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not already on sale wine when they spend $20-$59.99, and 15% off when they spend $60 or more. We also have branded t-shirts that were designed by local artists that we give away to members and social media contest entrants. We reward return business as well as larger individual purchases and get free advertising by means of shirts and word of mouth. We also use the program to record transaction history.


Possibly the simplest program logistically. Create a punch card that you stamp or initial to track a “buy X get 1 free” promotion. Again, please consult local laws to ensure giving away a drink is legal in your area. Substitute a nonconsumable piece of swag if it isn’t legal to give away alcohol.


Using a tasting room membership ID card, members can be subject to exclusive merchandise and discount pricing. Requiring physical and email addresses for membership creates a mailing list for you to send product and event information to. Directly reaching interested consumers undoubtedly increases attendance to events and product releases. You can also send coupons and other specials. Reaching out to consumers, without being overbearing, is a great way to inspire more frequent return trips.

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The same as above, but have different levels of membership. You can charge membership fees or gauge membership level based on a points system. The higher the tier, the better the perks. Offer more freebies, exclusive first access, deeper discounts, and beyond. An annual holiday party for top tier members puts an added value on membership. It can be as simple as a party where members get discounted single barrel whiskey that they get to bottle themselves straight from the barrel and you put out light snacks.

It’s important to remember that people appreciate small gestures. Pilot your program with a “less is more” approach. It’s easier to add to the program than to take away. Be conservative in your approach so as to not slide into an area of harming the profitability of your tasting room. And as always, check with your lawyer before launching any program! Every word matters in the description of the program, and some things may not be legal in your area. Now get out there and make your customers feel appreciated!

George B. Catallo is the “Whiskey Guy” and Floor/Social Media Manager at Parkway Wine and Liquor in Rochester, NY. He has been in the beverage industry since he turned twenty-one and has worked as the Bar Operations Manager of a wine bar, an Assistant Distiller and Supplier Rep for a craft distillery, and has even hosted a spirits review web series on YouTube under the moniker 'Just One Dram.'



Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Winter 2018  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Winter 2018  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.