Jeremy Julian

Brewing Profitability: Craft beer and technology

February 10, 2016

Craft beer is one of the hottest, trendiest categories for 2016! This exploding industry has restaurants flocking to local brewers to take advantage of what the craft beer world has to offer.

According to The Brewers Association, in 2014 craft brewers saw an 18% rise in volume and a 22% increase in retail dollar value. Craft brewing points to a profound shift in American beer culture that is resulting in big numbers.

What does this trend mean for restaurant owners?

It means there is an opportunity for you to please your customers with the craft and artisanal beers they desire . Craft beer is growing and will gain a stronger following and wider acceptance, and once introduced into your restaurant, has the potential to drive business up.

We’re going to discuss how the craft beer industry is affecting restaurants. First, let’s talk about the persona of the craft beer drinker. This will shed some light on how you can introduce local and craft beers into your restaurant , along with the technological tool that can help drive sales.

Craft Connoisseurs

Millennials are driving the craft beer industry. This group looks for authenticity, flavor and history in the beer they drink . With more than 2,600 craft brewers in the United States and 2,500 craft brands sold, Millennials crave variety and uniqueness. They enjoy the variety, taste and ability to experiment with seasonal and local choices. This group knows what they want, and they’re willing to pay extra.

Because of their tastes and influence, the millennials are bringing new customers in the forms of their parents. Beer is no longer Bud light, Miller or Coors: it is an experience that requires experimentation and creates a refined palate .

The Experience

The best and most effective way to engage your millennial customers is to use the tool they are most comfortable:


The NorthStar Order Entry system allows restaurant owners to put the power in the customer’s hands. For example, guests would be able to look through a restaurant’s entire beer list and learn the type, where it is from and what food goes wells with their favorite beer. Therefore, increasing interaction not only with your brand but the growth of sales.

The Takeaway

For the first time ever, craft brewers reached double digit (11%) volume share of the marketplace. Craft brewers are challenging the big beer giants and changing the beer industry as we know it. Now is the time to take your share of this growing industry.

One fact all restaurant owners need to know: craft beer drinkers spend more money than traditional beer drinkers! According to GuestMetrics , a leading food & beverage, hospitality and financial data analytics firm states, the average guest check that includes food and a mainstream American beer is about $73.00, while a craft beer drinker’s food and beverage check rings in at $86.00. What could you do if your restaurant brought in an extra $13/check?

How can you start?

  1. Experiment and offer new or small-batch beers from your local community. Track what are the fast and slow movers and adjust  .
  2. Match your beer to the season. Summer means a lighter colored beer and the introduction of fruit, herb or citrus flavoring. Winter calls for heavier beers – stout, warm and full-bodied flavors . By adding the NorthStar Order Entry system, you can suggest what meals go well with each unique beer.
  3. Offer a variety of styles! There are more types of beer besides IPA (India Pale Ale ).
  4. Craft beer drinkers appreciate creativity. Pair your menu offering with local craft beer. Just like you would with fine wine, tell your customers which foods complements their beer  – and the other way around.

America’s interest in food and drink is changing. More and more people are choosing locally crafted beers to complement their local food. They are thriving on the adventure and unique taste of the craft beer . How restaurants integrate technology with the craft beer and dining experience, will have a profound effect on their bottom line.

Thanks for stopping by! Join us next week as we discuss the case study of Mighty Fine Burgers and how they were able to reduce wait-times.

Got a couple minutes to spare for some good news in restaurant tech? Check out Custom Business Solutions and the NorthStar Order Entry system!


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