Showing posts with label marketing and advertising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marketing and advertising. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Rapids Restaurant Equipment Expanding Retail to the Twin Cities

Rapids Restaurant Equipment - St. Paul, MN

Rapids Wholesale to Open Cash & Carry Store in The Twin Cities

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Oct. 2, 2013) -- Rapids Wholesale is proud to announce plans to open a new cash and carry retail store in St. Paul. The 19,000 square foot retail space will carry everything you need for your restaurant, bar, civic organization, church, school, home gourmet kitchen, employee dining facility and more . . . anywhere high quality foodservice, bar equipment and supplies is needed or desired. 

"We have listened to our customers and plan to have plenty of what you need, when you need it -- on hand and ready for immediate use in your facility!" - Joe Schmitt, Co-Owner

The new location will be located conveniently off of highway 280 and Como Ave (next to Appliance Smart). There will be a friendly and knowledgeable group of associates willing and able to assist you with all of your restaurant equipment, bar equipment and supply needs.

Harold Parten has been appointed to be the General Manager of the new facility. Parten comes to us from an extensive retail and wholesale distribution background including the Target Corporation. The store will operate with a staff of 4-6 sales associates and the St. Paul contract and design team will be relocating to the new facility as well. There will be several thousands of items in stock for sale at the new store location.
"I am excited to be a part of the Rapids family and look forward to meeting the talented chefs and foodservice people in the Twin Cities." - Harold Parten, General Manager

The New Rapids Restaurant Store Will Be Located Here

2475 Doswell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Thoughts on St. Patrick's Day Beers and How to Make Green Keg Beer

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and the Irish in me is thirsty in anticipation.  The pubs, the pals, the beers and belly laughs will soon be here.  And here at Rapids Wholesale, we want to make sure your bar is ready for the rush.  There are a few “must have” items that you gotta have in stock to appease the masses of green clad Irish and “one-day honorary Irish” that make it through your door.  Like me, they’re going to be thirsty!

Thirsty for BEER, and lots of it.  So get with your distributors to make sure you’ll have an ample supply.  Just to put things in perspective, Guinness reported selling 3.5 billion pints on St Patty’s day in 2011.  A normal day for them is around 600,000 pints.  So stock up heavy on beer and make sure you’re smart about your selection.

Guinness may be my personal favorite “readily available” Irish beer of all time, but they certainly are not the only player on St. Patrick’s Day.  As the craft beer movement continues to flourish, our tastes are maturing, and you may find yourself in front of a more “selective” crowd.

Since we already mentioned Guinness, let's continue with the stouts.  Other well known Irish stouts you may want to stock include Murphy’s, Beamish, and Mackeson’s.  And there are a ton of craft stouts that are worthwhile, too.  Although they may not immediately conjure images of the Eire, a couple of my personal favorite stouts would be Left Hand’s Nitro Milk Stout, anything from Founder’s, Bell’s Black Note, Old Rasputin Imperial, and luckily local to me, Millstream’s Back Road Oatmeal Stout.

Be sure to serve your stouts in the proper glass.  I prefer an English pub glass, but if you put it in an American Shaker pint, I’m not gonna turn it down! Ha!  And remember, if you’re getting a keg of Guinness for your home bar, they take different plumbing as well.  You need to get the right keg coupler and faucet.

For Irish Lager’s I would serve Harp.  As for Irish Ales and Red Ales, again there are a ton to choose from. Safe bets would include Smithwick’s, Samuel Adams Irish Red, Boulevard Irish Ale, Kilkenny Irish Creme Ale, and George Killian’s.  Sure there may be better tasting and better reviewed brews out there, but these should be safe to move timely and have more of a universal appeal.  To get an idea for what’s hot and what’s not in the beer world, I would strongly advise folks to check out They’ve never let me down!

And then, of course . . . there is the green beer, ugh!  I know, I know, most of you are cringing at the thought of it, but we have to face reality.  Lots of folks like to drink green beer on St. Patrick’s day.  I’m not sure why, and I don’t know where this silly tradition came from, but here we are.  And if we ignore it, we may lose out on some extra St. Patrick’s Day green (in the till that is).

