BONUS EPISODE: Today I am joined by Sam Kennis, one of the owners of the Three Wolves whisky bar in Cairns, and we discuss everything from whisky selection, listening to your customers and why it is important to have a well trained knowledgeable team. His goal is to own 20 businesses by the time he's fifty years of age, and based on his current successes I think he's going to make without too much trouble.
Customer Driven Focus
When it comes to selecting spirits there is a lot to choose from, therefore you've got to listen to your customers and be customer driven. Common spirits are always going to be popular, especially when making cocktails, which equates to 75% of sales.
Top shelf spirits are selected after doing a lot of research, talking with Sales Reps and Brand Ambassadors, but also taking note of what your high-end customers want to consume.
Success Drives Success
The Three Wolves whisky bar has been a huge success, and Sam and his two business partners, Darren Barber and Grant Buckham have used the momentum of this success to drive their next spirited business ventures.
Gin Social at the Cairns Hilton was their second business, and they are currently in the process of opening Flamingos Tiki Bar (Rum Bar) and Bay Road Brewery in Sydney.
The key is understanding your business numbers and using this information to guide you when to expand.
The Right Team
You need to have the right team in the right positions for a business to be successful and at the Three Wolves all Bartenders are well trained and know their spirits.
They all have great spirit education and every week they get together for ongoing training. A great Bartender wants to grow and improve continually.
The Right Marketing Strategy
Facebook has been their number one strategy, posting approximately two to three times per week and they've found that video works well. Good looking cocktails always get attention...and so they should. You can easily find the THREE WOLVES and GIN SOCIAL on Facebook and also on Instagram (@threewolvescairns)
Word of mouth has also been very successful, but once again it all comes back to proper training, bartenders knowing how to sell and great cocktails.
Keep Focused On What Works
Sam has often been asked why they have not expanded the size of the Three Wolves and his answer is simple. If they made it bigger, it would lose its unique atmosphere and just become a bar. Small seems to work well, and it's easy to manage.
Sam gives a lot of credit for his success to his two business partners (Darren and Grant). This partnership works because they all have different backgrounds and therefore bring different skillsets to the partnership.
- Know your market
- Have realistic views
- Know your numbers
- Know your competition
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