Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why Most Legions, VFWs, Eagles, Elks and Moose Lodges Struggle for Money

All across America there are Fraternal, Benevolent, Religious and Military organizations. They are known as VFW’s, American Legions, DAV’s, Am Vets, Elks, Eagles, Moose, Odd Fellows, Knights of Columbus, etc. Some are called posts; some are lodges, while others are aeries. All were chartered on great principles and each contribute immensely to the communities they serve.

Most are housed in humble, but prominent buildings. Many offer a bar area where members, and even the general public can sit, relax, and share friendship. About 65% offer some form of hot food service - generally popcorn, pizza and burgers; but on special occasions such as holidays, membership nights or installation nights they serve nice meals.

Joining one of these organizations is fairly easy. One talks to a member - gets an application and submits it the governing body who then verifies the information. If approved a small initiation fee is generally required, then there is some sort of introductory process or perhaps even a ritual. Then, each year a ‘nominal’ annual membership fee is required.

One would think these clubs with their membership base to draw upon and the great name recognition they have in the community would be rolling in dough; however most struggle financially. Why? Eba G’s believes for three reasons:

REASON NUMBER 1 – Two Many Cooks. Members of these clubs think of them as their ‘personal hangouts’. They walk into restricted areas like the kitchen, behind the bar and even in the storage rooms. Because it’s ‘their club’ they give advice and bark out orders or criticize employees: especially the bartenders, wait staffs, cooks, dishwashers etc. They tell employees what to do and what not to do. Working in one of these organizations is a nightmare for employees. They receive way too much unneeded guidance and conflicting directions which creates chaos and bedlam.

REASON NUMBER 2 – Scared Cows. Service clubs perpetuate ‘Scared Cows’ that prevent profits. Wednesday night Bingos, Pinnacle on Tuesday afternoons, Sheepshead & Cribbage on Thursdays and $1 tap beer. Imported wines, fancy craft beers wines and exotic cocktails are seldom found behind the bar.

REASON NUMBER 3 – Non-Professional Club Managers. The governing bodies of service clubs, which are elected, think of themselves as the de facto club owners. They typically hire under-qualified individuals who are willing to work for ridiculously low wages yet are called Club Managers. The Club Managers they hire have little - if any - real management or business experience. Most were just good bartenders or nice cooks with outgoing personalities. The vast majority are clueless on how to actually run a profitable bar operation. They’re given tremendous responsibilities but no real authority - everything they do must be approved by “The Board”.

With no management experience they seldom set or enforce - employee standards and don’t provide employees with any real training on core areas like: 1) customer service 2) menu sales 3) food preparation & presentation 4) cocktail mixing techniques or 5) bar courtesies. They have no idea how to develop a cash flow analysis or plan money making events or schedule entertainment programs. They continue to perpetuate revenue loosing and lackluster events so as not to ruffle the feathers of the ‘old timers’ – and they wind up maintaining the status quo.

Creating a profitable post, aerie or lodge is not hard.  Here is the formula:

1) Hire a professional manager - someone with knowledge and experience in food and beverage operations

2) Allow that person to manage - let him or her create profitable food & drink specials and 

3) Enforce conduct and dress standards for both club members and employees.

Great Club Managers pay for themselves in no time. They increase bar profits, generate food sales and boost membership. Plus they reduce those the discriminatory dividers such as: the WWII Vets don’t like the Korean Vets and the Vietnam Vets don’t like the Desert Storm Vets etc, etc, etc.

The one thing to remember is: If your lodge, post or aeries hires Floyd or Betty’s niece to be your Club or Bar Manager will continue to be hard pressed for cash and never build up membership.

Eba G is a bar profit analyst who helps small bars, local taverns and fraternal clubs generate big profits. Eba G shares great ideas visit Eba on face book at or link with Eba at to increase your sales and enhance your profits?

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.