Cheers - March/April 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 5 of 59 6 • March/April 2016 FIRST SIP Cheers March/April 2016 / Vol. 27 No. 2 Editor Melissa Dowling 203-855-8499 ext. 2223 Associate Editor Kyle Swartz 203-855-8499 ext. 2225 Managing Art Director Dodi Vessels Production Director Cherri Perschmann 763-383-4425 Contributing Editors Erika Bolden, Jeremy Nedelka, Jack Robertiello, Thomas Henry Strenk Senior Regional Sales Managers Bruce Kostic 203-855-8499 ext. 2215 Mark Marcon 763-383-4456 Debbie Rittenberg 763-383-4455 List Rental MeritDirect, Jim Scova 914-368-1012 Reprints Robin Cooper Cheers ® is published by EPG Media & Specialty Information Editorial offices at 17 High Street, 2nd Floor Norwalk, CT 06851 Tel: 203-855-8499 • Fax: 203-855-9446 CEO Marion Minor Sr VP/Audience Development Joanne Juda-Prainito Sr VP/Finance & Operations Gerald Winkel VP/Beverage Group Amy Collins Cheers (ISSN 1051-564X—USP Number 007-239) is published eight times per year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July/August, September, October, November/December) by EPG Media & Specialty Information, 17 High Street, Norwalk, CT 06851. Periodical Rate Postage paid at Norwalk, CT and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Cheers, P.O. Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823 SUBSCRIPTIONS: One-year subscription rates: USA $35.00; Canada $50.00; air mail to other countries $75.00. All subscriptions payable in U.S. dollars. Payment must accompany order. To subscribe write: Cheers, P.O. Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823, or call the Cheers customer service line at 845-856-2229 (Port Jervis), Fax 847-763-9569, M-F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST. Subscription customer service e-mail: cheers@ Contents copyright © 2016 by EPG Media & Specialty Information, 17 High Street, Norwalk, CT 06851. Reproduction without the express written consent of the publisher is prohibited. EPG Media & Specialty Information, publishes Cheers, Beverage Dynamics, StateWays, Wine & Spirits Industry Marketing, Handbook Advance, Liquor Handbook, Wine Handbook, Beer Handbook and Fact Book. ON THE FRONT LINES I WAS HAVING DINNER AT A TRENDY PLACE in the Phoenix area recently. I had already made up my mind on what to drink, but the waitress saw that I was still studying the cocktail list when she came over to take our order. "Do you like vodka?" she asked. "Because we have this great cocktail that's made with…" and she proceeded to describe the ingredients in the vodka-based drink and how it's made. I stuck with my original drink choice, but I appreciated her friendly and genuine approach and attention to detail. The place was jam-packed; it would have been easier for the server to just not bother, but she took the extra step to make sure I had a good experience. Server training and the effect on the customer experience has been a hot topic among the industry pros I've been talking to and events I've attended in the past few weeks. For instance, several sessions at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas highlighted the service element. In one titled "How to Unscrew Your Bar," presenter Brian Warrener—a hospitality professor at Johnson and Wales University—noted that 68% of customers who leave a business will do so because of poor service. On the other hand, 70% of customers are willing to pay a premium for great service. And that premium is 13%, he noted, which translates to a 9% increase in revenue. Operators should train and empower front-line employees—those with direct interaction with your guests—to be able to fi x problems as they arise, Warrener said. "I'll get the manager" is the worst thing a disgruntled customer can hear from a server, he noted: "An immediate and an appropriate reaction" is the best way to resolve situations. In another Nightclub & Bar session, on accurate menu costing, restaurant management consultant Mark Kelnhofer noted that "the front-of-house employees play an important role in profi tability" in that they can suggest higher- margin menu items to guests. Bartenders in particular have a direct effect on what guests order. "No other fi gure in the spirits industry has the amount of infl uence as the person standing behind the bar to drive drink trends," says Richard Black, vice president of marketing for white spirits and cordials for Campari America—one of our 2016 Growth Brand Award winners. (For more on this year's Growth Brands, see page 27.) We'll drink to that. Cheers! Melissa Dowling Editor

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