Beverage

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: February 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: February 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

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

To review the book recommendations from January 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Cheers!: Cocktails & Toasts to Celebrate Every Day of the Year

As long-time KRG Hospitality readers know, we enjoy helping operators and their teams program around unique holidays. This book takes a similar approach to restaurant and bar promotions.

Philip Greene’s Cheers! suggests a specific drink and toast for each day on the calendar. There are, of course, the mainstream holidays each month. But like us, Greene also focuses on lesser-known holidays. With consumer behavior shifting toward occasion-based drinking, this book can certainly come in handy.

In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain

Last year, In the Weeds was nominated for the 2022 BookTube Prize in Nonfiction. It’s understandable why this book was given such a nod: it takes the reader behind the scenes with Chef Anthony Bourdain.

“From the outside, the job looked like an all-expenses-paid adventure to places like Borneo, Vietnam, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Libya. What happened off-camera was far more interesting than what made it to air. The more things went wrong, the better it was for the show. Fortunately, everything fell apart constantly.” Grab this book now on Amazon.

Meehan’s Bartender Manual

There are certain books that people in this industry simply need to read. Meehan’s Bartender Manual—written by bartender, educator and author Jim Meehan—is one such tome.

This award-winning book is a must-read for all bar professionals, whether you own a bar, work behind a bar, or are a server. Not only will you find 100 recipes in Meehan’s Bartender Manual, you’ll learn about bartender techniques, service, hospitality, and bar design. Pick it up today!

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

Much like Meehan’s Bartender Manual is a must-read for bar owners and bar teams, Setting the Table is required reading for restaurant owners and teams.

Restaurateur and chef Danny Meyer shares the lessons he has learned that helped him survive and thrive in a challenging industry. Certainly, our industry is changing. But there are still lessons to be learned when we look into our recent past.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

To say Brené Brown is an expert in leadership is an understatement. The professor, researcher, educator, and author has been teaching about leadership for years.

Brown’s 2018 book Dare to Lead focuses, in part, on two crucial keys of true leadership. One is taking personal responsibility. The second is how to recognize potential in others. Without these two elements, becoming an effective leader is essentially impossible. Pick up Dare to Lead on Amazon today.

KRG Hospitality Bars & Lounges, 2023 icon

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Program for Unique Holidays: February 2023

Program for Unique Holidays: February 2023

by David Klemt

"Think about things differently" neon sign

Do you want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Change how you think about holiday promotions.

Several holidays are set against every date on the calendar, and February is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to esoteric.

Pay attention to the “weird” or unique holidays to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing? Why program only around the same holidays as everyone else?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, strange or otherwise. Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

You’ll find suggestions for promotions below. However, the idea behind our monthly holiday promotions roundup is to inspire you and your team to get creative and come up with unique programming ideas.

For our January 2023 holidays list, click here.

February 6: Pride In Foodservice Week

I’m not gonna lie: This is the first I’ve heard of this week-long celebration of foodservice. That’s fairly embarrassing given that this holiday dates back to 1991.

As you’re probably assuming, Pride in Foodservice Week celebrates foodservice professionals. So, highlight your team on social media (with their approval, of course); do something special to show your team you appreciate them; and find a way to celebrate the foodservice pros that visit your restaurant, bar, or hotel this week.

February 7: National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

Is this holiday unusual? No. Is Fettuccine Alfredo in any way bizarre? Of course not.

But you can certainly tap your kitchen team to do something unexpected with this classic dish. Stuff bao buns or dumplings with Fettuccine Alfredo. Create deep-fried Fettuccine Alfredo bites. Find a way to serve it on a stick. Just get creative and own this food holiday.

February 8: Kite Flying Day

Now, I’m not expecting you to somehow create a promotion around actually flying kites. Although, if you have the space and resources, go for it.

Instead, consider focusing on a particular cocktail, like the Plastic Kite or Paper Plane. Is a paper plane a kite? It can be if it’s designed as one, so the cocktail should be fair game on this holiday.

February 10: National Umbrella Day

North America has been slammed by freezing weather and brutal storms. Your guests can probably use an escape from the cold temperatures.

