A Six-pack of Money-making Ideas

When it comes to business, even small ideas on how to make more money are invaluable commodities. It only takes 1 or 2 to make a big impact. Fortunes have turned on less. To that end, here’s a six-pack of potentially profitable ideas for your consideration. Take what you can use and discard the rest in an approved receptacle.

• SUDS WATCH — When a keg empties, foam begins to spray out of the spigot as the gas pressure drains the last of the beer out of the feed lines. The rush of gas causes “fobbing.” When a new keg is brought on-line, the beer displaces the volume of gas in the feed line wasting both time and beer. Installing fob detectors eliminates the problem.

These devices are mounted in the walk-in and connected to the draft feed lines. When a keg empties, a float in the fob detector cuts off the flow of beer and the gas is prevented from entering the line. Once the device is recharged with beer, pouring can continue with no waste or fobbing. Priced at between $64 and $136 per unit, fob detectors are highly cost-effective and have impressively short ROIs. For more information check out micromatic.com and kegman.net.

• BAR BACKS TO THE RESCUE—Bar backs are the bartenders’ best friends, and if they’re well-trained and engaged, they can be the owner’s best friend should a bartender call in sick or simply not show up. Bar backs effectively help lower labor costs and allow bartenders to be more efficient and productive at their jobs. What’s more, by investing time and money in training, a bar back eventually pays big dividends when an opening comes up on the staff. Soon you’ll be hiring bar backs and not bartenders, resulting in a bar team that delivers a great guest experience!

• BACKBAR MANAGEMENT—Regardless of the type of beverage operation you’re running, the backbar is your principal and most effective marketing device. Ensure it has the right product mix and that it best supports your beverage program. Especially important in these challenging economic times is taking steps to reduce your inventory levels, which will result in freeing working capital and lessen your exposure to loss. Distinguish between underperforming products — those that take four months or longer to deplete — and dead stock, which are products that remain on the shelf longer than nine months. Underperforming products have low returns on investment, while dead stock are financial lost causes.

• WHAT BARTENDERS SAY TO GUESTS MATTERS–What bartenders say often conveys subtle messages to guests about the level of hospitality at your venue. Addressing a group of men and women as “guys” doesn’t acknowledge everyone in the group. Saying “No problem” when asked for something by a guest indicates that it may have been a problem, but in this case it’s not, demonstrating that your hospitality may be conditional. How about taking a cue from the fine hotels and saying, “With pleasure” when responding? And saying, “Want another?” is far less professional than stating, “May I freshen your drink for you?” Use words and phrases that underscore the fact that you are glad they are in your place, and you’re happy to serve them. It will pay off in better guest satisfaction, which equals higher checks and tips. a

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