Successful Beverage Management in Las Vegas

Article By: Jack Robertiello - April 6, 2010

I keep pretty busy writing about cocktails, spirits, wine, bars and restaurants, for Mix, its magazine parent Nightclub and Bar and a variety of other publications, including my blog But getting involved with writer and consultant Robert Plotkin last year on his latest project, "Successful Beverage Management," is one of my favorite things now, although presenting in front of an audience with the Tasmanian devil can be quite a work out. We sold out our session at the recent NC&B Bar Show, and soon we're making the next step and taking the show on the road. First stop: back in Las Vegas in partnership with distributor Wirtz Beverage Nevada, where at the end of the month we'll be helping bar owners and bartenders looking for help fighting the effects of the slumping economy. Those in the area have an added bonus - Wirtz is footing the bill for all qualified attendees, though they must register first. The all-day "Successful Beverage Management" profitability seminar will be held April 27, 2010 at Wirtz headquarters.

Attendees will learn how to reduce costs by preventing internal theft and waste, tracking sales productivity, analyzing pour costs, controlling inventory and effectively managing payroll. Other sessions provide advanced strategies for increasing beverage sales by enhancing drink quality and appeal, smarter pricing, premium product use, improving guest service, taking advantage of beverage trends, increasing effective in-house marketing and building repeat business. For more info or to register, contact Robert Plotkin at, call Wirtz Beverage at (702) 699 8851, or visit See you there.

They're Talkin' 'Bout Us!

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The Las Vegas Nightclub & Bar Show Turns 25

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     The first time I attended the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas was in 1987. I had just started writing for the magazine, which at that point was only two years old and still very much evolving and finding its voice, so to speak.
   If memory serves the convention that year was held at the Tropicana in an adjacent building at the back of the property. Despite being a fraction of the size of what it is today, I needed a minute or two to take in what I found. The smallish hall was rocking. Its walls reverberated from the hard driving music. Laser lights circled the room, strobes flashed and confetti cannons occasionally filled the air with streamers.

Repeat Business Trumps a Down Economy

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     The economic downturn is pounding the food and beverage industry, and the prevailing forecast suggests battening down the hatches and run a tight ship, so to speak. One thing is certain; as the economy continues to slow it will become increasingly important to extract every drop of revenue out of their operations. Well, if you were deprived in your youth the experience of navigating a bar or cocktail lounge through heavy weather, worry not; the cumulative learnings can be rendered down into a bite-sized nugget of advice--returning guests keep the doors open, newcomers pay your salary.
     Attaining the elite status as a destination venue necessitates building a core of loyal patrons and accepting the reality that today's regulars were yesterday's newcomers. Enticing people to walk through your doors for the first time invariably involves an expenditure of marketing and advertising dollars.

Increasing Sales in a Recession

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Americans tend to drink in good times and bad. Historically accurate or not, it's nevertheless safe to anticipate that in a slumping economy there will be fewer people on the street and they'll have less money in their pockets. The moment the markets stumbled and crashed was when it no longer became business as usual. 

Perhaps the best piece of business advice for rocky times is coming up with a plan to increase revenue and sticking with it. Taking a breather and maintaining status quo solidly fixes you at a point in space, allowing competitors to surge past. This is no time to be tentative. Armed with the right plan, the only difference between financially under-performing and exceeding expectations is commitment.