The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode #135

Another listener questions episode! This week we’re talking about pricing high-end spirits, what to do if a coworker takes their “Mixology” a little too seriously, and some thoughts about rekindling your love for bartending.

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Watch Now:

In today’s Episode, we’re answering listener questions!

Guy from South Carolina asks: 

“I have an odd question about cost. I see so many prices with the high end liquors. What’s percentage should a bar be charging for a liquor that’s $100 plus. I imagine the cost for the bar should get higher because of the overall cost. I’m charging $60 for a 2oz pour of Macallan 18 750ml. If I did the typical cost % of 20% I should be charging $80 plus. Yet, I still think $60 is too much. “

This is a GREAT question – while cocktail costing is one skill set, costing high end spirits can be a whole different ball game. The short answer is also the least useful: It Depends. Listen in to the podcast for Chris’ insight on this question, but keep in mind that the real answer depends heavily on your market, your bar, and what your goals are for your bar program.

Matt from North Carolina recounts his frustration:

“One of our bartenders is a mixologist. He takes a lot of time to make drinks and I’ve seen him work the tiki bar… his drinks are compromised by the amount of people/time it makes to make the drinks. He’s great inside with minimal people. I’ve see his tips compared to mine and they are relatively the same. I like the fancy focus he takes on the drinks but if the guests like the cocktails I make minis the fancy, what’s the point in going to mixology?”

With “Mixology” becoming more mainstream, this sort of question gets more and more common. But just like restaurants, there is room for all kinds of bars – neighborhood bars and high end craft cocktail “mixology” bars.

Listen in for our full discussion but the full answer really depends on what kind of bar Matt is working in. If it’s a craft bar, then the other bartender may be doing a better job aligning with management / owner expectations. If it’s a neighborhood bar, then maybe not. As always, the real goal is to bring a fantastic customer experience – which means aligning with their expectations as well!

From our Facebook Group: 

This question popped up in our Facebook group (which you should totally join) and I thought it was worth mentioning because I think it’s a very common challenge:

“I’ve been tending bars for 12 years now. But decided to take a break as my enthusiasm had gone away. Any suggestions on what to do to try and help it come back, or is there a time when to get back on it and it will be there I hope.”

Make no mistake – bartending is a really tough job. And as with any job, it’s easy to become frustrated and lose your love for the craft after years of hard work. Here are some ideas for getting your mojo back:

  • First, figure out if there’s something wrong, and try to fix it.
  • See if you can change things up – whether it’s your role, your bar, or your schedule
  • Think back on what made you fall in love with the industry in the first place, and try to get back to that!

Lots more in the episode – check it out above!

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We love getting your questions and answering them on the air! Submit your questions here and we’ll answer on an upcoming episode.