Event Space Creation: Is It Worth It?

Dust Bowl specifically built out event spaces of various sizes in its beer garden after opening its taproom in Turlock, California.

Investing heavily in catering gear — such as serving pieces, warming ovens, seating, and such — along with hiring a dedicated event manager to handle all the inquiries, marketing, and to manage the staffing and execution of the events, the brewery gave up that side of the business after two years.

It wasn’t worth the time and effort for the revenue increase. And it doesn’t have much to do with promoting the brand as well.

“We opted to end private event bookings, despite the profitability,” said Marketing & Public Relations Manager, Michelle Peterson. “We determined that the private events weren’t actually helping us build our brand.”

Peterson said that there was a lot of extra stress put on the kitchen, which negatively impacted the regular patrons’ experience.

READ MORE: Can Your Brew Space be an Event Space?

“In reality, there wasn’t a lot of beer being purchased and consumed at baby and bridal showers,” Peterson pointed out.

Dust Bowl has since turned these areas into lounge settings for larger parties to casually gather and enjoy the brewery’s outdoor ambiance and services.

“We invested in the installation of a 20-tap tower to service outdoor guests and added more seating, plus we added our own food truck to service the beer garden,” Peterson said. “This was a wise move – [it’s a] better use of the space.

“We’re selling more beer to the right demographic.”

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