Whiskey Running Dry at 'Morrison's Irish Pub' | Small Business Revolution - Main Street: S3E2
Okay, I gotta say I'm pretty excited about this because we're going to a pub and it's, not even half the hour, well let's make it there happy hour. So. Exciting, to surprise Lisa and Mary and Katie this is such a great, local establishments, are doing an amazing job do, you think it's too early to do a shot I. Would. Simply say a little early. You. Guys knew you're in the running but you had no idea. Downs. Across, the country are fighting for their survival with the odds stacked against, them but what happens if we join that fight if we dedicate, a little money a lot of experience, and thousands, of hours of work in the one small town focusing. On the businesses, that are the heart of their Main Street what started, as an idea became, a national, movement with over 30,000. Towns nominated. For the $500,000. Makeover, and more than a million votes asked for. Now. In our third season the team is taking on its biggest challenge ever, the town is three times bigger than any we've helped before and the hurdles Halton faces, will put to the test the very, idea of Main Street America, so, Amanda Brinkman and her team of marketing experts at deluxe our goal door for the people of Alton Illinois and, they're, not alone new, season 3 co-host, ty Pennington, will be working with the team to rehabilitate. The town's buildings while a whole cast of experts helps rehabilitate its, businesses every, episode, we'll be working with a new small business, to see if we can change the odds if together, we, can start a revolution. In. Ireland. The pubs are used for community. That's. Where, everybody goes to gather and, to visit and socialize, it's. That nice warm family and welcoming, atmosphere you, go in any pub and you feel like you're part of that pub. So. It, was definitely that, feeling, that we wanted to bring back from Ireland and, I hope when people come in they feel that. We're. All family. This is my mother and this is my stepmother, we, started, the pub all together as a family about, three, years ago. Definitely. Something that was attracted to us was to have a business, where we all work together it, was actually Lisa we first brought up an, Irish pub and we all immediately yeah. Yes, absolutely. We, had gone to Ireland we'd loved that part of our heritage all, of us agree from the very beginning, we wanted to stay authentic to, what we encountered, over in Ireland and, we're really concentrate, on that personal aspect you don't have the TV on no.
One Really is there with their phones out we all talk, and communicate I'd. Say I've definitely done a good job making it like, Ireland we, went to Ireland with the group from here I think they were like 25. People they planned the whole thing amazing. Time the. Pubs in Ireland are just like here you know you're making their way through the crowd everyone knows everyone it's just like they're. Like family to me because, most of my family is in New York so, I come here and it's like hey Cindy, how's it going so bad. Mood changed. I know, I'm overwhelmed. By how much of a community is inside this, little pub we're, very fortunate cuz they've become a part of our family and more than that we've become a part of a lot of other people's family. This. Will be our third year so, what, we were always told for, a restaurant to make it to that third years kind of like the maker break we're. Looking, at that three-year mark going okay, how can we get over that home yeah cuz progressively, every year we, are getting better we're showing better profits, less, ratio of loss but key. Word is loss it's still. We. Started, with savings immediately, in a lease and I went okay, here's money to start up here's okay, here's more her and and. That's where we've gotten to the point where we're. Depleted, I mean we have no retirement. Now but you know it sits here just. Two months ago we all sat down and. Looked. At everything and, basically decided, that if. Things, continue as they are now. There's. No way that we'd be able to make it through another summer, it's. A hard thing to have. To talk about much less admit my. Biggest thing is the. Customers, I can't imagine not seeing them like, one gentleman he's 80 years old and he comes in practically every day what's gonna happen to him our. Customers, I don't think they know how difficult, it is they don't see the weekdays the lunches, they don't see the summer when our business falls off if. They close that would be the worst yeah that. Would hit me pretty hard so, I need about the drinking insight I could come in and not drink just say, hi to all my friends and hang out feel like you're at home I. Don't. Feel you can look at the. Relationships, and. Friends, yeah and and, call this a failure. A. Real. Bar. That. Symbolizes, the spirit of a neighborhood isn't, just a bar it's really the town hall and Morrison's. Is exactly, that bar but. It's, a challenge running a bar especially one, that's as small as Morrison's. Unfortunately. Just because the pub is beloved doesn't, mean it's generating profits to support three people, so, we've once again called upon Kim Bergman owner of nine phenomenal, restaurants, across Minneapolis and st. Paul to.
