Monday, June 6, 2016


I was in a meeting with a client last week and he was saying that he was interested in starting a small business when he retires. We asked what sort of business and he mentioned that a craft brewery would be ideal if there weren't so many of them. A number of his colleagues, with whom I suppose he would establish this business, have careers in fermentation, chemical processing, chemical facilities, and other applicable fields.

I got to thinking about what sort of business he could start and I got this idea: Shaketails.

It starts with two things I notice that are still in the early phases of growth. One is the advent of cocktails in a can. There used to just be wine coolers, but you can now buy a wide variety of pre-mixed cocktails in a can. I also saw the milkshakes with booze available at Boulevard Burger and Brews. I put them together and I get: Shaketails - milkshakes with booze that you can buy pre-mixed.

Shakes can be pre-mixed and kept in a freezer. There's a local burger chain in Seattle called Dick's Drive In that sells their shakes to go. Dick's keeps the pre-made shakes sold to go in a freezer where they are kept colder than the intended serving temperature. They recommend that folks put them in the microwave for thirty seconds before serving.

So here's the idea: pre-mixed milkshakes with alcohol kept in your grocer's freezer (or at the local convenience store). You bring them home and keep them in your freezer. Just pop it in the microwave for thirty seconds before serving.

The first friend with whom I shared this idea said something about the alcohol not freezing. That's not really a problem, though, so long as it remains mixed. We don't need to keep the alcohol cold, we just need to keep the milk and ice cream cold.

The second friend I mentioned it to told me that the cocktails in a can, even those with the brand names of various liqueurs, are actually malt liquor, otherwise they couldn't be sold in the grocery store and could only be sold in the ABC store. I think that not only isn't a problem, but a benefit. Like the cocktails in a can we license the names of the liqueurs but actually use malt liquor.

The third person I told this idea to told me about the shake mixing machine they have at Wawa. Apparently you can buy a shake at the Wawa and put it into a customer-operated mixer before you buy it. I can't find this on the Wawa web site, but it doesn't matter if that's correct. The idea is enough. The idea is to sell Shaketails in bars and restaurants. Shaketails sells the bar a freezer, a mixing machine, and a supply of frozen shakes in the base flavors (without the booze). When a customer orders one, the bartender takes the shake out of the freezer, puts it in the mixer, adds the booze (real booze this time), mixes it, and serves it up. Now every bar and restaurant can serve shakes with alcohol with a minimal investment in space and equipment. They just have to buy the equipment and base shakes from us.

The flavors will be those of familiar sweet, milky cocktails like Mudslide, White Russian, Grasshopper, or Pink Squirrel.

No comments:

Post a Comment