Experience First, Efficiency Second: Developing Your Taproom SOPs

Standard operating procedures for your brewery’s taproom are developed by your teammates on staff along with previous guest experiences. 

No matter how much planning you have before opening a taproom, you will find new SOPs to add to your list of things to do, be it cleaning, serving, or general beer knowledge and understanding of what the consumer wants.

“We empower our people to make independent decisions through our hospitality standards,” explained Big Grove’s Danny Standley, a partner for the Iowa-based brewery that now has four locations in the central part of the state. “Our missions are to enrich the lives around us and create amazing experiences.” 

Standley said that the Big Grove taproom staff all come with a service industry background, and each location is different so they adjust accordingly. 

“We have 50-plus SOPs for the front of the house, assigned by station, and shift and each SOP is either daily, weekly, or monthly,” he said. “These have been written and continue to be written with guest and employee experience first, efficiency second. They are constantly updated. 

“We do this with the goal of empowerment and continued improvement.”

READ MORE: ​How Should You Roll Out a Price Change in the Taproom?

For COOP Ale Works, the taproom has a daily opening and closing checklist, a weekly checklist, and a monthly checklist explained Taproom Manager Brett Unsell. 

“Taprooms across the country have a wonderful reputation for being inviting, safe, and filled with great people,” Unsell said. “It’s important to us that everyone feels comfortable and welcome when they come to our taproom, especially people who are trying craft beer for the first time.”

Unsell said that important SOPs include cleaning the taproom, taking inventory of glassware, swag, and beer that is available for purchase, and weekly maintenance on equipment, he said. “These lists are ever-evolving as we see fit,” Unsell said.

Photo courtesy Big Grove Brewery

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