Case Study: Bar Group Sales

Shifting perceptions: How we attracted cocktail drinkers to Davy’s Wine Bars

Davy’s Wine Bars is a chain of 30 bars in central London, including the Spanish wine bar chain El Vino. We hadn’t worked with Davy’s Wine Bars previously. We had a Spanish range of spirits in our portfolio that were a natural fit for the chain. So we ran a targeted campaign to introduce them to the chain in the spring of 2019.


We were certain our products were a good fit, but we still needed to demonstrate that to the buyers. So we needed to build a business case for them to list our brands. It was then important for us to understand Davy’s:

  • Objectives and priorities
  • Customer perception in the market
  • Staff views and feedback

This was to make sure we presented the right brands and solutions to the buyers to secure listings.

The success of our campaign relied on engaging the venue staff and gathering insights from them. So we visited several of Davy’s venues and interviewed their bar managers to better understand any issues their staff faced. The feedback was:


  • The El Vino bars wanted more authentic spanish spirits to improve their spirits range
  • Staff thought spanish spirits were key to help them engage with their customers better and give them the Spanish experience they were after
  • They wanted more support from brands to upskill
  • They wanted to attract younger customers into their venues


Step 1: Feedback to Davy’s buyers

We created a business case for our brands after gathering the feedback from the venues. We then set up a meeting with Davy’s buyers to present how our brands could help them. They liked that we spent time to speak to their bar managers. They also appreciated our structured, logical approach to helping their business with our suggested brand activities.

During this meeting, we found a way to support their business and help them achieve their objectives. It involved running a 6 months summer activation in 2019 across 7 Davy’s / El Vino sites with our brands. There were two campaign goals:

  • Increase drive customers towards cocktails instead of wines in the venues
  • Shift perception that they were just a wine bar
  • Attract new customers into their venues

Step 2: Opening the route-to-market for Davy’s

One of Davy’s key requirements was for our brands to be available through their wholesaler, Nectar imports. We worked with their Nectar Account manager to give accurate volume forecasts to the Nectar spirits buyer. That’s how we ultimately achieved a listing for the 4 spirits lines Davy’s were after.

Step 3: Cocktail menu development

Once Davy’s could buy our brands from Nectar, we turned our attention to the cocktail menu for the activation. The menu needed to:

  • Meet the sites’ profit margins Davy’s was after
  • Be easy for the staff to make
  • Use ingredients already available to the sites

So we created a diverse cocktail menu including G&T’s, Spritz serves and simple twists on the popular Americano and Caipirinha cocktails.

Step 4: staff training

Bar staff was a key part of our activation’s success. So we arranged staff training with the El Vino operations manager. The management teams introduced the spirits and brands to venue staff during the training. We also arranged for the distillery owner to fly over from Spain to take part in the training. The training included:

  • a two-hour training session into the liquids, the production process
  • serves demonstrations
  • spec sheets for each serves for future reference

We also put together an internal cocktail competition at each venue to get the staff excited and inspired by the new spirits. Bar staff presented their competition entries during the training session. Davy’s leadership team, the distillery owner and Charlie from bbb judged each entry then. The winner saw their cocktail added to Davy’s cocktail menu.

Step 5: staff incentives

We rolled out a series of staff incentives to keep staff engaged with the menu and the spirits. They included:

  • A bbb secret shopper: a bbb team member visited El Vino bars anonymously and ordered a gin and tonic. Staff won a prize if they could recommend an item from the menu and serve it with the correct tonic and garnish
  • A trip to Madrid for the bar team that sold most beyond their sales forecast. This created a bit of friendly competition between the teams, keeping up the interest in the Spanish spirits. The teams received sales report every week

The objective of both was to keep the team members really engaged in the campaign and to up-sell the Spanish spirits and cocktail serves at every opportunity.

Step 6: marketing campaign

We created a series of paid social media posts together with Davy’s and distillery’s marketing team to promote the menu. The campaign targeted the demographics that Davy’s wanted to attract. The objective was to drive awareness of Davy’s as a cocktail bar and cocktail sales.

We also ran a summer cocktail event at the popular Heeltap bar in London Bridge with available marketing budget. This was a chance to sample cocktails with consumers and invite other industry partners along to try the products.


This two month campaign delivered:




overall a great success… and well received by our customers and staff

Jerry Marks, Davy’s Managing Director

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