Best Practices

Brewery Community Connections and Generating Revenue

GoTab recently hosted a webinar featuring Taylor Smith and Doug Cleary, Account Executives at GoTab, who discussed the hottest topics from the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC). The webinar covered cash discounting and strategies to boost customer lifetime value. Louren Horler , a successful General Manager at Napa Smith Brewery, also shared valuable insights on building strong community connections and generating revenue through effective activations. Key topics included cash discounting, hybrid service models, and QR code ordering.

Cash Discounting

During the webinar, cash discounting emerged as a prominent topic. This practice involves imposing a surcharge on credit card payments instead of absorbing the merchant service fees. As a result, customers using credit cards pay more, while those using cash receive a discount. Doug and Taylor expressed their concerns about this approach, emphasizing that it essentially overcharges customers and benefits third-party entities without providing any value to businesses or customers.

Despite the potential cost savings for businesses, both Doug and Taylor voiced their dislike for intentional overcharging and the associated inconvenience. This led to questioning whether promoting cash payments is the right approach, given that most transactions nowadays are conducted using credit cards. Moreover, handling cash can slow down service and necessitate additional resources.

Hybrid Service Models

The discussion then turned towards hybrid service models, which involve striking a balance between self-service, counter service, and full service. In the brewing industry, where fostering customer relationships is vital, hybridizing service entails combining aspects of self-service and counter service to enhance efficiency and the customer experience. Doug and Taylor  highlighted the advantages of line busting and staff interaction with customers, particularly when delivering drinks to tables. However, they also recognized the importance of streamlined operations, where customers can independently place orders using QR codes or shared tabs.

QR code ordering was specifically addressed within the hybrid service model. Although some attendees expressed concerns about outdated menus and scanning difficulties, it was acknowledged that when implemented effectively, QR code ordering can offer customers a positive experience. The key lies in ensuring that menus are kept up to date and the technology functions smoothly.

Customer Activation

The discussion highlighted the significance of preserving a traditional neighborhood brewery as a community gathering place, even amidst technological advancements. Louren Horler from Napa Smith Brewing shared experiences in organizing engaging events to attract customers and drive sales.

One notable event discussed was the cornhole tournament hosted by Napa Smith Brewing. Despite its location with limited foot traffic, the brewery partnered with the North Bay Elite Cornhole League, hosting league nights on Thursdays. This initiative brought in 20 to 50 additional customers who would not have otherwise visited the brewery. The success led to expanding the tournament to Mondays, previously a closed day, attracting an average of 45 extra guests and establishing the brewery as the official beer sponsor of the cornhole league.

The popularity of these cornhole events grew, transforming Napa Smith Brewing into a preferred destination for cornhole enthusiasts. The brewery went on to host regional tournaments and even welcomed participants who had been featured on ESPN. This creative activation attracted individuals from various towns and cities, cultivating their passion for cornhole and transforming them into regular customers. The brewery allocated its warehouse space for the tournaments, ensuring a positive experience with designated lanes and the cornhole league handling the setup and cleanup.

By seizing the opportunity and providing the necessary space, Napa Smith Brewing witnessed increased sales, garnered free advertising through social media coverage, and crafted a unique customer experience that translated into additional beer sales. The conversation stressed the importance of preserving community and customer interaction, emphasizing that while technology and data analytics have their place, they should complement rather than replace these fundamental elements.

Overall, these insights shed light on the importance of community connections, revenue generation, and effective activations in the brewing industry. By considering the customer experience, leveraging technology, and finding the right balance in service models, breweries can enhance their operations and strengthen their relationships with customers.

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Situated “in the heart of it all, yet tranquil enough to make you feel away from it all too,” The Limelight Hotel Snowmass offers 99 hotel rooms and 11 residences, as well as footsteps-to-gondola access in winter and summer — right in the middle of Snowmass Base Village.

The Situation

Especially over the last few years, the Limelight Hotels IT team had witnessed a significant shift to contactless technology in the hospitality industry. After evaluating friction points in the guest journey, aligning with modern technology platforms in their restaurant was determined to be an effective way to offer elevated contactless dining experiences to their guests while also evolving their technology platforms to continue to support long-term company goals. Limelight Hotel partnered with GoTab to provide an enhanced on-demand dining experience on par with the brand’s reputation for exceptional guest service.

The Solution

Reducing Staff Touch Points Without Sacrificing Guest Experience

Guests are now able to begin a tab from their room or the property’s restaurant by scanning a QR code, texting a link to friends or family members on the ski slope to add in their orders, then meeting up together at the patio or lodge to enjoy their meal and après ski festivities without interruption. By streamlining tasks like inputting orders and processing payments, this eliminates friction for hotel staff and allows them to focus on delivering renowned guest service for a memorable experience. Since partnering with GoTab, Limelight Snowmass has consistently seen higher check averages and sales.

“We found the Point of Sale platforms we were looking at offered the guest and staff limited opportunities to further reduce touch points or improve the traditional restaurant experience. The GoTab platform enabled the guest to take an active role over the flow of their experience while simultaneously reducing touch points and further streamlining restaurant operations.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

According to the Limelight Hotels team, some of the other platforms that were evaluated were either missing some of the pieces they were looking for, had weak customer support models, or had little willingness to develop integrations to existing hotel platforms already in place. To that end, GoTab integrated with cloud-based platform, Infor. Together, GoTab and Infor are providing dynamic solutions to support central, efficient service across hotel amenities and deliver exceptional guest experiences.

“Previously, guests would call down to the restaurant to begin an order from their room or while they were out enjoying the ski slopes. Using GoTab, guests can now place orders from anywhere on the resort, giving them the on-demand service they want without interrupting their day. GoTab empowers us to give control to the guest, reducing touch points and streamlining overall restaurant operations, making Limelight Hotel the resort of choice for Snowmass.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

Since introducing GoTab, The Limelight Hotel has seen a consistent level of upsells and items sold per check resulting in additional revenue capture. They have been able to maintain service levels in their restaurants during periods when there was reduced staffing available without significantly diminishing the guest experience.

The Benefits

Eliminate Phone Orders – Take Orders from the Slopes. Guests can start a tab from their room or on the mountain without interrupting the flow of their day.

Future-Proofed Technologies – Delivering elevated contactless ordering via integration with the Infor hotel management platform.

Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

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