Shaking things up
As restrictions ease across the country, cocktail experiences have the potential to draw more guests back into your pub. Brydie Allen of Hetelier magazine published 1 October ’20 reports.
THROUGHOUT THE COVID-19 pandemic, consumers sure have missed going to the pub, and everything that encompasses.
Being in lockdown without the ability to hit the town has made many consumers value going out more than they did pre-pandemic. So when they do go out, more than ever they’re hungry for excitement and for experiences they wouldn’t get at home.
A key opportunity for pubs to create these experiences can be found in cocktails. Much like how restaurants draw people with food they wouldn’t or couldn’t make at home, cocktails can help pubs draw more guests by offering something different and unique.
In Sydney, where at the time of writing restrictions have eased enough for venues to hold one person per four square metres and up to 300 guests total, cocktails have been found to be a huge drawcard for pubs. According to Charlie Walker, bar manager at Hotel Harry’s public bar component Harpoon Harry, cocktails encourage more people to come out because they cater to the needs of the COVID-19 consumer.
“If anything, cocktails are far more important than before the lockdown. As you can imagine our cocktail sales have had a steep increase post lockdown,” Walker told Australian Hotelier.
“COVID has people stressed constantly… Cocktails ooze good vibes and happiness and that’s what we want now more than ever.”
A boost in sales has also been noted at The Cauliflower Hotel, where the offering includes a rooftop cocktail bar called The Forgotten Cask. Pippi (Billingham) Drew, who owns the venue with husband Justin Drew, said the consumer search for great experiences has continued ever since restrictions began easing, whether that be in food or drink.
“I think after lockdown, people definitely are excited,” Pippi Drew said. “Obviously if you’ve been locked up for a while, people like coming out and being waited on while enjoying their favorite drinks.”
Looking at how Sydney venues are embracing the value of the cocktail and its role in the recovery effort of 2020, the importance of a well positioned cocktail offering becomes clear.