Craft beers have been exploding in popularity for years, with over 8,700 breweries operating in the US alone. This is great for consumers but spells steep competition for breweries operating in an oversaturated market. On top of that, consumers’ demand for new products makes it hard to push out new brews on an already tight schedule. So, how can breweries stand out from the competition?
1. Get creative with your menu
Adding a few food items to your menu draws in customers. It’s not just the law in some cities; it’s an opportunity to stand out from the competition. Find creative ways to incorporate your beer into the food, such as beer cheese, beer-battered bratwurst, or beer bread. Patrons can experience your product in multiple ways, giving you a creative edge and enticing them to come back to your brewery over another.
2. Encourage guest-led ordering (& increase check sizes!)
Self-sufficient patrons decrease costs and increase the return on investment per guest. It all starts at the table; switch to an online order & pay system where customers scan a QR code to access the menu, order, and pay at any time. They’re no longer dependent on the waitstaff and are likely to purchase more per visit, increasing the average check size by around 30%.
Online ordering helps cut costs, too. With an online menu, you won’t need to print new menus every time you make an update. You’re providing guests immediate access to your complete menu while simultaneously taking action toward a more sustainable planet. Self-checkout within the online order system also leads to quicker table turnover and more customers served every day, ultimately increasing revenue.
3. Optimize processes to function with limited staff
These days, most businesses are operating with limited staff, and breweries are no exception. So how can you keep your tables filled without increasing the size of your team?
Servers generally run back and forth between tables, the kitchen, and the central POS. Guests are dependent on them to take orders and bring the check. But with guest-led ordering, the server’s only job is to run food from the kitchen and check tables. Or you can even text guests when their order is ready for pick-up and have them walk over to the counter! Your business will operate efficiently during these understaffed times, and employees build stronger relationships with customers, guaranteeing guests will leave satisfied.
4. Make your brewery part of the community
Breweries are where beer-lovers sample products in their freshest state and interact with others who enjoy the same thing. Emphasize this sense of community in your advertising and messaging; it’s something the beer aisle of a grocery store can’t provide. Bring guests together through special deals and promos on certain nights of the week. When you release a new or seasonal product, designate a few days for everyone to sample the new brew together. Integrate your company into local events; potential customers get a taste of what you have to offer and are encouraged to pay a visit for the whole experience.
5. Reach your target audience with SEO
Savvy guests are looking for the best breweries closest to home. When hunting for where to drink or eat, they search Google for terms like “best breweries in ___” and “breweries near me.” Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to ensure your business shows up at the top of that list. You’ll reach a larger, more targeted audience who will likely show up for a drink by optimizing your website or Google listing.