CESA: Back-bar basics

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Profit, Alcoholic beverage, Coffee

In the current economic climate publicans are looking for new ways to generate extra income. The back bar can be a key element to this - there are...

In the current economic climate publicans are looking for new ways to generate extra income. The back bar can be a key element to this - there are plenty of potential sales opportunities that pubs may not be not exploiting yet.

Examples include smoothies and cocktails, speciality coffees and posh paninis. All can be made back of bar using compact equipment and all can deliver big profits.

Cocktails go with holidays and celebrations - from summertime to Christmastime, they fit. A good cocktail blender needn't cost a fortune but it should have a powerful motor and blades that can cope with ice cubes.

The type of blender that suits your business will depend on the kind of drinks you want to serve - for example, you may want to offer smoothies (another fashionable profit earner) alongside straight cocktails.

It's relatively easy to create menus for both cocktails and smoothies - most manufacturers should be able to supply you with ideas or even recipe books. Alternatively, a few minutes research on the web will pay dividends.

Speciality coffee is another big profit earner. In fact, just a few pence of ingredients can convert to anything from £1.50 to £2.50 for a cup, or even more with a little imagination and effort. Drop-for-drop it's more profitable than any alcoholic drink

These days a back bar espresso machine needn't require skill and time to create great coffee - automatic systems are getting better as they get simpler, and untrained staff can get a high quality cup at the press of a button.

The main issue is cost: a top of the range machine can be a major investment, so if you are on a tight budget or unsure of your needs, it's worth considering a loan machine - although this will tie you in to a specific coffee provider. The coffee pays for the machine, so inevitably the ingredients cost per cup will be more.

The panini has become hugely popular in recent years. In reality it's not much more than a toasted sandwich with extra glamour, yet it commands a premium price that delivers extra profits. What's more, paninis can be simple and fast to prepare back of bar and, if required, the panini grill can be used for other foods, such as standard toasties and burgers.

It is a great way to extend a pub's foodservice hours - late night drinkers often go hungry, or even worse go on to a takeaway. A panini will fill the gap while making sure that all the proft stays at the pub.

The panini grill is a good example of how dedicated equipment can enhance snacking service. Essentially it's a standard contact grill with ribbed plates to give paninis their essential, appealing striped appearance. It's quick, compact and easy to use and relatively inexpensive to buy.

  • The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) represents over 130 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes. For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk

Related topics: News

Property of the week

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more