One excellent way for them to transport themselves elsewhere (at least in their minds) is tropical drinks. And tropical drinks tend to be served with the iconic cocktail umbrella. You know what to do: Perfect your tiki or nautical cocktail recipes, create an LTO menu, and draw in your guests.

February 15: National Flag of Canada Day

There’s nothing weird about the Canadian Flag. In fact, it’s one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable flags on the planet.

So, this is your day to celebrate Canadian spirits, beer, and food whether you operate in Canada or anywhere else. Tap your reps, get your hands on Canadian spirits and beer, focus on a few Canadian delicacies, and put together a mouth-watering LTO F&B menu.

February 18: National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day

To be clear, I’m including this holiday because it’s so specific. Obviously, this calls for an LTO or special based on one dish. I’ll give you one guess which dish it is.

February 20: Hoodie Hoo Day

If you’re somewhere it won’t bother too many people, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to yell, “Hoodie hoo!” Did you do it? Did it put a smile on your face?

It’s basically impossible to yell those two little words and not be happy afterward. Well, that’s the whole point of this holiday: happiness. We could all use a dose of happy these days, and this holiday can certainly provide it.

February 25: World Sword Swallowers Day

There are a couple ways to celebrate World Sword Swallowers Day. But for the love of your bottom line, don’t let any of your guests attempt to swallow any swords, cocktail or otherwise!

Instead, dig into the recipe books and find some classics just look right with garnishes skewered by cocktail swords. Or, serve up the Swinging Sword cocktail by Buchanan’s:

  • 1.5 oz. Buchanan’s 18-Year-Old Special Reserve Blended Scotch
  • 0.75 oz. Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. Grenadine
  • Fresh mint sprig for garnish

Add ice and all liquid ingredients to a shaker. Shake well, strain into a coupe, garnish, and serve.

February 27: Telecommuter Appreciation Week

This is another week-long holiday I didn’t know existed. And again, it’s not new—this holiday was first celebrated in 1993.

However, I think it’s more relevant than ever. Rather than encouraging people to work from home on this holiday, celebrate your WFH guests. If your WiFi can handle it, encourage your guests to work from your restaurant, bar, or hotel. And make sure to create LTO food and drink menus to incentivize to do so.

KRG Hospitality Project Add-ons, 2023 icon

Image: Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

American Trends 2023: Technomic

American Trends 2023: Technomic

by David Klemt

Pink pineapple against pink background

Foodservice research firm Technomic has some interesting predictions for the hospitality industry in the United States of America this year.

On the topic of operations, Technomic foresees more negotiating power among workers. Additionally, the firm looks at both the economy and pent-up guest demand.

When it comes to food, the US and Canada have a trend prediction in common. And as the image atop this article signifies, a particular color may be a hit on menus in 2023.

Before we jump in, Technomic’s 2023 Canadian trend predictions are here. Last year’s Technomic predictions for America are here. Curious readers can review the firm’s 2023 predictions in their entirety here.

Okay, let’s go!

Think Pink

I want to address this prediction first. According to Technomic, pink is going to be the F&B color of 2023.

As they explain, the color is fun, nostalgic, and photogenic. Yes, operators must still consider the Instagram-worthiness of their menu items. That may change one day, but it’s not today.

Per Technomic, pink also signals that a food or drink may have antioxidants.

Some of the items the research firm names specifically: pink pineapple, pink salt, pink celery, cara cara oranges, and schisandra berries.

Pickle It

This is the culinary trend that, per Technomic, Canada and America will share in 2o23.

Along with fermenting, pickling gives the kitchen and bar teams a unique experimentation method to explore. So, encourage these teams to get creative and add pickling and fermentation to your next menu update.

Of course, that’s not the only reason to consider putting pickling front and center. For many, these preparations indicate a healthy F&B choice. Think kombucha, as an example.

As we know, healthy choices continue to be top of mind for many guests.

One more note: Technomic suggests being transparent and identifying the pickling and fermenting processes your team leverages to produce each menu item.

Economics

For those looking for a bit of optimism in these trying times, Technomic may have what you’re looking for. This year’s report, What We Foresee for 2023, says the following about the possibility of a recession:

“There is reason for optimism in the coming year, however, as any recession is expected to be relatively mild.”

