November 25, 2014
November 20, 2014
Our lives are consumed by the number 3!
We win, loose, judge, consider, select, discard, all based on this number!
3 is also crucial to a bar business as it’s the key to growing, winning and operating profitably!
When one considers the impact of the power of 3, the thought changes to “drinks philosophy”! Don’t worry this is not a conversation about the pros and cons of Pre or Post prohibition style drinks , it’s an understanding based on building a model inclusive of supporting engineering process and metrics.
The Bar Rule of Thumb…
There’s a direct relationship between guests spend, individual drinks sold and contribution margin towards a venues costs.
A great guide to understanding in easy terms the impact… consider overhead and expenses in terms of 3 drinks sold to one guest.
Remember a drink purchased by one customer, and then repeated, may not always mean a bar is making a profit.
Each Rule of Thumb has its own drill down with arising impact:
A One drink Philosophy
The focus is on SPEED! Quality, consistency, possibly service may take second or third place as it’s all about VOLUME. Being brilliant at getting it out quick is key as guest churn is high! This business may be characterised by consequences such as rising wastage, lack of care and possibly high staff turnover! If this game is not won through unbelievable costs controls, process and execution, it’s easy to just tread water! Let’s face it whose in business just to pay wages!
A Two drink Philosophy
The focus changes from slinging it out to looking at ways to drive profitable revenue opportunity, by encouraging the guest(s) to stay longer/spend more. Quality, consistency, guest experience becomes something to focus on. Less money can be spent on driving the numbers, more emphasis on customer retention. As spend per guest rises, the contribution margin required to cover remaining venue costs gets closer and closer to break-even.
A Three drink Philosophy
The focus here is detail: heightened guest experience, service levels, quality, perception of value, consistency. Greater investment can be made on the bells and whistles encouraging guest retention, larger spend! Supporting processes and activities will be built around engineering this business outcome, with rising profits to show for the effort.
Defining what your business is or aspires to be; measure by the Bar Rule of Thumb, it’ll change the way your business runs!
To your success!
November 13, 2014
Innovation is the spinning core which centers the Über™ world, powering ideas such as our ProGrip™ handle; a solution for eliminating bartender injury, muddling drinks.
The ProGrip™ illustrates how in the space of 10 years, human centered design is now entrenched in the workplace; critical to improving working lives!
When the ProGrip™ was conceived, we hadn’t understood that bartenders weren't alone in pain... baristas, chefs, handymen, the elderly had their own painful stories of discomfort and frustration!
Unfortunately, we never heard these sounds, they were drowned out by the noise of complacency assuring us: “oh, that’s the way it’s always been, so don’t worry about that!”
Deflated, we retreated to our cone of silence, to create space for our eventual Ü(reka) moment.
Funnily enough the story unfolded by accident, in my mother’s kitchen... in between deeply breathing sautéing onions smells with the aromas of simmering fresh herbs.
In the days and months that drifted by… glimpses and insights revealed hidden paths felled by questions asked… you know the type of thoughts, no one thinks about, unless of course, you can’t perform that task at all!
Sam and l began to look at a gazillion hand tools, understanding the design with arising mandated motions… rotation (stirring) and compression (pounding) and directional (extension) movements; each action impacting on speed, efficiency and most importantly the body: fingers, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders; depending on task.
In many instances the unifying single task implied by all tool design: the user must form a fist to hold or grip the tool!
The ProGrip™’s unique handle alters a relevant tools center of engagement, transforming a vicelike grip into one anchored by a thumb via an insertion point (hole in the handle)... the arising engagement between user and tool thereby changes, with the body’s natural response conforming to a relaxed state (less tension).
Once the relationship of user/tool changes, then so does the relationship of the body to that tool.
The ProGrip™ Relationship
A fantastic example of this is watching a barista holding a tamper (THE COFFEE MUDDLER).
A tamper is squat and cumbersome, contorting a user’s fingers, hands and wrist into prolonged and very uncomfortable positions... the result, huge issues of RSI affecting wrist, elbow and shoulder. Go talk to any barista... they all know someone who has a problem if it’s not themselves!
Changing focus from hand grip to that of a thumb pivot alters grip strength, muscular stresses, wrist position/angle relative to the hand, body and tool.
