Profitable Ideas for Breweries and Wineries
Successfully Navigating a New Consumer Landscape
Successfully Navigating a New Consumer Landscape
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many beloved breweries and wineries to rethink their operating strategies and come up with creative new ways to offer their products and services to patrons. And although the economy will slowly begin to reopen, there will still be a need for innovative approaches during this time of social distancing and uncertainty. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
Take it to the Streets
Alternate fulfillment channels like curbside pickup and delivery may have made their debuts at a lot of establishments because of the COVID-19 crisis, but they look to have real staying power in this age of convenience.
Breweries and wineries can establish a revenue stream while putting their employees back to work with contactless delivery and curbside pickup. Orders can be taken online through your social media channels, website, or mobile ordering apps like fanfoodapp. Make sure your delivery area and pickup guidelines are visibly stated so the expectations are set when a customer goes to order.
If delivery is an option for you, but you’re worried about the efficiency of providing to a larger market, try establishing specific delivery dates per ZIP code so your driver can make consecutive drop-offs throughout the day. Be sure to cover the extra expense by adding a delivery fee or making the delivery free after a certain amount has been spent.
Food pairings are another way to earn additional sales. If you have a cook staff, create a special menu to go along with your beer and wine. Choose meals that will stay fresh and travel well. One idea may be to offer a “make-your-own burrito kit.” You can supply all the ingredients for your patron to make in the convenience of their home while enjoying their favorite drink.
If your business doesn’t have the resources to provide other menu items, try teaming up with a farmer’s market or restaurant. For example, partner with a local pizzeria to offer a DIY pizza kit to go along with your selections. Or pair your beers and wines with prepackaged foods like popcorn, caramel corn, nachos, and pretzels.
Gourmet popcorn is an easy and inexpensive way to generate sales and create a unique pairing experience. Offer a Mediterranean Herb popcorn with your Merlot or Churro popcorn for your Porter, for example.
With the Foot Treadle Bag Sealer and Super Saver Bags, you can safely package your own popcorn flavors to be sold with your beers and wines. Use these pairing guides for suggestions:
- Preferred Beer & Popcorn Pairings (free guide) – Popcorn and beer go hand in hand, and things get even better when you add specialty flavors and seasonings. Your brewery will stand out from the crowd when you offer beer and popcorn pairings. Use this guide to pair a variety of beers with fun and unexpected popcorn flavors.
- Preferred Wine & Popcorn Pairings (free guide) – Pairing wines with popcorn flavors bring a unique and interesting experience to your guests. Supplement existing pairing menus, offer gourmet popcorn along with wine and provide gift basket options for patrons to take home. Find pairing suggestions in this guide.
Go Live with Virtual Pairings
Take the idea of pairings a step further by establishing videos or live feeds for “virtual pairings”. If your audience can’t make it to your brewery or winery, bring it to them. For example, you can create a weekly Facebook Live event where you personally connect with your audience. Offer food pairing suggestions, answer questions about the beer and wine-making process, have trivia nights, or guide them through preparing a delicious meal at home to go along with specific drink choices—each week introducing a new wine or beer pairing.
Offer Gift Cards
If you don’t already offer gift cards, now is the time to start. Patrons want to see their favorite establishments succeed and are willing to show their support and loyalty by purchasing gift cards. Gift cards are a guarantee they will be coming back to your brewery or winery and are encouraging recipients to do the same.
Gift cards can be offered on your website, social media channels, or through email communications. Using these methods of digital delivery, you can offer your patrons a contactless payment system, which is being encouraged during this time.
And if these aren’t enough reasons to begin a gift card program, according to a Prepaid Consumer Insights Study on Gift Cards, more than 80% of consumers spent more than the value of their card, which means additional revenue for your business.
Follow local brewery, winery, and restaurant associations for more ideas on how the market is reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promote safe operating standards with your employees and the public. Consumers will be paying extra careful attention to how your establishment is following health guidelines and social distancing requirements. Make the safety and health of your patrons one of your main messages by sharing what you are doing to make their experience better.
Check to see if outdoor seating is a viable option. Some cities, like Cincinnati, are allowing bars and restaurants to expand their seating onto sidewalks and streets as well as parking areas and not making them pay the normal permitting fees to do so (source: Cincinnati.com). Check with your local and state officials to see if your business is eligible.
Solidify your online presence. The pandemic will eventually end, but the accelerated changes in consumer behavior will most likely remain. The desire for safety, convenience, contactless payments, and digital communications are here to stay. Now is the time to make sure your website, social media platforms, mobile ordering app, Google listing, and email marketing are up-to-date and reflective of this new standard.
If you’re interested in offering Gold Medal prepackaged snacks or would like to discuss the idea of hosting popcorn pairings, give us a call today at 1-800-543-0862 or contact us online here.