Whether you're running a restaurant, managing a hotel, or working in a school with an active sports program, a commercial ice machine is an absolute must-have.
When you're at home enjoying your favorite beverage or at dinner asking for a chilled cup of water to sip on during your meal, your glass is likely filled to some degree with ice. You probably never give a second thought as to what type of ice is chilling your beverage. Whether half dice ice cubes or crushed ice, various shapes of ice are used throughout the hospitality industry and the food and beverage industry, and each one serves a different purpose.
Before you learn how ice machine water filters keep you safe, you must first understand how they can make you sick.
Water filtration is necessary to remove contaminants and sediments, improving the taste of ice. No one wants a drink with unknown particles floating in it or that tastes like freezer burn.
But more importantly, it is the things that you cannot see that will affect you the most. Consider the effects that contaminated ice has on human health and food safety.
Whether you are in the food-service, hospitality, retail, or healthcare industry, there’s no denying the importance of ice. That being said, you need no less than the best ice maker to supply your operation with fresh, clean ice regularly. Whether you are looking for a mini ice maker or a clear ice maker powerhouse that can deliver large amounts of ice at a time, this guide will help you pick out the ice maker that truly suits your needs.
You happened upon this crazy-looking restaurant with a unique menu by your office and stopped by after work. You made it a point to come back with some friends on your day-off three days later, but when you get there, the space where it used to be is empty. You likely just experienced the limited run of a pop-up restaurant. A pop-up bar, which is the subject of this article, works the same way.
As you may have guessed by the name, a pop-up bar is an establishment that sets up shop for a limited amount of time to sell and serve beer, wine, cocktails, or liquor. It is a relatively new spin to the pop-up restaurant, but the industry has already been steadily thriving.
Pop-up bars provide a way for business owners to test-drive their business idea, sample markets, build on opening buzz, take advantage of a seasonal location, or get the attention of investors.
There is no set limit on how long a pop-up bar can operate. It can last as short as just a few hours, a week, or a month depending on the purpose, demand, and the availability of the location.
A pop-up bar can be many things, but its basic premise is experiential retail, promising customers with experience beyond the traditional. In this day and age where Instagram and social media in general are prevalent and there is immense craving for novel experiences, it is easy to see how this concept blew up.
What Makes a Pop-Up Bar Work?
The Perfect Idea
It is safe to say that a pop-up bar relies so much on the creativity and timeliness of its concept as it does on its actual offerings. One could say that these factors will drive the service and products you will offer.
Seasonal and holiday-inspired pop-up bars marked the beginning of this giant industry. One of the very first pop-up bars was Christmas-themed, which has done so well that it expanded internationally.
Not long after, entrepreneurs realized the highly lucrative potential of a pop-up bar. And so, pop culture-themed pop-up bars, well, popped up. You may have heard of those pop-up bars inspired from television shows like Game of Thrones or the cult classic Wayne’s World. There’s a pop-up bar made entirely of LEGO bricks and another based around Pokemon.
The huge following that came with each and every one of these worldwide phenomena paved the way for free press and built-in customer appeal as fans want to be in on the fun and share the experience on social media while news outlets and influencers scrambled to feature them and get the word out.
Pop-up bars have also found success in inspiring nostalgia in people. Customers just want to be taken back to a time they wish they’d experience or want to experience again. And what better way to do that by drinking their heart out in a recreation of, say, a vintage pub.
The Right Location
The other side of the story is location. Oftentimes, finding the perfect site for your pop-up bar can be much harder than developing your concept. However, a pop-up bar affords you just a tad bit more flexibility compared to its brick-and-mortar counterpart.
A pop-up bar can be situated in a wide variety of places specific to your concept. Malls, gardens, warehouses, rooftops, galleries, and many more are all on the table, as long as they meet zoning and food safety requirements.
A pop-up bar also can be transferred from one place to another, allowing you to capture a new crowd and reach as many people as possible.
Choosing the right location is crucial to the success of your pop-up bar. This is discussed further later in the article. For now, it seems like the perfect time to talk about how awesome a pop-up bar is and what it can do for you.
What Benefits Can A Pop-Up Bar Provide To Business Owners Like You?
Opening a business comes with daunting financial risks. However, a pop-up bar offers better control over these risks.
According to research, a pop-up costs up to 80% less than a full-time bar. With this significantly smaller price tag compared to setting up a permanent bar, you get the chance to test whether or not your idea has the potential to bring success without having to shell out a huge amount of money from the get-go. You can save a lot on leases, overhead costs, and labor expenses among many others.
Additionally, a lot of pop-up bars can operate in an existing bar or restaurant, which helps you save on expensive leases and other expenses and still be able to deliver excellent service and get the job done.
