Why This Quick Consumer Interaction Model is Rolling Well for Rusty Nickel

Coming up with new ways to run a beer tasting can be a challenge​ in the conditions your brewery maybe with limitations on how many people you can service inside along with other health mandates.​

Jason Havens, an owner of Rusty Nickel Brewing shared some insights during the 2020 Sell More Beer Virtual Summi​t​’s panel on tactics to ​boost sales​ during this pandemic​.​ What the Buffalo, New York-area brewery has switched to is a “roll-in/roll-out” approach.

​”Myself and Dave Johnson — my business partner and head brewer — are doing beer and cheese pairings and we’re cycling them every two hours,” Havens explained.

A smaller and well-spaced consumer group can schedule a time and get a presentation from the owners along with the pairing. For a smaller brewery (Rusty Nickel produced around 400 barrels in 2019 and currently can only have 24 people in their taproom at this time) this gives consumers the face of the company leading them through their creations.

“Two hours later, you get 10-20 new people who can come in and you can do that same thing again,” Havens said. “What that’s doing is it’s rolling the revenue in and then rolling revenue out and we’re getting a lot of turnover, which is perfect.”

The rolling in/rolling out technique comes from bringing in consumers with a prepaid event while the rolling out is consumers buying products to-go as well, “because they had that really nice experience with the owners showing their face and then learning about the business,” Havens said.

“You also get that opportunity to have an interaction with those customers that you don’t have otherwise. You’ve got to show that it means something to you that they’re there. That they’re supporting you. And when you do that, you’re developing a relationship. And that’s something that has helped us tremendously.”

Having these events through a reservation system also helps enforce protocols on many levels. Havens said consumers know at the time of reservation what is expected of them even before they arrive.

​”And we have had to cross-train our staff quite a bit,” Havens said of protocols. “That has helped tremendously in savings and generation of new revenue because those individuals have found that their additional responsibilities have inspired them to really care about the business more. It really instills a sense of pride, which they then contribute and pass along to the customer.”

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