Simple Ways to Skyrocket Restaurant Profits with Craft Beer Marketing

In my younger years, I spent a considerable amount of time working in restaurants. I’ve washed dishes and waited tables and dealt with plenty of craziness doing both.

Living in the Rocky Mountains, I found myself prepping and bare-handing cup after mind-numbing cup of french onion soup that was roughly the temperature of molten lava. I still have nightmares of hearing “2 cups of fro!”

While in college, I waited tables and dealt with the joys of living off tips. I wish I had the opportunity to sell craft beer then, as counting the tips at the end of the night would have been even better.

Why Sell Craft BeerThe long and short is, restaurant life isn’t for everyone. It’s long hours, lots of work and for many, a constant struggle to find profit centers. I am far from qualified in restaurant operations, but according to the Brewer’s Association, a craft beer customer’s bill is an average of $16 higher than someone’s who is drinking swill like Bud Light.

Think about that for a minute and let it sink in.

Let’s tie on our imagination caps and think that $16 bill through:

  • Consider if you had 25 tables a night enjoying craft beer, and their bills were each $16 more. That is $400 more for the night.
  • That extra $400 a night for 6 days (You need a day off right?!) means an additional $2,400 a week.
  • Even if you closed your doors for 2 weeks a year, you would still see an increase in sales of $120,000!
  • Which would mean your servers would make an additional $20,400 in tips.

See what I did there? Thats right. Math.

If you don’t think craft beer can help you make more money, then do the math yourself and see what you come up with.

Here are a few simple tips to help you sell more craft beer:

  1.  When you change out a tap, be sure to snap a photo and share in all the usual places, like Instagram and Facebook. If it is local, or seasonal (people go apeshit for both!) be sure to give as much information as you can— the brewer, the beer type, ABV, hop varieties, etc.
  2. Make sure your taplist is on your website and current. And, don’t make me download a PDF to know what you have on tap! If I am looking for a restaurant while traveling, I am using my phone. When I am browsing on my phone and see a “click this link to view our pdf menu and taplist,” I go the next site.
  3. Make sure your servers know what the hell they are talking about. Not too long ago, in a restaurant with 30+ taps,  I asked my server what IPA’s they had available. She replied, “I have never heard that word before.” WTF?I’ve heard Newcastle described as a “dark beer,” and have been told, “I don’t really know what we have; I don’t like beer.” You train your staff on your food. Train them on beer, too.

And if the servers reply that they don’t like beer, perhaps you should ask if they like better tips.

Want more specifics? Here’s a further breakdown of why craft beer sales matter, and a tool to compare your profits.

What tips help your restaurant sell craft beer?