How To Maximize Your Self-pour Venue Sales

9 Tips How To Maximize Your Venue Sales in the Pandemic World

For the past few months, businesses across the country have been struggling to generate revenue, and in many cases, struggling to even keep doors open. The hospitality industry especially has been hit hard and will have difficulties bouncing back. Being in the hospitality industry ourselves and having worked with various bars and restaurants globally, we found some great ways in which you can maximize your venue sales other than dining-in services.

Although we created the suggestions below for businesses operating with PourMyBeer or other self-pour technology, many of these tips are still applicable to any type of establishment:

1. Dinner & Special Meal Kits

More restaurants are offering take-home dinner kits to customers, allowing them to make their own dinner with their favorite restaurants’ recipes. Take-home kits work with a variety of meals, particularly with simpler dishes like pizza and pasta, but there is no limit. You provide customers with the ingredients and directions, and they can still enjoy your restaurant’s food and have some fun while doing it! And the best part? Your branding will be on the recipes that might stay around for much longer, allowing your brand to get more exposure over time. 

How To Execute It: Launch the simplified program, starting with only 3 options for Dinner Kits in a given week. This way, you can track your success and determine if you should add more options later on. You will want to utilize the power of social media and posters around your establishment to spread awareness of this new and fun service.

PourMyBeer Tip: Think about the parents spending time home with their children and looking for new ways to entertain them. If you can give them a fun way to create a meal together, they are bound to come back for more. What about incorporating alphabet pasta to your soup or another suitable dish to make it more fun? Or what about having a doughnut for dessert with decoration kits on the side so the family can play? Kids oftentimes are playing make-believe kitchen or restaurant, so now parents can actually bring it to life! 

2. Growlers & Crowlers To-Go

When dine-in isn’t an option, there’s no better or safer way to enjoy your favorite brewski than from the comfort of your home. By offering growlers to-go, customers will want to stop by to not only get their favorite beers or wine but also support their favorite local businesses. Fresh beers and wine from the tap are unbeatable, and many people are missing that aspect of dining-in. 

By offering a growler or a crowler to-go, you enable your customers to enjoy the benefits of their favorite fresh beverages while allowing them to consume them in the safety of their homes.

How To Execute It: You can simply have your customers fill up the growler themselves at the beverage wall, or your staff can fill it up for them. We recommend you to offer a discount for customers that are filling up the full growler. The most common way is to take a certain amount (for example, $5 off) or give a percentage sale.

Growlers and a pint glass from 313 Taproom

3. Merchandise

First of all, every bar or restaurant can surely benefit from offering merchandise on their site. Customers who are wine and beer fans and like your establishment will enjoy wearing some of your branded clothes as long as it is comfortable and ideally unique or funny. 

Besides the extra sale of the merch, your logo will now be walking around the town and will provide you with free advertising! It’s a win-win. You can sell t-shirts, sweatshirts but also more unique items communicating what your place is all about.

PourMyBeer Tip: Dog friendly? Sell branded collars with a beer opener attached to them. Child friendly? Have fun washable baby bibs available for parents to take home. If your menu focuses on meat, have all different animals that are actually available on your menu (such as cows and pigs) displayed on the bib with your logo above them and saying something along the lines of “All my favorites in one place.” There are many items that your customers will be eager to get their hands on, you just need to bring some creativity to the table and make sure that you offer something desirable that fits your branding and positioning

4. Delivery

Amid the pandemic, food delivery has skyrocketed! It has been a go-to option for so many people who don’t have the time to go out and pick something up or for people who do not feel comfortable leaving their homes. Offering a delivery option for your business is a definite way you can still make a profit, even if the business isn’t currently booming. Many businesses have decided to have their food delivered through third party companies such as GrubHub, DoorDash, and UberEats. These companies do take a portion of profits from sales, so if you have the resources, it may be a good idea to create your own delivery system, as your workers still rely on tips. 

Learn more about third party delivery versus your own delivery here.

How To Execute It: You can start by offering delivery for a specific geographic area and see how successful it is. If orders start rolling in quickly, it may be a good idea to pair up with a third party delivery service so that your delivery options can be offered to a wider area. You don’t want the distance to be an issue for potential and existing customers, so that is where a delivery service such as Grubhub, Postmates, and UberEats comes into play. They offer delivery to a broader geographic area than you may be willing to send your own drivers, so this is something you should keep in mind. 

