Selling beer part 2: How to keep customers coming back for more.

If you missed part one of our essay on how to sell beer you can read it here. Now we are discussing how to get people coming back for more.

So once you have gotten people to your brewery, how do you get them to come back? That truly is the million dollar question, and luckily for all of us Craft Brewing Business has provided some clarity.

1. Stay open during the busiest days. This should be a no-brainer. A study was conducted and it comes as no surprise that the busiest days are the weekends, and as you all know pretty much every brewery on the planet is open Fridays and Saturdays.

2. Have a physical menu. I personally hate the long Untappd beer menus that some breweries stick on their walls for a multitude of reasons. First, I feel like I’m watching a commercial waiting 30 seconds for the screen to switch, then it seems like every fifth screen there is some sort of advertisement. Plus they are never directly in your line of sight so you have to sit there with an awkward neck turn until you figure out what you want to drink. Now we have proof that having these as your only menu is a bad business decision. Craft Brewing Business’ study found that simply having paper menus available raised the average tab from $32 to $49. That is a 33% increase just by having an updated piece of paper, but it makes total sense. While you are sipping on your beer, people will read what’s in front of them and eventually they will decide “This Mosaic IPA looks damn good,” or “I’d love a good Marzen right about now.” This constant reminder of the great beers available will encourage the consumer to pick a second beer instead of packing up shop and moving on.
Correlation between Physical menus and dollar spent

3Inform guests of special events. See the above note about reading what is in front of you. Most breweries have a very active social media presence for this, but what about the people that don’t stay active on social media? That is where having signage promoting these events is a must. Only 55% of breweries surveyed have this sort of physical promotion. The ones that don’t are missing out on a huge opportunity. Today’s generation values “experiences” so if they can go drink a couple of beers and get an “experience” that is how they will choose where to imbibe. Secondly, you want to develop clientele and keep patrons as “regulars” but if they don’t know what is going on they can’t attend.

4. Last but not least is the importance of to-go sales. Anyone who has ever eaten at Granite City has experienced the up-sales. The reason they constantly suggest menu items is it actually works. In another survey, when the bartender did not ask if the customer wanted a to-go beer, it was only sold 9% of the time. When they suggested it to the customer a to-go beer was purchased 49% of the time. Data also shows after purchasing a to-go beer customers are 7% more likely to return in the next 7 days. Bartenders love those extra beers because most people tip on the entire bartab, and more to-go beers sold means a higher bartab.
Craft brewing business's graph rate of repeat customers with to-go beer.

Brett A. Myces

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