May 16, 2019

The Key to Big Bar Business: Thinking Small

Bartender using a swizzle stick to make a cocktail

How often do we hear the phrase ‘it’s the little things that matter’? Should a business owner or a bar manager pay heed to this thought? Or should you be looking at the bigger picture?
Perhaps, as the great writer and businessman Alvin Toffler put it, “You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”

For hospitality giant, Rockpool Dining Group, this is definitely the case. They had a big goal – create Australia’s first $1 billion dining group. With over 65 venues and still growing, they are becoming a major market force.

According to their CEO Thomas Pash, it’s all about thinking small, “We remind ourselves each day to think small. Every single meal we serve to each customer needs to be great. Each time we get the chance to serve a customer, we need to make it special. Each restaurant we own must stand on its own merit. That DNA is the soul of our Company.”

We know as a small business ourselves that with sustained growth, each day gets busier. At these times, it’s so easy to forget the small details.

How then do you focus your attention? Here are three small points for every venue that can make a massive difference...

1. Every customer matters

It's practically a given that focusing on the customer and their experience is key in the hospitality industry. After all, the meaning is in the word itself – hospitality – is to be hospitable and provide extraordinary service.

With hundreds of thousands of customers making their way through Rockpool's venues each year, it’s the guest and their individual experience which counts. It's important to detail what the customer's journey within your venue looks like and focus on taking care of the customer at every step.

2. Pay attention to detail

When you dine or drink at one of the big restaurant groups as a customer, you tend to know what you're in for, it’s the guarantee for a good night out.

It's the same reason fast food chains do well, attention to detail whether it’s the food, the drink or the venue styling, should all speak to consistency

With cocktails being the highest gross-profit-producing revenue centre for a bar, failing to deliver a memorable, consistently made cocktail could spell the end for the future of the business. In other words, careful measurement of liquid ingredients with no variation in volume, taste, or appearance is key to good business.

Liquor poured to a jigger using a speed pourer

3. Every drop counts

Avoiding waste is one of the biggest examples of how the tiny things can affect business growth, whether it's wasting electricity or spilling alcohol.

It’s here that every second counts... every lost drop of booze, over-pour of drinks, and leaking pourer all add up.

Read our whitepaper to learn more about how a busy, city-centre nightclub was able to reduce over-pour and wastage by 40 per cent. This resulted in an additional AUD $68,000 of revenue across the year, just by removing the unintentional over-pour caused by a meniscus or lens that forms on the top of round jiggers.

Taking care of those minor incidentals like stocktaking, keeping an inventory and using superior bar tools that have longevity, are all small actions that can give a big return on investment.

Ultimately, if you want your business to be big, the answer is simple – focus on the small.