Yes, that’s just one source’s opinion. However, Technomic is known for their voraciousness when it comes to data. So, if this firm is optimistic it could be a solid sign that things are looking up in 2023.

“Pent-up consumer demand” and variations thereof have been making the rounds since 2o21. However, it’s still a relevant phrase.

As it pertains to 2023, Technomic believes on-premise dining may “bounce back” this year. In fact, the firm suggests that people want to socialize and dine in person now more than ever.

Also, delivery and pickup times appear to be growing. So, plenty of people will see in-person dining as the more appealing option in 2023.

Operations

In part due to legislation addressing minimum wage and workplace conditions, employees may have the upper hand this year.

Add the fact that many people seeking work know many operators are dealing with a labor shortage and their negotiating position looks even stronger.

So, we could finally be in for a significant change when it comes to how the industry looks at compensation. More and more workers—and the guests they serve—are taking issue with tipping. Instead, many people outside and inside of the industry want to see operators pay staff a competitive, living wage.

Of course, there are also the hospitality professionals who prefer tips to minimum wage. In 2023, the industry could experience the start of a sea change. Time will tell.

For more predictions and this Technomic report in its entirety, please click here.

Image: Alex Gruber on Unsplash

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

Canadian Trends 2023: Technomic

Canadian Trends 2023: Technomic

by David Klemt

Tortilla with beans, cotija cheese and egg

Restaurant, bar, and hotel operators will find this year’s data-driven trend predictions from Technomic for 2023 insightful.

Interestingly but perhaps not surprisingly, some operators may be looking beyond North America for inspiration.

Per Technomic, Central and South American cuisines could influence menus in Canada this year. Other food trends that might take hold are “retro” health items, and all manner of pickled foods.

Of course, not every Canadian trend prediction involves F&B. According to Technomic, tech and the guest experience will play important roles.

To review last year’s Technomic predictions, click here. Now, let’s jump into Technomic’s 2023 predictions.

Guest Experience

Certainly, the guest experience should always be top of mind for operators, their leadership teams, and their staff.

In this instance, Technomic isn’t suggesting that the guest experience in general will be a trend. Obviously, with as important as it is to the success of any business, it’s a cornerstone.

Rather, Technomic predicts that guests will continue to feel the need to rein in their spending due to ricing costs and prices. However, the foodservice research firm also believes there’s still heavy desire for social interaction.

So, both those financial and social influences translate to the following: overdelivery.

Operators and their teams must ensure they position their brands well; make guests feel special every visit; and really dial in the guest experience. Specifically, Technomic suggests focusing on younger generations and menus with at least a couple specialty items that aren’t easy for a guest to replicate at home.

In other words, do whatever it takes to entice guests with memorable experience and quality menu items, and keep them coming back for more.

Technology

Multiple industry sources believe that 2023 is the Year of Tech for the hospitality industry. In particular, some sources believe that POS systems will receive significant attention from operators looking to upgrade.

Compellingly, Technomic sees the situation a bit differently. In particular, they’re suggesting that QR code menus may find themselves on the sidelines. Traditional menu, according to Technomic, will make their comeback this year.

Also making a (possible) resurgence? Per Technomic, in-person ordering for carryout and in-person dining.

As far as tech innovations that Technomic expects to take off this year, they see the following as standouts:

  • loyalty programs;
  • enhanced/upgraded cooking equipment;
  • automated inventory software/platforms; and
  • digital menu boards for back of house.

Culinary

As hinted at above, Central and South American cuisines are expected to take off in Canada, per Technomic.

The research firm provides specific—and delicious—examples:

  • Honduras: Baleadas tacos
  • Dominican Republic: Wasakaka sauce
  • El Salvador: Curtido slaw or relish
  • Peru: Aji amarillo and rocoto peppers
  • Bolivia: Saltenas, similar to empanadas

Another culinary trend Technomic predicts will perform well in Canada? Pickled everything.

Okay, maybe not everything. However, Technomic expects “pickling, fermenting, dehydrating and freeze-drying” to “increasingly pop up on menus.” The firm expects that operators will offer a wide range of “unusually pickled items outside of the typical veggies, including proteins and seeds.”

