If there’s anyone who knows how to run a profitable bar that fires on all cylinders, it’s Sunny Saha.
With a background in both working and helming food and beverage programs in a range of luxury hotels across Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Hawaii, Saha is currently the director of food and beverage at California’s towering InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. Located 1,100 feet above street level, the hotel’s range of bars and eateries boast awe-inspiring views of the City of Angels below, whether from its expansive 70th-floor Lobby Lounge, lush steakhouse La Boucherie or polished sushi spot Sora.
According to Saha, the secret to increasing profits always starts with customer relations. “It’s so important to provide consistently friendly guest services and maintain high employee morale as the two go hand in hand,” he explains. “When your employees are happy, they’re able to provide a more genuine, enjoyable experience for the guest.” It’s a facet that Saha stresses, noting that the hotel has decidedly “placed emphasis on our customer service and staff morale which our customers have definitely noticed. Positive guest experiences with both the staff and the beverages leads to repeat business.”
Another key concern is the general quality of the product, with Saha noting one misconception, is that utilizing less expensive products will lead to higher profit. “This is simply not the case,” he explains. “Higher quality cocktails will lead to more sales which will, in turn, generate more profit. It’s always in the venue’s best interest to invest that extra funding into better quality ingredients.”
According to Saha, an additional piece of the puzzle lies in sustainability. “Being sustainable absolutely boosts profits,” Saha points out. “Guests across the globe are more ecologically and health aware than they have ever been before. If your offerings are healthier and more sustainable, you’ll likely end up with a larger market share.”
And in Saha’s vast experiences, there’s another recurring downfall that can happen just as the bottle hits the glass. “Throughout my years, I’ve also seen quite a bit of over-pouring,” he says. “It’s just another common form of monetary waste.”
Sunny Saha’s Quick Tips to Driving Profits at the Bar
Keep Your Employees Happy: to ensure guests have a genuinely fun and authentic experience and return for more, be sure your employees feel well attended for and satisfied in their workplace.
Don’t Cut Corners: Higher quality products will generate more sales, in turn increasing profits.
Become Sustainable: Using the latest Zero-Waste tactics at your bar will draw in more mindful customers and generate less monetary waste.