Secret Hopper

Mystery Shopping and Consulting for Craft Beer Businesses

The "No" List

At Secret Hopper, we aim to always stay positive and to look at things from the glass is half full perspective. We take this approach with every internal aspect of our business as well as our relationships with breweries. If we observe a brewery that has staff not interacting with guests, we don’t discipline that brewery and put them down for it, but rather look at this as a starting point with room to get better. With that said, there are certain things that a guest should never experience while visiting your brewery. Here is an absolute list of 10 things your staff should never do.

 1.       Don’t forget to greet your guests. A simple “hello,” smile, wave, you name it. Acknowledge them when they arrive and make them feel important.

2.       Don’t look sad, unhappy, or angry behind the bar. Sure, we don’t always love to be at work, but your face is a reflection of a brand. Smile, look like you love your job. Learn to fake it and come across sincere. People buy more from happy people. Even fake, happy people.

3.       Don’t give your regulars more attention than first time guests. When a guest visits a brewery and receives low engagement on their first visit, they are only 37% likely to return/recommend your business. When they receive high engagement, this jumps to 98%. Don’t ignore anymore.

4.       Don’t spend your shift chatting with your co-workers instead of your guests. Your guests help pay your bills. Pour them a beer, get to know them, make a new friend. And get off your phone, too.

5.       Don’t forget about any guest. Always check back. Always ask them how their beer is. Always see if they’d like another. Always, always, always, make them feel like you truly care about making their experience at your brewery a memorable one. No one likes to be forgotten.

6.       Don’t judge someone based on the level of beer drinker they are. Just because someone is new to craft beer, doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to spend the money to learn more. Teach them. You could be that first experience that takes them from your average light American lager drinker to a craft advocate. As we mention quite a bit, this is one way you can help craft beer continue to grow.

7.       Don’t judge someone off the styles they enjoy. We can’t all be fanatics over the hippest, cloudiest, Antarctic IPA. Let those who enjoy a more classic style feel just as welcomed as the person next to them sipping your new pineapple milkshake, smoothie IPA slushie. Making someone feel less of a guest merely because of their lack of knowledge or style preference is the behavior of an elitist culture. That is not what will help craft beer continue to grow.

8.       Don’t forget to clean. This goes for every inch of your brewery from the entryway outside to the deepest, darkest corner of the bathroom, and of course the brewhouse. Try to remove all empty glasses from the bar and tables as promptly as possible. Clean up any spills once they occur. And don’t forget to take out the trash.

9.       Don’t rush your guests. At the end of the night, sometimes it’s nice to put your worries away, sit back, and enjoy a delicious pint. Don’t put up the bar stool next to your guest or start mopping 5 feet away. Let them savor their time at your brewery, no matter when they have chosen to visit.

10.   Don’t forget to say “thank you.” To reference a former study, when a guest receives a “thank you” upon leaving a brewery, they are 95.4% likely to recommend/return to your brewery. When they don’t? Only 70.7%. Don’t forget those two simple words.

While this list contains way more “don’ts” than we ever hope to type again, each point is a manner you can avoid a guest from having a negative experience and make sure it’s a positive one. Do your part and help keep craft beer full of conversation, cleanliness, and community.

We would love to offer any brewery that reaches out after reading this article one free Secret Hop*. Please email andrew@secrethopper.com to schedule. Cheers!

*1 free visit per brewery per calendar year