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Thread: New Sales idea

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario
    Posts
    25

    New Sales idea

    Hi,

    I'm just going to throw my situation out there and see if anybody has some ideas.

    We are a small brewpub which produces 5 different beers. We have a kolsch, wheat, nut brown, irish red, and ESB. We also have 9 domestic/imported brands on tap as well. Right not the sales ratio is 2:1 domestics: house brew. We would like to change that to at least 1:1. We have a loyal customer base and those that try our beer really like our beer. We also have a very stuck up clientel. They don't know beer but they think they know beer.

    In an effort to inform the customers we did a server training seminar to bring the wait staff up to par. We are looking at some tastings but does anybody have some suggestions for improving our house brew sales?

    Cheers,

    Patrick Fiori
    Clocktower Brew pub

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    993

    The easy answer is...

    drop all of the non-house beers and fill those taps with house beers. To appease the non-beer drinkers add a bottled domestic.
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario
    Posts
    25
    Hi,

    Just to clarify, dropping the domestic brands is not an option, at least not yet. They bring in a significant amount of money and people. Our clients won't be ready to accept a sudden change like that. If the answer were that simple, I wouldn't have needed to post. We do sell bottles as well, but just about everything else out sells the bottles, our customers prefer draft.

    Cheers,
    Patrick

    Clocktower Brewpub

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    66
    It's difficult for anyone to give you good advice because we don't know what your market/clientele is like. I assume your 9 dom/imp are the standard domestics and lite beers plus a few imports like heine and bass and maybe guinness.

    The first thing I would do in that situation is make sure your products are distinct and different from the dom/imp- maybe throw in an IPA, porter or stout, flavored wheat, etc... Provide a new choice to those looking to expand their horizons.

    We don't sell any dom/imp draft, just a few import bottles for the non-adventurous. However, those bottles are always $4 a piece- no promotions. So perhaps you could try promoting your own brands- happy hours, pitcher prices, burger and beer deals, etc, and keep your kegged beer at the same price all the time.

    Finally, I would recommend providing liberal tastings of your product- if someone orders a Bud, give them a sample of kolsch and let them know that a pint of kolsch is cheaper. They are likely to buy a kolsch next time, assuming it's a clean, easy drinking beer.

    Well, good luck, it's an uphill battle breaking people from their well beaten paths.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    32
    We raised all beer prices on non-house beers by .50 cents to $1.00 and our house beer sales increased 20% within three months. Could have been other factors, but people at least were curious enough to try a house beer. We gained a lot of converts who had never tried anything other than a major label.

    Server education is great, however they need to be motivated. Offer a reward/bonus to the bartender/server who sells the most house beer per shift/week/month. There will be competition between your staff to see who can sell the most.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    27
    Hi Patrick I ahve had similar issues in the past where I was forced to sell the domestic industrial beers due to an arrangement between the pub and the industrial brewery. What we did was replace the tap badges and handles of the non house beers with non descript handles or tap badges or ones that had our venue's logo. Then we shifted these beers onto the taps that were in the quieter parts of the bar and made it really inconvienient on busy nights for the bar staff to go pour it they then worked harder at selling the beer that was closest to them.

    Eventually we had a set of taps where we sent beers to die and our house brews took center stage.

    If your consumer can't see the brands they know they are then in the hands of your bar team who if properly trained and incentivised will make your beers top dog.

    Cheers and beers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario
    Posts
    25
    Hi,

    Thanks for the advice. I will be taking some of this stuff with me next time I meet with the owners!

    Patrick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1
    always, always, always bring a sample to the table. If you have a tank that is a couple weeks older than the rest run an unanounced promo. have ever server brin a two ounce taster with every domestic ordered.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    253
    Give a freebie (house brew) to the cute girl at the end of the bar!!!

    Its funny how many people will say after (Ill take the same thing!!!)

    Trick from an ex-bar manager!

    PS. Also put your house beers in the best shaped glass and the imports in paper cups (joking)…but seriously…sometime (especially with stuck up people) look’s are everything!
    Pascal Thibault - UNITED BOTTLES & PACKAGING
    …New packaging and private molds, washing services, ingredients and kegs...since 1994


    pascal.thibault@unitedbottles.com
    www.unitedbottles.com
    (450.622.1600 ext.243)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    618

    ugggha

    To me a ownership that has that many outside beers on shows a lack of confidence in their Brewer and commitment to the Brewpub business concept.
    I have no problem with a couple domestic macro Lite or lagers, but anyone who drinks imports like Bass or even Stella should be able to drink your house beer. I would argue to drop them. Stand up for yourself and say your Pils/kolsh/golden ale ect. is better, fresher and makes a far better profit than any Heiny can can.
    That said there were some good ideas posted here. Good Luck
    Operations Director, Tin Roof BC
    ted@tinroofbeer.com
    "Your results may vary"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    50
    Marketing...Are your beers named after unique local places, or ideas. Billy drinking a Bud at the end of the bar might have more pride in drinking a Fill In The Blank City Gold. People like to feel as though they are a part of something. Might be worth a shot

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    193
    You're on the right track with the server training but I would take it one step farther. Are your servers interested in your house beers? What do they drink when they aren't working? They are the face of your pub and what you sell is almost entirely dependent on them. If you have servers that aren't supporting your in house products then you either need to change their attitudes or replace them.

    At some point your owners have to decide if they're a bar with a couple of house beers or if they're a brewpub. If they want to be a bar with a couple of house beers then they should stop brewing altogether and hire a contract brewer and slap their name on the side of the keg. If they want to be a brewpub and take their beer seriously then they should ditch the swill and market the hell out of the product they have as well as develop more styles to accompany them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
    Posts
    962
    In Berkeley is a place that has all their beers the same price- except the house beers are 23 oz in a cool glass, the guest beers are in the dumpy pint mixing glasses. Irresistible.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,084
    My two cents...
    You opened a brewpub to brew unique beers. Drop as many non-brewed-on-site beers as you can (read: ALL OF THEM). Serving macrobrewed , alcoholic-waste water in a brewpub is like offering microwaveable McDonald's meals in a gourmet restaurant.
    HAVE FAITH IN THE BREWPUB BUSINESS STRUCTURE AND YOUR BREWER.
    EDUCATE YOUR PATRONS ON WHAT REAL BEER IS!
    ....end of rant

    Dave

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville FL
    Posts
    17
    Phase the macro and macro imports out slowly. Get rid of bud now, miller in 2 months and coors in 6. You can slowly ween your business off of people who aren't going to buy the in house beer. Keep in mind that a lot of micro drinkers are turned off by meat-heads sitting at the end of the bar drinking bud light; hopefully as they move out, better customers will move in.

    P.S. I think this problem is an excellent example of why anyone who brews their own beer should strictly keep major brands off their taps. It is a great idea to have other craft beers on tap, but put in two handles of bud and you will attract a crowd that can ruin your business model and quickly destroy you reputation as well.

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