So, if you’re an operator reading this, it may be time to motivate your back-of-house staff to get creative with their pickling ideas.

Finally, pandemic-driven, health-based trend foods like turmeric and ginger may start to fade in popularity. Instead, predicts Technomic, items with “classic” health descriptors such as “natural,” “real,” “free,” “reduced,” and “lower” will get attention from guests looking to eat and drink healthier.

For your own copy of this Technomic report in its entirety, click here.

Image: Roman Odintsov on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: January 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: January 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

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

To review the book recommendations from December 2022, click here.

Let’s jump in!

The Vegan Chinese Kitchen

Today, people have certain ideas that flash before them when they hear or read “plant based.” For many, it’s a phrase that indicates a food item is an impossible meat alternative that attempts to go beyond it’s animal counterpart, hint hint.

However, plant-based also means…plants. Just plants, that’s all. The Vegan Chinese Kitchen, Chef Hannah Che’s plant-based cookbook, dives into traditional and modern Chinese vegan cuisine. Remember, plant-based doesn’t only mean “meat alternative made with plants.” Buy here.

Tea: Wine’s Sober Sibling

Have you ever considered drinking tea as an alternative to consuming wine? I know I hadn’t until I came across this book.

There are more than 70 recipes in Tea: Wine’s Sober Sibling, several of which are Dry January-friendly. Along with best practices for restaurant operators, there are also pairings, like tea and cheese, and tea and chocolate. Grab this book and consider using tea in different ways at your restaurant or bar.

Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door: 50 American Chefs Chart Today’s Food Culture

Where is the culinary world headed in 2023? Chef Emmanuel Laroche and his colleagues have some thoughts.

From Amazon: “Emmanuel’s podcast Flavors Unknown, as well as his worldwide search for new foods and flavors, are at the core of Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door. Scores of chefs offer essential insights and entertaining observations about the food scene today—information that will be of interest to new and aspiring chefs, as well as foodies and home cooks who follow trends in restaurants and recipes. Readers will walk away from Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door with a deeper understanding ofthe minds and creative practices of famous chefs, as well as a map to begin to create sensational dishes of their own.”

Pick up Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door from Amazon.

Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making

I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard of the following products: the iPod, the iPhone, and Nest thermostat. And I’m certain you realize an entire team of people was the behind the creation of those devices. Tony Fadell, the person who ran those teams is the author of Build.

You don’t have to be in tech to benefit from this book. Really, Build is about leadership, decision making, mentorship, bouncing back from failure, and more. Essentially, this helpful and informative book is “a mentor in a box.” One of the key takeaways of this book should motivate you to read it: “You don’t have to reinvent how you lead and manage.”

Your Table Is Ready: Tales of a New York City Maître D

Author Michael Cecchi-Azzolina was the maître d’ at several of New York’s hottest restaurants for decades. Scoring reservations for some of these destinations was viewed as more important than landing a table at one of NYC’s top-tier nightclubs.

Cecchi-Azzolina tells stories of a (mostly) bygone era while also providing his take on the restaurant industry. For some, this book will be amusing and relatable. Others will find this representative of an era best left behind as we move the industry forward. Order Your Table is Ready today.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Program for Unique Holidays: January 2023

Program for Unique Holidays: January 2023

by David Klemt

"Think about things differently" neon sign

Do you want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Change how you think about holiday promotions.

Several holidays are set against every date on the calendar, and January is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to esoteric.

Pay attention to the “weird” or unique holidays to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing? Why program only around the same holidays as everyone else?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, strange or otherwise. Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

You’ll find suggestions for promotions below. However, the idea behind our monthly holiday promotions roundup is to inspire you and your team to get creative and come up with unique programming ideas.

For our December 2022 holidays list, click here.

January 5: National Whipped Cream Day

There’s a ton you can do with whipped cream when it comes to your F&B. From garnishing shots to piling it on desserts, whipped cream is just a fun time.

This is also the perfect holiday for party spots to offer Whipshots or feature whipped cream-flavored vodkas.