Help Us find what is and isn't working, for the ladies of Morrison's and how, we can ensure this community, gem stays, open for business. The. Storefront. Itself went yeah, I love the every spike. After. You thank you, good. Morning. Jimmy. Kim. Welcome. How. Long has this bar been here not quite three years just three, years so, it wasn't a bar before no no so no we had done everything, built from scratch Lisa is our big designer. We're done the, bar held, the bar I built one of my bars oh cool, nah, she, also designed. And built all these tables we want to survive. Banging, when the music's playing. You've. Got a lot of whiskey we, do we, have about, 61, Irish whiskeys now that is our thing yeah and those places can't touch it with a ten-foot pole and we try to hand select each one try, each one which, is the fun part, alright let's see the kitchen speaking, of that we're. In the process of, trying to redo our floor it was wood and we found wood and the kitchen doesn't go well that you know very well you. Do some scratch baking, - absolutely. We, do not do, boxed, anything we go through about 150, to 200 pounds of potato, peeling. Potatoes man, it is but I actually have, a little something for the two of you if you'd like oh really yes. So. Now you two just so you know you're gonna have to pretend like you're in a nice romantic date cuz you have one but. This. Is a cutting, pie we. Used Cabernet red wine base with parsnips and vegetables, and then a layer of mashed potatoes and then some shredded carry gold milk on top yeah. I know the base of this just the top that's the top yes this is hot yes it is hopefully. You enjoy the, romance we'll be dead. Cheese. Mm-hmm. Alright girls this is our Irish coffee and we actually do hand whipped cream on top Cheers. Mmm slugga. That's how I say it Ireland slang. What. Mill is complete without some. Dessert. That's our chocolate bread pudding with. A whiskey glaze. Mmm-hmm. Okay so, Kim tell me if I'm right or if I'm wrong but, I hope you told me I'm right I always think of restaurants, as need, to be great at three core, pillars service. Atmosphere. And food missing, one you're. Sort of right okay food. Service. Atmosphere, okay, great. Point so it feels like you're doing well on those three things but but business is still a bit of a challenge, right so let's talk about why you think that there's. Two issues one. Is sir, size we, can only hold so much volume in here um so, on the weekend we lose a lot of business there are days where we lose as much as we gain, because. There's just no room for them the other big issue is our slow times which, are through, the week we're much slower and lunches we're, much slower and then the summer we nosedive in the summer when people think Irish stew and whiskey and you, know Guiness they think feels winter you know a lot of businesses struggle, with seasonality. And it makes sense when you think about your menu and the atmosphere, this does feel like a cozy winter spot, one thing that could help with that you'd, have to have a scene yeah god I wish this item if you come in the summer yield you'll wish no it's, absolutely, absolutely. I have a cozy, winter spot, as well and you, know in the summer it's, really hard but, we, do, try to adjust the menu, and the, products, we're serving, and do some special things in the summer to. Help build, up that business I think we can do some fun, promotional. Things too from a marketing perspective during, the summer months and certainly to encourage more lunchtime, crowds to but didn't, st. Louis paper or magazine call, you one of the spots to stop on st. Patrick's Day or the best restaurant.
STL Named us number one Irish pub in st. Louis which blew us away. I'm. On, it. And. Marketing will definitely, help I'd like you're doing so many things right um but these little tweaks are gonna be what makes, a difference to actually get you to place your. Bets. So you're not wondering once a month a co much longer you're gonna be open these. Guys have the fourth thing that you need to, run a restaurant which is passion. They. Have a lot of passion for their place they're. Doing everything that you want a restaurant to do right very well right their food's great high quality great. Ambience time with their communication, it I mean so, it really does come down to numbers can this place support, three people full-time right. It's hard to have big sales in a tiny place this. Isn't just about one business, Morse's, sits at the Nexus of third Broadway. And state the three busiest, streets in downtown Alton, one. Vacancy, in a spot like that can, depress sales for an entire area you, see an empty building you keep on driving to, keep the dream alive Morrison's. Has to get into the black and fast, so. It's time to have the conversation so. Many business owners trip we've. Got to open up the books. We're. Gonna talk about financing, we're going to you have. The. Finest okay. You. Just give us a little bit of a sense for where you've been kind, of financially, and what the real situation is we started this up with what, money we had saved and. Ever since then. We've. Had to rescue over. And, over financially. And we have all our own personal. Credit cards maxed out and. It's not it's at the point where we've got to turn the corner cuz I thought. The wells dry yeah. When, I look at these. Simplified. Figures. Here, your, sales