Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Quickie Please

A man traveling out west enters a small restaurant that serves beer and is seated at a table.  In a few minutes an attractive waitresses walks over and asks, "What would you like, sir?" 

The man looks at the menu and then scans the waitress’ beautiful frame top to bottom, then answers, "A quickie."

The waitress turns and walks away in disgust. After she regains her composure she returns to his table and asks again, "Sir, what would you like?"  The man flashes the waitress a broad smile and answers, "A quickie, please."

This time her anger takes over, and she reaches over and slaps him across the face with a resounding "SMACK!" and storms away.

A elderly gentleman sitting at the next table sipping on a beer leans over and whispers, "Young Man, I think it's pronounced 'quiche'."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Three People Bar Owners and Bartenders Should Thank

Bar and tavern owners, as well as their bartenders, should pause for a few seconds each day to give thanks to these three great men.  These men provided them the opportunity to earn a living, generate profits and be rewarded with huge tips. This article highlights the three greatest bar legends: Henry, Facundo and Jose.

Henry, the son of Wales farmer, became famous in the British Navy not as a sailor but as a privateer (which by the way - was not a pirate).  During the 17th -century. Henry earned the reputation of being one of the most successful privateers in the Royal Navy. When the British finally succeeded in ousting the Spanish fleet from the Caribbean, the King of England personally appointed Henry the Lt Governor of Jamaica from {1664-65}.

Henry did not like government work though so he resigned to become a land owner in Jamaica. On his land, Henry grew all sorts of wonderful spices native to Jamaica. Henry also loved rum - so he grew his own sugar cane so he could to distill it into rum. Henry wanted a unique flavor of rum so he infused the rum he produced with the favorite spices he grew.

Though Henry made all his rum in Jamaica he chose to call it a product of Puerto Rico - is true! - because that’s where Henry first enjoyed the wonderful taste of rum. Yes, the Henry I am talking about is none other than Henry Morgan - Captain Henry Morgan - or who sometimes bar owners and bartenders refer to just as the Captain.  So you see there really was a Captain Morgan. 

Today Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum is the largest selling rum in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and South Africa. The image of a man in a dashing, red coat, with long flowing black hair, standing on one foot - printed on every label is the actual likeness of Captain Morgan.

The Second person bar and tavern owners should thank is Facundo. Facundo was a Spanish wine merchant who immigrated to Cuba in 1830.  While in Cuba, Facundo discovered the wonderful flavor of rum.  At the time, Cuban rum was considered an unrefined drink that only the poorest of peasants would drink. Seldom, was rum ever sold in taverns or fine restaurants. Facundo however liked the taste of rum so much that he decided to use his wine making skills to refine it. 

Facundo worked for years trying to isolate the perfect strain of yeast suitable for properly distilling rum; most important - he even went one step further. He filtered all his rum through charcoal which he believed would to remove any impurities. Finally, Facundo decided to age his rum - just like wine was aged - in fresh white oak barrels.  He thought aging rum would 'mellow its wild flavor'. 

Facundo was the first person to ever produce a “clear or white" rum. Since everyone enjoyed his new rum he set up a distillery in Santiago, Cuba in 1862 in an old warehouse building which was full of fruit bats in the rafters. Working near those bats every day inspired Facundo to create his logo for his rum. 

What many people forget is that Facundo invented two very special drinks the world still loves to this day. The first one he created right after the Spanish War which he called the " Cuba Libre" (which literally means 'Cuba is Free') along with another wonderful drink he created just for the ladies so they to could enjoy his rum. He called his second drink - the Daiquiri.

Facundo always insisted Cuba was the home of rum and his rum - Facudo Bacardi's Rum - became the King of all rums. Ironically the Bacardi distillery he created and used for over 100 years was confiscated by Fidel Castro.  When Castro nationalized all businesses after taking power in Cuba Facundo's family q
uickly decided to move their distillery operation over to a neighboring island - Puerto Rico. 

Today, though Barcardi Rum is distilled in Puerto Rico, it is still called a Cuban Rum. Bacardi rum is the largest privately held spirit production company in the world.

And just so you no there never was a Ron Bacardi. ‘Ron’ which is on the label of every Bacardi bottle is the Spanish word for rum. 

The final man in this story of legends is really amazing. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico back in the 1500’s they were introduced to a local drink called 'pulque'. The conquistadors found it disgusting but by using modern techniques they were able to refine the distilling process of pulque and created an entirely new spirit called Mezcal.

