Cheers to the Positive
Tuesdays are a time to celebrate.
For every glass ordered, Pops f
Back in April, Tom Verhey, owner of Chicago’s Pops for Champagne, came up with an idea to help those less fortunate
find work, while simultaneously encouraging his patrons to celebrate
something every single week.
The Toast on Tuesday promotion invites guests to come in each
week and raise a glass to anything in their lives that is going well.
“With all the doom and gloom going on in the news,” explains
Verhey, “I thought it would be nice to spend a day celebrating each
week. It could be anything people want to toast — an upcoming
trip, a new friend — anything. We normally offer two pours for our
Champagnes, a 3-ounce and a 5-ounce, and on Tuesdays, guests can
choose any of the 12 Champagnes by the glass on our menu and pay
the 3-ounce price for 5 ounces.”
or Champagne donates $1 to the Chicago Jobs Council organization,
which is dedicated to helping those less fortunate find employment and career advancement opportunities.
“So far, we have done this for three weeks, and we have raised over $500. We are averaging between
60 and 100 glasses sold per event.”
The promotion has been such a success that Verhey plans to continue it for at least three months.
“We estimate that 25 percent of the people coming in on Tuesdays now are here specifically for the
promotion. The type of crowd we get in here is extremely varied,” he says. “It’s everyone from visitors
— since we are located downtown — to the after-work local crowd. We have done some advertising
on table tents and through our PR firm, but mainly it’s word of mouth. We explain the promotion to every
person that comes in, and once people come by on a Tuesday and enjoy the discount and the great
atmosphere, they tend to return. The saying is true: ‘The more you celebrate life, the more there is in life
General manager Kari Olsen urges bartenders
to concoct cocktails using Kai vodka.
At Red Square, located in Mandalay Bay Resort
and Casino in Las Vegas, the
menu features 30 cocktails
and vodkas from around the
globe. One vodka that sells
particularly well in cocktails
is Kai, made in Vietnam.
The increased sales on this
brand are due mostly to a
staff incentive program headed up by general
manager Kari Olsen.
“We do an incentive program every few
months where we allow the bartenders to create
a drink with Kai, either the regular or the lychee
flavor, and then the entire staff gets to vote for
the favorite and that drink is added to the menu,”
she says. “We have done this about three or four
times, and the staff gets really into it.”
At a pre-shift meeting, the group gathers to
taste the different cocktails and fill out comment
cards on which they like best and why.
highlighted in any way
explain why they like
the ones that they do
helps the bartenders
get feedback and an
idea of what people
are looking for in
taste,” Olsen explains.
“The winning cocktail
is not separately
on the actual menu,
but it’s usually a big seller since the winning
bartender always suggests it, and the servers
feel a little more attached to it, so they promote
it tableside as well.”
Kai supplies the bartenders with sample bottles to
play with so the bar doesn’t work through the stocked
product. The most recent winner is the Kai Blossom,
which appears on the spring/summer menu.
“We estimate,” Olsen continues, “that these
cocktails account for at least 30 percent of our
overall cocktail sales each night.”
Create blended drinks and
Consistent blends every
Pre-set programs eliminate
Pulse Control to easily
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