Starting with one Tucson restaurant in 1998, Fox Restaurant Concepts has blossomed into a group that boasts more than fifty restaurants inspired by sixteen unique concepts.
“Each brand has its very own root and history, background and backbeat. Many come from a gap in the current market or capture a trend about to land. Culinary Dropout, for example, came about in a time when chefs and bartenders were crossing creative borders in every direction—the goal became to stand out in a landscape of people trying to just stay in.”
– Mat Snapp
Snapp shares his top tips for creating a successful beverage program.
Tell us your top tips for creating a successful beverage program.
- Understand that your menu is meant to excite, not alienate.
- Understand your guest and actively listen to them.
- Understand your market and visit its edges often.
- Understand it is not all about you [because] a bartender with no guests is a grocery clerk.
Most of our bar guests aren’t ready for ten kinds of classic cocktails with mezcal variations, but they are willing to try a little here and there if the rest of the words on the menu don’t scare them off.
If you’re hunting a known chardonnay lover with a cocktail made with Sotol, you’re probably going to scare him or her away. But you can probably draw the same chardonnay lover out of the woods with chamomile, tequila, honey and a few drops of joven.
Finally, you have to listen, modify and aim to please.
What does Fox Restaurant Concepts have planned for 2018 and beyond? Can you tell us what to expect?
So much is coming down the pike that I’m worried for the pike. We’re in growth mode. We’re opening restaurants in new markets for us like D.C. and Philly. We’re opening in Miami and Atlanta. We’re taking our home-office brand, The Henry, into big markets like Dallas and Los Angeles.
For me, this means innovation must continue and grow, but education has to keep up.