You glance over at the clock and it reads 3:50 pm. At exactly four o’clock you will be heading out of the office and over to a local bistro for your first happy hour in quite some time. Senses kick in, and the taste buds are racing. What IPA will you pair up with the chicken madras curry? Should you elect for the tuna sashimi or skip the app and focus on a desert that will compliment the smokey porter on tap? No need to worry about it to much I’ll just get some recommendations from my favorite bartender. 

Not only will you be enjoying a break from the normal Friday afternoon invoices, but you will also be meeting a long time friend. Excited, you rush over to the bistro, swing open the door and the normal aromas arouse the pallet. At first glance, you realize the place is really bright! It’s been awhile but not that long! The energy feels slightly different. 

“Hey Pedro, how are you?”

“Doing well, my friend. Let’s belly up to the bar and grab a cold one.” 

As you slide into the bar stool, you cant help but notice the changes. It’s only been a couple of weeks?! Minutes go by, and the bartender doesn’t seem to notice you sat down. Pedro starts inquiring about business and the two of you are soon submerged in small talk. More time goes by. The bartender, a young college student, seems to be occupied at service bar doing something on the phone. 

You look over at Pedro and say, “I am really sorry. This place used to be on top of their game. I have heard rumors about a management change, but it didn’t seem that bad. Let’s head down the road and see John over at The Flying Monkey”. 

How did the bistro manage to lose two patrons for happy hour? Will these patrons ever come back? Creating a winning ambiance for your establishment means more than just providing top notch food and quality products. It requires a staff that is well versed in the setting. You can instill work ethic into employees, it just may take longer than expected and may not be worth the wait. Don’t be afraid to hire the staff that best compliments the atmosphere you want to replicate. So hire employees that are hungry to work, eager to learn and have pleasurable personalities. These three attributes will help you set an award winning ambiance for your venue. 

The tone, (or ambiance) is how we win customers. It is what makes them feel comfortable and willing to come back time after time. Having just the right amount of lighting, character and personality in your venue can make or break you. In a crowded world we tend to utilize our senses when we make purchasing decisions. And, if your establishment dawns on these senses, that memory stays with your customers like a nagging hangover. So dim the lights, put down the phone, crack a joke and serve something that keeps them coming back. Ambiance. 


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