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Thread: Liquor pricing structure

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    7

    Lightbulb Liquor pricing structure

    Hi,
    I see lot’s of posts on here regarding equipment, security, and so on, but I haven’t seen any posts regarding the “Bread & Butter” of the industry… Drinks and their price structure. If your drink prices aren't priced "properly", you can only point the finger at yourself for losing money.

    Let’s start a discussion on how your establishment prices its products. Let's assume all shots are 1 oz in size.

    A) Well /Rail grade liquor. (Vodka, Rye, Rum, Gin).


    B) Premium liquor/liqueurs (Bailey's, kahlua, Amaraetto, etc)


    C) Extra Premium liquor (Grey Goose, Belvedere, Ketal one, etc)


    D) Extraoridinary liquor (Patron, etc).



    DRINKS MADE WITH THE ABOVE LIQUORS

    Shooters - Made from a mixed concoction of Well & Premium liquors (for the most part).
    What price level do you use for these?


    Bombs - Made usually from a premium liquor (Jager, Flavored smirnoff Vodka) and energy drink. Do you sell these as a "shooter" and make the customer buy a tin of energy drink on the side, OR do you sell these in the plastic bomb cups (with the 1 once shot surrounded by the energy drink). Which way do you sell these and how do price it.



    Martini's (2 oz) - Some martini's use primarily the lower priced Well vodka/gin, and some martini's are made from all premium liquors. Do you have 2-tier pricing on these?



    Single shots vs Double Shots - How do you go about pricing these? Do you double the price for a double, or do you give a "discount" for the second shot? If so, how much of a % discount for the second ounce?




    Mixers - Pop and Juice. Do you charge extra for juice mixers (cranberry, pineapple, orange juice, sour mix, barlime, etc).




    Take this example. Someone orders a shot of well rye and says to add Sour to it and asks them to shake it. Take another example. Vodka and Cranberry. What price level do you charge?





    Cocktails
    Now, i've seen some bars make all "Cockails" a standard 1.5 oz of combined alcohol (Tequila sunrise, Zombie's, Caesars, Mudslides, Melonball, Whiskey sours, Amaretto Sours, etc).
    To use the above method tho, means that you have to alter the original recipes. If your making one of the drinks that calls for 4 or 5 alcohols, you're gonna have to make 1/4 oz pours to achieve a 1.5 oz drink.


    Do you do use the "1.5 oz" method, or do you try and keep with the original recipie and charge accordingly for how much alcohol goes into it? (1 oz, 1.5 oz, 2 oz, 2.5 oz). If so, tell us how you structure your prices. Are they based on the Premium liquor prices or well prices?


    For instance: Let's say your wells are $3.75 and let's say your Premiums are $4.50. Let's say someone orders a 2oz Black Russian (1 oz well Vodka, 1 oz Kahlua).
    How would you price this drink? (your stragedy). Feel free to add your own drink example as well.





    Hopefully this post will become a sticky for all to see. I think it's going to be a great source for everyone to refer to.
    Please try and stay on topic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    201
    If some of the veterans would like to add to this thread I would be a very happy camper

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    21
    Search "Liquor Prices" and you'll find a lot of topics on this. However it seems your looking for specific examples. When first researching how to set prices I sought out the same information, however I've since realized from reading a lot of these threads that your drink prices are affected by so many variables.

    For example:

    • How much do you need to make to re-coop costs? Effectively, your price minimum.
    • How much will customers pay for a product and return for more? Your price maximum.


    Even these variables have other variables:

    • What is your target demographics' level of income?
    • Is your bar serving food? Is it a dive, faux-dive, spirit specific (whiskey-bar, tequila-bar), nightclub, strip-club, or vintage cocktail bar, dueling piano, or British pub?
    • Where is your bar located? I've paid $.35c $1, $5, $7.50, $9, $11 and $17 for a single Corona at different bars at different cities around the country/world.

    There's a great thread on pour costs and profit margins that's recommended reading.

    Hope this helps start your topic discussion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    105
    The single best thing to do is to check out your nearby competitors and see what they are charging.

