Focus on Sales/Marketing

Some Juicy Tips for Profits

Drenched in sweat, feeling ex-hausted, a member makes his way for the door after a long, satisfying workout. But why let him leave? He'd probably appreciate a place to sit and a cool, refreshing drink. And that's exactly what a juice bar can provide.

Juice bars give members a nutritious treat plus a place to relax and socialize. Furthermore, juice bars give club operators a profit center.

If you aren't in the juice business, these tips will help you open a successful bar. If you already own a juice bar, these tips will help you run the business better.

  • Treat this area as if it's a separate business. It's important to prepare a small business plan or at least a budget.

  • Establish goals and quotas, with a reward system if they are met or exceeded.

  • Make sure you acquire all permits and licences necessary to build and operate the juice bar.

  • Put the juice bar in a high-traffic area. The best location is usually near the reception area.

  • Make sure the production area is adequate to handle the volume during peak times.

  • Organize all work and storage areas to increase efficiency and decrease confusion and wasted effort.

  • Develop a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) manual for this area.

  • Create separate staff policies and procedures for your juice bar.

  • Have written opening and closing procedures on hand. The juice bar may have different hours of operation than the rest of the club.

  • Make sure you have procedures to ensure inventory control, as poor inventory management can cause a large loss of money. A good computerized cash register will help make controlling the inventory a little easier.

  • Create safety and emergency procedures for the juice bar.

  • Develop step-by-step cleaning procedures for the entire area. You must keep this area immaculate at all times!

  • Utilize your freebies. Most of the large beverage distributors will provide fridges for their product, and will usually allow you to stock a small amount of other products in them.

  • Design the menu to sell what you want to sell. Use the principles of gaze motion to find the hot spots on your menu.

  • Prioritize and simplify your beverage menu. It's better to have fewer items on your menu that do well than have many items that don't.

  • If possible, look at offering cold and hot items on the menu. Specialty coffees and teas are popular these days.

  • Try to keep the items on your menu as nutritious as possible. Your customers will expect this.

  • Make sure that your juice-bar staff is well instructed on how to prepare all the items on the menu. A photo of the finished product, along with a step-by-step explanation, is one of the best ways to help achieve consistency.

  • Be aware of the power of bundling items and offering them at a special price.

  • Offer weekly specials. This will help encourage customers to try different items on the menu.

  • During busy times, make sure you have an adequate number of servers to handle the members' requests.

  • Survey customers and non-customers on a regular basis.

  • Train staff on the use of food preparation equipment and the use of the cash register.

  • Allow your members to put items on a tab as this will help increase sales. All tabs must be backed up with a credit card, and you must make sure you have members sign a form allowing you to charge their account.

  • Provide new club members with a book of discount coupons that can be used in the juice bar.

  • Have current members sample new items on the menu. Have a staff member take a tray of sample items out onto the fitness floor and encourage as many different members to try the items and give their feedback.

  • Promote the juice bar in the club newsletter and use posters throughout the club to generate interest.

  • As with any business, always try to exceed the customers' expectations. They will not only come back, but will also tell their friends.

  • Finally, don't get all caught up in opening up and operating a juice bar and lose sight of what your main business is: acquiring and retaining members.

— Craig Aird is the Canadian editor of BodyLife Magazine and consults to a select number of clubs. During his career, he owned and operated a successful club, and a number of pro shops.


Web Resources

Need some more help getting your juice bar up and running? Then check out these Web sites.

www.juiceconsult.com
The home of Juice & Smoothie Bar Consulting.

www.juicesolutions.com/home.html
Juice Bar Solutions is a team of former juice bar owner/operators who have joined together. They cover everything from finding products to designing menus.

www.astuk.com/products-by-keywords/juice-bar.html
Don't feel like paying big bucks to a consultant? No problem. This site lists book titles written for the juice-bar business. And if you like what you see, you can order right away from amazon.com.

www.europasports.com/JuiceBar.htm
Although this is a marketing site for Europa Sports Products, this page (titled Juice Bar Marketing 101: What You Need To Know) still contains plenty of useful tips.

www.jmlproducts.com
Another company specializing in juice-bar consulting and products.

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