Bar Hacks

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Rosa is Pink, Lowlands Agave is Blue

Rosa is Pink, Lowlands Agave is Blue…

by David Klemt

Código 1530 Rosa Tequila and cocktail

Código 1530 is proud to present Valentine’s Day cocktails from Travis Pentecost of Tu Madre and Abby Blanchard of Broken Shaker.

Even more relevant for Valentine’s Day, each of the tequila-forward four recipes below is made with Código 1530 Rosa Blanco. As you can tell from the bottle image above, Rosa Blanco is a rosé tequila.

This particular tequila’s characteristic comes from the aging process. As the name implies, Rosa begins life as a blanco. But after one month in uncharred Napa Valley Cabernet French White Oak wine barrels, the liquid takes on a pink hue.

Produced using lowlands Blue Weber Agave, Código 1530 is precise about Rosa Blanco’s aging time. Too short and the barrels wouldn’t influence the tequila. Longer than one month and the wine barrel flavors would overpower the agave.

Código 1530’s exacting production and aging techniques result in their signature blanco delivering soft red wine notes on the palate, and a subtly floral finish. Rosa’s aging process enhances Blanco’s rich and bright earthy, mineral, and citrus notes.

If you have guests who are tequila fans—particularly those who love blanco—Rosa Blanco is a great conversation starter and upsale.

Codigo 1530 Kisses and Roses cocktail

Kisses and Roses

recipe by Travis Pentecost (Tu Madre)

  • 1.5 oz. Código 1530 Rosa Blanco Tequila
  • 0.5 oz. Chinola
  • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 0.75 oz. Orgeat
  • 2 dashes Plum bitters
  • Lemon slice to garnish
  • Edible flower to garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker and strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with lemon slice and edible flower.

Codigo 1530 Will You Cherry Me cocktail

Will You Cherry Me

recipe by Travis Pentecost (Tu Madre)

  • 1.5 oz. Código 1530 Rosa Blanco Tequila
  • 0.5 oz. St-Germain
  • 1 oz. Prickly Pear liqueur
  • 1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Cherry bitters
  • Fresh mint leaves to garnish
  • Lemon slice to garnish
  • Edible flower to garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh mint leaf “bouquet,” lemon slice, and edible flower.

Codigo 1530 Sandia Margarita cocktail

Sandia Margarita

recipe by Travis Pentecost (Tu Madre)

  • 2 oz. Código 1530 Rosa Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz. Fresh watermelon juice
  • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. Pina Agave
  • 2 dashes Peach bitters
  • Fresh mint leaves to garnish
  • Orange slice to garnish
  • Gummy watermelon candies to garnish
  • Edible flower to garnish
  • Salt for rim

Add all ingredients to a shaker and strain into a prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with “bouquet” of fresh mint leaves, orange slice, gummy watermelon candies, and edible flower.

Codigo 1530 You Up? cocktail

You Up?

recipe by Abby Blanchard (Broken Shaker)

  • 2 oz. Código 1530 Rosa Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 0.75 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 3 Raspberries, muddled
  • Raspberries to garnish
  • Raspberry gummy candy to garnish (optional)
  • Edible flower to garnish (optional)

Add all ingredients to a shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with raspberries. Optional garnishes: addition of raspberry gummy candy and/or edible flower

KRG Hospitality Bar 101 Techniques

Images: Código 1530

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor KRG Hospitality received compensation, monetary or otherwise, from Volley or any other entity in exchange for this post.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Picture vs. Video: Datassential Weighs In

Picture vs. Video: Datassential Weighs In

by David Klemt

Vintage Rolleiflex camera

If you want to meet guests—both regular and new—where they are, it helps to know how they prefer to consume social media content.

However, I’m not talking about which platforms are the most popular. We’ll get to that, but I’m talking about the content itself.

It appears that two camps are emerging: Team Picture and Team Video. And yes, they appear to follow demographic delineations.

Veteran operators and front-of-house teams know the drill. It’s standard for a server to drop food off and phones to hover over dishes immediately.

Bartenders, of course, also know the routine. In fact, bartenders working behind the stick across the globe know chronically online guests will come seeking specific drinks because they’re “Instagrammable.”

Hey, I’m not above it—I’ve snapped pics at bars and restaurants known for their innovative drink presentations. The same can be said about certain dishes at particular restaurants.

But is that camera just rapid-fire snapping photos? Or is it becoming more common for the guest holding the phone to record video?

Luckily, F&B market research agency Datassential has data-driven answers to those questions.

Still Photography vs. Moving Pictures

Okay, I’ll admit that this subheading title is a bit lame. Whatever—I’m keeping it in.

At any rate, you know what I’m talking about here, pictures versus videos. Interestingly, Datassential suggests that our industry is already at least a bit behind in this debate.

