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Signature Drink Inventory PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric S. Chen   
Thursday, 15 June 2006
Besides giving your customers something special to enjoy, your Signature Drink recommendations can help you manage your inventory.
copyright 2006 Eric S. Chen for

My father-in-law, who worked for years as a Chinese restaurant cook, told me "never buy the special!" His profession taught him to do a "special" with whatever the restaurant had that was still good...but might not be good by tomorrow.

Or, as my father, who used to buy food for his four kids by the case, still says, "quick, eat it before it rots!"

Espresso bars don't have ingredients like fish or fruit to worry about. (At least, mine doesn't.) However, sharp baristi keep an eye on the expiration dates on their other supplies - including flavor syrups.

Say you have several bottles of Hazelnut syrup that will expire in a few days, and you usually go through only one bottle a week.

You wouldn't serve stale-dated supplies (I know you wouldn't!). Store policy may prohibit you from putting anything "on sale." What to do?

Easy: put up a Featured Signature Drink that includes Hazelnut. You can invent one easily enough. Simply list it prominently on the menu board, at the register or wherever and the sale of Hazelnut drinks will go up. Even if store policy limits your flexibility on the menu board, you can still make a verbal recommendation when a customer asks (or hesitates, for that matter).

Not only will your manager appreciate how you work to maintain store profitability, you will probably also delight some customers with your new concoction that they never tried before.

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