Restaurant and bar owners have reported considerable increase in sales by hosting a pop-up bar during their sluggish months or days of the week. A restaurant’s standard menu items sometimes won’t be as profitable during a specific day or season, so a pop-up bar gives customers a reason to come through the door by offering more interesting options they will actually be in the mood for.
Generate Interest For A New Bar
One of the very first pop-up bars, Miracle Pop-up Bar, was used to capitalize on the holiday rush. It was made as an effort to promote an upcoming bar prior to its official launch. It was so successful that it gave birth to a yearly moneymaker of a tradition and a phenomenon that has spread worldwide.
A pop-up bar gives you plenty of leeway to improve or build on your business idea while providing customers a preview of the experience.
Create A Sense of Urgency
Because they are only around for a limited amount of time, pop-up bars create the sense of urgency for customers to pay a visit for fear of missing out. It’s that “be there or be square” type of thing. Especially if you are making a lot of noise online, people would want to get to you before you pack it all up.
Determine What Works
A pop-up bar is the perfect avenue for trial and error for both startups and established bars. If you are still fine-tuning your service or trying to determine if this is an idea that will work, it’s the less expensive and safer way to find that out.
If you are looking to expand to a completely new place, you can test the waters with a pop-up bar and explore the demand to see if you can truly get business there. If you have a new drink idea for your existing restaurant or a unique combination that you aren’t sure if people will respond to, a pop-up bar will give you the answer.
A pop-up bar is also a great way to, for example, try out some potential changes to your beverage program or create a rotation of different menu items. In the latter, you get the chance to compel customers to try it out before it goes away while being able to attract a different type of customer for every rotation.
Offer a Unique Experience
A pop-up bar has the innate advantage of facilitating a different kind of experience for customers that permanent setups otherwise wouldn’t allow them to do. This is where the likes of a traveling bar get their appeal.
Make The Most Of a Trend
Not all trends last. The most popular TV show today might not be as big a deal the next day. With a pop-up bar, you can strike while the iron is hot. You can cash in on the trend instead of opening a permanent new bar based around a concept that may get old.
Breathe New Life To Local Places and Spaces
Pop-up bars can be used to generate interest and new business in a community, which helps increase the awareness of the area and ultimately enhance its image and charm. With the right concept, you can contribute to your hometown by offering unique experiences that residents and visitors won’t find anywhere else. You can cater to events that develop its tourism, entertainment, tourism, or hospitality potential.
Local events are attended by many business personalities and enthusiasts. By bringing your pop-up bar there, you can show off the potential of your business and meet people who can offer you assistance with the financing and management, impart knowledge that you can use in your career, or be open to future collaborations.
How To Start a Pop-Up Bar
1. Develop Your Concept
Due to the temporary nature of pop-up bars, your concept has to be an instant hit to get your brand out as fast as possible. You only have a limited window to pull people in. When choosing your concept, tap into your passion and interests or create a new take on current trends.
Pop-up bars can be super niche. There is a bar designed to look like the moving lab from Breaking Bad, another that brings together hot tubs, cinema, and booze, and one that allows customers to hang out with owls and take part in a good cause at the same time.
2. Select The Right Location
There are a number of factors in deciding the right location for your pop-up bar.
First and most important is to set up at a venue where you can reach an ideal number of your target customers. Use the Quick Facts tool by U.S. Census Bureau to find the area with the highest density of your target market. Determine the habits and personality of the surrounding foot traffic.
Second, the space should also cover the basics, which include access to water, electricity, and sewage. Third is whether or not you are even allowed to serve your products in the area. Keep in mind that you can’t operate near a school or a church with alcohol as your main product.
Another helpful piece of information for your search is whether or not a location has successfully hosted a pop-up in the past. Be in the know of the activities in the neighborhood you are eyeing. Check to see if parking is available or if there are public transports close to your would-be setup.
Landlords will either charge you a fixed monthly rate or a percentage of your gross sales plus the standard rent fee. Remember that if you are looking to make fundamental changes to the place to suit your pop-up bar vision, they may only allow you to make small changes or none at all. It will be extra difficult to convince them to shoulder the costs for that considering that most of these concept-specific renovations tend to be for one-time use only.
An enticing and less expensive option is setting up at an existing restaurant or bar, which will give you built-in marketing and customer access. Note that while your chosen establishment will cover expenses on water, electricity, and more, you will have to split profits with them. For a smoother process, partner with a company that you will get along with.
3. Prepare Yourself Financially
How much does it cost to open a pop-up bar? Depending on the size and the concept, you are looking at tens of thousands of dollars. Apart from the lease, equipment, licenses and permits, insurance, and payroll, you will also consider the fixtures and decorations you will need, especially if you have a crazy, elaborate concept.