As they say in their latest Foodbytes report, 2023 Food Trends, “It seems like the food industry only just figured out how to cater to the importance of photography and Instagram and now it’s all being replaced by video.”

Specifically, Datassential speaks about short-form video in this report. Essentially, the agency is saying that guests (younger generations, in particular) are “over” still or static images of F&B items.

Today, just like video killed the radio star, video is on a still photography killing spree. And as I mention above, Datassential’s data reveals about what people expect regarding this topic when it comes to age groups.

Unsurprisingly to some, Gen Z is most likely to consume video content. It follows, then, that 67 percent of this group has taken video of food at a restaurant or at home.

Next up, at 54 percent, is Millennials. Forty percent of Gen X says they’ve taken video of food at a restaurant at home. Just 18 percent of Baby Boomers have done so.

Where are People Consuming Video Content?

So, that’s the “who.” Now for the “where.”

According to Datassential, these are the top platforms for video consumption:

  1. BeReal: 11 percent
  2. TikTok Live: 25 percent
  3. Twitter video: 27 percent
  4. Snapchat video: 35 percent
  5. Instagram Reels: 38 percent
  6. TikTok: 41 percent
  7. Facebook Live: 41 percent
  8. Instagram videos: 44 percent
  9. Instagram Stories: 45 percent
  10. Facebook Stories: 48 percent
  11. YouTube: 77 percent

Does this mean you need to create content for each platform? Well, unless you somehow have the time or a digital marketing team, probably not.

Instead, you’ll want to pick the platforms that make the most sense for your brand and audience. There are also cross-posting tools that can save you time and simplify the process.

Takeaway

It’s up to individual operators to choose their social channels. The same is true for what they plan to post, photos or videos.

There’s a different consideration I want operators to keep top of mind. If video continues to dominate social, think about what could happen to dining rooms. It won’t be unusual for “influencers” to break out handheld lighting equipment to create videos. And I think we all know what that will do to the atmosphere in restaurants, bars, and lounges.

As strange as it may seem, operators may need to post signs banning flash photography and lighting for videos. Otherwise, the guest experience will diminish. Who pays the price for that negatively impacted experience? Not the influencer; the operator takes the hit in their reviews and traffic.

If video is here to stay, operators need to observe their dining rooms and adjust accordingly. That doesn’t just mean crafting video-worthy interiors and menu items. Now, it also means protecting the guest experience.

Image: Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality, Intro to Garnishes

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2023 Reveal: The World’s 50 Best Hotels

2023 Reveal: The World’s 50 Best Hotels

by David Klemt

Waves crashing on beach

The World’s 50 Best Hotels launches this year, completing the hospitality puzzle as it joins the World’s 50 Best Bars and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Mark Sansom, content director for the World’s 50 Best Bars, shares details of the new list on episode 90 of the Bar Hacks podcast. To learn more about Mark and the World’s 50 Best Bars, you can also listen to episode 82 of Bar Hacks.

This is huge news for the hospitality, travel, and accommodation sectors. Sansom and the team go to great lengths when it comes to every detail of the World’s 50 Best Bars. Indeed, the awards ceremony is truly the Oscars of the bar world. Just take a look at the video below:

In fact, it’s likely a bit more fun than the Oscars. A room full of the best bar teams and industry professionals? You know it’s a nonstop party.

I say to say this: I expect the Oscars of the hotel world for the inaugural 50 Best Hotels ceremony. And I’m confident the team will deliver on that expectation.

To see the World’s 50 Best Bars for 2022, click here. For the World’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2022, follow this link.

Who Decides?

You’re probably wondering how all of this “works.” Just who decides, among all the hotels throughout the world, which are the 50 best?

As Sansom explains on the Bar Hacks podcast, hundreds of people decide.

For 2023, the World’s 50 Best Hotels is split into nine regions. That’s likely to grow (50 Best Bars and Restaurants each have 28 regions) but for now, that’s the breakdown.

Each of those regions is headed by an Academy Chair. The global Academy Chairs hand select voters. In this case, a mix of 580 travel journalists, educators, hospitality professionals, hoteliers, and luxury travelers. The voters are tasked with highlighting their top seven hotel experiences from the past two years.

A small board of directors isn’t deciding which hotels will make the list. There’s no small group choosing the ranking. Instead, hundreds of industry pros and hotel guests will determine the best of the best.

How do They Decide?

This is one of my favorite details. When it comes to criteria…there isn’t any.

I like this for several reasons, one of which is that nothing arbitrary is limiting these awards. Don’t have a pool? That’s fine. No steam shower in the en suite? Okay.

By eschewing criteria, no concept is left out—no property is excluded. As Sansom says on episode 90 of Bar Hacks, imposing criteria means people could miss out on experiencing stunning twelve-room boutique hotel.

Therefore, this list isn’t the exclusive domain of multi-unit, multi-concept hotel groups. Certainly there will be chain properties up for consideration. However, they’ll be mixing it up with boutique and solo, independent hotels.

