Get ready to dust off your best beer mugs. American Craft Beer Week 2023 is finally here. New drinkers and loyal enthusiasts alike will be stopping by small breweries between May 15 – 21 to chug down their favorite ales or sample a new flavor of kombucha. Of course, there’s much more to running a brewery than selling some ‘love beer love food’ t-shirt alongside an Ithaca Flower Power IPA. There’s good beer, and there’s a good experience with the beer. Even if you’re selling a signature pint loved by everyone in the beer world, your brewery shouldn’t only rely on its drink menu to see a growth in profits.

A successful craft brewery offers an authentic, welcoming environment to everyone looking for a place to unwind with a drink in hand. That means successful craft breweries should prioritize all the unsexy, behind-the-scenes features so guests feel invited before staff fills up that first glass. Thankfully, SpotOn’s got some useful tips to help breweries of any size make their operations as crisp as a pint of your signature sour ale, and boost sales as a result. From building a comprehensive customer email list to utilizing labor management software, let American Craft Beer Week become the reason why guests come back for another pour.

Email your biggest beer fans

Image of iPhone / Android email app with notifications.
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

Sending out a well-timed email to everyone on your customer mailing list may be one of the easiest ways to boost sales during American Craft Beer Week. Since you’re contacting those loyal guests who know your drink menu from front to back, it’ll be a great way to let them know how much you value their patronage, and how you’d love to have them over to celebrate Craft Beer Week. Of course, the email doesn’t need to be anything too fancy. Just stay true to your brand image while also promoting some special drinks and discounts offered for the week.

Some craft breweries, however, might feel a little stuck when it comes to building a comprehensive mailing list. It gets even harder when you don’t have the right tech to help show you all the hidden shortcuts. With SpotOn, you can simply log into your SpotOn Dashboard and use one of our pre-made templates to easily send a marketing email to your guests. We’ve also put together a few tricks-of-the-trade for small breweries itching to grow. All you need is a flexible point-of-sale ecosystem to work smarter, not harder, when growing your customer mailing list.

Post some beer & promote on Instagram

Social media is a great way to garner attention for any occasion. However, a lot of craft breweries tend to overthink how they interact with their followers, especially when it comes to posting promotions. You thankfully don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you post a selfie with a bar snack on Instagram or share a beer meme on Facebook.

Keep your social media posts simple and to the point by sharing recognizable graphics and photos. You could post a selfie promoting Small Brewery Sunday 2023, a digital coupon that guests can show at the register, or a photo from the latest trivia night. By then including the appropriate caption, you keep your posts focused on the exact promotion or event for everyone scrolling by on their smartphone.

A screenshot of Loma Brewing Company Instagram page, with photos of beer food, craft beer, and a beer menu.
Kevin Youkilis, former MLB player and founder of Loma Brewing Company, isn’t afraid to tout a well-crafted Instagram post.

You can also broaden your social media reach by including hashtags related to your craft brewery and the event as well. Just remember to use a variety of hashtags that cover a specific and broad range of topics, such as #americancraftbeerweek2023 or #breweriesincolumbus or #pintofbeer. A healthy variation of short and long words and phrases also helps you reach the widest audience possible.

While you’re trying to perfect your social media marketing, don’t forget to claim your business page for different review sites like Yelp, Google Business, and Facebook. When claiming these review sites, you’ll have greater control over reviews and any other vital information future guests might see.

Sell more brews with QR codes & handheld devices

A long line out the door is always a good sign that your brewery will have a nice, profitable night. However, you could shorten those lines by adding some variety to the way your thirsty guests order their drinks. Handheld point-of-sale devices are one simple and easy solution to streamline the overall ordering process, all while empowering your craft brewery staff by allowing them to easily take orders any time and place. Guests won’t even need to wait in that line for their next drink.

QR codes are another great way to shorten those lines and boost sales during American Craft Beer Week 2023. Think of QR codes as a two for one special for enhancing your order efficiency. By having a little QR code tent on every table, guests can order directly from their smartphones without ever needing to wait in a line or grab the attention of brewery staff busy with other tasks. Plus, it’ll also give guests an incentive to treat themselves to another drink or an extra order of snacks.

Promote revisits with a loyalty program

Four craft beer drinkers celebrating with each other.
Photo by Giovanna Gomes / Unsplash

Everyone loves getting a little reward now and then, especially when it’s just from drinking beer. That’s why every craft brewery needs to capitalize on an effective loyalty program. It’ll help convert new guests into dedicated regulars by giving them a good incentive to come back for another drink. And when you tantalize guests with different loyalty rewards, such as a free hat or a discount pitcher of beer, you’re also adding more names to your customer database for next year’s American Craft Beer Week.

Worried giving away too much free swag? You don’t even need to rely on physical rewards for an effective loyalty rewards program. Offering experiential rewards, like first access to a new beer or a name on the menu, helps guests feel like they’re contributing to your brewery’s overall experience. And with SpotOn’s own loyalty reward program software, you can personalize every different way guests can rack up reward points. From buying a flight of beer to even getting a friend to sign up for the loyalty program itself, you get the power to be as creative as you want.

Don’t let your services or staff fall behind

It can be hard to predict how many guests will stop by your craft brewery on any given day. Unfortunately, the right amount of staff can either make or break your brewery’s workflow, even if you can get a good sense of guest traffic based on the day of the week or if there’s a game going on. However, if your brewery point-of-sale system instantly reports your sales data from American Craft Beer Week 2022, you’ll be able to staff accordingly with the right numbers at your fingertips. After everything you’ve worked towards, a staffing shortage should be the last thing to worry about.

Using the right labor management software can also save you a ton of headache and money, especially if you’re busy making sure the brewery is running as smoothly as possible. Thankfully with SpotOn Teamwork, you can easily coordinate staff schedules, manage PTO, and even finish payroll in one central hub. Just like with SpotOn’s own instant reporting, SpotOn Teamwork is built to give you more time in your work day.

American Craft Beer Week will always be a celebration for the people who love to drink and support every type of brewery. However, you can’t let the need for the best beer distract you from keeping profit up. That’s why, with SpotOn, you can stay focused on perfecting your sales, all while ensuring guests are having a good time. From QR ordering right at the table to a comprehensive suite of software designed to streamline operations, and more, SpotOn is here to help make sure your beers are always pouring.

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