As the days pass, more and more states and municipalities are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). More frequently, we’re seeing the mandated closure of bars and restaurants to dine-in customers — meaning a huge source of revenue (often, the biggest source) for craft beverage companies is off-limits to customers.
These are hard times, make no mistake, but companies are quickly getting creative and finding ways to serve customers while practicing the social distancing that will help stave off the rapid spread of the virus. Read on to see some of the most effective ways breweries, cideries, and other craft beverage companies are driving revenue while protecting their customers and abiding by state and local mandates.
Ideas for Driving Revenue Outside the Taproom
1. To-Go Products
If your retail location is still open, you can offer to-go products to customers — bottles, cans, crowlers, and growlers — in place of or in addition to on-premise consumption. Many businesses have opted to offer discounts on to-go products (e.g. 20% off all cans) to help encourage consumers to purchase. For those don’t live close to your taproom, you can share a map or list of retail locations (grocery stores, bottle shops, etc.) where they can purchase your products.
2. Curbside Pickup
As businesses practice social distancing — willingly or otherwise — curbside pickup is becoming a popular option. Set up a tent or table outside your facility, or open your walk-up window/bar if you have one, where customers can purchase products without entering the taproom. If you’re able, you could also set up online or phone sales so all customers have to do is order and pick up curbside. That way, customers can support you without money/cards (and the germs that come with them) being exchanged.
3. Product Delivery
If your staff has the capacity or you already use a delivery service like Grubhub, offering delivery of your beer, wine, cider, or other beverages is a great way to get customers to purchase from you. If all they have to do is order (online or over the phone) and wait for their favorite drinks to arrive at their doorsteps, why wouldn’t they? Be sure to share all methods of purchase (pickup, delivery, etc.) with your customers via your social media channels and website, and encourage them to tag your brand in photos with your products!
4. Gift Cards
There are many folks out there who don’t need or want extra product but do want to support local businesses during these uncertain times. Share links on social media to where they can purchase gift cards (ideally without coming into your retail location), and consider offering a deal. For example, buy $50 worth of gift cards for $40, or something similar.
5. Branded Merchandise
Have merchandise you need to sell? Tell your customers! Share on social media or in an email newsletter, and provide online ordering and delivery options if you can. Again, the easier it is for customers to purchase, the better chance you have of hooking them.
The great news is that many customers are eager to support their favorite small businesses in any way they can — unfortunately, it’s becoming less and less likely that they’ll be able to do that in your taproom or tasting room for at least the next few weeks. These extra efforts should help bring in money while isolation efforts continue.
Our last tip: start planning your grand reopening bash now, and plan for it to be your most epic party yet.