Sansom also reveals what’s driving them to launch the World’s 50 Best Hotels. Far from a vanity project, this list is about helping the industry.

Like hospitality, travel and accommodation are recovering from a global pandemic. Highlighting the best hotels in the world should inspire people to get back to leisure travel.

The list will be revealed in September of this year. Make sure to watch this space and connect with the World’s 50 Best Hotels for more details, including the awards ceremony host city.

Follow the 50 Best Hotels on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. To learn more, visit their website.

Image: Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Boutique Hotels, 2023 icon

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

This Year’s Big Trend: Personalization

This Year’s Big Trend: Personalization

by David Klemt

Foam art cap on top of coffee

Ripples, the beverage-top media brand, is predicting that 2023 will be the Year of Personalization with a focus on in-person interactions.

Last year, the bev-top brand behind the Ripple Maker II Pro, named moderation as one of the top trends. When we look at the ubiquity of low-ABV drinks, we see that Ripples was right. And when we consider the proliferation of non-alcohol brands, Ripples appears downright prescient.

In other words, Ripples continues to be proven right about moderation.

Three revelatory datapoints and one generation are partly responsible for the brand’s accurate 2022 prediction. First, in comparison to 2019, zero-alcohol products were up 166 percent. Second, the non-alcohol category grew four times faster than its low-ABV counterpart. Third, non-alcohol spirits have grown by over 113 percent since 2020.

The generation Ripples believes is responsible for non-alc’s growth? Gen Z. In part, this is due to social media and the generation’s aversion, speaking generally, to being embarrassed by drunken behavior in front of the world.

So, proven right about last year’s prediction, it’s wise to take Ripples’ 2023 prediction seriously.

Year of Personalization

As Ripples explains, personalization has long been the strength of digital platforms. Be it an online retail platform or music streaming service, personalization is king.

And it’s easy to see why. Using online shopping as an example, think of the typical customer journey.

A shopper signs up, they click around or search for specific items, and they make their purchases. Soon, the platform is emailing the user about sales. Then, emailing the user items they think they’ll like, based on the individual’s data.

The more the user shops, the more targeted the platform’s suggestions and interactions become. Before the user knows it, they’re signing up for a loyalty program, earning rewards, and giving the platform more of their money.

Well, personalization is no longer only shining in the digital space. Now, businesses are engaging with their customers in the “phygital” space. That is, the physical space as well as the digital one.

As Ripples states, “Nothing beats real human interaction for building connection and loyalty between brands and consumers.” One way to leverage this new relationship between consumers and brands? Experiential activations.

Ripples knows a thing or two about this type of engagement. The bev-top media company partnered with Guinness Korea for a campaign involving 100 bars. Consumers scanned a QR code, selected a design via the Ripples app, and the design was printed atop a pint of Guinness.

You Need Data

Personalization is a long-standing element of the hospitality industry. It’s one of our keys to success: we cater to guest preferences.

However, we can’t do that effectively without collecting guest data. And interestingly, Ripples’ prediction falls in line quite neatly with another 2023 prediction.

As you may be aware, 2023 is also likely to be the Year of the POS System. That is, a tech stack “revolution” is expected to take place this year. One crucial element of a powerful, worthwhile POS system is customer relationship management, or CRM.

Of course, if a POS doesn’t offer a CRM module, the best systems make it easy to integrate with the best CRM platforms.

Either way, CRM is the key to personalization in the digital, physical, and phygital spaces. It’s difficult to effectively personalize the guest experience pre-, during, and post-visit without guest data.

Regardless of whether Ripples’ prediction is accurate—and it’s likely they are—savvy operators need to make sure they’re responsibly collecting and utilizing guest data. If this is the Year of Personalization and the Year of the POS System, the reality is that 2023 is really the Year of CRM.

Image: Hannah Wei on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Planning Phase, 2023 icon

by krghospitality krghospitality No Comments

KRG Makes First Addition to Team for 2023

KRG Hospitality Makes First Addition to Team for 2023

KRG Hospitality Licensing Program logo

Jared Boller joins the KRG Hospitality team, serving as the agency’s in-house beverage educator, trainer, and menu developer.

TORONTO, ONTARIO—Today, KRG Hospitality is delighted to announce a new addition to their team. Jared Boller, a professional mixologist with two decades of experience, will be available to the agency’s clients for beverage menu development and training. He’ll serve as KRG’s master mixologist for North America.

Boller’s creativity, passion, and humility as a professional mixologist have led him on a journey around the globe. He has established himself as an industry leader, developing award-winning beverage programs in restaurants, bars, hotels, and casinos in several markets, including Denver, New York, Florida, Toronto. Throughout his career, Boller has won several cocktail competitions, educated teams for brands and industry organizations, and appeared in numerous publications.

