1. Your most discerning customers are all about quality not quantity. Not every beer has to be served in a 20 oz. or 16 oz. serving. For some of your specialty brews, consider using a smaller glass that will encourage trial and still command a premium price. Not everyone wants to drink an imperial pint of beer with an ABV of 7.8%.

  1. If you do not have a strong, heavily-promoted mixed drinks list, start developing one. We’re talking about a creative mixed drinks menu that calls on the expertise of your bartenders to produce unusual drinks your guests will love, but that also happen to command premium pricing.

  1. The craft cocktail movement is gathering pace quickly, utilizing ingredients and presentation styles never before used. Start looking at how you might start using some of those bottles on your shelf that have been largely decorative until now, inexpensive brands like Campari, Aperol, Ramazzotti, Averna, Nonino, Suze, Cinzano, that can help you create innovative new cocktails.

  1. Develop a range of liqueur coffees, go beyond just Irish Coffee. A well-conceived, well-prepared, alcohol-infused coffee drink is almost irresistible as a luxurious indulgence, and you can command ultra-premium pricing for it. Make sure you have the right glassware, only use fresh ingredients (no aerosol cream!) and train your employees diligently.

  1. The easiest thing to sell from behind a bar is beer and, for a long time, beer has been the mainstay of a pubs’ profitability. But it’s no longer the most profitable product you can sell, so you have to diversify into more complicated and complex beverages to find the margin balance. This is enjoyable work, but it’s definitely harder work than slinging beers. But if you want to stay on top of your margins, other than constantly increasing your prices, it’s the only direction to go.

By Donal Ballance www.ballancehospitality.com.