During 2015 Uber™ will be undertaking more human centred design research to allow us to re-imagine a sway of tools whose times has come!
Who would have thought observing bartenders suffer whilst muddling drinks… would lead to something good!
Pat.US & Other Markets: 8,814,423 B2
November 06, 2014
It’s ironic that some bars place greater emphasis on expensive baubles to serve wine and beer in versus providing quality bar tools for bartenders to make cocktails with.
Maybe this is the reason: pouring beer or wine into a glass requires a little skill... however if a bar wants to underpin a high asking price, presenting beer or wine in expensive serve ware adds value; creating some magic in the process!
Conversely bar tools provided to a bartender tends to be cheap, inaccurate, poorly made… making the bartender’s skill even more critical to crafting a successful cocktail.
Bars tend to invest in bartenders for their knowledge, skill and salesmanship… these attributes become the public hero in a cocktails crafting whereas the hidden knight are the tools used to guarantee the cocktail’s outcome?
When a bars goals is to make, serve and sell more than one high margin cocktail to each guest... it makes business sense to invest in the right tools to help the bartender get the job done; keeping the guest happy, thirsty and spending!
What do you think?
October 29, 2014
Jiggering, shaking, stirring within a context of immaculately conceived ice execution, form the cartas in the new bar order! At Über™, we lovingly refer to this quest for attainment as BarShido™.
October 23, 2014
Note: Today’s blog is dedicated to Geoff Ross former founder of 42 Below Vodka, now all “hopsed” up with New Zealand craft beer producer Moa.
Doesn't the answer depend on which side of the still you’re on!
The word Craft Distiller seems destined to become a sentence, as unrelenting Craft Brewers become the distillers of tomorrow... should this trend continue, small distillers beware... the Kings of Brew are looking to Mow(a) your lawn!
This type of disintermediation is not new and is being played out across many industries, as the lines between manufacturer, producer and consumer are blurring; shrinking barriers to entry, reducing margins, increasing competition to the chagrin of incumbents!
Over the last 5 years Craft Brewers have created quite a market for new consumers questing for quality, innovation, bespoke flavours, with arising experiences and exciting new expressions to match.
Craft Distillers by their own admission are now disadvantaged by the very positives that separated them from the big boys of distilling: namely speed to market, production, and volume. These issues when smashed over the net to a brewer become at best a marginal cost, with raw materials added quickly and cheaply, with excess production, distilled to create base spirit for barrelling (if required!).
Regrettably Craft Distillers mostly win loyalty slowly; brewers have established fans who’ll journey on to ciders and possibly newer categories with little or NO risk to the brewer making the segue!
Whilst the recent debate between Distiller and Craft Distillers has raged... a new killer has been lurking the depths ready to fight!
Now see what the brew ha-ha’s about!
October 15, 2014
It’s sometimes hard to imagine how far the spirits industry has grown, innovated and re-imagined itself from the dark days of Prohibition.
Nohibition®... The Spirited Renaissance - is defined as the polar opposite to the dark ages of Prohibition. The new beginning, or great awakening commenced in the early 21st century… with a handful of bartenders asking why not... going back to study history to re-imagine a future with no boundaries, endless possibilities and the opportunity to bring drinking enlightenment to the masses.
Whilst new Prohibitionists agitate throughout the world, threatening new legislation, new taxes, advertising restrictions... the industry has banded, educated and self-regulated to stave the threats.
To see how Nohibition® - The Spirited Renaissance has transformed the terroir TODAY we must ask the question(s): What new brands, categories, technology, innovations we take for granted TODAY that were not in existence 5-10 years ago?
Then stand back and be struck as we see how far we’ve come… it’s far more than awesome... it’s mind numbing!
When the world moves as fast as the power of thought, you’ll be amazed by who’s on the list!
Here’s a few examples:
Berlin Bar Convent is a perfect example of the aforementioned Innovation... walk the endless halls at the show and you’ll soon see that over 50% of companies and brands on display... were NOT in existence 10 years before!
Our point: The Spirited Renaissance is bigger than just a brand or even the industry itself… the real power is understanding that the tidal wave of ideas, representing the hopes and dreams of so many passionate individuals and corporations becomes the sustaining force to outpace government legislative walls, keep up with consumer trends; providing assurance and opportunity for enterprising entrepreneurs, re-imaging tomorrow!
