Maybe you’ve received some phone calls from the Untappd for Business sales team. Maybe a buddy in the industry mentioned it to you. Or maybe you're currently using Untappd for Business at your bar or restaurant.
Regardless, you’re wondering whether it’s right for your bar or restaurant, so you want to learn more.
But many small business owners investigate BeerMenus, a popular Untappd for Business alternative and competitor. Read on to learn which would be a better fit for your business.
BeerMenus and Untappd for Business both provide Print Menus, TV Menus, Website Menus, social media integrations, event promotion, a beer database of thousands of different beers, an Andorid and iOS mobile app, and access to local audiences.
Choose BeerMenus if you want, require, or value:
A much more affordable option. BeerMenus costs a maximum of $599/year, with options for lower pricing. Untappd for Business costs $899/year.
A custom design for your print menu, TV menu, or website menu. With Untappd for Business, you must choose from existing themes or pay an additional fee for custom design.
A better taproom experience. Craft breweries often prefer using BeerMenus because they find Untappd ratings unhelpful or even harmful.
Providing customers a safe, touchless QR code menu that's easy to read and customizable to your business. Untappd's QR Menu just sends customers to your page on Untappd.com, which is filled with advertisements and is not customizable.
The fastest menu updating experience.
Auto-populating wine and spirit descriptions and info (Untappd's database only includes beer descriptions).
Empathetic, present, and engaged customer support you'd expect from a family business. Untappd is owned by a private equity company. Customers are treated accordingly.
Doing business with a company that values sustainability and fair and honest business practices
Choose Untappd for Business if you want, require, or value:
Maximum exposure to Untappd’s audience.
Untappd sponsored badge promotions (additional monthly fee on top of Untappd for Business fee).
Beer info for beers not available in the US.
If the reasons to choose BeerMenus aren’t important to you and your customers are very active on Untappd (i.e. you have thousands of check-ins per month), Untappd will likely be the best choice for you.
BeerMenus and Untappd reach different audiences, who use the services for different reasons, and support different marketing channels (Untappd has sponsored badges and BeerMenus reaches locals using search engines to find specific beers and automates email marketing).
Depending on where your business is located, your goals, and your budget, it could make sense to use both services.
Include non-beer (e.g. food, wine, etc.) items on public menus
Here's a little more detail about these dimensions.
Customer experience and business practices
Getting started and trying it out
With BeerMenus, you can immediately create an account and start a full featured trial without providing billing information or a phone number.
Though they now offer a trial period in some cases, they still prefer getting you into their sales funnel immediately.
The first step of that is to fill out a lead form and wait for a sales person to call you. After a sales person gives you a slideshow demo of the product over the phone (i.e. images, not a live demo of the product), Untappd pushes for you to commit to paying for the product for a year. If you push back, they may offer you the option of monthly pricing or a free trial. If you cancel Untappd for Business after a free trial or being a customer, you lose access to the data you entered.
With BeerMenus, you have 14 days to test out all features without interruption from us (unless you ask us to help). No credit card is required.
If you don’t upgrade by the end of the trial, you’re downgraded to the free plan. On the free plan, you can view and edit your menu, but you lose access to Pro features (Print Menus, TV menus, marketing tools). During your trial, you can contact BeerMenus support via chat, email, or phone to get questions answered or help getting set up.
BeerMenus also provides design customization for print, TV, and/or website menus during your trial for no additional fee.
Ease and speed of updating your menu
With BeerMenus, there’s one form to add/edit menu items, and you can instantly search for any item you’ve already added. This means you can make menu changes in 5-10 seconds. When you select an item from the BeerMenus database, an editable version of the description is immediately loaded, so you can customize the description before you add it to your menu.
With Untappd for Business, you need to first create menu sections. After you create menu sections, you can only add/edit or search menu items one section at a time. For example, if you set up a draft list section and a bottles section, after you update your draft list you then need to navigate to your bottles list to make changes to that section.
Also, it's a two-step process to add an item to your menu on Untappd. First you search for and add the item, then you need to click on the item to add additional information (size, package type, pricing, description, etc.) Adding an item to your menu on BeerMenus is a one-step process.
With BeerMenus, you can view pricing before, during, and after your trial, choose monthly or annual billing, and upgrade when you’re ready.
Untappd does not list its prices publicly on its website or in its help docs, so there's no information to be found there.
Untappd's price had been $599 per year, but Untappd recently (winter 2021) increased its price tos $899 for all businesses on Untappd (a 50% price increase). Even businesses that have been with them for years saw their price increase.
With this new pricing Untappd will be substantially more expensive than a BeerMenus membership.
With BeerMenus, you'll pay a maximum of $599 per year, though monthly and more inexpensive plans are available (and if you send an email to dylan at beermenus.com you'll get an additional discount :)).
BeerMenus was founded by two beer-loving and home-brewing brothers over 10 years ago, one of whom is still the CEO. It's a family business that's able to operate according to its values.