There are several options to obtain funding for your pop-up bar. You can apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan that comes with lower interest rates and long-term repayments. Equipment financing can help you secure expensive equipment to make the bar operational.
Industry experience and good financial history are typically required for these loans. If you believe you won’t qualify, you can turn to your family and friends or investors for financial assistance. Crowdfunding is also a great option especially if your concept is based on something with a fan base.
Another excellent alternative is a business credit card, which is best for buying ingredients and supply. It basically works as your pop-up bar’s very own credit card. You can unlock perks and rewards and get cash back and credit. Entrepreneurs with a credit score of 600 have a good chance.
4. Register Your Business And Obtain Necessary Permits
Pop-up bars require the same set of licenses and permits as traditional brick-and-mortar bars. This means you also need to register your business with the local government so you can legally open your pop-up bar to the public. Make sure to visit your local health department for a health permit. A zoning permit is also typically required.
5. Obtain A Liquor License
You need a liquor license to operate a pop-up bar. Your license will depend on the type of drinks you sell, the duration of your operation, and your trading hours. Each state has a different set of requirements and some are easier to apply to than others. Head to your Alcoholic Beverage Control to find out more information and get the application process started.
Temporary liquor licenses are shorter to process, typically no longer than two to three weeks. If you already have a liquor license for your existing business, you might only need to obtain a permit to sell on separate premises if you are setting up somewhere else.
6. Purchase Equipment
A challenge in running a pop-up bar is having to work with limited resources. This is why it is important that every piece of equipment that takes up your space has a functionality vital to the operation.
Make sure that you seek out the best commercial ice machine brands in the industry such as a Maxx cold ice machine for your ice production and excellent undercounter refrigerators and beer systems for keeping your products fresh.
7. Set Up Your Pop-Up Bar
This is the biggest challenge in opening a pop-up bar. You have to make sure it has the right capacity and that it is built to enable consistently high-quality service to customers. It should be physically and financially manageable to bring it to the standards of your operation and your customers. Some use shipping containers or mobile trucks while others keep it simple with a tent and a shiny portable bar.
Keep in mind that pop-up bars limit the space for your equipment and resources. This also means you should always stock up on enough inventory to make sure you get through your trading hours and serve each and everyone that stops by to grab a drink. Typically, this is managed by a pre-fixed menu or a pre-sale of a limited number of tickets.
In setting up, pay extra attention as to how you will protect your equipment, cash register, and your supply. You should have a flexible security system that you can just install and remove especially if you’ll be moving around. Surveillance cameras and point-of-sale monitors will be valuable in protecting your bar. Rolling security gates or glass break monitors should help discourage break-ins.
Also take into account the weather. Make sure that your setup is weather-proof or at least know when to operate if you have a dedicated eating area with no shade.
8. Hire Staff
Depending on the set-up, pop-up bars have a relatively small staff. It is important to hire the right people for the job, considering that they will essentially be the face of your brand. They will communicate the business and the products to customers, so it is crucial that they are knowledgeable and personable. If you are going with pop culture themes or Halloween, your employees should also be comfortable wearing costumes or doing performances.
9. Advertise Your Pop-Up Bar
Social media is word of mouth amplified. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are going to be your friends. You’d be surprised how a cool picture of your bar or drink can do. However, don’t neglect tapping into the power of press releases, which can help you snag media attention for a greater reach.
When marketing and promoting your bar, embrace the uniqueness of your concept to really speak to your target customers.
Brands big and small are using pop-up bars all over the world to advance their businesses. It is predicted that this industry is just going to grow, and so even though pop-up bars operate temporarily, they sure look like they are here to stay.
Each component from the glassware to the garnishes plays a specific role in getting that perfectly carbonated glass of beer or full-flavored sparkling your customer is after. So before you pour that drink, make sure you give your patrons the enjoyable experience they deserve by keeping these five tips in mind!
Even worse, these states are most likely at capacity already and won’t entertain new applicants. You might be forced to buy a license from an existing business but at outrageous costs! This is why it is important to understand if adding liquor to your menu makes sense for your business.
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Grab some drinks, grab some friends, and get ready to learn what some of the most trendy, most popular, and most fun yet classic games with cocktails are.
They’re all pink. Why? Because nothing says fun in the sun like a pink party summer cocktail.
All you have to care about is business and rolling in the dough. Of course, it’s a whole lot easier to do that if you know what the big Woman’s Day trends are and how to prepare for them.
It’s a new year, and that means it’s time for the new cocktail trends to emerge! Expert bartenders, bar owners, and mixologists weigh in on this year’s trends.