Hang on for the ride!
October 08, 2014
Sometimes polar opposites exist within the same continuum ... a practical example of this thought is Angel's Share, which receives reverence and respect whilst it’s polar opposite the Devil’s Take, is completely ignored by profit atheists!
Angel's Share affects Distillers costs…Devil’s Take destroys Bar profits!
The differences and outcomes are wide reaching and devastating!
Angel's Share is the evaporative process in alcohol barrelling whereby a certain amount of alcohol evaporates silently through a barrel’s staves to reach the heavens: Angel's Share or Bacchus’s Bounty can equate to 5-10% yearly by volume loss depending on climatic conditions such as heat or cold.
The Devil’s Take on the other hand occurs downstream and is the process of alcohol transfer loss from bottle to serving glass at the Point of Pour. The Devil’s Take is widely agreed by industry experts such as Barmetrix and Bevinco to represent losses on average of 3-5 mL (1/10-1/6 Oz) per 30 mL or 1 Oz serve!
So how does one account for Angel's Share and the Devil’s Take?
Distillers are a fairly canny lot... every production loss, irregularity, imperfection is quickly noted and accounted for. As spirit ages, Angel's Share accounts for increasing costs. The total costs to bottle (including storage, processing, bottling, and packaging) is then divided by total net volume produced, resulting in higher cost and wholesale/retail sales price... (Marketing, transport, taxes, and margins excluded)
Bar operators on the other hand receive a certain amount of bottled sprits and alcohol into stock ... depleting via sales an amount weekly… the difference between POS recorded sales and remaining stock on hand being the Devil’s Take. .representing alcohol drips, leaks, over pours, freebies, shrinkage! Bars do not charge more money to guests/consumers for the arising alcohol wastage/loss. Of course if Bar’s were to increase the price of every drink served by the comparable amount of alcohol over-poured or wasted, wouldn’t incensed consumers demand greater accountability in the way alcohol is dispensed?
The Devil’s Take is broadly explained away by bar management as “a cost of doing business” rather than the consequence of poor practice and execution at the Point of Pour.
If Distillers owned bars would they find ways to account and reverse engineer the Point of Pour process to reduce or eliminate a preventable loss…we believe they would!
Acceptance of the Devil’s Take is not futile; practical, cost effective solutions are available to overcome this large problem... to learn more enquire here!
October 02, 2014
It’s the dream of every bartender to own their own bar!
Taking the bar plunge is NOT easy: fear, uncertainty, inexperience, money, investors; are the largest obstacles to fulfilling the dream, right now!
Wait up! The news is now a whole lot better, in fact the landscape has changed thanks to crowd funding.
If you are now crunching the numbers for your new bar or restaurant… here’s a new way to get over the line... and it’s simple!
- A vision
- Tell a great story
- Bucket loads of Passion
- A location
Now with these ingredients visit the Crowd Funding site Kickstarter to see how people ask for funding... You’ll get a sense what current best practice is and then scale it to your dream.
To make your adventure easier... check out how some passionate restaurateurs and bartenders from Perth, Australia did it with their new venture… Lucky Chan.
Great story, beautifully told in an inspiring, connective way...
Follow their blueprint and you too will be on the Über road to success... bye bye Mr boss man!.
September 17, 2014
Creating or designing is the exception rather than the rule in a very crowded marketplace.
Bartenders, managers and brand owners struggle to create that special patch in the broader imagination that they or their business can own.
Ideally we all want to create footprints or make a lasting impression on our guests or customers rather than casting a shadow; which ultimately becomes a bystander to the main game!
If you’re struggling to make that footprint – you’ll find the Über 8 Step Design Process helpful in your journey.
1. Define the problem or opportunity
Understanding your business, talents, considering what needs to be fixed, done or moved is the prequel to creating opportunity.
2. Research and Brainstorm
Understanding the landscape creates parameters to brainstorm a bunch of ideas.
3. Identify the FAB’s
Features and Benefits or Pro’s and Con’s, this is where at Über we like to think we get very real – it’s about being critical and constructive simultaneously. Be the Jekyll and Hyde to every idea/thought and then pivot and turn it around again!
