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BARtalk | July 2016


Creating Better Bars Means Making Better Choices

Still today, so often you see a $1million dollar bar which chooses a $10 solution that cheapens the guest experience

1. Comfort: From the decor and the appointments, together with great zoning, your brand speaks to your guest and sets a tone.

2. Sound: Quality does not have to cost arms and legs – but it has to be top of the list. Easy control and ability to change volume across your zones is my number one priority

3. Music – both audio and video: We spend a huge amount of time on lists and programs for all our sites, and for me, it takes time in my bars to really feel if my programing is nailed. It’s easy to set up a program based on age, and demographics, and video is “just a must” in today’s modern environment. “Bar meeting restaurant” is a must!

4. Lighting: The right bulbs, effects and features make it all work, and once again quality and easy control is a must. If you cannot control lighting, you won’t ever get it right for all times of the day and night.

5. Beverage: Quality, temperature and freshness aside, variety is the next big success story. We need to develop a range which gives the customer enough choice to feel satisfied.

6. Food: If your brand is developed around food then quality is just the start. Consistency and meeting your brand promise is just so important today. Then comes fame, and confidence in getting a great product to table in a good time.


Could the 4th Industrial Revolution run right over you?


It’s a fast paced and forever changing world and raising the bar on hospitality is no different!!! Developing a Digital Marketing Plan (DMP) has to be the first step to success in the modern day bar and restaurant industry.

Before you even start building today, formulation of this now imperative plan, can make the difference between success and failure.

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt, and this will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people still don’t see it coming.

Threat analysis and true market research into trends and what’s coming is where it starts getting interesting. A strong brand, and making sure it’s aligned with the new guest of today is a given, but new technology and writing digital marketing plans are the norm right now, so if you have not written a digital marketing plan this year….well let’s just say keep reading. Developing a DMP is the number one key to success in the modern day bar industry.

Did any of you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again? Digital cameras were invented in 1975 and many people predicted the change but still many talked about the need for paper film and were confident it would always be needed in some state, but developers just got ready for the change and the rest is history.

The first digital cameras only had 10,000 pixels, and they were a disappointment for a long time. But as with all exponential technologies (refer to “Moore’s law of exponential growth), they soon became way superior and infiltrated mainstream in only a few short years. The same will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture, hospitality and jobs. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age.

Here are some facts to get you thinking. If you are building a new bar today, developing a strong trustworthy brand is number 1 on the list!

  1. Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years and the way we pay, order, view and even try out new products and services will change.
  2. Smart brewery bars with two staff per 150 guests are in operation already using software to fill the gap.
  3. Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and they are now the biggest taxi company in the world.
  4. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.
  5. Artificial Intelligence – computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.
  6. In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.
  7. IBM Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses.
  8. Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.
  9. Autonomous Cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone; it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our grandkids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide.
  10. We now have one accident every 100,000 km. With autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year. Insurance Companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100 xs cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
  11. Real estate will change, because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood. This will affect hospitality.
  12. Clean electric bars and restaurants are coming. Solar is just the perfect mix, but there will be many others to come and that’s just the beginning. Electric cars for example, although they won’t become mainstream until 2020 – it is expected they will be over 94% of the cars on the road.
  13. Another win for the goods industry is 3D goods. At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they have already 3D printed a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
  14. Business Opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to explore, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if the answer is “yes”, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.
  15. Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time. We know hospitality will endure but in what format and how that looks will be very different.
  16. Right now, we have bench top beer brewing systems much like a coffee machine with a canister range that will brew fresh beer each week and many others are to follow.
  17. Most of us now use automated technology in our kitchens to remove staff and improve consistency, and the development of cooking systems to remove staff is excepted to remove 60% of cooking within the next 9 to 14 years.

So are you in the mood to change? Or could the 4th Industrial Revolution run right over you?

I believe the DMP is one key to success in the modern day bar industry right now, and the digital marketing plan sets a winning opportunity. It’s very new right now, and still so much is to come.

For me the goal is this:

  1. It must be a good user experience – fast, entertaining and on point
  2. It’s imperative that we only use reliable content to get the most from the space
  3. Create compelling story based content about our guests and new customers
  4. Monitor and use behavioral data analysis – we need to know the numbers at all times
  5. Integration with all other marketing – ALL brand marketing must match at all times.

Until next time, keep the questions coming and have a great profitable month.



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