With the spirits category growing by 3-4 per cent over the last 12 months in Australia, pubs and bars are capitalising on the increased appetite for cocktails – but this can come with a labour and time cost for high-patronage venues.

One such venue is Kingpin in Melbourne, a bowling and entertainment bar within the Crown Casino complex. The bar sees a huge turnover of large groups through the venue, and it’s important to ensure that these groups get their drink orders as quickly as possible.

“On average we see over 10-15 medium to large groups of patrons come in each week for parties and celebrations, which means it’s vital we have an efficient process of making and delivering cocktails to guests,” stated beverage manager Chris Taylor.

John Bagnall, Southern Asia Pacific regional manager for American Beverage Marketers, suggests that regardless of how big your venue is, it’s now become critical to offer cocktails to attract a wide variety of patrons.

“The requirement for every Australian hospitality venue to offer a robust cocktail list is becoming mandatory. This is true for the delivery and creation of a cocktail list and doesn’t just involve sourcing the right ingredients but also having trained staff to deliver a consistent product.”

At Kingpin, a cocktail on arrival is provided as part of the middle-tier and premium drinks packages for group bookings. To keep the prep time down, and to be able to focus on other customers, Kingpin began using Finest Call premium cocktail mixers to create their tipples, with positive results.

It allowed the venue to produce cocktails for bookings of over 100 people in far less time, while also allowing the venue to increase its cocktail range from five to 12 drinks. The implementation of the mixers has also seen cocktail revenue increase significantly.

“With the combination of increasing our offering and staff being able to make cocktails quickly, we’ve also seen a 20 per cent increase in our cocktail sales. Given our success at Kingpin in Melbourne, we have introduced Finest Call across all of our cocktail menus in eight venues nationally,” stated Taylor.

Finest Call currently stocks mixers in stock watermelon, passionfruit, mango, raspberry, strawberry, lemon sour, grapefruit and lime flavours, and has been found to cut down the time of making cocktails, and in particular current popular cocktails like Espresso Martinis, Margaritas, Pina Coladas, Whisky Sours and Bloody Marys.

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