“Restaurants, bars, hotels, and hospitality are in dire need of not only great employees but educated employees who can execute an owner’s vision,” says Boller. “I look forward to the next stage of my hospitality career with KRG, helping to inspire the future generations in everything related to beverage. My life’s journey has led me to the perfect opportunity with the team at KRG to collectively build future and existing brands.”

Additionally, he was the featured guest on episode 12 of the Bar Hacks podcast. People curious to learn more about Boller can listen to his Bar Hacks episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

With a growing list of accolades and numerous publications to his name, Boller most recently spent three years as the national whiskey ambassador for Proximo spirits. He prides himself on educating consumers and future bartenders on artistry behind the bar and providing history lessons to everyone that will listen. Boller is eager to share his extensive knowledge of spirits, cocktails, menu development, beverage innovation, and service.

“It’s an exciting time for KRG Hospitality, adding to the team just days into 2023,” says David Klemt, director of business development at KRG. “With Jared on the team our beverage programming, menu development and curation, training, and consulting will be even stronger. I know we’re all looking forward to our clients having the opportunity to work with Jared.”

About KRG Hospitality

KRG Hospitality is a storied and respected agency with proven success over the past decade, delivering exceptional and award-winning concepts throughout a variety of markets found within Canada, the United States, and abroad since 2009. Specializing in startups, KRG is known for originality and innovation, rejecting cookie-cutter approaches to client projects. The agency provides clients with a clear framework tailored to their specific projects, helping to realize their vision for a scalable, sustainable, profitable, memorable, and consistent business. Learn more at KRGHospitality.com. Connect with KRG Hospitality and the Bar Hacks podcast on social: KRG Twitter, Bar Hacks Twitter, KRG Media Twitter, KRG LinkedIn.

Image: KRG Hospitality

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Top Ten 2022 KRG Hospitality Articles

Top Ten 2022 KRG Hospitality Articles

by David Klemt

Social media likes graffiti

As we head into a promising new year of opportunities and growth, we want to take a look back at our most popular articles of 2022.

Before we jump in, we also want to thank you for your support. We greatly appreciate our readers, newsletter subscribers, clients, and partners.

Let’s all do what it takes to crush 2023!

US Senate Fails to Replenish the RRF

After conflicting reports and speculation, the US Senate has finally voted this week on replenishing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Last week, multiple sources reported that the Senate would hold their RRF vote this week. Just days ago, several outlets sounded the alarm, reporting that the vote would be pushed to next week. The reason, these sources provided, was the Senate’s scramble to repackage and hold another vote on aid for Ukraine.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked the bill that would provide $40 billion in defense and humanitarian aid. Unsurprisingly, it was also Sen. Paul who objected to $43 billion in emergency funding last August, killing that RRF replenishment effort.

Today, on the Senate floor, Sen. Paul repeatedly derided the replenishment of the RRF as a “bailout.” Additionally, he asked, “Where’s the emergency?”

So, one can infer that the impending closure of an estimated 50 percent of RRF applicants—88,500—isn’t an emergency to the Kentucky senator. Simple math shows that if each of those applicants has just ten employees, that’s a loss of 885,000 jobs.

Read this article in its entirety by clicking here.

SBA Releases 46% of Held RRF Funds

As it turns out, reports that the Government Accountability Office found $180 million in unspent Restaurant Revitalization Fund money were inaccurate. So, the $83 million the SBA disbursed before Thanksgiving was the entirety of the funds the GAO found.

This week, both the Small Business Administration and National Restaurant Association made statements about the release of $83 million in RRF funds.

“This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began distribution of returned funding in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, following the program’s closure in June 2021. In doing so, the SBA worked with the advice of the Department of Justice on a plan to distribute the remaining funds, approximately $83 million,” reads a press release from the SBA.

“In addition to other SBA assistance programs, the RRF has helped more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage business owners survive the pandemic,” continues the administration’s statement.

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

Hotels, Guest Data and Guest Expectations: A Chat with SevenRooms

People are eager to get back out there and hotels, of course, play a crucial role in their travel plans. However, we’re not engaging with the same guests we were pre-pandemic.

No, today’s guest demands more from the hotels and resorts they select. And a key to delivering on guest demands is collecting guest data.

But while operators know they’re supposed to be collecting guest data, there’s some uncertainty about what to actually do with it. Enter: SevenRooms.

More accurately, meet Austen Asadorian of SevenRooms. Not only can he address meeting guest demands through tech, he can address how to use guest data responsibly and effectively.

To read this article, please follow this link.

8 Glendalough Distillery Cocktail Recipes

Offer your guests something different for your St. Patrick’s Day promotion with Glendalough Distillery cocktail recipes.

Without a doubt, you should have plenty of the expected Irish whiskeys on hand. However, Glendalough Distillery Double Barrel, Pot Still, Wild Gin, and Rose Gin are extraordinary Irish whiskeys and gins.