5. Takeout

Takeout has become a widely used option for businesses that wish to stay open and serve customers but do not have much indoor seating and are operating under a limited capacity. It enables customers to enjoy food from their favorite spots within the comfort of their own homes. Most places have begun including a takeout option, so if you have yet to offer this service, it is a good idea to start doing so. 

How To Execute It: Since taking orders over the phone can be inefficient, especially when there’s a full house, and if the phone is ringing off the hook, you may want to consider utilizing an online ordering system. This allows you to retrieve customers’ orders electronically and without miscommunication. It can also make the ordering process easier for the customer as most ordering websites can save their credit card info and past orders for quick ordering. Through these systems, customers can also customize dishes, or leave notes for the restaurant staff, such as if they have allergies, gluten sensitivity, vegetarian preferences, etc., which makes it easier for the restaurant to dictate that information to their chef. 

6. Gift Cards

Emphasize the use of gift cards for your business, as they make great gifts and can bring new and returning customers through your doors. It may even be beneficial to host a social media contest to raffle off a $50 gift card, as it will draw attention to your business while advertising that you are still open and ready to serve. Also, now with the end of the year coming up, gift cards make up for the PERFECT gift for your loved ones. 

PourMyBeer RFID card

How To Execute It: On social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, you can create posts and promotions highlighting your business’ gift cards. You can host social media raffles where patrons must follow you, share your post with their network, and tag friends. Then, you draw a few names at random, and the lucky winners will receive gift cards to your restaurant or bar. Not only will this bring customers through your doors but it will also provide you with some free advertising and exposure. 

Additionally, you can also advertise a promotion, such as if guests spend a certain amount at your establishment, they will get a $10 or $15 gift card to use at their next visit. Another common promotion is if customers buy a $75 or $100 gift card, they also receive a $25 gift card with their purchase. These deals will draw customers through your doors as there is nothing better than a discount on some good food and drinks. 

7. Special Events

One way to bring some fun to customers is through unique events that you can host right from the computer or even socially distanced outside. You can offer a paint and vino event through video chat or live music on your patio or outdoor area. Whatever the event is, the customers will enjoy something different than the ordinary.

How To Execute It: Your business can host a paint and vino event through video chat, where customers can RSVP and will pay a designated fee. You can then deliver or have them pick up materials including paints, brushes, canvases, and a bottle of wine of their choosing. This is a great way for friends or family to spend some time together while also getting creative and supporting their favorite restaurant/bar. It’s also another great way to get some attention on social media and advertise your business for free. 

For more tips, visit events ideas here, but keep in mind that many of these will need a bit of tweak due to COVID. 

8. Virtual Wine/Beer Tasting

We all miss the days where you could go to a bar or taproom and get flights of beer or glasses of wine to taste while also listening to the information and story behind what you’re drinking. To keep this element of dining still alive, you can offer virtual wine and beer tastings. 

How To Execute It: You can provide customers with specific beverages, either beer or wine ahead of time, and have a beer expert or sommelier explain what customers are drinking while they taste it in the comfort of their own home. This experience can be fun for friends and family during the weekends and is also a great way to bring in extra revenue during these unprecedented times. 

9. Catering

The holiday season is the perfect time to incorporate a catering option into your establishment. The holiday season is looking a little different this year, and families are no longer able to go out and celebrate at their favorite restaurants. With a portion of your dining area closed, and the inability to hold events, this will make up for some of those lost profits. Not to mention, people have less motivation to cook these big meals since they cannot gather with other family and friends. Include a Growler or Crowler of their favorite brewski, and they have a full holiday meal!

How To Execute It: If you are new to the catering business, offer a few options to keep things easy on you, and see how it goes. Stick with the traditional holiday meals.

For November, you could offer a Thanksgiving dinner, or if you’re an Italian restaurant on Christmas Eve, you could offer the traditional seven fish meal. Offer catered meals in small, family-sized portions since large group gatherings are unlikely to happen. If you see success, start expanding by offering items you typically serve, just in larger portions.

Cheers!

Navigating this “new normal” is going to be difficult, especially without the help of others in the industry. That’s why we’ve created this list of 52 Tips for Your Post-COVID Strategy to help you reopen safely and efficiently. We would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any other ideas for ways in which you can bring in revenue during the pandemic, you can contact us at cheers@pourmybeer.com or (312) 416-9989. Cheers! 

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