Untappd, based in Wilmington, North Carolina, was founded by Greg Avola and Tim Mather in 2009. It was purchased by the company Next Glass in 2016 and neither founder is involved with the business any longer.
Next Glass is essentially a private equity company, and many former customers express that their experience with Untappd felt "corporate" and that it was difficult to contact their support team if they had any questions.
They also charge higher prices, and aspects of their customer agreement paints a full picture of their "corporate" ethos. For example:
Your membership fees are nonrefundable. Say, for example, you forget to cancel your membership and it automatically bills again. According to Untappd’s SAAS agreement, your membership fees are not refundable. (Note: It’s possible these terms violate
automatic renewal laws in much of the US.)
If you want to cancel your membership, you must inform Untappd 30 days prior to your renewal date. If you fail to do this, Untappd can and will charge you for your membership.
If your payment is late by any amount of time, Untappd reserves the right to assess a 1.5% late fee on your membership fee. So if the card you have on file is out of date, you had to replace it because it was compromised, etc. and they can’t bill you on schedule, you could be assessed a late fee.
BeerMenus and Untappd for Business both provide access to a beer database with descriptions, style, ABV, and brewery info. Untappd’s beer coverage is broader for beers that are not sold within the United States.
Only BeerMenus provides access to wine and spirits databases with descriptions, producer, style and additional info.
Both services offer multiple themes to choose from and the ability to choose what information you want to show for each menu item.
Only BeerMenus offers to create a custom design for you and for no additional fee.
Untappd charges an additional fee for custom menu designs.
BeerMenus also supports customizing the number of columns and what info is shown for each item by section. For example, your draft list could be two columns and include descriptions while your bottle list is three columns and doesn’t include descriptions.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BeerMenus built a QR code menu product in order to provide businesses a way to get the benefits of our Print Menu product (update quickly from anywhere, beer descriptions, etc.) in the strange new world of the pandemic, where traditional paper menus no longer work for many businesses.
BeerMenus provides businesses their unique QR code (you can choose from 3 designs, depending on your customers' level of technological sophistication).
BeerMenus provides businesses their unique QR code and, like with our other menu products, QR Menus from BeerMenus are customizable to your business, so your menu will actually feel like your menu. It's the most user-friendly QR Code Menu in the beer industry.
Untappd for Business does not offer true QR code menus. Instead, the QR codes they offer bring customers to your page on untappd.com, which is full of banner advertisements and the like.
Digital / TV Menus
Both services offer multiple themes to choose from, the ability to choose what information you want to show for each menu item, and the ability to create slides for ads or specials.
Only BeerMenus offers to create a custom design for you and for no additional fee.
Untappd charges several hundred dollars for a custom TV Menu design.
Untappd for Business provides a way to show recent Untappd check-ins on your TV menu.
Both services offer website menus (embed your live menu on your website), posting menu updates and announcements or specials to Facebook and Twitter, promoting events, and push notifications to people who follow your business or locals who follow a beer you add to your menu.
Only BeerMenus offers to create a custom design for your website menu for no additional fee.
Only BeerMenus enables you to reach people using Google and other search engines to find local places carrying or serving specific beers. Learn more about SEO for craft beer businesses.
Only BeerMenus enables you to automate email marketing to people who follow your business or locals who follow a beer you add to your menu. Learn more about email marketing.
Only BeerMenus enables you to include wine, spirits, food and other non-beer items on your public page.
Only Untappd for Business enables you to schedule Facebook or Twitter announcements to go live at a time in the future or to recur weekly.
Only Untappd for Business offers sponsored local badges for an additional fee.
Untappd is first and foremost a service for tracking what you drink. BeerMenus is first and foremost a service for deciding where to buy beer. If you want to reach beer drinkers when they’re deciding where to go, BeerMenus is the most targeted option.
BeerMenus and Untappd reach different audiences in different locations. 95% of BeerMenus’s audience is in the U.S. while Untappd’s audience is split between the U.S. and many other countries.
With Untappd for Business, a sales person demoing the service will show you a report of the local audience in your area. It’s unclear if you’re able to see that report on an ongoing basis.
With BeerMenus, you can see your local audience in the Insights section of where you manage your business.
The primary reason people use each service is a key difference between BeerMenus’s and Untappd’s local audiences. In a survey of BeerMenus and Untappd users, when asked the primary reason they use Untappd, 64.9% selected to record what they drink, 15.2% selected look up beer info, 8.8% indicated the social aspect (see what friends are drinking, badges, etc.) and 10.4% selected either decide where to drink or buy beer or find places selling specific beers).
The BeerMenus audience has much more buying intent. When asked the primary reason they use BeerMenus, 88.4% selected decide where to drink or buy beer or find places selling specific beers, 4.4% selected look up beer info, and 1.6% selected find local beer events.