Each spirit the distillery crafts honors the art of Irish distillation, a craft that stretches back centuries. What’s more, each whiskey Glendalough crafts is single malt—there are no light-bodied blends in their lineup.

To learn more, check out episode 71 of the Bar Hacks podcast with Glendalough Distillery co-founder and national brand ambassador Donal O’Gallachoir.

Sláinte!

Click here for these creative drink recipes.

7 Coffee Liqueurs You Need to Know

Whether you and your bar team are making Espresso Martinis, riffing on classics or creating something new, consider these coffee liqueurs.

National Espresso Martini Day takes place on Tuesday, March 15. Leading up to this bar holiday, the cocktail is experiencing yet another resurgence.

In fact, this cocktail more than any other seems to maintain an enviable rate of “surging back” in popularity. Maybe it’s time to just admit that it’s a modern classic people love to hate…but still order and enjoy.

To learn which brands you need to know, click here.

Delivery and Takeout Food Trends for 2021: Canada

Patrons, analysts and experts have spoken: delivery and takeout will remain standards in the new era of hospitality.

Analysts and experts have spoken with data, and consumers have spoken with their dollars.

But there’s another consequential voice that matters when it comes to delivery: that of the operator.

There’s no denying that the operator is shoved aside in the third-party delivery relationship. At the very least, that’s the overwhelming perception. Once an operator signs on with such a service, their guest data becomes the delivery company’s data.

Whatever company owns the data owns the guest, their journey and engagement, and the targeted marketing efforts. That means a restaurant or bar’s guests receive offers and promotions for their competitors.

In short, third-party delivery platforms disrupt the guest journey.

However, there are some data the third-party delivery services do share. As we saw midway through 2020, for example, Uber Eats and Grubhub released the top orders and other useful information in publicly available reports. Some of the services also release end-of-year or year-in-review reports, as SkipTheDishes did for Canada.

To read this article, follow this link.

Container Kitchens: The New Footprint

In some cases, a smaller restaurant footprint is attractive to operators. This is due in part to guest behavior we’ve seen since 2020. That is, guests haven’t been able to or felt comfortable with dining indoors at restaurants.

Then, of course, there’s the cost factor. A smaller footprint, generally speaking, equals lower initial investment and rent. An operator with a new concept can use a container before investing in a brick-and-mortar location.

Other benefits relate to market testing; expansion; virtual and ghost kitchen operations; and delivery and pickup.

Operators looking to expand or add retail, along with QSRs, are showing interest in Make My Ghost Kitchen’s containers. One explanation for the interest is simple: containers are highly mobile.

An operator sends their kitted out container to a potential market. They open up shop and test the viability of their concept. If the reaction is less than desirable, they move the container to another market.

For example, one client set up a container complete with a delivery window. In just six hours they sold 3,600 burgers.

Learn more—click here.

How to Address Temporary Restaurant and Bar Closures: 5 Social Media Examples

There are a few reasons a F&B business will have to close due to the Covid-19 outbreak: official mandate, reduced indoor and outdoor dining capacities, and voluntary temporary closures.

Mandated closures are, on the surface, straightforward. Government officials decree that certain types of businesses must close their doors by a specific date and time, and owners are expected to comply.

Closures induced by capacity restrictions are less straightforward. It has become woefully apparent that most lawmakers don’t understand (or don’t care) that at a certain threshold, reducing indoor and outdoor dining capacities is as good as forcing a restaurant or bar to close; the value proposition of remaining open simply isn’t there.

A voluntary temporary closure can come about because of capacity limitations, but they can also be the result of other factors. A significant workforce reduction, lack of traffic, rising costs of goods, or an internal Covid infection.

The stark reality is that the likelihood today’s operators are going to have to craft social media posts and emails announcing temporary (and possibly extended) closures is anything but slim.

Click here for these social media messaging examples.

Developing a Bar Concept w/ Sensory Experiences

Owning a bar is a dream for most that must be met with the right research, planning, and mind-set.

One’s market will, and must, define the concept. To be successful, you must be open to building a venue the market both wants and needs.

Concept development is giving your ‘idea’, both soul and character. A bar’s concept is the lifeline of its brand and longevity in the market. It makes your venue stand apart from the competition, and it’s ultimately your bar’s unique selling proposition.

Have you ever walked into a bar and been confused about its identity? The interior doesn’t match the beverage offerings, the social media experience doesn’t reflect the actual experience, and even the music doesn’t seem to match the vibe of the bar.

This is what happens when there isn’t a clear and detailed concept development plan in place, and it is a sure fire way to be just average at best.

Read this article here.

Creating Restaurant Brand Ambassadors

Ask nearly every restaurant owner what their number one, long-term marketing ‘program’ or tactic is, and most will say effective word of mouth. This can be great until it starts to fizzle down or another new restaurant opens up down the street resulting in the competition becoming the new talk of the town.

