Trending Craft Beverage Experiments To Increase Profits In 2023

According to Arryved’s 2023 Craft Trends Survey, experiments in the FoH result in revenue growth! Check out the 4 taproom experiments that folks are trying and the success they’ve had with their bottom line.

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Summertime traffic is right around the corner and it’s time to get creative. If we know anything about craft folks—and we know quite a bit—it’s that they love experimenting. 

With brewers making magic in the back of house (BoH), there’s plenty of room for experimentation in the front of house (FoH), too. Plus, according to Arryved’s 2023 Craft Trends Survey, experiments in the FoH result in revenue growth!

And in an industry experiencing shrinking margins due to historically high COGS, revenue growth is always worth a roll of the dice. 

Below you’ll find 4 taproom experiments that statistically increased revenue for other breweries nationwide:

Profitable Experiment #1: Food Offerings

68% of taprooms offering food from either a kitchen or 3rd party vendor saw revenue growth in 2022.

Here’s how your brewery benefits from food in the taproom:

Don’t worry if you have a full plate of duties already—food doesn’t have to be fancy to satisfy a growling stomach!

Low Effort Food Experiments To Try

  1. Sell food from local brands: If you’re not in a place to fully dive into food, consider selling snacks! Nothing inspires another round quite like a simple bag of chips, and both prep and clean up are easy on your staff.
  2. Invite food trucks to your parking lot: Food trucks are small businesses eager to feed! Delight your guests with a rotating menu of local favorites. All you have to do is manage the schedule.
  3. Set up a minimalist kitchen: No beer drinker turns their nose up at grilled cheese. Grab a panini press or a toaster oven and whip up some small bites yourself. 
Food and drinks at Captain Lawrence Brewing Co

Success Story: Food Delights Guests & Boosts Profits

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company serves up a variety of pub grub in addition to their delicious beer. Thanks to their POS system, the team was able to streamline kitchen operations and make ordering easier, resulting in happier guests and higher profits!

These Arryved tools came especially in handy for Captain Lawrence’s food endeavors:

  • Fresh KDS integration speeds up service by simplifying communication between the FoH & BoH, and automatically texting guests order updates.
  • Mobile POS made a flexible model of both counter service and floating servers possible. The additional ordering options encourage guests to order more!
  • Card on file keeps everything on one tab, regardless of where or from who a guest orders. This adds yet another layer of efficiency and makes it as easy as possible for a table to continue ordering.

Profitable Experiment #2: Staff Benefits

65% of breweries that offered staff retention benefits saw revenue growth in 2022.

Experimenting with staff retention strategies:

  • Saves time & money on training new hires
  • Promotes positive workplace culture
  • Creates staff buy-in and improves morale
  • Ensures excellent guest experiences every visit

Check out the Smart Staffing Guide if you want a deep dive on how to incentivize, reward, and retain your team.

Low Cost Staff Experiments To Try

  1. Pool tips: Tip pooling breeds collaboration and often results in better guest experiences and higher tips. With Arryved POS, distribution is automated so you don’t add work to anyone’s plate.
  2. Offer career growth: Learning on the job creates staff buy-in for your business’s success. Encourage staff to join industry-led webinars, assign speciality roles like Food Truck Manager, and promote as you see fit.
  3. Reward hard work with cash: Incentivize behavior by hosting friendly competitions. For example, the server that sells the most on a Saturday night gets $100. You’re sure to make it back and then some with all those upsells—your POS can do the math for you! 

Success Story: Friendly Competition Maximizes Beverage Sales

The Rayback, with the help of savvy POS reporting, prides itself on informing business decisions with data. Their team navigates an expansive indoor/outdoor space to serve guests hundreds of feet from the bar, making their volume—$3-4k in beverage sales per hour—that much more impressive. 

Keeping staff morale and efficiency high is a must for The Rayback to meet demand. The following from Arryved made incentivizing strong performances easy:

  • Tip pooling tools accurately calculate and allocate tips to deserving staff. With a real-time Tip Pool Report, staff can see how many tips have come in on any shift. If the report looks low, The Rayback team is incentivized to maximize them!
  • Robust reports create efficient staffing schedules, so no team member feels underutilized or overwhelmed. Plus, bartenders check the Hour By Hour Report mid-shift to see drinks made per hour. This motivates The Rayback crew to work faster!
  • On-demand training resources such as how-to videos and articles allow staff to expand their POS knowledge and solve inefficiencies faster.

Profitable Experiment #3: Mobile Ordering & Payments

67% of breweries who added mobile ordering to their service model in 2022 saw revenue growth.

Guests love beer, but who wants to wait in line for it? Mobile ordering and payments:

The Ultimate Guide to QR Codes in the Taproom breaks down the easiest ways to implement QR code ordering and payments, or you can start with the following small scale experiments.

Flexible QR Code Experiments To Try

  1. Try a flexible service model: Guests love options. Flexible service gives them the choice of ordering at the bar, with a roaming server, or using a QR code. 
  2. Use QR codes for drinks only: Getting the first drink ASAP starts a guest’s experience off right. Pouring a beer is easier than assembling a meal, so this experiment ensures kitchen staff aren’t overwhelmed by an influx of orders.
  3. Implement outdoor-only QR codes: Set a clear expectation (and physical boundary) with both guests and staff by supplying QR codes in specific venues of your taproom. 

Success Story: QR Codes Boost Tab & Tip Sizes

Increasing revenue was icing on the cake for Red Bear Brewing’s QR code experiment. The real treat was empowering staff and enhancing guest engagement!

Red Bear, along with several other Arryved customers, proved that on average tabs opened with a QR code are 37% higher and tips are 27% higher than traditional tabs

Here are the POS tools that made those bigger bottom lines possible:

  • OpenTab, Arryved’s QR code tool, reduces staff workloads and provides a flexible, convenient ordering option for thirsty guests. 
  • Digital menu management updates offerings instantly across all staff and guest devices.
  • Cloud-based insights quickly determine the service model bringing in the most revenue.

Profitable Experiment #4: New Revenue Streams

Diversified revenue streams pay:

71% of breweries with 2+ locations saw revenue growth in 2022.

This makes sense, right? You make more money when there’s more ways for money to come in! Plus, new revenue streams:

  • Boost profitability
  • Spread brand awareness
  • Expand your market
  • Make it easy to get your products

To see what sales channel sticks the best for your brewery, trial and error is the only path forward. Luckily we have some ideas for you!

New Revenue Streams To Try

  1. Design branded merchandise: The most effective tab size booster is a hat with your awesome logo on it. Plus, merch acts as free advertising when your guests sport your brand around town. 
  2. Offer beverages to-go: Capture off-premise demand and boost revenue by offering your goods to-go.
  3. Produce non-beer bevs: Get first-timers to flock this summer with slushies or other buzz-worthy beverages apart from your prized beer menu.

Success Story: Ecommerce Accelerates Holiday Sales

FoxDog’s husband-wife team successfully moved inventory and maximized revenue during the slow winter months in Texas. Here’s how Arryved helped:

Discover Your Own 2023 Taproom Experiment

How do you choose your brewery’s next experiment? Get a customized suggestion for your unique business by taking The 2023 Craft Experiments Quiz!

Ready for a better POS?