    Comparing prices between bars in totally different cities and states is not that meaningful.

    Having said that, I'll play along.

    I generally charge $4 shot/$5 neat or highball for wells, and $5/$6 for calls. Really premium stuff depends on the brand as the price can vary a lot.
    Martinis I add $3 to the base price (same as double)
    My beers range from $2.50 - $9.00 but I tend to sell more of the cheaper ones ($5 and under)
    I also offer a lot of beer/shot combo specials

    I think my prices are pretty low for the city I am in, but that is what my demographic wants.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Atlanta GA
    Posts
    35
    Response:
    I will contribute to this thread, because I was really thirsty (!) for these answers about a year ago, and looked through every old post there was on this topic and still had to figure a lot of it out myself. I absorbed everything I could from this forum about pricing, plus did a lot of research on the local market, to come up with our pricing structure.

    This may not be the best way to organize the info, but instead of directly answering your questions, I will give an overview of our pricing, and then see if I've missed anything specific that you asked about.


    ALL PRICES INCLUDE SALES & EXCISE TAXES.

    BEER
    $3. 12 oz cans. Budweiser, Bud Lite, Miller Lite.
    16 oz can. PBR.

    $4. 12 oz cans. Yeungling. Corona. Heinekin.

    $5. 14.9 oz can. Guiness Pub Draught.

    WINE
    $4. 5 oz serving. Yellow Tail Chardonnay or Yellow Tail Shiraz/Cabernet.


    LIQUOR.
    Prices for 9 oz mixed drink with ice. 1.25 oz pour.
    Individual shot is 1.0 oz pour, for $1 less.
    Additional $1 for Red Bull as mixer.

    $4. Well brands - vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey.

    $5. Call brands. Smirnoff vodka. Bacardi, Malibu Coconut and Captain Morgan's rum. Jose Cuervo Gold tequila. Jack Daniels. Dewar's White Label scotch. Seagram's 7. Bushmill whiskey.

    Also includes Bailey's, Jagermeister, Goldschlager, Kahlua, Southern Comfort.

    Premium.
    $6. Bombay Sapphire gin, Maker's Mark bourbon, Crown Royal, Grand Marnier. Hennessy VS
    $7. Grey Goose & Ketel One vodka, Patron Silver, Glenlivet & Chivas Regal.


    * * *
    Drinks "on the rocks" or requests for a double will be a 2.0 oz liquor pour, for additional charge of $3 ($2 for well drinks).

    No extra charge for well liqueurs, brandy, schnapps, etc. as part of drink.

    * *
    Bottle water: $1 or $2, depending on the event
    Can of soda - 12 oz: $2
    Can of red bull (8.3 oz): $4

    ************************************

    DRINKS MADE WITH THE ABOVE LIQUORS

    Shooters - Made from a mixed concoction of Well & Premium liquors (for the most part).
    What price level do you use for these?

    Response:
    Don't do a lot of these, but would be priced based on the amount and type of liquor.


    Bombs - Made usually from a premium liquor (Jager, Flavored smirnoff Vodka) and energy drink. Do you sell these as a "shooter" and make the customer buy a tin of energy drink on the side, OR do you sell these in the plastic bomb cups (with the 1 once shot surrounded by the energy drink). Which way do you sell these and how do price it.

    Response:
    We use the bomb cups and price using the basic pricing structure.

    Jager shot is $4 ($5 for basic 1.25 oz pour, less $1 for 1.0 oz shot). Red Bull as mixer is $1 extra. So Jager Bomb is $5.

    Martini's (2 oz) - Some martini's use primarily the lower priced Well vodka/gin, and some martini's are made from all premium liquors. Do you have 2-tier pricing on these?

    Response:
    We're still evaluating martini price structure. We're not a fancy place, no glasses, let alone martini glasses. Biggest problem I see is that any customer's expectation of a martini is a helluva lot more liquor than 2 oz. If a martini is requested, we price martinis based on the regular pricing structure but are evaluating a possible change.

    Single shots vs Double Shots - How do you go about pricing these? Do you double the price for a double, or do you give a "discount" for the second shot? If so, how much of a % discount for the second ounce?