Instead of shooting into the wind and hoping ‘word of mouth’ with deliver desirable long-term results, restaurateurs need to embrace a program that is an extension of word-of-mouth marketing, by developing what is called ‘brand ambassadors.’

A brand ambassador will positively represent and promote a restaurant’s venue. They will embrace the company values, vision, mission, and culture. They will strengthen a restaurant’s identity within the community by providing additional visibility and overall awareness.

Yes, word of mouth happens organically over time because of excellent food, drink, service, and experiences, don’t get me wrong. But what if there was a way to double-down and create multiple micro-communities and multiple levels of ambassadors to promote a restaurant’s brand?

That’s where an ambassador program comes in.

To read on, click here.

Image: George Pagan III on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: December 2022

5 Books to Read this Month: December 2022

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

This month’s engaging and informative book selections will help you hone your culinary, cocktail, and operational skills to dial in your business.

To review November’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s jump in!

The Book of Cocktail Ratios: The Surprising Simplicity of Classic Cocktails

Understanding recipe ratios will help any bar professional produce balanced, delicious, and memorable cocktails. In fact, getting a grasp on ingredient ratios is a fundamental bartender skill, and it’s crucial to the guest experience.

Author Michael Ruhlman organizes The Book of Cocktail Ratios into five cocktail families. And interestingly, Ruhlman makes a bold claim: many popular cocktails are actually the same cocktail—adjusting the ratios makes them seem different. Grab this book here.

Chef’s PSA: How Not to be the Biggest Idiot in the Kitchen

Look, most of us have been in at least one situation or new workplace where we may have felt like the biggest idiot there. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but at least it’s a feeling we can get over.

This collection of “culinary truisms” aims to set new chefs up for their first steps into a new kitchen: “This book is filled with short little lessons or PSA’s that every cook needs to know to get along successfully in the kitchen. The great thing about this book is that it is a guide for you early in your career and later when you are developing others.” Pick up Chef’s PSA here.

Jacques Pépin Art Of The Chicken

Chef Jacques Pépin loves chicken. In fact, Chef Pépin loves chickens so much that he doesn’t just honor them in the kitchen, they’re the subject of his paintings as well.

Not only will you find beautiful illustrations in Jacques Pépin Art Of The Chicken, you’ll learn about Chef Pépin’s journey through the culinary world. And, of course, there are recipes to learn. Purchase via Amazon here.

The Death of Demographics: Valuegraphic Marketing for a Values-Driven World

Regular listeners of the Bar Hacks podcast will recognize author and speaker David Allison. He has, after all, been a guest twice, appearing on episode 46 and episode 67.

The Valuegraphics Project founder’s latest book, The Death of Demographics, is available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle formats. From Amazon: “By focusing on deep values rather than surface habits or traits, valuegraphics uncover what drives and unites us. Based on decades of behavioral science research, adding valuegraphics to your insights can improve your marketing effectiveness by a factor of eight or more.” Purchase this book here.

The Business Scaling Blueprint: Building a Foundation to Grow Your Brand

Author and business mentor Tony DiSilvestro has started more than 30 businesses over the course of 30 years. As a mentor, he shares the lessons he’s learned with CEOs and entrepreneurs, and now he’s sharing his experience in book form. The Business Scaling Blueprint is, as the name implies, a practical path toward growing brands.

As a business owner, operators need to grow and scale their restaurants, bars, and hotels. Even if there’s no intention to expand to a multi-location or multi-concept business, growth and scalability are crucial to any business. Available for pre-order on Amazon.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

7 Days Until Old Fashioned Week!

7 Days Until Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week!

by David Klemt

Old Fashioned cocktail on table

In just seven days operators, their front-of-house teams and guests will have the opportunity to participate in Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week.

Those who choose to join in on the fun will help generate funds for crucial cause. Further, participation means joining forces with some revered heavy hitters in the industry.

For example, Broken Shaker’s Chicago and Miami locations are taking part, as is Cure in New Orleans. Birdie G’s in Los Angeles, the Denver outpost of Death & Co., and Houston’s Julep are also participating. And then there’s LA Jackson from Nashville, the legendary Leyenda in Brooklyn, DC’s Silver Lyan, and Philly’s R&D all joining the cause.

A Great Cause

As stated, this is more than a cocktail promotion. Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week supports an important cause and fantastic organization.

The cause is providing F&B professionals who are struggling with financial assistance, and the aide comes from the Southern Smoke Foundation.

Since 2015, Southern Smoke has been dedicated to raising funds to help individuals in the F&B space. The non-profit organization strives to help our industry peers in need persevere through crises.

From raising funds for the MS Society, establishing the Emergency Relief Fund, and providing free mental healthcare, Southern Smoke consistently proves themselves a trustworthy industry partner. By 2021, Southern Smoke had donated more than $5 million in financial aid to industry workers affected by Covid-19.

