BE A GREAT NEIGHBOR
SYNCHRONIZATION Every ancillary component, cocktail, food, and even wearable merchandise needs to tie into your spirits brand. If you do make pizza, use the same farmer that grows your corn to grow your flour, or brush your veggies with a spirits glaze. Everything must point to and incorporate the spirits so that the consumer never loses focus on why they are really there.
TWO SEPARATE BUSINESSES Restaurants are entirely different businesses than distilleries. While they are both rooted in hospitality, the skills needed to effectively manage and operate them have minimal overlap. In the spirits business we often fight for dollars and quarters, but in the restaurant business, it’s nickels and dimes. Be sure to hire a manager who knows the restaurant business inside and out so that they can manage not only the food costs and quality but also manage the staff. How you hire and encourage a server is different than a distiller or compliance manager.
Remember that nearby establishments are not likely to welcome you with open arms. Not only are you taking potential customers from them, but you are operating at much higher margins when it comes to your drink costs. Try your best not to compete on food or promotional hours directly. If you can self-distribute, be sure to offer them your very best pricing, for using your goods not only promotes your business but puts dollars in their competitor’s pocket as well. Most importantly, I’d also encourage you to think hyper-focused versus hyper-local. Wrapping your branding around your city or state bird would significantly limit your ability to scale. As the number of new distillers coming to the market continues at a record pace, and distributors further consolidate, you always want to make sure that your brand could compete nationally. So while you may never leave your town, your brand should have the wings to travel, for someday you may want or need it to.
Scott Schiller is managing director of Thoroughbred Spirits Group. For more information visit www.tbspirits.com or call (312) 809-8202.
Inline Filling Systems provides a range of machinery for Distillers and Blenders to consistently and efficiently package their products. Whether a Major distiller or a Craft distiller, we build Fully Automatic and Semi-automatic/manual systems. IFS has the experience and quality to serve you. • Hazardous Location electrics, Class 1 Division 1 or 2, UL Approved Design
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The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.