Follow these 5 tips to increase your pizzeria's bar sales.

Turn your pizzeria’s bar area into a guest-friendly hangout and a major profit zone.

Kara Hoffman

In many restaurants, the bar area is often treated as a way station for guests, a temporary stop en route to their destination: the dining area. But some patrons prefer to hang out and eat at the bar—the lively, informal atmosphere creates a more convivial experience, particularly for singles or a group of friends looking to meet up with other friends. Are you taking advantage of this opportunity by making your bar a guest-friendly hangout and profit zone? If not, here are some tips to consider:

1) Create a draft beer program. Draft beer offers high profit margins, and many customers prefer it over beer from a bottle. Draft beer is also great for informal gatherings of friends or co-workers. Whenever possible, offer local or regional draft beer selections—today’s customers increasingly prefer handcrafted brews to the major national brands.

2) Offer pizza-and-beer pairing suggestions. At the very least, train your bartenders and wait staff to recommend the right craft brews for the right pizza. An alternative approach would be to list pairing suggestions on your menu.

3) Offer wines from emerging regions. Today’s wine drinkers know that wines don’t have to come from Bordeaux or Napa Valley to be good. Look for less expensive but high-quality varietals from Brazil, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa.

4) Use suggestive selling. If a guest asks for a vodka and tonic, train your staff to immediately offer a suggestion for a specific premium or super-premium vodka brand, such as Grey Goose or Ketel One. If he asks about your beers on tap, steer him toward one of your higher-quality brands and emphasize the local or regional angle.

5) Develop signature infusions. You can transform any spirit into a sensational signature drink by infusing it with fresh fruit, such as strawberries, watermelon, kiwis or sundried tomatoes, to name a few. Create your infusions in a decorative jar and place it in a prominent spot on the bar to draw attention while the fruit marinates. Within a few days, you’ll have a signature drink that’s colorful, flavorful and, best of all, unique to your restaurant. And customers will naturally notice the jar and want to try it out!

Rick Hynum is PMQ’s editor-in-chief.

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Chef's Corner: Leah Scurto - Rosemary Sicilian Grandma Pie

Chef Leah Scurto shares the secret to her victory at the 2018 West Coast U.S. Pizza Cup with the Rosemary Sicilian Grandma Pie.

Pizza Without Borders: Italy’s Polyamorous Affair With Specialty Flour

Pizza makers try to find a way to make themselves unique in the market

Recipe of the Month—Khachapuri Stuffed Bread With Mozzarella, Feta Cheese and Baked Egg

This overseas treat can wow your customers, featuring Saputo Premium Gold Mozzarella

SmartMarket: MPP Marketing takes a fresh look at sustainability for pizzeria printing services

Paper to Trees: Marketing with Integrity

Make the most of your meats

Chefs and operators weigh in on the most in-demand Italian meats of the moment.

SmartMarket: Operators Turn Heads With Signature Menu Items from Caputo

Leading industry cheese manufacturer Caputo Cheese in Melrose Park, IL, offers custom cheese solutions to inspire innovation.

How gift cards can help your store give the gift of pizza—and make a little money in the process

Gift cards provide a plethora of marketing opportunities, especially around the bustling holiday season.

Celebrate National Pizza Month with this art from our readers

For National Pizza Month, we here at PMQ wanted to engage our readers’ creativity, and what better way to do so than letting them create our National Pizza Month cover art?

Chicago is my kind of town

PMQ's managing editor expounds upon his experiences with Chicago-style pizza and what you can look forward to in the October issue of PMQ Pizza Magazine.

Keep your thin crust from becoming tough and chewy

The Dough Doctor offers a few tips on how to keep your crust crisp.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags