Your Guide to Bar Profits

There are a few ways to be certified as a professional beverage manager, and now there’s another. Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS) in Louisville, Ky., offers a specialized 18-month beverage management degree program. Courses are administered online, making the program accessible for students all over the country. Albert Schmid, author of The Hospitality Manager’s Guide to Wines, Beers and Spirits (Prentice Hall) and The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook (University of Kentucky Press) leads the program. The curriculum prepares students for careers as beverage managers, bar managers/owners, sommeliers or beverage sales representatives, and studies touch on key points like production, marketing, alcohol safety, food and beverage pairing, mixology, purchasing and storage. Students also learn how to write a business plan for a bar or restaurant.

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Robert PlotkinCurrent mixology success depends on savvy business practices as much as any culinary enterprise. According to our buddy Robert Plotkin: “As the adage goes, ‘When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with the experience ends up with the money and the man with the money ends up with the experience.’ Fact is, making mistakes is an inevitable consequence of gaining experience. Some things can only be learned at the school of hard knocks. For us fallible types, success can be defined as keeping mistakes to a minimum and the learning curve short and shallow.”

That’s the lead to his latest newsletter about bar profitablility, BarProfits. There are important things to remember besides bleeding-edge drinks, and Plotkin runs through five of the 10 critical errors that can kill your biz, like not correctly monitoring pour cost, not tracking productivity of staff and not managing inventory control. Check it out and sign up.

Looking to drive traffic? Maybe the Happy Hour phone app will work for you. Connected to, guests can locate what’s going on at 150,000 bars, clubs, restaurants and lounges by city and neighborhood in 30 cities across the country. Details can include outdoor seating, free WiFi, drink specials – whatever. In times like this, any edge can help, and it can’t hurt to get the word out about even your daily changes.

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