Owning a brewery is more than just an exchange of money for liquid in a glass. Owning a brewery is about building a connection, creating a memorable experience and giving guests reasons to return. In the current state of craft beer, breweries continue to fight for market share versus themselves as well as Big Beer. A brewery should never stop thinking about new strategies to get guests through their doors and to not only maximize their experiences but also the amount they safely spend.
But which days of the week result in the highest tabs?
For this study, we (Secret Hopper) define tab as the total amount a guest spends, including tip and all guests on their check. The average tab includes 2.9 guests.
As expected, weekend dates coincide with guest spending more. The highest average tab occurs on Saturdays at $46.17, closely followed by Fridays at $46.00. The lowest average tab occurs on Tuesdays at $40.14. Guests spend 15 percent more on a Saturday than Tuesday.
This study does not take into consideration special events held at breweries. However, it can be argued that guests spend more time at breweries on weekends because there are more special events offered. These special events, whether a bottle release to live music, encourage guests to stay longer and thus spend more.
How do guests become aware of these special events?
Social media plays a huge role; however, when guests are already at a brewery, that brewery has a captive audience easily fed information. In a past article, we discussed the impact of a physical menu on guest spending habits.
We discovered that guests spend 33.2 percent more when provided a physical menu. The mere presence of a physical menu serves as a constant reminder for a guest to continue ordering more. With this same premise, a well-positioned list of upcoming events gives your guests a reason to make another visit to your business.
In our study, we found that only 54.9 percent of breweries display a clearly visible listing of upcoming events. Nearly half of breweries (45.1 percent) are not making their most attentive patrons aware of what’s going on at the brewery while they are there. This is a huge missed opportunity. In today’s experience economy, people are not only looking for an enjoyable product to consume but also an experience to surround it. This is a key way to separate yourself from the brewery down the street that’s also making great beer.
The more reasons you give your guests to return, the more brand loyalty you will build.
Make sure you are using the captive audience inside your brewery to your advantage. From table tents to menus to chalkboard schedules to bathroom door flyers, determine the best means for your brewery to share upcoming events with your guests.
Having a loyalty/rewards program and/or mailing list are also great ways to stay in touch with your guests and to motivate them to return. The more you can touch and connect with your guests, the more likely they are to show you the same loyalty. When closing a tab, train your staff to make guests aware of these programs.
85.7 percent of the time brewery staff does not make guests aware of the brewery’s loyalty/rewards or mailing lists. 14.3 of the time they do. Turn these statistics around.
When planning events, think outside the box. Don’t just think of what would appeal to your typical beer nerd. Brainstorm events, small to large, that would also attract new audiences. Company meetings, holiday parties, book clubs? There’s nothing off limits.
The majority of breweries plan their bigger events on the weekends where guests are already planning to spend money, but this doesn’t mean you can’t give reasons to come out on even the historically lowest spending nights. Transform a previously slow Tuesday night into a special release only available for members of your mug club. Take a Wednesday and invite your local civic league to host their monthly meeting. Slow Sunday mornings? Why not share your space with a local religious group? Worst case, you gave up a few hours to test an idea. Best case, you introduce a few non-craft drinkers to your business and if done right, give them a reason to return.
Craft beer does not follow a weekly schedule. To many, craft beer is a way of life. To others, craft beer is a new frontier that needs to be explored. Breweries are places of social gathering. As brewery owners, taproom managers and advocates for the cause, stay connected with your guests while at your brewery, keep your brewery on their mind while they are away and give them a reason to return.
This research was collected through Secret Hopper, based on 4,053 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.