King Ferninand the VI of Spain happened to grant a noble Spanish citizen a land grant in Mexico 1758 so he could start a farm in the Mexican state of Jalisco. On his new farm, this Spanish gentleman began to cultivate agave, a native plant that grows wild throughout central Mexico.  Agave by the way is what is distilled to make Mezcal.  However the Spanish farmer only harvested the best agave he grew on his land and by doing so he was able to quickly improve the taste of Mezcal. 

Like the conquistadors he also improved the distilling process for his agave and radically changed the flavor of Mezcal.  In fact, he changed the flavor so much he that he created a new spirit which he named after the village where he lived in Mexico – the village of Tequila.

However his real brilliance was that he did something unheard of. While every distiller at the time always provided their spirits in huge wooden kegs or small wooden casts, Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo decided to try using a new Portuguese invention called the glass bottle.  So Jose bottled all his Tequila. 

As a result, Jose Curveo's Tequila became the most popular selling tequila in the world. Today, Jose Curveo sells 35% of all the tequila sold in the world - twice as much as it nearest competitor.

If you like good bar and tavern trivia do the right thing -  Google Eba Gee. Not only will Eba Gelso share great bar trivia with you - Eba will teach you simple ways to increase your bar and tavern sales as well as earn more in tips. Go ahead connect with Eba Gee either on Face Book or Linked In ... you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

So You Think You Know the Budweiser Clydesdales

Earlier this week I met with a client.  After we concluded our business we sat down for a social drink. I ordered my usual cocktail and she had a beer - her favorite a Budweiser. 

When I told her I am not a big beer drinker she proceeded to share a story about Budweiser that I was not aware of; it was the story about the Budweiser Clydesdale.  It was so fascinating I thought I would share it with you.

The Budweiser Brewing Company first introduced the Clydesdale's on April 7, 1933 but do you know why?  August Busch Jr. (the son) was so ecstatic that prohibition was going to end that he went out and bought his father August Bush Sr. a gift - eight beautiful Clydesdale horses.

August Sr. was not only impressed with these magnificent creatures but he immediately saw a great idea to help re-launch Budweiser now that prohibition was coming to an end. He decided to present the two people most instrumental in ending prohibition a Budweiser gift. Those two people were the former Governor of New Your Governor - Al Smith and the President of the United States himself - Franklin Roosevelt.

August Sr. bought a huge freight wagon and painted it bright red.  He then mounted several huge barrels on it and hitched his eight Clydesdale horses to it.  He then hired a team of drivers who he had custom clothing made for and they were given instructions to leave St Louis and drive the wagon to New York City.

Once in New York the drivers presented Governor Al Smith a glass of Budweiser beer. From New York, Bush directed his drivers to haul the wagon to Washington D.C.; however, he had them make a circuitous journey across many of the New England and Mid-Atlantic States.  When his team of horses finally arrived at the White House the drivers presented a glass of Budweiser beer to the President of the United States - Franklin D. Roosevelt and all his guests at the White House.

There on the front porch of the White Horse the President of the United States sipped Budweiser beer with his guests as he Washington press corps snapped photos. However the brilliance of Bush Sr. did not end there. 

Before the team of Clydesdales left St Louis for New York Bush dispatched press releases to every town newspaper along the route the horse would travel.  Town’s people from all across the Midwest and eastern parts of America lined the streets to watch these huge Clydesdale's parade through their towns.

The newspapers in each and every town - large or small - printed front page stories of these beautiful, yet behemoth, horses parading through their main streets.  After the horses marched through Main Street the wagon pulled off to the side and every resident in the town was treated to a glass of Budweiser beer to celebrate the repeal of prohibition.

Now what people didn’t know was that the huge barrels on the wagon were empty.  Each night the wagon would meet up with a train that had a fresh shipment of Budweiser beer - hence the beer given away was always fresh during the three week trek across the heartland.

Needless to say "every" newspaper in the country ran stories of this unheard of, and unprecedented "Free Beer" event.  The popularity of Budweiser skyrocketed across America the Bush name was known in every household in the land; hence Budweiser immediately became America's favorite beer.  Realizing how well the country responded to his Clydesdale's, Bush Sr. decided to make the horse a permanent part of the corporate strategy.                              

Today Budweiser Brewing has three "hitches" or teams of Clydesdale's ready to travel around the U.S. at any time and one team that permanently resides at the corporate headquarters of Anheuser-Busch in St Louis.