Take Part

Elijah Craig, the storied small-batch bourbon and rye producer in the Heaven Hill Distillery portfolio, makes participating simple and fun.

Unsurprisingly, we at KRG Hospitality love an activation and promotion that’s easy to execute and fun for everyone in the building. This year, Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week takes place from October 14 through October 23.

To help raise money for Southern Smoke’s crisis management mission, encourage your bar team and guests to post pictures of their Old Fashioneds to social media. All one has to do is include tag @ElijahCraig and the hashtag #OldFashioned Week. Elijah Craig will take it from there, donating $5 for every post up to $100,000.

I’m confident that over the course of ten days we can all come together and flood social media with 20,000 images of delicious, well-crafted Old Fashioneds.

To learn more about last year’s Old Fashioned week, listen to Bar Hacks episode 52. Our very special guest on this episode is Lynn House, the 2022 Best US Brand Ambassador Spirited Award winner.

Get Creative

Now, I’d normally include the particular drink recipe here but I think—I believe—we all know how to make an Old Fashioned by now. So, I’m going to encourage all participating operators and their bar teams to create a small, signature Old Fashioned LTO menu or Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week.

Also, to get those creative juices flowing, here’s the recipe for the Elijah Craig Rosemary Old Fashioned:

  • Craft rosemary cinnamon syrup by combining 1 cup of water with 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 rosemary sprigs, and 1 medium navel orange in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, add one cup of Demerara sugar and stir until it dissolves. Strain into a clean, sanitized bottle.
  • Combine 2.5 oz. of Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, a half-ounce of housemade rosemary cinnamon syrup, and three dashes of orange bitters in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir and strain into rocks glass over a large ice cube, then garnish with a Maraschino cherry on a rosemary-sprig skewer. If you so choose, light the sprig on fire for a moment to generate some rosemary smoke.

Image: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2022 World’s 50 Best Bars: 51-100

2022 World’s 50 Best Bars: 51-100

by David Klemt

Closeup of bartender's hand pouring shot

As we approach the ceremony to announce the 2022 World’s 50 Best Bars we now know which bars across the globe are on the 51 to 100 list.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that these are 50 of the most impressive bars not just in the US, not just in Canada, and not just in North America. Rather, these are among the absolute best bars in the world.

Of particular note, Singapore continues to prove itself as a dominant cocktail destination. There are eight bars on the 2022 51 to 100 list, and I predict that at least three more from Singapore will appear on the 1 to 50 list.

Also, the UK and Cape Town each claim four spots among the best 51 to 100 bars, and Paris boasts three. Operators, bar professionals, and tourists should keep their eyes on Cape Town as it continues to transform into a cocktail hot spot.

Among the 51 to 100 list, four are from the US and, sadly, none are in Canada. Overall, 15 bars on this list are new entries, as are five of the cities represented.

1 to 50: One Week Away

Of course, this leaves us all with a few important questions.

When will we find out about bars 1 through 50? Which bars are on that list? And which bar will be number one this year?

Well, I can answer one of those questions for you. A week from now, October 4, the World’s 50 Best Bars will announce the top 50 bars in the world during a ceremony in Barcelona, Spain.

To learn more about the World’s 50 Best Bars and this year’s ceremony, listen to Bar Hacks episode 82 with Mark Sansom. Also, make sure you’re following the World’s 50 Best Bars on Twitter and Instagram.

For now, scroll down to check out bars 51 to 100. Congratulations to the bars below!

The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022: 100 to 51

  1. Sin + Tax (Johannesburg)
  2. Tesouro (Goa)
  3. Zapote Bar (Playa del Carmen)
  4. Tag (Kraków)
  5. The Dead Rabbit (New York)
  6. The Bamboo Bar (Bangkok)
  7. Sweet Liberty (Miami)
  8. Mace (New York)
  9. The House of Machines (Cape Town)
  10. Antique American Bar (Bratislava)
  11. Republic (Singapore)
  12. Donovan Bar (London)
  13. Art of Duplicity (Cape Town)
  14. Re (Sydney)
  15. Freni e Frizioni (Rome)
  16. Danico (Paris)
  17. Le Syndicat (Paris)
  18. Bar Goto (New York)
  19. Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei)
  20. Lost & Found (Nicosia)
  21. Dead End Paradise (Beirut)
  22. Vesper (Bangkok)
  23. Röda Huset (Stockholm)
  24. The Court (Rome)
  25. Candelaria (Paris)
  26. Side Hustle (London)
  27. Nutmeg & Clove (Singapore)
  28. Camparino in Galleria (Milan)
  29. Three Sheets (London)
  30. Tjoget (Stockholm)
  31. La Sala de Laura (Bogotá)
  32. No Sleep Club (Singapore)
  33. Hero Bar (Nairobi)
  34. Atlas (Singapore)
  35. El Barón (Cartagena)
  36. Analogue (Singapore)
  37. Brujas (Mexico City)
  38. The SG Club (Tokyo)
  39. Tan Tan (São Paulo)
  40. Presidente (Buenos Aires)
  41. Caretaker’s Cottage (Melbourne)
  42. Schofield’s (Manchester)
  43. Mimi Kakushi (Dubai)
  44.  MO Bar (Singapore)
  45. Quinary (Hong Kong)
  46. 28 HongKong Street (Singapore)
  47. La Factoría (Old San Juan)
  48. Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen (Cape Town)
  49. Barro Negro (Athens)
  50. Sago House (Singapore)

