In the last few years we have seen so many craft bar opening up in India capturing the new age crowd and millenials. Here are top 8 tips from a craft bar owner to successfully run the business:
Invest in great quality raw material, equipment and talent: It is important to have good quality products at the back end in order to have a great end product that keeps bringing people back. The customer will always appreciate and acknowledge quality. The old age of garbage-in garbage-out also is relevant in the war business which basically means it is only with good equipment, good manpower and good talent that we will be able to give a good experience to the customer.
Keep the menu fresh and the beers fresher - i.e. innovate: Beer is so common that it takes a lot more effort to distinguish yourself from what is already available in the market. Spend time crafting a menu that is different and fresh. Make sure that the beers are innovative, and have fewer alternatives in the market. There are many more options available for the guest to choose from but a USP is needed to keep them coming back for more and this is where innovation comes in. To speak strictly about the craft of a business, every other craft bar has five to seven craft years but BrewDog keeps at least 24 taps, a number which is unheard of and this is a great marketing point.
Localise the raw material as much as possible: When it comes to raw material, a lot of it usually originates from Europe, specifically Germany. But to become long term sustainable one has to use local products which will deliver both cost efficiency as well as quality. Companies in Africa have started making beer from cassava available locally and are more sustainable than Barley malt . On a similar note beers are very well drafted from rice, wheat, oats and sometimes even various fruits. Our Tangerine IPA and the grapefruit IPA are cases in point.
Ensure cold chain is functional: If the beer has to be served fresh it definitely means it is not pasteurised and there are no preservatives added. This means that the product will not survive in the Indian climatic conditions or will at least deteriorate. Keeping this in mind, BrewDog beers are always transported in cold trucks at 4 degrees or below and also stored in proper cold rooms in every bar at 4 degrees or below
Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness: By being a food product beer is also susceptible to contamination and infections. One has to be completely obsessed about cleanliness. Every surface which is touched has to be cleaned properly with alcohol. Any spoilage has to be properly removed and disinfected to ensure no cross contamination happens. These small little things go a long way to ensure hygiene of the beer and resulting in low loss as much as possible from the product.
Educate the customer, engage with them: The overall experience is also determined by the quality of staff at the bar and how well they can take care of the customers. The customer interaction is very significant, it builds a personal connection between them and the brand. This becomes even more relevant because we are serving 24 years on tap and since the product range also keeps changing it is the guest interaction where the guest can discover what beers they would like. BrewDog usually encourages the guest to start with free testers so as to make up their minds on what beers they would like to go for.
Train the team: The team should be trained to handle any situation that may arise. It is important to know how to deal with customers and meet their needs. Each interaction is a part of their experience and it should be done professionally and politely. From the time the guest enters the bar and to the minute they leave, every single moment of this experience counts towards overall brand equity which will result in retention and repeat of customers. If not done right it will erode long term business.
Keep an eye on the bottom line (end of day we are a business): A business has to be run like a business. While the bar business may look very glamorous to the outside world, the inner workings are extremely brutal and every percentage point, in revenues as well as costs, counts towards long term stakeholder return on investment. Many times the promoter loses sight of this aspect of the business, at the end of the day this is a business and the profit and loss account is where the buck stops!