How to Upsell Drinks and Increase Profitability at Your Bar


Every bar owner knows that in order to remain profitable, they need to find creative ways to increase their sales. This can be done in a bunch of different ways!

But where do you start? How do you even begin to tackle the problem of making more money at your bar? Well, here to make your life a bit easier is the crew at Local Bartending School. Our instructors and team of professionals have years of experience optimizing bars across the world. So let us help you!

Are you ready? Here’s a full-on guide on how to sell more drinks and increase your bottom-line profitability.

Your New Plan: Pick Out the Premium Purchaser

On top of getting my degree in hospitality, I studied psychology and even earned a minor in the field. I’m not bragging, but instead, about to let you in on a little psych secret.

Do you know how our regulars sometimes actually enjoy picking premium liquor? Well, we’re picking out a premium purchaser and we’re really going to enjoy it. This starts with understanding your customer and client base.

Once you know who your customers are (and which ones are more likely to go for an upsell), you can start targeting them with special offers and discounts for high-value items. By doing this, you’ll be able to sell more to those customers who are most likely to order a premium drink and not waste your time and effort selling to the wrong person.

Screaming Specials and Making them Stupid-Proof

Signs are an easy solution. Almost too easy, really. But hey, it works!

Utilizing chalkboards or other signs around your establishment is an effective way of advertising specials or promotions for premium drinks. This not only helps draw attention to these items but also encourages customers to order them over regular items.

This is a tactic that also makes things a bit easier for your guests—stupid proofing if you will.

Instead of wasting time suggesting specialty cocktails and searching for what your guest may like, a sign full of specials eliminates the need to flip through a cocktail list or ask a million questions. You’ll save time and your check average goes up! Win-win!

Make Your Cocktails Memorable with Unique Names

You want customers to feel special when they come into your establishment, so why not use some branding to give your cocktails a unique, special spin? After all, they can only find a drink as delicious as yours at your bar! So it deserves a kick-ass name.

For example, if one of your signature cocktails contains vodka, lime juice, and grapefruit soda, you could call it the “Vodka Grapefruit Go-Getter” – something that sets it apart from other vodka-based cocktails on the market.

The Power of Knowledgeable Staff: Unlocking the Benefits of Educating Your Employees on Wine & Drink Specials

It’s important that all of your staff know what specials are available at any given time in order to help promote them effectively. So, avoid this common mistake and don’t leave them in the dark!

Educating your staff about all wine & drink specials will ensure that everyone is able to answer any questions customers may have about certain offerings and make helpful suggestions if needed.

Make sure your staff is up to speed on all of those delicious, delightful drink and wine promos. Even the hosts and bussers!

A knowledgeable crew can answer any questions that customers throw their way with ease… not to mention make brilliant recommendations.

Remember, nothing boosts sales like a bit o’ savvy advice paired with carefully crafted libations.

The easiest way to knowledge-up your staff? A daily pre-shift meeting. It’s cost-effective, time-saving, and a surefire way to increase your sales in general. Here’s a little training video.

The Benefits of Tailoring Strategies Based on Age, Gender, and Other Factors

It’s important that you use different marketing tactics for different purposes such as gender or age group in order to maximize profits from these efforts. For example, if you’re targeting younger drinkers then using social media campaigns might be more effective than traditional print ads or vice versa for older generations.

So if you have an older crowd in mind, that ad might be more effective than the newest TikTok dance challenge.


Experience the Unexpected: Elevate Your Bar with Craft Cocktails and Unforgettable Flavors

Selling more drinks in a bar is an essential part of making more money for bartenders, so it’s important to offer as much perceived value as possible!

Value can be more than just price—it’s all about finding the right combination of affordability and quality. Think outside the box: Why not offer a cocktail for $15 that stands out from your selection of domestic and imported beers? With enticing flavors or unique presentations, customers may see the higher price tag as more of an investment in an extraordinary experience that they can’t get elsewhere rather than simply an expensive drink!

Create the Perfect Ambiance and Reap the Rewards: How to Craft an Atmosphere that Draws in Patrons and Increases Revenue

Bartenders and bar owners everywhere can make more money simply by creating the right ambiance for their guests and regulars!