Image: Louis Hansel on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

7 Awesome Whiskey Podcasts

7 Awesome Whiskey Podcasts

by David Klemt

Gold microphone and headphones

Our National Bourbon Heritage Month celebration and inspiration continues with a roundup of seven of the best whiskey podcasts.

Of course we want you to listen to Bar Hacks for education, inspiration, and entertainment. However, we know it isn’t the only podcast you listen to.

Below you’ll find several whiskey-centric podcasts. These are absolutely some of the best podcasts out there if you’re seeking bourbon and whiskey knowledge.

So, after you catch up to your Bar Hacks listening, work the shows below into your rotation.

Cheers!

Whiskey Lore

As regular KRG Hospitality readers and newsletter subscribers know, we love diving into history and myths. When we’re researching a spirit, cocktail, or other beverage, we tend to find more fiction than fact. Of course, the facts are also just as interesting to us, so it’s a win-win for us and you.

So, it makes sense then that we’re kicking things off with Whiskey Lore. We love the rich and compelling stories that weave the intricate story of our industry. As it turns out, so does the Whiskey Lore podcast. Currently, the podcast is digging into the history and lore of Irish whiskey.

Latest episode: Irish Whiskey Pt. 5: The Lore of the River Boyne; Marrowbone Lane; Finding Old Irish Pure Pot Still

Bourbon & Banter

Honestly, I don’t know that I can describe the Bourbon & Banter podcast any better than the minds behind the show:

“Are you seeking a bourbon podcast that will educate and entertain you without the extra bloat associated with kissing a brand’s ass in search of advertising revenue or free samples? If so, welcome home my friend… In all seriousness though, give us a listen and you’ll find that we’re honest to a fault. You won’t find us pulling any punches when it comes to new bourbon reviews or when we explore the latest industry news and consumer trends.”

Latest episode: The Doctor is In – Bourbon & Banter Podcast Special Episode

The Fred Minnick Show

If you’re a whiskey lover and don’t know the name Fred Minnick, I would find that shocking. While not always a straight-up whiskey-only podcast, the Fred Minnick Show format is compelling. Rather than focus solely on reviewing whiskey, whiskey news, and interviews with industry experts, Fred also chats with guests about a wide range of topics.

Latest episode: What’s Up With Tom Brady? NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo Returns to Talk Quarterbacks | Russell’s Reserve 6 Year

WhiskyCast

The WhiskyCast podcast has been going strong since 2005. That makes this the world’s longest-running whiskey podcast. With 17 years’ worth of podcast goodness to listen to, you’ll never be without something whisky-focused to listen to and learn from. Their most current episoide is number 966, which is just staggeringly impressive.

Latest episode: Brother’s Bond: A Bourbon “Bromance”

Bourbon Lens

With nearly 200 episodes available, Bourbon Lens is delving deep into everything bourbon. However, they also discuss other types of whiskey through conversations with founders, blenders, and other industry experts. This is a must-listen podcast for whiskey lovers.

Latest episode: Off Hours with Bourbon Lens Episode 10: Sam Montgomery from Bardstown Bourbon Co.

Bourbon Pursuit

According to the show itself, Bourbon Pursuit is “the official podcast of bourbon.” With episodes going live every few days you’ll never be without something to listen to with this podcast. Bourbon news, bourbon reviews, bourbon interviews… Bourbon Pursuit may truly be the official pod of bourbon.

Latest episode: TWiB: Kentucky Bourbon Benefit Raises $1.4M, Little Book Series Launches “To The Finish”, Four Roses 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch

Dads Drinking Bourbon

The hosts of Dads Drinking Bourbon want you to #rethinkhowyoudrink. With this podcast you’ll get to hear blind tastings, side-by-side reviews, and interviews with people in the industry. While the hosts don’t claim to be experts, they do an excellent job providing listeners with useful information. As they say themselves, “At the end of the day, we know you just want to know if the whiskey is worth spending any money on.” Also, congratulations to the Dads Drinking Bourbon team on their 400th episode!

Latest episode: Review: IT’S OUR 400TH EPISODE! And we drink Barrell Batch 33

Image: Andrzej Nowak from Pixabay

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