Taffer's Take: Jon Taffer On How To Keep Your Bar Hot And Contemporary

We are pleased to welcome renowned nightlife expert Jon Taffer on board as a contributor. This is the first entry in his regular column, Taffer's Take.

Let's talk about drinks. Innovative beverages. Cool, new, fresh cocktails.

Drinks and cocktails have trends just like anything else, so spend time with your bartenders learning and keeping up with new recipes, and invite your employees to get creative and try coming up with their own. Don't forget to make sure your cocktails always look appealing — no matter how good they taste, no one's going to keep ordering them if they look weird! Garnish them appropriately and serve them in different and unique glassware.

Flavored spirits are really hot right now — they're always really hot! Make sure you always have the newest flavors and the newest brands close at hand. If you want your bar to be hot and contemporary — if you want to reach the maximum number of people and keep them coming back — then you absolutely have to have hot and contemporary brands. Beer cocktails are also trending right now. So have them. Or at least try them out and see how your customers respond. Switch up your featured drinks often, and find out what your customers love and what they don't. Most importantly, offer interesting specials, not just whatever you ordered too much of.