are going up which is great but when I look at your costs. And, everything. Is lumped in here your, cost of goods is way too high way. Too high we gotta get that down, I, think we need to knock about 40, grand off of that and in. 17, you lost, $30,000. And when. I look at this cost figure if it was in in, the ballpark, where I'd prefer it to be this. $30,000. Would disappear, and I love them. So. You. Know it could be food it could be liquor it could be beer but because everything, was lumped together I have. No way to analyze, really. How you're doing, so I'm, asking you guys to sort of look, at your numbers, in a more granular way, which could lead to some compromises. Five. Seconds, where would you compromise, KT stuff I. Don't. Want to compromise anywhere. When it comes to quality then. The hard part cuz we all want it to be the best so. It's hard to get together and go okay, we're gonna I, don't think we should compromise, on quality but. Is it compromising, on quality to. Choose. This beer over that beer yeah if it's gonna be more profitable we're, where most of the time we ended up compromising. Marketing. You. Know oh that's that the taxes the bills and there was nothing there's a chicken and egg thing they. Can't. Afford to market or invest in marketing or their brand but in many cases you can't afford not to so. What's really interesting is we're coming down to the two basic problems that all businesses, struggle with you know not necessarily, understand, how to use marketing to grow your business and then not really understanding, what the numbers are telling you so. So, feel better, knowing that this is something that all businesses are struggling with but I think we've outlined a good plan here to get you in better shape on both fronts all. Right should we cheers to that yes. Cheers thank, you all very much six launches. Morrison's, needs revenue period. And we, can attack that from both ends, bringing, sales up and getting, costs down the marketing. Team at deluxe is taking on sales with, the focus on bringing people into the restaurant, during those slow times Kim, will work with the ladies on operations. Hunting. For ways to increase margins, either, by cutting expenditures, or, raising, prices or. Both and, while the building is in great shape, there are a few physical improvements, that could help make a big difference so Deluxe, is hiring local contractors, and working with high to carry out those plans at. Morrisons, male early keeping the doors open because people, need a place to feel like they're part of a community and a family but. They're in the hole so, it's an only a matter of time but things don't change that. The doors are gonna close and, this community won't have that spot and, we can't let that happen.
So. We know that cash flow is a problem, we know that they're entering into the toughest time in here for them is there anything we can do right now one of the things that we can implement really quickly is managing. Social media and I think that there's just a few recommendations, we can make that can up, the game for them and draw people in regardless, of the weather part of what we're gonna invest in them is advertising, dollars paid social, dollars maybe we just turn that on now and I think you can teach them some just different best practices around hashtag, views we've. Put together a proposed, calendar, and this is at three times a week we think that's like sort of the bare minimum, but, I'm a big believer that quality, of content over quantity, of content part. Of it is when you're in that space is an experience, how do we make sure through social, and their website, that you get that authentic, feel yeah and how, do we get more people talking about their great selection, of whiskies they, don't have that anywhere on their website that would be a marketing, thing to bring people in one of the things I kept hearing from customers is the laughter, that they hear every time they go inside, I feel like imagery, is the best way that we can you know translate. That in photography. And showcase that delicious, food and I think there can be a stigma with you know British and Irish food being bland and their food is anything but bland I think it's just a matter of us really infusing. The copy with things, that are gonna get people excited about the fact that it's made from scratch recipes, we're. Fast approaching the summer months and we challenge the Morrisons to create a seasonal, menu that keeps customers coming to eat and drink even when the piping hot cottage pie no, longer draws people in how, have things been is we're kind of getting into into. The spring and summer now this, last week but we did four especially, it's actually one of Lisa's mother's, recipes, meanwhile the Joyce's summer salad, and it was strawberries, pineapple mandarin. Oranges, I thought it good. Hitting. That word out there is where we will continue to work on the advertising, social, media and email marketing to get the word out as you do the menu so one, of the things we have to figure out is you know even if we get the, this Ken that space the amount of seats they have sustained, three people full-time I think that that was the challenge that we've had all along, there's. Very little we can do from, a construction standpoint to improve what, they already have so, we, have to make sure that we.
