In this episode of The Main Course host Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) Executive Editor Barbara Castiglia gets into a spirited discussion about to-go cocktails, 2021 beverage trends and more with Nicole Quist, Beverage Director for bartaco.
Things at bartaco changed when COVID-19 became reality. “We wanted to reimagine what our at-home guests were looking for, and as our CEO says, ‘Hospitality is safety’.”
So, could to-go cocktails work? Quist revamped the menu and researched the laws in the states in which they operate. Not all states allowed for to-go, so they improvised. “In Connecticut, we partnered with a local distillery to bottle spirits together. We were able to get registered in the state and put some people back to work.”
Where legal, the restaurant makes to-go cocktails. The attention to detail and freshness is still the guiding light of the new venture. “We’re still juicing by hand and don’t batch make. We pared down the menu, and the managers have a great system to ensure drinks are fresh,” Quist said. In areas where they can’t sell to-go spirits, they have a new margarita mix called the bonfire margarita.
Quist is optimistic about bar culture’s future, believing that the atmosphere and experience of freshly prepared cocktails will never be replaceable.
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A new episode of The Main Course, our podcast series with MarketScale, is served up every Tuesday and Thursday.