Good hosts and speedy service more important to cocktail drinkers


Being a good host and serving drinks quickly and quietly are considered more important than theatrics when ordering cocktails in a bar, according to new research.

In a survey commissioned by mixer brand Ben Shaws, only 5% of people visiting bars in the UK wanted “Tom Cruise-style” flair to be part of the experience.

Men voted in favour of drinks being served quickly and quietly and gave value to a bartender knowing their regular order without having to ask.

Women want to find a host, as opposed to a flair bartender, behind the bar and look to be entertained in terms of being encouraged and inspired to try new drinks or combinations.

The survey involved more than 1,000 consumers of a legal drinking age across the UK and gave insight into sales tactics and opportunities for bartenders and owners.

Regionally, bartenders in Southampton are most likely to be expected to offer efficient service, closely followed by those in Leeds. Bar staff in Cardiff by comparison are given the most time to put performance into creating a round of drinks.

Further contrast across the regions emerges when considering the types of consumers who are open to bar staff making recommendations. Frequenters of bars in Edinburgh are the most open to going out of their comfort zone by trying new drinks combinations, unlike those in Birmingham who are inclined to stick to their own traditions.

Personal recommendations for mixers were revealed to be highly influential in terms of sales across the UK – more so than other factors such as price and brand.

The most influential consideration for consumers when choosing a mixer was revealed to be its packaging. The trend for premiumisation is prevalent in the UK on-trade, with glass bottles a popular differentiator.

Nathan Haigh, senior marketing manager at Ben Shaws, said: “Our research certainly provides food for thought as to how best meet the challenge of delivering each consumer’s idea of the perfect serve.

“It’s fair to say bartenders really have their work cut out delivering the optimum bar experience for their clientele. To do this effectively developing trust is essential, whether in knowing a favourite drink or in providing relevant recommendations for those looking to try something new.

“Many bar personnel will be aware of the growing nostalgia trend within the on-trade environment, with brands associated with childhood seeing something of a resurgence in recent times. Our research further supports this with consumers claiming older, traditional brands offer a better taste and a more reliable choice than their alternatives.

“Creating ways to relook at traditional favourites is an opportunity that is wide open for bar staff and one that we encourage them to take.”

Ben Shaws offers a range of 200ml glass mixers including tonic, low calorie tonic, bitter lemon, soda water and lemonade, developed to complement the on-trade spirit offering at a competitive price point.

Previous Ex-Novus operations chief joins Luminar as operations director
Next US college parties inspire new Fireball campaign in UK bars