Building loyalty among customers is a goal of any growing business. At the end of the day, your brewery doesn’t want to be someone’s second pick. With 7,200+ breweries, it should be your brewery’s goal to not only produce high-quality beer, but to also put out an equally impressive customer experience that differentiates you in a crowded market.
Increasing your customer base and keeping them coming back more frequently is the byproduct of your staff. Those that you employ at your brewery not only are tasked with pouring pint after pint, but they also serve as the faces of your brand. The more they can connect with your guests, the better results you will see.
NOTE: This research was collected through Secret Hopper, based on 3,350 non-paid brewery visits, studying spending trends among men and women across various age ranges. The sample set includes nearly a 50/50 mix of men/women.
When a guest receives low engagement at a brewery, their average amount spent is $38.92. Guests receiving high engagement spend an average of $45.59 per visit, 17.1 percent more than those receiving low engagement. Additionally, 30.5 percent of guests receiving high engagement say they will return within one to seven days.
More importantly, if a guest receives low engagement from staff on their first visit to a brewery, they are only 37 percent likely to return/recommend that brewery. However, if they receive high engagement during their first visit, they are 98 percent likely to return/recommend that brewery.
How engagement spending adds up
Creating guests that return to your brewery more frequently because of a high level of engagement creates a customer base of higher spending regulars. Think of it like this:
The guest that receives high engagement and visits your brewery weekly has an approximate monthly value of $182.36 per month, based off four visits a month. The guest receiving low engagement and not returning has a one-time value of $38.92. This is a difference of $143.44 in one month alone. It should be your brewery’s goal to interact to the fullest with each guest with the intent to turn each into a repeat customer.
Try to remember the first brewery you visited. What made it so special? Assuming you had a positive experience, I expect it was a very influential moment in your life. If the experience was negative, it also helped shape your future in craft beer.
All guests deserve an equally enjoyable experience, and no guest should be judged by their physical appearance. As craft beer continues to diversify, it’s important to treat all guests like your best customer. Be sure to greet all guests promptly, make them feel welcome from the start and begin by asking if they have visited your business before. This can serve a precursor for the remainder of their visit. Each type of guest represents a different market segment for your brewery to grow in.
Every guest has different needs that you should tailor the experience to. Simply speaking, there are three types of drinkers that visit your brewery: new beer drinkers, social drinkers and beer nerds.
New beer drinkers are those not fully invested in craft beer and thus require a greater level of basic information. They can benefit greatly from ordering a flight. This is an excellent opportunity for your staff to educate the guest about your brewery, your beers and what makes you extraordinary.
- Ask your new guests what they typically enjoy and suggest beers based on their feedback. The simple line “If you like _____, then you may like _____” can be instrumental in the education from basic domestic beers to craft products.
- Be sure to take the time to explain the brewing process. Discuss the four basic ingredients or any unique twists your brewery adds.
- Never assume a new beer drinker is familiar with even the most basic concept. Terminology even as simple as “hops” or “ABV” are worth an explanation.
- As mentioned, if a guest receives high engagement on their first visit, they are 98 percent likely to return/recommend your business. Turning a new beer drinker into a craft beer advocate additionally helps our industry continue to grow.
Social drinkers are those who have reasonable knowledge of craft beer, but many, as the name entails, drink more so in social settings. These drinkers often enjoy visiting breweries, but do not have loyalty to any specific brand. Setting yourself apart through your customer experience is a way to convert a social drinker into an advocate for your business.
- These guests, like new beer drinkers, also benefit from being educated about your brewery and given some direction with regard to the ordering process.
- These guests are also perfect candidates to join your mailing list or rewards program as they become more active in the world of craft beer.
- These are the guests that are also likely to return to your brewery for a special event. Don’t forget to encourage them to take some beer to go.
Beer nerds are those who are already educated (or at least think they are!) about craft beer. Your conversation with these guests should be shaped to more detailed discussions with a greater focus on the brewing process and the craft beer industry as a whole.
- No detail is too much. To these guests, craft beer isn’t just a drink but a lifestyle. These are the guests most likely to attend functions with limited attendance and special releases.
- Always encourage a beer nerd to purchase merchandise or beer to take home.
- These drinkers travel for beer, seek out sought after releases and are ready to check out your area’s newest brewery. However, give them a reason to call yours home.
These three broad profiles of drinkers are only a sample of the different personalities you and your staff will interact with. Passion is contagious and as brewery owners/managers, it is vital for you to pass along your enthusiasm for your brewery to every person working at your business. Be a brewery where your beer not only speaks for itself, but a brewery where every guest experiences a high level of engagement and in turn also becomes a spokesperson for your company.
Again: This research was collected through Secret Hopper, based on 3350 non-paid brewery visits, studying spending trends among men and women across various age ranges. The sample set includes nearly a 50/50 mix of men/women.