Anheuser-Bush has approximately 250 Clydesdale's in its stables which makes it the largest Clydesdale herd owner in the world.  Ironically not just any Clydesdale can quality to be on a "Budweiser Hitch".   Only Clydesdale's that meet the following strict criteria are chosen: 

1) They must be Geldings (ouch)

2) They must have an easy going even temperament

3) They must be very strong 

4) They must be at least four years old

5) They must stand at least 18 hands or (6 feet tall) at the withers -(the tallest point on the back)

6) Their weight must be between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds

7) They must be bay in color (a reddish-brown coat)

8) The must have a black mane and tail

9) They must have four white stocks, and

10) They must have a white blaze on their face 

So the next time you see a commercial or the actual Budweiser Clydesdale's stop and remember the genius of August Bush Sr.  A man who took a present his son gave him and turned it into the greatest marketing ploy in the Brewing World.

Just so you know Budweiser is the third largest selling beer in the Unites States slightly behind Coors Light – which is number two and Bud Light with is number 1.

In addition, Budweiser is the fourth largest selling beer in the world just slightly behind Bud Light which is third largest selling beer in world. The top two selling beers in the world are currently both Chinese; Tsingtao and Snow – Snow being the largest beer in the world.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How To Sabotage Your Bar’s Business

Ever see a great bar or tavern with an ideal location and a perfect floor layout that isn’t making money. How can that be? Are not good locations and great floor layouts two of the prime factors in successful bars and taverns? Could the answer be sabotage?

All businesses should have two goals: 1) generate sales and 2) maximize profits. If bar owners aren‘t working towards those two goals they may be sabotaging their businesses. Below are the four common ways bar owners sabotage their bar’s success.

Drinking on The Job. For some reason many bar and tavern owners think its okay for them and their staffs to drink while tending bar. Think Applebee’s, Hooters, Green Mill etc. allow their managers and bartenders to drink while working? Absolutely not! Do CVS and Walgreens allow its employees to take drugs when they work? Let’s hope not.

It’s refreshing when I offer to buy a bartender a drink and hear them respond “We’re not allowed to drink on our shift … however buy me a chip and I promise I will have a drink on you tonight when I get off work”. I think that’s cool. 

Keeping Lousy Employees. For some reason bar owners retain marginal and incompetent employees far longer than most other business would. I think it’s because many are relatives; neighbors and family members of friends. We all know it’s hard to find good employees; especially people who are licensed and know how to properly mix drinks. However keeping a lack luster employees is costing you money. Find a new one and train them to be a great employee?

Tolerating Obnoxious Customers. Do banks, shoe stores and auto parts stores tolerate loud, obnoxious and foul mouth customers? Not many - if any. Most politely ask an obnoxious person to leave. Yet bar and taverns owners tolerate questionable customers and shrug it off as the cost of doing business. And that’s right it is costing them business. You bar stools should only be for good customers.

Giving Away Free Drinks. Bar and tavern owners perpetuate a myth that says giving away ‘free drinks’ helps prime the pump. Oh really? What pump is that? Dentists don’t give away free cleanings? Auto Mechanics don’t give away fee oil changes” so why do bar and tavern owners think they have to give away free drinks? 

The profit margin on drinks is small and giving away a dollar here and a dollar there adds up. 20 free cocktails and a dozen free beers is the equivalent to two six packs and almost a bottle of booze. Mechanics can afford to give away an oil change after a $600 transmission job and Dentists can afford to give away a free cleaning after a $3,000 set of braces but they don’t!

Since the New Year is about to arrive now is the perfect time to implement some new business practises to increase your sales and maximize your profits.

The first one is easy; don’t tolerate drinking on the job. Employees may not like it but this is America; they have the right to walk out whenever they want.

Second, terminate your worst employee immediately. Don’t say you don’t know who they are of course you do. It’s the one who generally arrives late and calls in sick often. Or the one who rings up the lowest sales each shift or the one with highest customer complaints. You know exactly who your worst employee is – so get rid of them and find a better one.

Third upgrade your customers. Never in public – but certainly in private - talk to your obnoxious customer’s one on one. Tell them you won’t be tolerating foul language, rudeness to other customers, or obnoxious behaviors anymore. The sooner you end or get rid of obnoxious customers the sooner you’ll have bar stools available for better customers.

Finally, begin to think of your inventory {your liquor} as cash. Before you give away any beer or booze think what you are doing? You are giving away money. Money you won’t generate when you give it away. Look at it this way, if the only reason as customer comes into your bar is to get free drinks then you don’t need that customer. Start making money.

