Secret Hopper

Mystery Shopping and Consulting for Craft Beer Businesses

Spending by Party Size

We’ve conducted studies analyzing spending habits by age and gender. Remember that women spend slightly more than men? And 41 to 45-year olds spend the most. But what impact does the size of a party have on the amount a guest spends while visiting a brewery?

Through a Secret Hopper study consisting of 5700 unique, non-paid brewery visits we dug into data on spending habits by party size. We discovered that the average party size visiting a brewery is 3.13 guests. The median party size is 2 guests. The average party spends $43.42. The average check covers 1.94 guests. While this data is all fine and dandy, does a person in a smaller or larger party spend more, and why?

A guest visiting a brewery alone spends an average of $29.90. Solo guests account for 10.8 percent of total brewery visits. The average person in a party of two spends $22.70. This is 31.7 percent less per person than the single guest spends. Guests visit as a party of two 45.6 percent of the time. The average person in a party of three spends $22.12. The party of three accounts for 15.5 percent of brewery visits.

The average person in a party of four, accounting for 12.8 percent of total visits, spends $22.69. The average person in a party of 5 spends $22.55, accounting for 5.2 percent of brewery visits. The average person in a party of 6, which account for 3.9 percent of visits, spends $23.81. Lastly, guests in parties of 7 and above spend an average of $21.11, accounting for 6.2 percent of total brewery visits.

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Regarding a party of one, it can be argued that the amount the guest spends is influenced by less outside factors. When more guests are part of a group, they equate to contributing factors that can encourage, or discourage, a person to spend more.

A single guest can also be given more one on one attention from brewery staff. This can influence them to spend more. In larger parties, brewery staff is dividing their attention between more people. The data supports this hypothesis.

Let’s take a look at the amount a guest spends in relation to the level of engagement they received.

We define the levels engagements as the following:

Low: The staff does not attempt to build a connection with the guest and is absent for the bulk of the guest's visit.

Neutral: The staff goes through the motions, neither impressing or disappointing the guest.

Moderate: The staff greets the guest, offers recommendations, and checks back in a timely fashion.

High: The staff goes above and beyond moderate, "wow"-ing the guest.

Single guests receive high engagement 48.7 percent of the time. Guests in parties of two receive high engagement 42.4 percent of the time, 6.3 percent less. As the party size increases, the likelihood of the guest receiving high engagement decreases.

Interestingly enough, single shoppers are also the most likely to receive low engagement, at 6.5 percent of the time. Albeit barely greater than the likelihood of larger parties to receiving low engagement.

Single guests are the least likely to receive neutral engagement. Parties of two receive neutral engagement 15.6 percent of the time and parties of three stand at 15.0 percent. Once we increase past three guests, the likelihood of receiving neutral engagement increases along with the party size.

With regard to moderate engagement, single guests are least likely to receive this, at 32 percent of the time. All greater party sizes stay close together, receiving moderate engagement between 36.2 percent (party of two) to 39 percent (party of six) of the time.

It is a shear lack thereof guests or the opposite that affect a server’s ability to offer greater engagement. While a server may check back frequently on a larger party, this does not always translate to engagement. Additional touch points are a great way to offer high quality service, but engagement is going above and beyond to build a personal connection.

Staff should seek to create the right relationship with each guest, no matter the party size they fall in. This can be achieved by tactics such as the 30 Second Conversation. Extra staff on hand, especially during busy shifts, can also help increase the level of engagement offered, creating a lower staff to guest ratio. Instead of just slinging drinks to a full bar, bring an extra hand on to serve connections. Learning to offer the ideal level of engagement to parties, both small and large, will help your brewery to better build relationships. Relationships are the difference from having a good beer and having a great experience.

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