Business Resolutions for the New Year

Written by Elizabeth Engelman
December 12th, 2011

The New Year means a fresh start. A way to look at your business in a new way where everything is possible. Even if you don’t need a complete business makeover, the New Year is the perfect time to make meaningful and lasting business resolutions.  Here are some ideas for a successful 2012.


Social Media Marketing

Social media is everywhere these days, helping businesses attract new customers and keep regulars interested. It doesn’t take much to get your business into the social scene where opportunities are limitless. You’re reading a blog online, so that’s a good start. Creating a Facebook Fan Page for your business is an easy way to get your name out there. Four Square and Google Places help keep your business in circulation when customers mention they went to your establishment. Connecting with your customers on the web is the easiest way to get them in the door. Aim for joining one social networking site a month.


Customer Appreciation

Of course you appreciate your customers! In 2012, make sure they know how much. Don’t just create a punch card and call it a day. A loyalty program should be tailored to your business’ vibe. Show your frequent customers and biggest fans  you care and value their business in small and large ways. You can go a more traditional route by offering a free menu item or meal, or try something extra special, like hosting specific events exclusive for loyal customers. Get feedback from your customers on what kind of loyalty benefits they would most enjoy.


Continue Going Local

Going local and seasonal has been a trend for the past few years and is not going away anytime soon. Take advantage of the trend and really make it work for your business by making new connections with local farmers and vendors. Turn seasonal foods or local delicacies into spotlight dishes on your menu. Keep your customers in the know by featuring on your menu a local farm, bakery or other neighborhood food provider every month. This makes your customers feel like a part of a positive experience while getting conversation about local businesses flowing.


New Menu Items

Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy and throw out all your prized and popular dishes.  By creating just one or two new enticing menu items, or tweaking your favorites by adding appetizing, new ingredients, you can keep customers interested and create buzz. Spice up your cocktail list as well. Create a new signature drink that reflects your location or clientele. Add personal stories to the menu about certain dishes. By writing about how a dish was conceived, or what inspired it, you can get customers to try dishes they may never have ordered before.

Share some resolutions your business has for the New Year in our comment section. We would love to hear from you!

Bar Trends 101

Written by Elizabeth Engelman
October 28th, 2011

Whether your bar’s atmosphere is laid back or energetic, drinks help set and enhance the mood. Read on for five trends that help bring in business and start a buzz.


Mini Drinks & Tastings: When it comes to the latest in restaurant trends, small means big—profits, that is. Serve bite-size versions of full-size entrées and let guests create their own cuisine combinations. Accompany your mini eats with mini tastings from a variety of alcoholic beverages, from ultra-light lagers to cava sangria.


Wine/Beer & Food Pairings: Encourage customers to try something new while adding a dash of entertainment to any meal. Give patrons a mini-lesson in flavor mixing by explaining your food and drink pairing process. Introduce new customers to a new favorite drink to match their favorite fare.


Tea-Infused Libations: Colder weather means hotter drinks. Alcoholic teas can liven up afternoon tea time or warm up the night crowd on a chilly evening. Give your customers a new way to stay warm by making the brewing process part of the experience. With all the various flavors of tea available, the combinations are endless.


Classier Non-Alcoholic Drinks: Non-alcoholic versions of popular mixed drinks let designated drivers and other non-drinkers join in on the fun. Just because these drinks aren’t fermented doesn’t mean they should lack pizzazz. Serve creative concoctions with interesting garnishes to keep the atmosphere fun and festive.


In-Season Drinks: Tastes change with the seasons, and seasonal fare can boost your alcoholic beverages in creative and unexpected ways. With the fall weather in full effect and winter right around the corner, it’s time to revamp your signature cocktails with in-season produce such as pomegranates, apples, squash, figs, pears—and of course, pumpkins. Mix in purees and add garnishes to give standard drinks an intriguing twist.