January 6: National Technology Day

There are several ways to approach programming for this day. To focus on one, this would be a great day to highlight your cool bar tech. One item that comes to mind is the Ripple Maker.

For those unfamiliar, this is a device that prints images on top of frothy or foamy drinks via food-safe media. Ripple’s next-gen device, the Ripple Maker Pro II, is available now.

January 7: Old Rock Day

The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the planet. Earth is an “old rock,” after all. Two programming ideas that come to mind are: celebrating classic rock; showcasing spirits that have been on the market for decades (or even centuries).

January 10: National Cut Your Energy Costs Day

By now we all know that sustainability and responsible business practices matter to many guests. National Cut Your Energy Costs Day is a great time highlight your own eco-friendly policies, potentially raising money for “green” causes.

January 11: Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day

If you want to have some fun with your guests, print an LTO menu with F&B item names in Morse code. Include descriptions that aren’t in Morse code that give guests an idea of what to expect from each item.

There are several Morse code translators online, like this one.

January 17: National Bootlegger’s Day

This is the holiday to celebrate brands or cocktails that:

  • survived prohibition;
  • were created during prohibition; or
  • produce or feature moonshine.

January 20: Penguin Awareness Day

Are you aware of penguins? You’re not? That’s odd.

Anyway, there’s an almost startling amount of cocktails with “penguin” in their name. So, why not create an LTO menu of “penguin” cocktails? Bonus points if some proceeds can go to a penguin-focused charity.

January 21: Squirrel Appreciation Day

Do you appreciate squirrels? Well, you should—it’s believed they plant three billion oak trees every year.

Now, I bet you can guess what I’m going to suggest: celebrating the classic Pink Squirrel. And why not? It has been around since the 1940s and is an icon, after all. If you really want to go all out, slap some foods into a Jell-O mould and get crazy.

January 29: National Puzzle Day

As with other holidays, there are a few ways to celebrate National Puzzle Day. You can provide guests some small puzzles to keep them busy (and keep them at your restaurant or bar for longer). Alternatively, get your hands on a very challenging puzzle, set it up on a card table, and encourage guests to work on it together. Or even ask guests to bring in their own puzzles.

January 31: National Backward Day

Programming for this holiday can be as simple as printing your menu backwards. Of course, you can also get much more immersive—it’s all in the details and recognizing opportunities to help guests walk away with memories.

Image: Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels

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

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: Dec. 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: December 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and December is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.” For example, I’m sure you’re familiar with Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and a little event we call New Year’s Eve.

Pay attention to the “weird” or unique holidays to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For November’s list, click here.

December 5: Bathtub Party Day

So, technically this day is about encouraging people to take a bath rather than a shower. However, this can be a great day for celebrating gin and prohibition-era cocktails.

Why gin in particular? For many, winter is gin season. Additionally, when people think of prohibition they tend to think of “bathtub gin.”

December 6: World Trick Shot Day

This is another holiday that celebrates something specific. In the case of World Trick Shot Day, it’s the basketball trick shot.

However, not every venue has basketball available to their guests. Many eatertainment venues do, but the same can’t be said for every restaurant or bar. But if your business has other bar games on offer, you can certainly adapt this holiday to encourage your guests to take their best shots.

December 8: National Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day

Yes, Halloween is over. That doesn’t mean people won’t dress up and have some fun. From Doctor Who to Marty McFly, there are plenty of characters, movies, and TV shows out there your guests can use as inspiration to celebrate this holiday.

December 11: International Mountain Day

Our mountains are incredible, powerful, and crucial resources. So, on this holiday, highlight brands from mountainous regions and those committed to sustainability efforts.

December 12: Gingerbread House Day

This one can get messy but it can also draw in a lot of guests. There are a few ways to go about celebrating Gingerbread House Day, of course. One way I can think of is to encourage your guests to come by and help decorate a large gingerbread version of your restaurant or bar.

December 16: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Fine, this isn’t exactly the weirdest holiday out there. At this point, the ugly Christmas/holiday sweater is a movie and television show trope. That doesn’t make it any less fun.

Come up with your own twist to bring guests through your doors this National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. That can mean creating a particular theme for ugly sweaters, for example.