So suck it up and order a keg or 5 of a green dyed domestic light pilsner from your distributor.  A marketing trick and general maintenance tip would be to use a separate portable beer dispenser or kegerator for your green beer.  That way your staff will obviously know which beer is dyed.  Your regular customers, and those with perhaps a more refined palete, will see that their selection and service isn’t being compromised by a passing fad.  To them you won’t lose face, and you won’t miss out on any beer sales.  And as a bonus, you don’t have to worry about cleaning your long draw lines the next day.  Try plastering your portable dispenser with advertising.  Set up a separate beer line and till away from your main bar to ensure nobody is left waiting with an empty pint.  Then compare your numbers to last year!

portable beer dispenser or kegerator

Don’t panic if you forgot to order “green kegs” from your distributor.  It really isn’t that hard to make beer green.  It’s pretty obvious that a drop of green dye in a pint glass will turn a lighter colored brew green.  But in a busy bar or club, that is simply not an option, right?  Logic tells us if we can get the food coloring “inside” the keg we can pour it green per normal.  So how do you do that?  I’ve heard of some people putting the dye on the keg ball as they tap it.  Should work, but how many of you trust your staff to pull that off without green spray completely covering your walk-in cooler in the process?  I can just see it plastering all your bottles and backstock with sticky green goo.  It’s like ectoplasm from the Ghost Busters movie in my head!

Here’s a trick that should work to inject the food coloring into your keg.

Somewhere in a drawer in the backroom you have a picnic pump.  If you don’t have one, you can get one here.  Grab that thing and PUMP the the dye into the keg without making a mess.  Check out this video to see how I think you should be able to pull this off.

WARNING: DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!  Personally, I’ve never tried it, and am unsure of the actual results.  I drink Guinness.

It should work because the dye along with the air will be injected into the keg.  It shouldn’t be messy because the system is essentially sealed and the check valve in the picnic pump will keep it inside.  The amount of dye to use will be dependent on a handful of things.  Is your keg full?  How dark is the beer?  Obviously light pilsners work best for this.  You don’t have to leave the picnic pump attached once you’ve pumped the dye into the keg.  I would let it sit for awhile to properly mix in.  Hook it up to your keg dispenser and serve!

So there ya go, once again Rapids Wholesale saves the day!  Check back soon for tips on what Irish Whiskey and drinks to stock up on and tips on how to prevent a glass explosion with your next Irish Carbomb.



Monday, February 18, 2013

Condiment Caddy Bar Advertising Trick from Rapids Wholesale

Click here for Rapids Wholesale Bar Supplies

Is your bar properly stocked?  Here at Rapids Wholesale we understand that a properly stocked bar has more than just a large selection of beer, wine, liquor and mixers.  Profitable bars owners make sure their staff is equipped with all the proper tools necessary for slinging drinks and pushing pub grub.  When assessing your new bar’s needs, the sinks, washers and blenders are obvious.  But the small-wares like bottle openers, proper cutlery and the often overlooked condiment caddy need to be addressed as well. 

A bar is not a bar without the little things like the condiment caddy or condiment rack.  It’s a simple storage and organizational device that allows for you to keep together and easily transport utensils, ketchup, mustard, steak sauce, salt and pepper and all the other bits your customers will likely request to enjoy their meals!  If your bar is going to serve food, you need to provide your customers with these essentials.  But while you're at it, why not have it be your silent salesman and spokesman as well?  While customers are waiting for your staff to take and prepare their orders, more and more of them are pulling out their smart phones to pass the time.  Put YOUR message on that phone!  And use a condiment caddy to get it there.

Though designs of condiment caddies differ, consider caddies that allow for a little table side advertising.  Many will allow for you to attach postcard sized ads right on top of them.  Check with your food and beverage vendors to see if they can help you design and produce these powerful little marketing cards with or even FOR you!  Likely they’ll want their product name on your table, but make sure it benefits your establishment as well.  This is prime advertising real-estate.  Use this space to promote an up-coming event, new dish, or special in the kitchen.

If your establishment has a website or uses social media like Facebook, this is an awesome place to print off a QR code linking your customer's smartphone to your bar or restaurant!  A QR code is a lot like a bar code that can be scanned by smartphones and will direct that phone to a place on the internet, like your online menu or facebook page!  Consider a promotion where if they scan the QR code to direct them to your social media site and then "check in," they can get a discount off their tab.  Not only will this point their friends toward your store online, they might even show up in person, knowing they'll find good company at your bar when they do!  Its a win - win - win!  All you have to do is "search" the interwebs for "QR code generator" to create your own custom code and copy your code to your advertising card.

Rapids Wholesale QR code

Please be careful when selecting a condiment caddy.  I’ve seen a few bars that use empty cardboard six pack cases to hold condiments.  This is okay (I guess) if you have zero budget, but these aren’t built for everyday use and abuse.  One table spill, and the next time your staff (or God forbid a customer) picks up the caddy, everything will end up on the floor.  Also, it’s often difficult for your customers to fish the salt and pepper shakers out of them as the sides are too tall.  And, in all honesty, they can make your bar look cheap!  Do you want your customers thinking, “well heck, if they’re skimping on getting me the ketchup, where else are they cutting corners?”

Find the selection of condiment caddies along with all the other Bar and Beverage supplies you need, and how to order them from Rapids Wholesale’s website in the above video.  Grab a condiment caddy and with this little QR code marketing trick, increase your bottom line!

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Paul at Rapids Wholesale