What restaurant doesn’t want to serve house brewed beer?
Millennial Marketing claims that the millennial market ‘Craves Craft Beer’ and they currently represent the biggest restaurant market. Craft beer appeals to Millennials who seek brands that offer ‘authenticity, flavor, history and credibility’, concurs the Brewers Association. Offering a craft beer, or even better, your restaurants own craft beer could potentially increase consumer loyalty. This idea of offering a craft beer is worth exploring.
According to Upserve, from 2012-2017 the annual rate of closure for brewpubs was a low 22%. Compare that to the average for restaurants at around 60% and you might think brewing your own beer is the key to success. Then again, when you consider the cost, space, and expertise needed to brew beer you might decide this is unattainable.
I was excited and intrigued when I saw commotion at the SmartBrew booth at the NRA Show. Jeff Wilson, VP of Sales & Marketing at SmartBrew wouldn’t answer any questions for me until I had a beer in my hand. Jeff recommended I try a lager. It was sunset gold in color, the taste was light, crisp and smooth. Jeff explained that with a minimum of 150 square feet a restaurant could get started brewing and offering their own craft beer. Smart Brew’s new system is almost fully automated monitoring fermentation, carbonation, and maturation which you can monitor from an iPad. They have staff and training materials to help you get started. SmartBrew estimates that you will save 20% by brewing your own beer versus purchasing and serving a comparable craft beer. That doesn’t even consider the coolness factor of brewing beer in-house and the whole system makes for an interesting decoration.
Before you take the leap, remember that success doesn’t just happen. While this system has made in-house beer more attainable it will still take some effort. You’ll have to have a plan, make time to implement that plan, and dedicate resources to your success. Ginger Tin, author of “Ramp Up Server Training” states and I agree “Training is an investment that every restaurateur should take seriously. Even if you are brewing the best beer and creating some of the most fabulous menu items on the planet, if you don’t have a well-trained staff to back it up, you could be losing customers.”
In the next few days, I’ll be sharing more cost savings, technological advances, innovative and just plain cool things I learned at the show.