It’s not often that one begins the story of a successful premium mobile bar business with ‘I run a large online magazine business.’ But that’s exactly how it all began for Kevin and LL Cocktails & Bubbles.
Said online magazine business had Kevin and the team at Luxuria Lifestyle International, jet setting around the world from Africa to Europe. ‘We did a launch in Johannesburg for 500 guests in the BMW showroom, then we did the new Aston Martin launch in Park Lane. We also flew out and put on a huge event for 500 guests for Sunseeker in Mallorca!’ However, despite the glitz and the glamour there was one consistent issue; food and beverage supply. ‘We kept hiring in people but over the years the commitment or response that we were getting was very average. People would cancel last minute, start setting up late or try to charge me sky high prices for a very average service. Over the years, a few would disappear and their websites would close, so we weren’t having a great experience.’ Hence, in the epitome of the mentality ‘see a need, fill a need,’ Kevin and his team decided to provide the beverages for a luxury event they were hosting. What was intended as a temporary fix to an increasingly annoying issue, blossomed into a successful business in its own right, that has seen LL Cocktails & Bubbles go from strength to strength.
So how does a temporary solution turn into its own, fully fledged business? Well, the innovation and creative thinking of Kevin and his team didn’t go unnoticed and the positive feedback from their first impromptu occasion serving drinks, propelled their newfound ambitions. These ambitions were driven by a desire to provide a reliable, consistently high quality service, nevertheless they were unexpected. ‘We’d been let down by a beverage company and we were in a big team meeting and I said ‘look guys, we can create cocktails, we can serve Prosecco, why don’t we just do this one ourselves?’ and so we hired a big black bar, we had about five or six members of our team behind the bar and we sort of learnt as we went. Effectively it was a massive success. It was a car launch for over 200 guests and the MD of the company came up to us and said ‘you guys were awesome, you bought some great products, you were here early and you stayed afterwards to clean up. We will 100% use you again.’’ There was only one small problem with that though; that wasn’t their business. ‘We just thought ‘well, we don’t do this! This isn’t our business! But a few of the younger guys in the team said ‘Kevin we want to do this, we see a huge niche here for a luxury mobile beverage business.’’ The temporary service that they had provided, highlighted the need for a premium drinks service and after exploring the potential of this newfound business model, Kevin and his team decided to take the plunge.
Whilst the business may have been born out of necessity, it’s evolution into a premium mobile bar service is a reflection of the dedication and investment of Kevin and his team; and it is this dedication that helps LL Cocktails & Bubbles stand out from the crowd. As Kevin himself says, it’s the overall experience of dealing with them that creates that premium feeling for all their customers from start to finish. ‘It’s the overall experience, we’re not just a pretty website, a nice looking trailer and a beautiful bar. We’re enthusiastic, we offer a premium service and premium product and we make each event fun. We negotiated with our suppliers to get the best rates so our customers can get the best price. We pride ourselves on the corporate dress of our team and our strong communication with clients. Every aspect of our business is premium and every single time that client feels completely looked after.’ That is by no means to say that their aesthetic isn’t of merit though. The stylish look and feel of their branding makes them a viable candidate for many an event and their use of social media to showcase this has helped to spread awareness of the brand. ‘We’ve been in business for just over a year but we have a rather strong organic following on social media, it’s so important these days.’
It is clear that Kevin is not one to shy away from new opportunities, nor is he one to clip the wings of success and that success is something that he is eager to share. Franchising is nothing new to Kevin and his team as their online magazine, Luxuria Lifestyles has achieved great success franchising all over the world. Therefore, he is eager to franchise LL Cocktails & Bubbles, not only to replicate some of that success, but also to have the opportunity to share his knowledge and expertise with those ready to start their own business. ‘By franchising the model we can bring all that experience to the next person. Someone can walk into this and have every conceivable aspect covered, ready to start making money as a full turnkey operation.’ Kevin and his team are certainly covering all bases as those who franchise get the perfect package to set up their own business including extensive training, branding and support to maintain the premium service of the business. ‘People will have a team to offer guidance with years and years of experience with franchising and supporting people. We want people to come into this with the potential to be running their own business and making money quickly.’ And this potential is bolstered by the support that Kevin is dedicated to provide all franchisees. Franchisees won’t be competing with one another for events nor will they be left to falter and work things out for themselves, they will guided through the process, gleaning the benefits of Kevin’s extensive experience. ‘I want to have a family of franchise partners that are all helping each other. All our partners will come in for full training as well, which we think is super important. It will be a real network of supporting and supportive partners.’
Undeniably, the journey of LL Cocktails & Bubbles into its own, separate, viable business has been one of continuous learning. When asked what surprised him most about stepping into this industry, Kevin readily admits that the necessity for extensive documentation and certification was a learning curve. ‘Before we came into this industry we thought that we’d just buy a trailer and sell some drinks. But there are so many steps, certifications, hygiene certificates and licenses required! There is a lot to it and this is what may scare some people off and this is where you guys come in. I was at an antiques fair last summer and I saw two guys holding up a ‘I’m a Member’ sign taking a photo inside a pizza truck. I went over to them and told them I was thinking of starting up a mobile bar and asked them how they got there and about their business and they said ‘if you do one thing, join NCASS.’’ Through their NCASS membership, Kevin and his team were not only able to demystify the seemingly endless world of compliance, but also gain the necessary confidence that they’re operating safely and can therefore focus on what they do best; offering a premium service to their customers. ‘It’s helped us to overcome things much quicker and to actually get out there and do what we what to do.’
Now let’s be clear, the temporary beginnings of LL Cocktails & Bubbles is by no means indicative of a short lived business venture; Kevin and his team are here to stay. With a 2023 focused on expansion and growth, as well as over 30 fun filled events across the summer and beyond, Kevin is ready to strengthen the foundations and give the business every opportunity to flourish. From their partnership with Tapp’d Cocktails, the maker of high quality pre-mixed cocktails, to their sleek professional look, Kevin and LL Cocktails & Bubbles have high standards that they by no means plan on compromising. These standards emphasize their determination and innovative thinking, an innovation that seeks to simplify without compromising, offer consistency whilst remaining creative and share rather than sequester.
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