The brands you carry reflect back on you. The difference between a standard dive bar and a trendy drive bar has as much to do with the liquor on the shelves as it does the people behind the stick. And when it comes to quickly elevating your offerings, small touches like elegant garnishes and thoughtful condiments can really make a difference. Not to mention, they’re an easy way to raise the cost of an item and increase revenue.
If you’re looking to bring in new suppliers, check out some of these crowd-favorites that have already won over your customers.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Everyone knows Tito’s Handmade Vodka. The self-titled ‘vodka for dog people’ has become so popular it’s practically synonymous with vodka. Forget about Vodka Soda, guests today ask for Tito’s and Soda, and with good reason. Each batch is distilled six times in copper pots, the same method used for malt scotches and cognacs. The resulting spirit has such a smooth finish, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has won Double Gold at the World Spirits Competition and Chairman’s Trophy for World’s Best Vodka Tonic. The brand also has a philanthropic mission, helping people and pets in need – something that has proven especially popular with the millennial audience.
Hot sauce has attracted something of a cult following over the years. True aficionados scoff at the expected mainstream sauces, in favor of labels that deliver exceptional amounts of heat. Enter: El Yucateco. The Mexican company has been making delicious, fiery sauces for over 50 years. Four of their most popular sauces are available in half gallon sizes, perfect for restaurants and bars. If you really want to feel the burn, their Kutbil-lk XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce registers at 11,600° on the Scoville scale and earned a Scovie Award for Best in Class Hot Sauce. For something slightly less devastating, their Green Habanero Sauce took first place in a Thrillist blind taste test (and even Hot Ones host Sean Evans is a fan). And as a bonus, it’s damn good in a Bloody Mary.
Despite being on the scene for about 20 years, microgreens have recently boomed in popularity. Once found exclusively in the tweezer-loving hands of high-end chefs, they’re now a staple at restaurants and bars around the country. The edible plants add beauty and taste to dishes and cocktails, and no one grows them better than Fresh Origins. America’s leading producer of microgreens also grows stunning edible flowers, all hand-harvested daily and grown without pesticides. They’re an easy way to add value to a dish or a drink, and they look great in pictures, too. From what we’ve learned in our Evolve sessions (our free virtual series on navigating the challenges of Covid-19) bars and restaurants need to rely on their social media and brand awareness now more than ever. So, throw it on the ‘gram and see how your customers respond.
Boston Beer is behind some of the most popular and innovative brands on the market, like Samuel Adams, Dogfish and Truly. If you’re on the hunt for an interesting new brew, check out Dogfish Head Hazy-O. The hazy IPA launched in 2020, and quickly gained consumer interest because it’s brewed with oat milk. It took their researchers over a year to perfect the “silk soft, creamy mouthfeel” that defines the unique pour, and makes it a valuable addition to your drinks list. And for non-beer drinkers, they’ve made Truly Iced Tea, an iced tea hard seltzer and Dogfish Canned Cocktails –crowd pleasing options that make it easy to raise your spend per head.
Questex’s Evolve series runs through April 2021 and covers topics from crisis management to marketing. Featuring live and pre-recorded sessions, it’s free to attend. Register and learn more here.