Don’t Overlook Your Liquor Reps
Liquor Representatives, an important job in the hospitality industry, are sometimes overlooked by owners; a big mistake by owners that do so. They are highly regulated and must adhere to strict guidelines but most importantly they can significantly increase your bottom line, introduce new brands and spur sales of established venues.
Arthur (Arty) Dozortsev, a top brand ambassador, operates in multiple states and handles 300 brands from 16 countries. Here he touches upon how developing great working relationships with reps can help to increase overall sales in your venue.
Nightclub & Bar (NCB): What exactly do you do?
Arthur Dozortsev: My company, Dozortsev and Sons, started in 1995 with one brand and now we have over 300 from 16 different counties around the world. We do everything from developing the brand to bringing it into the country. We utilize our relationships to place our brands in top on- and off-premise accounts. We also create events to help promote the brands, utilizing social media to enhance the brands we work with. So basically, we become the brand ambassador you might say. When I build a brand it becomes very personal to me and I give it my heart and soul.
NCB: How can a good "rep" help a venue?
Dozortsev: We not only sell to venues but we bring in a marketing and promoting background to aid venues getting started with social media platforms and coverage through media partners. What I believe is most important is helping to put some cool events together within the venue. I take a very personal approach to developing the relationship ensuring that the venue has the right products for success.
NCB: You have 300 brands in multiple states. How do you keep track of all the rules and regulations from one to another?
Dozortsev: Yes we import and distribute over 300 items from 16 different countries in multiple states. The liquor business is highly regulated and we take our compliance very seriously. We have a dedicated group in our company who help us stay regulated in all the states we work in.
NCB: Tell me about growing the Alacran Tequila brand?
Dozortsev: Alacran is my baby. We launched Alacran Tequila three years ago and the Alacran Mezcal two years ago. It’s been an amazing experience launching a tequila in this country. As you know tequila has been the trendy spirit for the past few years and having such an amazing product makes it easier to build. We have taken the old fashioned organic approach in building our brands. We are catering account by account, bartender to bartender, customer to customer. It’s a long staggering way but I think that’s the real way to build a true brand and I believe it’s working with Alacran and my other brands like ForEver Young Wine and Sant Arturo Wine. After winning eight medals in the most recognized wines and spirits competition this year I feel our brands are really starting to make their way.
NCB: You launched Kremly Vodka. What advice do you have for someone getting into the Vodka Game of Thrones?
Dozortsev: I launched a vodka in ‘95 and those were the days when vodka was the spirit of choice. Now, to anyone who wants to launch a vodka I would personally tell them they are CRAZY. The last thing any venue wants to hear is “I have an amazing new vodka I want u to try.”
NCB: What are you up to now and what are your plans for the future?
Dozortsev: Right now my main focus is modernizing and developing my company. We plan to go from having 15 sales people to 50 and from 300 products to 500 in the next three years. At the same time I’m committed to pushing the brands that we own. The next project we are launching in June, which I’m extremely excited about, is a line of Riesling Wines from Germany called BLU VAMP. My partners on this project are Damon Dash and Jim Jones who I consider marketing masters.
NCB: Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
Dozortsev: In 15 years I’m hoping to make all my partners super proud and repay them for having so much faith in all my dreams.