    Response:
    See above. Regular pour is 1.25 oz. We consider a "double" to be 2.0 oz for $2 more for well drinks (for a total $6 for a double well drink) or $3 more for other drinks (double Jack Daniels and coke would be $8; double Grey Goose & cranberry would be $10).


    Mixers - Pop and Juice. Do you charge extra for juice mixers (cranberry, pineapple, orange juice, sour mix, barlime, etc).

    Response:
    We don't charge extra for juice mixers, but when we run specials, it is definitely not on drinks that have pineapple juice in them.


    Cocktails
    Now, I've seen some bars make all "Cocktails" a standard 1.5 oz of combined alcohol (Tequila sunrise, Zombie's, Caesars, Mudslides, Melonball, Whiskey sours, Amaretto Sours, etc).
    To use the above method tho, means that you have to alter the original recipes. If your making one of the drinks that calls for 4 or 5 alcohols, you're gonna have to make 1/4 oz pours to achieve a 1.5 oz drink.

    Do you do use the "1.5 oz" method, or do you try and keep with the original recipie and charge accordingly for how much alcohol goes into it? (1 oz, 1.5 oz, 2 oz, 2.5 oz). If so, tell us how you structure your prices. Are they based on the Premium liquor prices or well prices?


    For instance: Let's say your wells are $3.75 and let's say your Premiums are $4.50. Let's say someone orders a 2oz Black Russian (1 oz well Vodka, 1 oz Kahlua).
    How would you price this drink? (your stragedy). Feel free to add your own drink example as well.

    Response:
    We have not documented in detail lots of drinks (although I think we probably should, since there are so many different ways to approach it), but drinks should follow standard recipe and then price accordingly. For example, if someone orders a Black Russian at our place, I would probably say that it should be based on our 1.25 oz pour. That would be $5 for Kahlua, and $4 for 1.25 oz of well vodka, which is $9. That seems pretty steep. On the other hand, maybe I should just treat the well vodka as if it is a liqueur or schnapps, that is just treated like a mixer as far as price. That would price a Black Russian at only $5. Hmmmm.

    My challenge with a drink like a Black Russian is that, even as you've described it, it is only 2 oz of drink. This looks very lonely in a 9 oz cup, even with ice. Customer pays $9, looks at it and says, "is that all?" This is an area I will need to evaluate further.


    Vodka and cranberry juice is easy. 9 oz cup. 1.25 oz pour. Price just depends on which vodka they want.

    We sell Long Island Iced teas (well) in 12 oz cup for $5.

    ******
    We're ready to make some tweaks to our pricing.
    Raising wine price from $4 to $5.
    Dropping Jose Cuervo tequila and only carrying well tequila and Patron.
    We're trying to feature Ketel One a lot instead of Grey Goose.


    Hopefully this post will become a sticky for all to see. I think it's going to be a great source for everyone to refer to.
    Please try and stay on topic.
    Find YOUR Center .. at Spring4th Center, Atlanta's Alternative Event Venue. www.spring4th.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    I live in central mass
    Posts
    641
    What I do for pricing drinks with two or more liquors.....if it is two liqors, I divide the price for each liquor by 2 then add the numbers. If it is three divide by 3, etc. It is easy for the bartenders to remember how to price drinks. Long Island I ce Tea 12 oz $4.50 (it is a bottle of the 5 liquors mixed together) you add the sour mix and coke after the 2 oz pour. If it is a tall, 16 oz, I use all well free poured and charge $8.00. Anastaziax, your prices are pretty close to what I charge!
    The martinis are about 1 1/2 times the price of the brand of liquor otherwise it is so expensive people won't buy it.
    Black Russians should be put into a 3 oz glass and it won't look so lonely in a regular bar glass. It also looks classier in my opinion.
    Barbara

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    201
    haha anastaziax,

    $4 for a glass of yellow tail. The whole bottle costs $4 basically. Your making quite a good profit margin on that if your selling a bunch. Thanks for the info though it is greatly appreciated!

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