusive experience.

Build Entertainment Relationships

Every area has a few local bands or entertainment acts that are a cut above the rest, and whatever bar books them will draw in the most business on that particular night. This is why it’s so important to build good relationships with these bands and entertainment acts so you can keep them at your bar instead of somewhere else. Just remember that the money you spend on your entertainment helps to build your bar’s brand over the long term, so spending al little more is something worth considering.

Perfect Your Operations

Sloppy operations not only reduce your overall profitability, but it also makes the experience less fantastic for your guests. Go through your processes and operations including evaluating each of your employees. Eliminating waste and making things more streamlined will make you more money and will improve the long term outlook for your bar.

Embrace the Latest Trends

Trends come and trends go, but you can make a lot of money if you can stay on top of what’s hot and what’s out of style. Make sure you get a subscription to every appropriate bar and nightclub website and magazines that are in your area and actually take the time to read through them and learn how to improve your bar. By offering the latest trends to your target demographic, you’ll be providing exactly the service they want and creating an experience that your competition will find difficult to match.

Training Servers

Training Servers, Not “Order Takers”

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To make money selling cocktails and beers in a bar, restaurant, or nightclub, you need to rely on your server staff to upsell drinks and pitch your highest margin items. Beyond just being a person who brings drinks out to tables, your servers need to be salespeople in order to be successful. This not only increases the bar’s total profits, but it also will earn them more tips each night and make them a happier employee. Fortunately, teaching your servers to be salespeople instead of just “order takers” is purely a matter of training, so here are some things to consider when preparing a new recruit to hit the ground running.

Orientation

Introducing your new server to the business is crucial to making them feel like they’re part of the team and ready to contribute. It is a good idea to have some of your veteran bartenders and servers present to welcome them into the family and also lay out the expectations of work ethics and attitude. This is crucial to giving them the tools to succeed.

POS Training

Next, you’ll want to get the technical stuff out of the way such as learning the POS system to ring in orders. Learning the basics of the job is very important because it will make your servers either very fast or very slow with their table turnaround times. You’ll also want to practice things like checking IDs and knowing when a customer has had too much to drink so you can spot and stop potential problems before they get out of control and require security’s intervention.

Shadowing

Once you feel that your new server ready to get out on the floor, have one of your veteran servers shadow them for a few nights to make sure they can do the job. There is nothing better than getting critiqued after each table visit by someone who knows the ropes; provided that the criticism is constructive. After each table your new server goes to, they can move onto the next one with a greater chunk of knowledge and new skills which will help to boost their confidence and prepare them for being on their own.

Secret Shoppers

Once a server is ready to wait tables without another person shadowing them, it’s always good to send in a few stealth customers to double check their work when nobody is looking. Known as “secret shoppers”, these customers will have a list of things they are looking for and will report them either directly to you as the owner or to the floor manager if you have delegated someone else to be in charge. This is a really great way to keep quality of service under control and grow the skill of your newest servers to make their performance better across the board.

Monthly Tastings

Once your new servers are fully trained, vetted, and working their own sections without any issues, you’ll need to make sure that they are up-to-date with all of your latest cocktails and specials. As I mentioned before, your servers are essentially salespeople, so knowing the product is vital to their performance. Consider having a monthly meeting where all of the staff gets together to sample the latest cocktail creations on the menu and learn about the monthly specials. You don’t need to give everyone a full cocktails; just a small sample so they know how to describe it to a customer and upsell your highest margin items with confidence.

The Importance of Staff Training

The Importance of Staff Training

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Without a doubt, the most important thing you can do if you want to make money in the bar or nightclub scene is to have the best staff in the business. Besides having a great atmosphere and delicious cocktails, the number one reason that customers come back is because the staff does a great job catering to their needs. Additionally, in order to make as much money as possible, your staff needs to know how to properly portion their ingredients and avoid over-pouring, as well as creating up-sales when they interact with the customers one-on-one. This may sound like a difficult balance to create in your workplace, but with proper staff training if can be done quite easily.

Bartender Training

When training your bartenders, it is important that the person doing the training knows exactly what they’re doing. If you have a lead bartender, usually that is the person you’ll put in charge of training the new bartenders. Also, you should only hire bartenders that already have some experience so you aren’t working from a blank slate. Make sure that they understand your entire collection of signature recipes before you let them run the bar unsupervised, and also enforce pouring regulations so you don’t lose quality standards. You should have pour tests on a regular basis, and also do random audits to ensure that there isn’t free liquor going out to the patrons.

Server Training

When training your servers, it is important to remember the various functions that they need to provide as part of their job description. First off, they are the face of your company, so they need to be happy, polite, and accommodating. Secondly, they need to promote the highest margin beverages based on what the customer orders. If a customer is drinking vodka-based drinks, she can recommend one of your signature cocktails to make their experience better and also increase your profit margins. Lastly, a good server will be the eyes and ears of your establishment. If someone has had too much to drink or there is a fight looming, they should tip off the security staff to prevent a scene. With proper training, your servers will be able to accomplish all of these tasks during the course of a regular shift.

Manager Training

Your team is only as good as the manager who leads them, so it is very important that you have a properly trained manager on staff at all times. The role of the manager is not only to lead the staff through example, but also to snuff out any problems that arise and take care of the day-to-day functions and activities that are required to keep your doors open. Essentially, your managers will need to take care of everything that you would be doing if you were in the building while you are not, so there is a huge amount of trust that goes along with the job. You should make sure that your managers either have previous experience in the bar or nightclub industry before they are hired, or promote from within your own ranks. This will ensure that they are properly trained in every department and ready to take responsibility for your business regardless of what transpires.

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