Maximize. Anymore. So. While. We're focusing on the inside, Lita, is trying to think outside the box looking, for any way to add seats during those busy times so, we, can envision, them opening, this up. So. You need a mediator so, what we'll do is that let me take it back to it like I said the city attorney other. Part of their struggle seems, like their prices are pretty low doesn't, say what a 20-ounce Guinness is for dollars I don't know where you can go let's go maybe I. Think. They just even, added a dollar their customers, aren't going to to flinch at that so I think we need to connect him with someone to sit down and truly look at their numbers if you are worried about putting a price increase out there give the customers some options you can price a 16-ounce, it's something a little more than where you are now and the 20 ounce is something a little more than that or selling ourselves short you, are usually. Yeah, so please, be. Bold make, the decision, charge. The price, and, while we look to increase margin, on food and drink we're also thinking about adding entirely new ways to bring money into the business branded. Apparel is going to be huge for them is an additional revenue source and then you have people walking around with your brand but, I feel like they're using a pretty common, font, that you could find on just, about any Irish, pub so, we need to give them something that feels ownable without, this Trinity symbol, was really interesting, because you, know there's three of them and I. Thought that was really symbolic you can pull all these fonts, bring in character. A little bit more of like an Etch to look so just elevating, the logo that makes that feel legitimate, I love it it's something that instantly reads Irish, yeah and looked great on the whiskey glass which is super important and looks great on t-shirt check. Awesome. We're. Making progress but it's going to take time before we see the impact of some of these changes and summer. Is officially here, so. I'm heading back to autumn to make sure Morrison's, has enough left in the tank to, make it to the finish line okay.
So A lot of the physical renovations, are starting right the new cabinets, what do you think yes good okay and then we, have the new AC coming. We are just sending them into the world, us I'm, glad that the AC will make a big difference well, we are we are kind of in the middle of like this this hot season, the AC is gonna be a few weeks out how, are you feeling about kind of the, customer. Flow and sales right, now during this hardest part of the year from you know just, looking at some of the things that you guys are doing I know it's, going to. Had to. What our revenues and what we're bringing in and like even looking at last week uh you know one day was horrible but then one day was good so, as long as we give. Us that one give us that you know give us uh something. To run off of and I have a lot of hope that yeah I think we're gonna be there and if we get through this work. Over um. Without it no I thought we would have already had to have sold because we'd be going negative this summer. You. Know blessed. This. Was. Something that there really was time Liam no in our lap at, the right time. It's. Such a relief to hear that Morrison's, is going to make it through the summer but. The truth is when we leave Alton that, isn't the finish line and we've, only succeeded, if the pub makes it through next summer and the, summer after that. So. The team is gathering in alton one last time to, deliver the tools that we hope will sustain them for years to come. Man. This looks great awesome. And. I think it'll bring in new business oh. My. Gosh coaxing, federal the gooseneck likes, and, we saw a new logo I've already had a compliment, on I had somebody say is that your logo I love it yes. You. Do fun to go inside and talk about other ways you could bring, days, come, on. So. All the businesses we've worked with over the years there, was the least amount of work really to do to your physical space you did a beautiful job building off thus far I mean I love the whiskey shelves that we put in and it's. Cool in here and a new air conditioner isn't like the sexiest, thing if I wrote it is but it was so needed. So. You like to see your new website yes. So. We really, wanted to make sure that we're leading with kind of this this toast we also want to kind of play into this kind of a fear. Of missing our follow that people experience when you using people having a great time so we want to utilize your Social, Feeds right here, to make sure that we're talking about upcoming events, on the website so that you're having to post it once automatically. Pop. It'll. Be really exciting because we've always wanted to do something with the town and something, we. Could help, and get yes and give back so Tuesdays. We're gonna do 15%. Of our proceeds for, our happy hour will go to a local nonprofit. Is, amazing so yeah we're hoping our first one women's shelter we're gonna go from there each month it'll change I really love how give you accent, iment but the shameless, businessperson. In me also knows that you'll connect, with different communities, every. Different month so, that's great I love it only goodness will come from this yes yes, and, then we. Get to one. Of the pages that I think is the most important for any business and. This is your story this is about you. And this is what a beautiful website allows, you to do is tell the story of why you started, morrison's how you make people feel when, they are in here and you actually use, here. That's. Neat, people can tell the difference whether it's stock photography or, it's that real authentic. Mm-hmm so let's go in and look at the menu so your current menu you have to click on each of the categories, in order for it to expand, and to see those can be a bit cumbersome, from a customer, experience perspective. So this is your new menu. You. Have divided, out by lunch your main menu and your dreams, our food. And. Then, we roll right into the dining so. Your specialty, cocktails. Look. Great. And. Then, we have an entire separate page the whiskey which I'll get to in a second I don't talk about the mobile site three quarters for people who are searching for restaurants do it on their phone so again by having to continually. Scrollable. For. Whiskies we, list them all out with really thoughtful. Description. So, this site is built on a WordPress platform so, it's gonna be very easy for you to update to take them off to add them on building, a beautiful website is one thing but it.
