"Trying to make a good drink with substandard equipment is like trying to fillet a salmon with a butter knife."
Everyone knows what it is like to use a bad knife, which is why you invest in half decent ones for the kitchen.
But what about a quality jigger or strainer for the bar?
Barware is nearly always an area in which licensees under invest. That's why, at the recent launch of new barware range, Genware, from Nevilles, licensee and cocktail consultant Tom Soden, made a heartfelt plea to publicans everywhere to invest good quality tools.
"Trying to make a good drink with substandard equipment is like trying to fillet a salmon with a butter knife, and you're asking your staff to do that on a busy Saturday night," he pointed out.
What he says rings true, whether you serve three mixed drinks an hour or a month, because the best bartender in the world is going to be impeded by cheap equipment.
If you think about it in those terms, then any investment in better quality barware will pay for itself in a short period of time – say within three or four cocktails – in customer satisfaction and speed of serve alone.
It will also cut down on wastage. Look for a slightly more expensive jigger with a curved lip, which helps prevent overspill – Soden reckons over-pour on standard jiggers can be as much as seven to 10ml a time. Think about that over the course of a busy Friday night.
It's about premiumisation as well. If you've a customer trading up to a decent gin for example, get your bar staff to gently stir the G&T in front of them with an elegant bar spoon. Bingo, that posh gin suddenly seems worth the extra cash.
So, yeah, you may not know the difference between a crap strainer and a good one (it's all about the thickness of the spring) but you do know the margin your mixed drinks and cocktails can command - and it's way more than comes out of that kitchen full of decent knives.