Eba G is Profit Analyst for small bars and local tavern. Join Eba G. on face book and learn more ways to improve your sales and profits.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Drafted Bartender Went A.W.O.L.

Jimmy, was a bartender from a small rural town who got drafted in the US Army during WW II. 

On his first day in the Army Jimmy was issued a comb. Later that afternoon Jimmy was sent to a barber who sheared off all his hair.

On his second in the Army Jimmy was issued a toothbrush. Right after lunch Jimmy was sent to see an Army dentist who yanked out two of his teeth.

On his third day in the Army Jimmy was issued a jock strap.  The US Army hasn't seen him since 1943. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Should Small Bars and Local Taverns Have Legends?

We live in a world based on fact - fiction and legends. Facts are things we know for sure - like gravity. Fiction we know is not true - like Gina can throw a baseball over a mile. But Legends - aah they are the things that make us wonder and occasionally smile.

Ever heard the Legend of the Lone Ranger; the self-appointed law man who wore a mask and shot silver bullets? He and his Native American companion fought injustice in the old west? What about the legendary swordsman - Zorro? He single-handedly fought the Spanish government because it oppressed and over taxed the early settlers of California.

Neither Zorro nor the Lone Ranger can be factually confirmed there is no official documentation about them, but school age children and senior citizens know about their heroic exploits. So should bars consider having ‘Legends’? Well some do … and those are the bars with big crowds making money.

Whenever I walk in a new bar I love learning about the bar's history. Some bars print their histories on the back of their menus others have a plaque on the wall. There is a bar that claims Al Capone stopped in as he ran from the G-Men in Chicago. Another says that when John Glenn returned from his historic space orbit he stopped in this one bar to eat his first Hamburger back on earth.

Another proclaims that Harry Houdini, the great magician, often came in - wearing a disguise and practiced new magic routines on the locals; and I even read that whenever John Wayne went back to visit his old boyhood hometown in Iowa he would always stop in this one bar and yell out “Boys the drinks are on me”. Now I am not sure if any of these stories are fact but they sound good and each legend helped make those bars a ton of money.

So if your bar doesn’t have a Legend – why not create one? Imagine a bar somewhere called Vic’s Pump Room. Vic bought the bar back in the late 60’s, and then sold it to his son-in-law Walther in 1992. Walther still owns the bar but now his twin daughters, April and Agnes, operate and manage it. Vic’s sells cold beer and provides a good stiff drink in a clean, friendly atmosphere. Vic’s is in a modest neighborhood in an older section of town and has a gorgeous carved mahogany back bar area. 60% of the patrons are locals while 40% are strangers just passing through town.

Imagine people entering and seeing this magnificent older bar. They have a few drinks and order a burger then ask ‘what’s the deal’? Well Vic bought the bar in the 60’s, sold it to Walter in the 90’s and now Vic’s granddaughters - April and Agnes - run it. Boring!

What if Vic’s Pump Room had a Legend that it was once the site of Aldo’s Fine Jewelry Shop? Aldo, a Romanian watchmaker, immigrated to America in 1921 and quickly earned a reputation for making elegant and accurate time pieces. What if Eleanor Roosevelt was reported to have bought two of Aldo’s watches which she gave to the Presidents of Argentina and Iceland when they attended a White House diner?

What if Aldo’s Jewelry shop flourished until members of the notorious Simpson gang out of Wichita robbed him. As Aldo tried to defend his store he was over powered by two gang members who broke three fingers on his right hand ending his watch making career. Needing money, Aldo sold the building to the Malone brothers: Jeremiah and Jeddah - two local taxi drivers. 

As the Malone’s drove their taxis they saw a need for a conveniently located fun bar. They converted Aldo’s old Jewelry Store into the beautiful bar you see today. They operated it until Jeremiah was stabbed by Lefty Cohen for cheating during a dice game in the back room. Fearing for their lives the Malone’s fled town and Vic bought the bar from them. Vic renamed the bar the ‘Pump Room’ because of the large cast iron Canadian water pump down in the basement.

Now I ask you – which is better? A bar with a blah-blah history? Or a bar with a fantastic legend?

Eba G is a bar analyst who helps bar and tavern owners increase sales and maximize profits. Isn’t it time you increase your bar or tavern’s sales and profits?  Join Eba G. on Face Book.  It’s easy just search ‘Eba Gee’ and friend me.