These winter cocktails are ideal for the festive season. You won’t go wrong serving these. In order to keep up with the fierce competition during this holiday season, it’s imperative you have the right drinks on your menu that’ll keep people warm and coming back for more.
Not sure what kind of wine to bring to the New Year’s party? Nothing heralds the New Year quite like a raised glass of wine. We’ve scoured high and low, and bring you the 10 best drinks that are perfect for gifting this New Year.
Are you looking for ways to boost your winter menu but don’t quite know which wine to add onto the menu?
As Fall gives way to Winter, and the last rays of summer sun disappear, many begin to turn to drinks that’ll help keep them warm. Your customers may begin to start looking for drinks generally associated with the colder months. From ports, to whiskeys, and wines to beers, there’s a range of brews you can add to your winter menu to help keep your patrons happy.
Today, we’re focusing on wines you can serve during winter. Which is the best wine for 2018? Read on to find out more!
For White Wine Lovers
Lovers of white wine will be happy to know that there are white wines out there that are particularly suitable for drinking in winter. Expect to add Rhone white wine varieties and oaked Chardonnays to your winter menu. You’ll want wines that are fuller-bodied instead of the mildly acid-like Sauvignon Blancs which you can enjoy any time of the year.
So, which is the best white wine for 2018?
There’s nothing like the perfect food-wine combination. This is why this winter you should help your patrons pair this classic white wine with oysters, roast chicken served with potatoes and some good old-fashioned gravy. Chardonnays make the ideal white wine choice because of their characteristic richness and all-round wholesomeness.
For Red Wine Lovers
Winter months call for rich, smooth, opulent varieties of red wine. Red wines are typical favorites at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Red wine is particularly favored in winter because of its alluring texture and full-bodied nature. It compliments heartier winter dishes and is best paired with duck, roast beef, game meat, brisket, during winter months.
Our pick for the best red wine for 2018 is the Malbec.
Malbec wines are made from purple grapes which gives them the characteristic deep red color that classifies them as a red wine. Notable Malbec wines originated from France, but regions which produce Malbecs worth mentioning are California, Chile, and Argentina. Malbec wines are generally acidic and have high tannin and alcohol concentrations.
For Rosé Wine Lovers
Wine connoisseurs will tell you that rosé wine is the awkward wine that seems to have an identity crisis. However, this does not discredit the fact that millions of people around the world still love the blush drink. Thanks to its crisp and dry nature, rosé wine is best paired with light salads, pasta, seafood, rice dishes, and goat cheese. This makes it a perfect choice at restaurants and bars. According to the Centre de Recherche et d’Experimentation sur le Vin Rosé located in the southern part of France, it has been noted that the best type of rosé wine to serve during winter is rosé that has a deeper hue of pink.
· Mirabeau Pure Provence Rosé
You won’t go wrong with this wine. In fact, it won several awards in 2017 and has been listed as one of the top 10 rosé wines. If you want to stand out and be known for serving the best rosé wine around, then this is the best wine for 2018.
A few tips to keep in mind about drinking wine in winter.
Use the Appropriate Temperature When Storing Wine
The temperature of the wine is important. Chilling it too much or warming it too much isn’t good for any type of wine. You don’t want to lose the flavor of the wine. Be sure to regulate the temperatures of your fridges appropriately. If you’re not sure about the ideal temperatures to keep your wine, here’s a guide to help you out.
Use the Correct Drinking Glass
This is so important to properly enjoying the wine. Ensure that your restaurant or bar is equipped with the right kind of glasses to enjoy every kind of wine. Buy rosé wine glasses. Most people try to cut costs by using red wine glasses when serving rosé wine to their patrons. Don’t be cheap, and get the proper wine glasses for each type of wine.
Choose and Stock the Right Wines
You don’t have to buy all the expensive wines. Choose the wines you stock carefully. Read reviews and visit wine estates if there are any in your area. This way you’ll find local wine varieties that are more affordable, unless your restaurant or bar caters to high-end clientele and you need to have the fancier, more expensive options on hand.
Wine All-Year Round
Despite what many think, there is such a thing as the right wine for each season. We hope this guide has been helpful. Now you’ll know which wines to recommend to patrons this winter.
We want you to be successful, that’s why we’ve put together these 10 bar color tips to help you increase the attendance of your bar.
Nobody likes their cocktail warm right?
If you’re also looking for ways to impress during your house party, here are the top six ice types that are guaranteed to keep your drinks cool.
Autumn is the perfect time to try new and exciting drinks. The days are longer– people are looking for drinks that are cool, refreshing, and fun.
Whether you’re a restaurateur, caterer, or bar owner, utilizing your ice machine to make fabulous new drinks and cocktails is a great way to have some fun, entice your customers to keep coming back, and to make some extra money this summer.
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