Sandbar (or Surfers Sandbar to most of you) started its life a whopping 19 years ago overlooking the infamous Surfers paradise esplanade. Focusing mostly on craft beers and their famous buffet breakfasts, the business chugged along happily for most of that time until the business started to stagnate a little in recent years.
Although having its fair share of loyal locals, the business owners realised that Sandbar needed to be appeal to a new demographic of clientele, who, among other things, have gained a taste for bespoke cocktails and top quality wines and beers. This would be no small task, as a completely new fit-out would be required to transform the venue into what the spectacular views called for; A modern, fun and stylish beach club.
We were given the task of developing and creating a cocktail menu to suit this new style of venue, developing a wine menu while introducing our favourite suppliers, hiring and training staff for the bar and floor, developing and executing floor and bar services and procedures, assisting in budgets and most of all lending our 10 years of knowledge and experience of this industry to the owners.
We created a 21 drink cocktail menu that was in part inspired from the tropical beaches of Bali, Brazil and Mexico - think Coconuts, Papaya, Banana.... Tiki Cocktails, Coconut Margaritas, Lavender caipirinha's... And Balanced it out with smoked old fashioned's, Blueberry G&T's, and a lots of our other favourite creations.
Once that was done, then came the task of training staff in how to make and serve them! This was made a whole lot easier by the lady of the Bar, Manager Laura Lindley. She was a superstar from day one and picked up the massive task of learning how to Prepare and manage ingredients for this huge list with ease! We worked with Laura in the best, most efficient ways to train not just the bar staff, but also the floor staff on the new wines and cocktails. We wanted everyone to know and have tried each drink so as to be confident in interacting with customers and trying to get that all important up-sell at tables.
With the opening night attended by the who's who of the Gold Coasts journalists, bloggers and celebrities, the owners we're especially anxious to make sure everything was going to run smoothly. We, as always were prepared to get our hands dirty and jump behind the bar ensure a smooth service, however, all the necessary steps were executed before the doors opened and Laura and her team were ready to rock from day one. We were able to relax and enjoy the fruits of the past two months labour and drink cocktails from the other (fun) side of the bar!
Working with Terry was an experience I won't soon forget. His knowledge and passion for hospitality are inspiring to see as most people with as much time spent in the industry are jaded and bored. His attitude from day one was as professional as it was fun to be around, he was always inclusive and approachable to staff and always had time for my idea's and input. His cocktails are also some of the tastiest creations I have tried and i loved serving and chatting about them to our clientele. Terry would also drop by weekly to chat to me and the other managers about what was and wasn't working and really wanted to make sure everything was as good as it could be.
Laura Lindley - Bar Manager, Sandbar