December 21: Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day

When I came across this holiday I knew I’d be including it on this list. The name of the day is ridiculous, and the specificity is impressive. How could I resist?

This holiday, should you choose to accept celebrating it, is dedicated to Phileas Fogg. Who’s that? Fogg is the character in Around the World in Eighty Days who accepts the challenge referenced in the book’s title.

December 22: National Re-gifting Day

People participate in a lot of holiday gatherings throughout December. Many take place before the start of Hanukkah or Christmas Day.

That means a lot of people get gifts before December 22 that they’d perhaps rather not keep. So, encourage your guests to roll in on National Re-gifting Day for a drink, a bite, and an exchange of gifts.

December 23: National Pfeffernüsse Day

No, this isn’t a weird holiday—it’s mostly a fun word to say: “pfeffernüsse.” For non-German speakers, that’s probably a “weird” word. Most importantly, it’s a delicious, spiced cookie that makes for a great treat or fun interpretation as a holiday season cocktail.

December 30: No Interruptions Day

We all need time to disconnect, to log off and be unreachable. Your restaurant or bar is the perfect place for people to hit “do not disturb” on their devices and escape before New Year’s Eve.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Is There Demand for Non-alcohol?

As the Holidays Approach, is There Demand for Non-alcohol?

by David Klemt

Friends toasting with pink drinks

There’s no denying that non-alcohol is a growing beverage category, but does the data support the hype and operator consideration?

A report by behavioral research firm Veylinx offers compelling insight into non-alcohol and consumers.

By now, there’s really no excuse for failing to give non-alc serious consideration. When planning menus, operators should treat non-alc as much more than an afterthought.

Admitting fully that I’m repeating myself, giving alcohol-free beverages the same attention as their full-proof counterparts is crucial. Doing so is smart business; non-alc is capable of driving traffic and revenue.

And then there’s the guest experience element of the non-alc equation. Hospitality is about service, about ensuring every guest is comfortable. Giving guests who are abstaining from alcohol consumption a different experience than others isn’t hospitality—it’s alienation. Not only is that the antithesis of hospitality, it’s bad business.

Reviewing Veylinx data shows that non-alc is worthy of operators’ time and consideration. In my opinion, it’s even more important that non-alc menus and offerings be dialed in now. After all, the end-of-year holidays on our doorsteps.

The infamous Busiest Bar Night of the Year is nearly here. From November 23 through New Year’s Eve, people will be meeting up with family and friends. Many will also be seeking an escape from the stress of those gathering and the holidays.

Non-alcohol by the Numbers

One of the most important points made by Veylinx is this: Abstinence from alcohol isn’t limited to “social media” events like Dry January and Sober October.

Rather, consumers are choosing to abstain from alcohol throughout the year for myriad reasons. Specifically, Veylinx data reveals that more than 75 percent of Americans have abstained from alcohol consumption at some point for at least one moment.

Further, 46 percent of Americans plan to reduce their consumption of alcohol “right now.” As in, the holidays may be upon us but they’re actively working on a plan to drink less, not more.

Two major factors motivating this behavioral change are mental well-being and physical health. In service of those factors, more than half of LDA drinkers in America plan to replace beverage alcohol with non-alc beverages.

Interestingly, Veylinx finds that these consumers will pay more for non-alc alternatives in comparison to the general population.

Drilling down further, this shift in consumer behavior appears to be driven by a handful of consumer types:

  • 21- to 35-year-old consumers;
  • “light” drinkers; and
  • consumers who have set aside alcohol consumption for one month or more.

Speaking of the first group, demand for RTDs is 48 percent greater in comparison to those aged 35 or older. Add CBD to RTD and the demand among the 21 to 35 cohort grows by 18 percent.

However, not all non-alc growth comes from the 21-to-35 group. Non-alc beverages with mood boosters see an increase in demand from the 35-plus group of 29 percent.

In short, if an operator is ignoring the non-alc consumer, they’re harming their own business and reputation. Alcohol-free RTDs, cocktails, beer, and wine are growing.

Savvy operators will leverage that growth.

Image: Helena Yankovska via Unsplash

Top