PROFITABLE PROMOTIONS | Tracking the Market

The Base Bar, located inside the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago’s business district, is going with the times in terms of beverage promotions. Since the beginning of February, the bar staff has watched the close of the stock market each day, and at 4 p.m., a chalkboard announces the new price for three specialty items – one beer, one wine and one cocktail – based on how many points the market rose or fell for that day.

“The base price is always $5,” explains bar manager Autumn Griffith. “Then if the market fell 300 points, we take a cent off of the $5 for every point. So that day, the specials would run at $2 each.”

The specials will change when summer arrives to be more seasonal, but for now, Base Bar customers can choose between a glass of True Earth Red, which is a Cabernet-Merlot blend, a pint of Peak Organic Ale or the Second City Cosmopolitan Martini.

“We are trying to highlight our organic sustainable products, because that’s the direction we are trying to take our beverage program overall,” Griffith says. “The Second City Cosmo sells really well. We make it a little different, with St-Germain instead of Cointreau, and we are trying to encourage people to buy the Peak Organic Ale with [the] promotion.”

Some days the market goes up, and people have to pay a bit above the $5, but in these times, it becomes a celebration in the bar, where business men and women are frequent customers. “On a Friday, with the after work crowd, we sell at least 10 of each,” Griffith says. “It’s definitely earned a following.”

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