Things to Consider for a Post-COVID Taproom

​The way a customer of your brewery consumes has ​changed and some of these changes may be for good. Altering a way your taproom works may have to work at being flexible and doing something different than before.

“This is definitely going to change the restaurant industry and ‘experience’ pretty drastically,” said Ecliptic Restaurant General Manager, Aaron Medina. “We have seen a significant increase in to-go orders (food and beer), which has been great.”

Since the Portland, Oregon brewery has reopened, Medina said they have implemented a few new methods, one of which is ordering from a smartphone option.

“We have been working with our POS company on a QR code system that links everyone to our menu, but also allows the guests to order and close out their tabs,” he said.

The size of a bar that beertenders work behind may change. Braxton co-founder and CEO Jake Rouse said the Covington, Kentucky brewery is doing away with bar seating, while tables will be spread further apart. A touchless menu has also been implemented​ while guests will enter and exit through separate doors.

​”​Additionally, we’re encouraging our guests to wear masks any time they aren’t seated at their designated table, and our staff will also be wearing masks​,” Rouse noted. ​”​Guests will notice we have hand sanitizer stations positioned throughout the taproom, as well as increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitization of surfaces and restrooms.

​”​We’ll also use single-serve cups for beer.​”​

As ​New Realm retained 100% of ​its employees and continued to pay everyone throughout, ​the Georgia brewery with a Virginia counterpart had months to deep clean and rethink SOPs as well as retraining ​its team​, said co-founder Carey Falcone.

​”Leading into the pandemic, New Realm was laser-focused on sanitation and cleanliness​,” he said.​ “We had just received a 100% on our health score in both our Atlanta and our Virginia Beach locations.

​”​When our Governors closed restaurants in both states, we took this as an opportunity to re-evaluate our approach to the customer experience as well as our BOH ​and​ FOH SOPs.​”

He said that while many things have changed, ​there are a few key items​ to note, including foot openers to all bathroom doors​, ​hand sanitizer station​s and a touchless menu that allow​s guests to scan a barcode and view ​the food and beer menus on their phones.

​”​We have decided that several of our systems were not able to meet our expectations of a completely touchless customer experience​,” Falcone said.​ “As a result, we kicked off a strategic systems selection process and we are actively changing several platforms including our POS.

​”​This will allow us to accept numerous forms of payment as well as tableside tap to pay. It will also allow for a more mobile-friendly “to-go” experience.

​Falcone ​believe​s​ that ​New Realm’s approach has made ​them better.

​”​Retaining all of our employees has emphasized our family culture​,” he said.​ “We have received positive feedback from our guests that they feel safe when visiting New Realm Brewing.​”​

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