Paying attention to cleanliness, glassware selection, and beer temperatures can help keep patrons in your bar for a longer period of time, thus improving the likelihood that more drinks–and more money–will be involved in the evening.

Additionally, if your establishment is filled with a festive and inviting atmosphere, diners and drinkers may find themselves more likely to order an extra drink or two with their meal or dessert. So, create the right ambiance and you’ll be on track to greater financial success!

Don’t believe me? Here’s a story from one of our instructors at LBS that illustrates just how powerful ambiance can be.

The small bar tucked away in the corner of town had been struggling to stay open for months. Business was slow, and it seemed like no one wanted to come hang out here. But then something amazing happened: word got out about their festive holiday decor.

It started with a few string lights draped over the doorways and windows, but soon enough they had transformed the entire place into a winter wonderland! Suddenly they were filled with customers – all eager to experience this cozy atmosphere that made them feel right at home.

They created events around it too; hosting weekly hot cocoa nights complete with marshmallows and cinnamon sticks, as well as trivia nights where guests could win festive prizes like candy canes or snowman mugs. People couldn’t get enough of this unique ambiance – it felt so inviting and warm even during these cold winter nights!

Before long, people from all over town were flocking to this little bar for an escape from their everyday lives into a magical world of holiday cheer. The owners couldn’t be more thrilled – thanks to some creative decorations, their business went from nearly closing its doors forever to becoming one of the hottest spots in town!

Bar Owners! Here’s a Guide Just for You: Ways to Make More Money as a Bar Owner

If you’re looking to make more money as a bar owner, there are a few things you can do.

First, you can increase your prices. This may not be the most popular option, but it’s certainly the quickest way to boost your bottom line. Second, you can offer discounts and promotions. This is a great way to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back. Finally, you can improve your product. This could mean anything from investing in better quality liquor to hiring a mixologist to create unique cocktails.

🤑 How to Increase Your Prices

First, you don’t want to price yourself out of the market. Second, you need to be strategic about when and how you raise your prices. And third, you need to make sure your prices are still competitive. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to successfully raise your prices without losing business.

🤑 How to Offer Discounts and Promotions

If you’re looking to offer discounts and promotions, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. You need to make sure your discounts are enticing enough to attract new customers. Be strategic about when and how you offer discounts so that you don’t devalue your product. And finally, make sure your promotions don’t cannibalize your profits.

Increase Your Bar’s Profitability and Drink Sales with Local Bartending School

Selling more drinks can be difficult but with the right strategy in place, it can absolutely be done!

By understanding who your customer base is, utilizing signs and branding appropriately, educating staff members about products/specials available, and making sure marketing efforts are tailored towards specific demographics–bars can drastically increase their sales numbers while increasing their overall profitability! So get behind that bar, set the mood and specials, and start selling those delicious drinks!

Before I leave you, I wanted to say I know how difficult it’s difficult to figure out ways to increase sales and optimize your revenue. I’ve managed and run bars for over 15 years now.

But let me tell you, Local Bartending Schools can make the process painless and profitable! 💰👈🏼 😁

With an experienced team of tutors, you can learn the ins and outs of increasing your bottom line quickly without sacrificing quality. With this guide, you now have the means to generate more sales and profits in no time.


If you want to really see what difference this program teaches or find out how it could help your business, just go ahead and give it a try! From remote training classes to an online support system – the school offers options for all types of bars regardless of size or philosophy.

Let us show you how our instructors can help bar owners like you expand their profits with comprehensive training programs.

It’s never been easier to learn how to boost profits in your bar business than with specialized classes (like flair bartending!) from Local Bartending School. Take advantage of our introductory offer and sign up today for a course that fits into your schedule! Learn how to make more money with our virtual training classes from the comfort of your home.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity for success: By reaching out, you’re already one step closer to optimizing your earnings today with Local Bartending School!

Carrie Jean Lipe

Carrie Lipe has been writing creatively since childhood but jump-started her professional writing after college. She's an Indiana native, Ball State Hospitality graduate, and a bartender with over 10+ years in the industry. You can find her making basil Moscow mules when she's not writing. Follow her professional journey on Instagram! @contentbycarriejean