Cheers Mar/Apr 2017

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 43 of 59 44 • March/April 2017 A lot goes into the making of a great bar, from the design and decor to beverage selection and service to music choices, lighting and overall vibe. But if your bar is messy, unsafe and disorganized, it will be hard to achieve or sustain greatness and to keep guests—and bar staff—happy. Here are a few tips from some experts for improving your bar's setup and effi ciency. 1) DO AS MUCH PRE-SHIFT BAR PREP AS POSSIBLE. "We have a pre-week prep shift on Tuesday mornings when we are not open," says Niki Kotantoulas, beverage director for the 120-seat local and seasonally focused restaurant Manuela in Los Angeles. "This involves the making of any infusions, syrups and some of the juices we will need for the rest of the week." The restaurant, which sells about 1,000 cocktails a week, sources its citrus from nearby Shaner Farms, along with fresh herbs and other ingredients for garnishes. At the 172-seat Bourbon Steak in Washington, D.C., which sells around 1,075 cocktails a week, staff starts from scratch every day. "There's time-intensive prep work in juicing, slicing, making syrups, house tinctures and hand-carving ice," explains head bartender Torrence Swain. Hand-squeezing juice alone can take two hours, he adds. Bourbon Steak also restocks spirits and mixers before each shift, and fi lls the ice bins. Swain is mindful of overstocking, as it cuts down on space. So if Bourbon Steak's records show it sells about 15 bottles of a certain brand of beer each evening, for example, Swain will stock no more than 20 and replenish as needed. 2) LOOK FOR SPACE-SAVING SOLUTIONS. To make the most of the limited space behind the bar, store only the items used to make drinks there, and try to eliminate single-use products, advise Tony Garcia, director of beverage operations, and Kurt Moody, beverage operations and training manager, for Houston-based food and beverage marketing agency Patrick Henry Creative Promotions. They also stress thinking outside the box when it comes to organizing tools. For instance, a Lazy Susan can work in the mix cooler, and 3M hooks are great for hanging bar tools. "Shelving and glass racks are your best friends," says Kotantoulas. "Real estate is so valuable behind the bar, and SMART BAR SETUP Tips for ramping up your organization, effi ciency, speed and comfort By Kelly Magyarics Los Angeles restaurant Manuela has a pre-week prep shift on Tuesday mornings when it is not open to make infusions, syrups and some of the juices needed for the rest of the week. PHOTO CREDIT: JOSHUA TARGOWNIK

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