Profitable Promotions: Hot Day, Cool Promotion

Located in Seattle, Tulio Ristorante is an upscale Italian restaurant, and Chef Walter Pisano wanted to blend a level of culinary elevation with a sense of whimsy in his drinks. Enter: Adult Sundaes, built tableside, which started in June.

“The liqueurs I chose are all Italian — amaretto, sambuca, limoncello, grappa, Prosecco — because these all are my favorites,” he says of the gelato “toppings” he uses. “Italy has such an interesting and diverse selection of liqueurs, and they really lend themselves to these combinations.” Pisano chose gelato as his main ingredient because, he says, “Tulio is about all things Italian, and what could be more Italian than gelato?”

Tulio Ristorante

The promotion encountered a difficulty: keeping the gelato from melting. The gelato is frozen behind the bar, but with the addition of the liqueurs, the gelato melted before the “sundaes” made it to the guest. “I decided the best way to keep the liquor from melting the gelato before it gets to the guest is to have the servers actually pour the liquor over the gelato tableside,” he explains. “It’s a fun presentation— people love a good show.”

Now, guests can enjoy one of Pisano’s creations — be it a Sambuca Sundae with vanilla gelato, Sambuca and toasted fennel praline or a Prosecco Float with honey gelato, Italian honey cream and Prosecco — with gelato intact for $9 or $10.

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