Can Be just as important, so we wanted to make sure it's as easy for you as possible so, we're, having a hard time hold back in tears because we're looking at this and it is amazing and I could go there after that place, so. Speaking, of bringing people in initially, start working with you we talked about how important cleaning your Google listing was we were listed only as a part, so you were losing all of that search traffic around, even the category, restaurant, thing we're trying to pick up we. Wanted to go in and make sure that you were. Listed as an Irish, pub an Irish. Restaurant, and a lunch restaurant since. We claimed, your listing just a month ago you have had 4,000. Visits, to, your lesson, a month ago that's crazy, and 90%. Of them were searches, for these three words they were not searches, for an Irish, pub that has been kind of you know goal number one is how do we bring in more customers and so on a very important part of that is advertising. And I know that that has been something that you guys have had to cut for. Budget, reasons and, finances, so Deluxe, is gonna pay for social. Advertising for, one year and. Then we know that Riverfront Times is, a really important, resource and, you say oh this year, yes people. That's. A biggie. Let's. Pay for one year of you know printing, online. That's. Great, to bring them over here bring, them a null oh my gosh it's, business getting better I can tell you lately we're, going like this, like. That you know so when do you think we'll, start rolling out that lunch I told them to be prepared to start Monday, really been trying to push with the guys in the kitchen think, summer think light thank those kind of things the other thing I'm curious about have you been able to make any traction, with the city for, the fantasy, beer garden that we can have a center well, actually I received. A phone call from Debbie, and we have a meeting set up with the, city, attorney and the mayor for. Monday at 10:30, so great. Well, that's great be hoping something comes of that all, right you guys ready to see some swag, yes, you are great that new logo looks fun stuff alright, so the first item we have is a, new, board for. I. Think. We were negative, before and and we. Had about giving up the battle we're. Nowhere near that this. Is the first I'm doing the books where I don't feel the stress that I've been, a feel making it day-to-day and that feels really good last, thing I want to show you some menus for, the first one is your main menu, for you ma'am this is really, nice so much yes way, nicer than what we. Also. Need you for. Other specialty, cocktails, I'm. Excited about all but I'm really excited about the new lunch menu because it can take it easily if, someone wants very slight it says the. Last menu I have is a novel. So. Speaking of kind of your love for whiskey you know a few months ago there are a couple of specific brands, that you couldn't, purchase because, there are other places where the cash was more needed, for their business and, so we, wanted to make that right. It. Is all right. Stealing. Well. We'll have to taste a little to make sure we can describe it well. When. We first started, this it, was a hope a dream to. Look back in retrospect and, to see how far we've come and. How. Many. Individuals. Came into our lives and join there, are pub family, it's, really. What. Makes it so special I, think. We get too much credit sometimes it's. Everybody, in here that makes this that. Place. Guys. Just. Have. Given. Us so much, and. You'll be able to carry through. Little. Places like Morrison's, here play, a bigger, role than just, providing. A lot of great whiskey and the, sense of place and connection, that people get that brings. A vitality to. A small town I think it's really important, the. Fact that the bar is doing so much better it is heartwarming because, you. Don't want a bar that means that much to a community, to ever close I think. Too often we think of businesses as something people start for themselves. The. Truth is small. Business is often a gift it's the owners commitment to give the best part of themselves to, the people around them Katie.
Lisa, And Mary have. Given Alton more than, they've. Given it a feeling their. Future isn't certain but. When things get hard family, steps up and they. Felt a big room filled, with all the love humor. And compassion, that they share with each other. Today's. Beauty supply is woven, into the fiber of its neighborhood, with, an owner who value is giving back overtaking, more we created a space where young, people in the community will have a place that's safe but new competition, is shrinking, their customer, base we saw ourselves dip. There's mistakes you've been working this full throttle, and it's only gonna get work and the small business revolution team, help them stand out from the crowd Wow. On. The next episode of small business, revolution Main, Street like. Many restaurants, Morrison's struggled with seasonality, and weekday, loans and when, revenue got tight the marketing budget was the first thing to go visit. Deluxe comm backslash Morrison's, to learn more about how the deluxe team cooked, up the marketing plan to get more people to say francha all year. Long. You.