Brewery in Planning

Starting A Profitable Brewery Taproom

Opening A Taproom

We came across an article in Arryved on how to start a profitable Brewery Taproom and thought we would share some highlights of that article.

Starting your own brewery is a task for artisans, dreamers, and, depending on who you ask, crazy people.

All jokes aside, it’s a lot of hard work to open a brewery: Starting a brewery business requires substantial funding, planning, and elbow grease. But, that makes the fruits of your labor that much sweeter… or sour, malty, hoppy, etc.

So, for Breweries in Planning, these resources will make all the difference when you’re in the early stages of planning and opening a brewery:

  • First, talk to craft brewery industry professionals. It’s much easier to plan your own brewery when you have advice from other people who were in your exact shoes. Consider Membership Organizations & Beer-specific Forums.Talking with brewing industry vets is a great way to gather information and advice. But to handle things like necessary licensing, insurance, banking, and more, you need to work with experts in each field.The Ultimate Brewery In Planning Guide has a complete list of brewing business management resources, a comprehensive launch checklist, and more, so you have everything you need to make opening your own brewery as stress-free as possible.
  • Let’s Talk How To Build A Profitable Brewery Taproom. If your brewery is past the planning stage and on to the almost-opening-taproom-doors stage, there are 3 key things to building a profitable brewery taproom:Happy, satisfied guests
    Exceptional and valued staff
    A distinctly delicious & consistent product offering

Ensuring every guest that walks through your taproom’s door has a memorable experience is about understanding your customer base, marketing to them effectively, and flexing with the feedback you gather as you go. Determining who your customer is should be one of the first steps you should take. That determines your offerings, your taproom ambience and the more curated your offerings are to guests, the happier they’ll leave and the more likely they’ll be back!

A big sign out front isn’t enough to get the volume of guests in the door that you need to reach profitability. For that, you need to consider how to market to your target audience.

  • Create & Manage A Successful Taproom Team.Hiring, training, and retaining an efficient brewery taproom team is no small feat. Staff interactions have a huge impact on the guest experience, so it’s well worth your time and money to invest in the best fits.You must find the right people, educate well, and compensate fairly.Your taproom staff needs to wear a lot of different hats: sales, service, educator, entertainment—the list goes on! With the right hiring process, you can quickly identify folks that will excel at juggling all of the necessary roles.These 3 traits stand out when it comes to a good team member. Spoiler alert: None of them have to do with the most brewery experience!
    1. Ambition: Trainability goes much further than experience. With no egos and just eagerness to learn, you have a hire that’s ready to grow with your brewery.
    2. Personality: You can’t train someone to have a dazzling personality. In a people-focused environment like your budding brewery, you need staff that can think on their feet, make guests smile, and roll with the punches.
    3. Trustworthiness: For your own peace of mind and the well-being of your brewery, hire people you trust will treat your business as they would their own.

    Once you think you’ve identified a good candidate, check out 5 suggested interview questions to further narrow down your search.

    You can expect labor costs to be your largest expense as a new brewery owner. (And good people are worth every cent!)

    When it comes to your hourly pay rate, it’s a good idea to ask the surrounding brewing community what they’re paying. One of the many wonderful aspects of this industry is that owners are happy to help newer craft spots get their footing, and there’s something to gain for everyone from compensation conversations.

    Make sure your hourly pay is competitive—groceries are expensive, and good staff are hard to keep if they can make significantly more at a different brewery down the road. In fact, according to Craft Brewing Professionals’ Employee Satisfaction Report, the top factor impacting future happiness of brewery staff was reported as base pay raises.

    No, we didn’t forget about tips! Tips make up a significant portion of your employees’ total salary, so picking a tip distribution model is a really important decision to make. When done right, a tip model can create an all-in-this-together mentality and reflect positively on your guest experience.

  • How To Build A Profit-Friendly Taproom Menu starts with Beer! Experimenting & Pour Sizes:You’re the expert when it comes to your beer. Sure, styles that aren’t normally your cup of tea may be added to suit the customer base you’ve identified. But our best advice when it comes to beer is this: Do your thing and don’t be afraid to experiment. Regularly releasing something new to compliment your core list gets regulars and newcomers excited, and curious to come back to see what else you’ve got.Here’s more quantifiable advice we have for you: There are many benefits to offering variant pour sizing on your menu. A profitable taproom goes beyond The Pint to offer the following:
    • Samples: Not everyone is hip with the beer world, and may need a beer taster before committing to a whole glass. Samples can be used to sway fence sitters to the IPA dark side, or as a friendly way to dazzle guests.
    • Flights: What better way to welcome a newbie to your taproom than a sampling of several brews? Flights are priced higher than a single glass, so it’s also a great way to boost tab size.
    • Half-pours: High ABV + high cost beers = good reasons to offer smaller pours. 8 or 10 ounce glasses are good for slow drinkers, too, so they don’t have to suffer through warm suds at the bottom of a pint.
    • Glassware: If you’re thinking offering different pour sizes requires specialized glassware, think again! Consider printing ounce breaks on glasses so your 12 ouncers work for smaller pours too.
  • Food Options Inspire Longer Stays & Bigger Tab Sizes and all that beer drinkin’ makes guests hungry! When there’s food available, guests stick around longer and therefore order more beer.

But, if and when you’ve just opened your own brewery, a kitchen may not be in the cards right away. Luckily, there are other low effort ways to make sure your guests are fed.

    • Invite food trucks to your parking lot
    • Collaborate with other businesses
    • Start small: A simple chips and salsa option goes a long way
  • How To Price Bottled & Draft Beer

Pricing your beer appropriately is so important to a brewery’s profitability that we leave it up to the experts: Work with an accountant to pinpoint price points that set your business up for success.

Remember: Be realistic about comps and losses and keep that healthy profit margin in mind.

Just like any business, the startup phase of a brewery isn’t easy. Small businesses face plenty of challenges in their first few years of operation and craft breweries are no different. During this new and exciting phase, it’s important to consult a qualified accountant who understands your business venture. As the name suggests, here at Beer CPA, we specialize in accounting, tax and payroll for craft breweries. Our team have been working with breweries for years and have the experience and understanding to help you launch your business well.

Attribution: Article Retrieved from Arryved.

Beer CPA – “We Give Craft Breweries More Freedom and Peace of Mind”
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