One or two clear paths/options become evident. At this point based on instincts, research and de/reconstruction, someone needs to make the call!. If you work in a team, it’s about the resounding group YES rather than the best least option by consensus. As a potential team leader, it’s here where your talents to inspire and shine will create pace and path!
Your first attempt to pre-test the idea, service, product for trialling.
6. Test and Evaluate
This is the point where X’s rise or hope fades based on research and feedback. Be open to an unexpected Y result. Remember nuance or possibly a pivot may be called for...
7. Inspect and Improve
You’ve finessed, pivoted, re-polished and ready to go unleash your thing onto a waiting world.
The point of no return, the point where your shiny new product, business concept or service has been quality tested and you’ve hit the market running.
Now sit back and use this time to establish your new thing.
To your success!
September 10, 2014
Provenance is the event horizon authenticating a product’s journey from start to finish.
History, heritage, pedigree; serve as the assurance to guarantee consumers favourable experiences.
With consumers increasingly becoming more curious about health impacts of food and drink, will more attention flow towards greater product transparency...?
The WHERE (it’s from) will become less important than the WHAT (it’s made of!)
Grab any soft drink can, beer bottle and most packaged food, flip it around to discover a long list of chemical ingredients. Everything is there to be seen from how much sugar, fat, preservatives etc. etc. is used.
The broader thought: informed consumers make better decisions!
If you’ve got an allergy, a health issue.... diabetes, heart disease, weight or cholesterol issues: read a product’s “discovery label” to decide whether that product may have harmful impacts!
Taking this thought one step further: will activist consumers make demands on regulators to enforce stringent labelling transparency on more product categories?In the not too distant future, could pressure be forced on the Wine industry to declare contents and chemical composition of Wine? What would the spill-over effects be on the Spirit industry?
Under these circumstances can the most pure Spirit brands still advertise as being the most pure, the most natural if a chemical analysis is forced onto its outer packaging.
Could new Prohibitionists (the anti-liquor lobby) force greater alcohol restrictions and higher taxes in the pursuit of their self-righteousness?
Here’s a thought: governments (in a democracy) require Legislation to restrict or prohibit things, however it’s the public service at the behest of Government who can proscribe regulations (declaring something to be or not to be) bypassing the legislative process and public scrutiny!
When the day comes for the Wine and Spirits industry to become label transparent, marketing fundamentals relied upon for hundreds of years will also change from amazing storytelling, mystique, provenance and pedigree to that of plain old cardboard facts?
September 04, 2014
Bartending in particular or hospitality in general have had issues attracting and retaining talent.
The last 10 years have demonstrated demand for work exceeds supply – a healthy situation to maintain fair hourly rates!
Professional bartenders have prospered, achieving great careers, status and opportunity.
Could this change?
The answers regrettably is a resounding YES!
It’s a matter of supply… massive oversupply!
An ageing population!
The employment effect throughout the western world has always relied on one generation retiring, making room for the next.
So what’s changing?
People are either deferring or electing not to retire – impacting the next generation of graduating University students to secure positions within the area they’ve studied.
Multiply this worldwide, and successive generations of graduates are taking longer and longer to find a starting position.
Competition is Everywhere
Competition is not limited to the talent pool in just one country any more it’s anywhere... just need internet access.
So what happens to students who can’t find a chosen career job, will they do the next best thing and look for something in the meantime!
Here’s a thought: graduating Uni grads working in hospitality who can’t find work may need to hold on to what they’ve got until something better comes up… if it ever does!
Imagine for a moment, if more and more graduating students seek shelter in hospitality – what happens to the school leavers who normally drift towards hospitality as their last resort?
Will the very educated be more attractive to a prospective employer than a less educated school leaver, assuming similar pay levels?
As a prospective employer who would you choose to serve your business and your customers the best?
Whatever the outcome more people will look towards hospitality as their permanent income source –maybe the time will come when they’ll be more available talent than jobs to go around. The law of supply and demand will create downward pressure on everyone’s hourly rates! We see this now in many other industries... So hospitality is next!
An ageing population, a glut of educated unplaced talent is a reality right now.
Hold on tight as the future is being quietly typed – we’re just not hearing it………yet!