After dinner drinks – great margin but dropping sales

Liquid Man
Posts: 5

Liquid Man 01-02-2010

I run a small restaurant in London – we used to do quite well selling Cognac's etc after dinner but in resent years these sales have declined. It's great margin and really adds something to the bottom line. Would be great to hear if any one has got some initiatives as to how to increase these sales. Do trolleys work or are they just too formal?

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4 replies to “After dinner drinks – great margin but dropping sales”

Sir Mix a Lot
Posts: 3

Sir Mix a Lot 01-02-2010

Hi Liquid Man,

I work at a top members club and we really capitalise on the ‘after dinner moment’ and find that the trolley really ads to the experience and people tend to all order something since you've gone to the effort of bringing it out and also, out of intrigue. I think this experience can be replicated in a less formal way in your restaurant, no doubt. Instead of a shiny, black slick trolley, you could go for a more understated wooden one that's less imposing and scary. I'd advise calling one of your suppliers and see if they could supply you with one in return for you pushing their brands on it – then everyone's a winner! Let me know how you get on!

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Count Camillo
Posts: 1

Count Camillo 14-02-2010

Hi Liquid Man, I believe there is still profit to be made from the pre and post dinner drinking occasion. Maybe look beyond limiting your offer just to Cognac. We've had great success recently buy recommending Zacapa rum after meals and serving it with home made fudges and chocolates. Perhaps you could produce a small menu with one sipping rum, one cognac and a few whiskies etc. Key is ensuring that your serve staff can confidently sell the spirits bytelling the story of what it is and where it comes from – paint the picture for the diner. It's a great addtional margin generator and a large group can get through half a bottle easily. Good luck with it all.

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James Samson
Posts: 1

James Samson 17-02-2010

Hi Liquid Man,

A great alternative way to end a meal is with Rose Champagne. It refreshes the palate after a meal and lifts the dining experience as well as massaging your margins. It is worth looking for the drier styles, potentially vintage rose even. Good luck.

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Paul G.
Posts: 3

Paul G. 14-04-2010

Hello there,
The perfect pre-dinner drink woul have to be the Vodka Martini or even a Gin Martini (Gibson) or even a nicely balanced Champagne cocktail. Be careful when making the Martini's has its an art form like any dedicated mixologist will tell you.
For after dinner may I suggest some sort of rich creamy cocktail like a Brandy Alexander. Or in the same sort of cocktail family like a Pink Squirrel or a Grasshopper pending on the customers taste prefernce.
These should get you started. Any questions on the quantities, I will gladly be willing to help you.
Enjoy and drink responsibly.

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