Back To Schedule
Monday, March 27 • 9:00am - 12:00pm
Pro Workshop 1: Cost of a Cocktail: Perfecting Pricing Strategies to Drive Revenue

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Determining pricing for cocktails, a seemingly basic process in the bar business, can be far more difficult than anyone would imagine. Sure, your house Aviation spec is bangin’, but what happens if your preferred gin doesn’t come in on today’s liquor order? What if citrus prices skyrocket? What if you work in a market where the ceiling doesn’t allow for double-digit cocktail prices? We’d bet you a bottle of vintage crème de violette that Hugo Ensslin, the first person to publish a recipe for the Aviation AND head bartender at the New York City’s Hotel Wallick, cared just as much about the cost of his cocktails as he did the famous cocktail’s house spec.

All of these issues are challenges that bar managers face daily, but fortunately, as cocktails become a more consistent part of the bar business, their profitability is more open for discussion as well. In this workshop, Bobby Heugel and Terry Williams of Anvil Bar & Refuge will discuss the basics of cocktail cost calculation, factors that can contribute to cost fluctuation, and strategic perspectives for pricing.

The basics of determining cost in a cocktail seem basic, but including the varying labor associated with different types of drinks or straws, beverage napkins and other overlooked elements can often be the difference in substantial profits over the course of a year. Attendees will receive access to the inventory sheets that we have perfected at Anvil Bar & Refuge and a comprehensive explanation of cocktail cost.

Additionally, they will consider basic choices that impact cocktail cost including spirit selection, citrus pricing and sourcing of dry goods. Citrus alone has many variables for consideration – seasonality, yield, etc. – with many strategies for dealing with them – packers cases or buying in futures. Each single factor that goes into the construction of a cocktail has far more variables and options that what would be initially expected.

Finally, this pricing discussion will lead to a broader conversation about menu strategy and pricing. Frequently, these conversations fail to consider the diversity within the global bar market and the varying expectations of guests. This seminar will utilize this global diversity to emphasize lessons about menu pricing that have strategic implications for bar owners. Single cocktail pricing versus pricing each cocktail independently, happy hour pricing, and determining how pricing can impact your perceived niche in a market will all be discussed.

Overall, bar managers will gain more tools to increase the profitability and guests experience in their bars.

avatar for Bobby Heugel

Bobby Heugel

Co-Owner, Anvil Bar & Refuge
Bobby Heugel has changed the cocktail culture of Houston in the seven years since opening Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston’s first bar dedicated to classic cocktails. His commitment to training, quality spirits and hospitality at Anvil set the standard for the industry in Texas, subsequently... Read More →
avatar for Terry Williams

Terry Williams

General Manager, Anvil Bar & Refuge
Terry Williams is the General Manager of Anvil Bar and Refuge in Houston, Texas, where he has worked for more than three years. In addition to overseeing daily operations, Terry coordinates training of the Anvil staff, which is one of the most rigorous and structured programs in the... Read More →

Monday March 27, 2017 9:00am - 12:00pm PDT
Room N224 Las Vegas Convention Center