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Untappd for Business alternative: BeerMenus

Last updated August 02, 2023 · By Dylan Blake

👉 Update Spring 2023: Untappd for Business now has two tiers: Untappd for Business Essentials ($899/year) and Untappd for Business Premium ($1199/year).

The limitations built into this new two-tier system mean many businesses who were previously at $899/year will have to move up to $1199/year to keep using Untappd the same way they had been.

BeerMenus, a popular Untappd for Business alternative with most of the same features (and many helpful features not offered by Untappd), costs $599 per year.

BeerMenus is not in any way affiliated with Untappd for Business.

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.

When you're considering this, you'll certainly evaluate Untappd for Business (something you can do in our Untappd for Business: the Definitive Guide article).

When looking into Untappd, many small business owners also investigate BeerMenus, a popular Untappd for Business alternative and competitor. Read on to learn which would be a better fit for your business.

Looking for an alternative to Untappd?

Give BeerMenus a free test drive

Summary

BeerMenus and Untappd for Business both provide Print Menus, TV Menus, Website Menus, QR Code Menus, social media integrations, event promotion, a very large beer database, 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 (for a limited version) or $1199/year.
  • A custom design for your print menu, TV menu, QR and/or website menus. BeerMenus offers professional custom menu designs for no additional fee, and you can get them during your free trial period. With Untappd for Business, it is not clear whether you can customize beyond their suite of existing design themes or pay an additional fee for custom design.
  • Reaching locals when they search for the beers you have (with BeerMenus you reach locals using search engines to find specific beers).
  • The fastest menu updating experience.
  • Auto-populating wine and spirit descriptions for an affordable price. Untappd offers a wine and spirits database but you must use their $1199/year plan to access it (vs. $599/year with BeerMenus).
  • Automated email marketing. Untappd does not provide automated email marketing. Both services provide push notification marketing.
  • Empathetic, present, and engaged customer support you'd expect from an independent small business.
  • Doing business with a small independent business that values sustainability, transparency, and customer relationships. Untappd has a parent company, and that parent company has received significant investment from the growth equity fund of a private equity firm.

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 that are not distributed 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.

Learn more about Untappd for Business.

Should you only choose one service?

BeerMenus and Untappd reach different audiences, many of whom use the services for different reasons, and support different marketing channels (Untappd has sponsored badges and BeerMenus focuses on helping you reach 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.

Points of comparison

Customer experience and business practices BeerMenus Untappd
Cost $0 - $599 per year $899-$1199 per year (see below)
Free plan ❌, see below
Free trial period see below
Ease of use see below see below
Time it takes to update menu see below see below
Invite and manage coworker access
Try without talking to a sales person
Transparent pricing see below
Databases BeerMenus Untappd
Beer database
Wine database see below
Spirits database see below
Print Menus BeerMenus Untappd
Print menus
Print menu: design themes
Print menu: custom design for no additional fee Unclear
Touchless QR code menus BeerMenus Untappd
QR code menus see below
QR code menus: custom design for no additional fee Unclear
Digital Menus BeerMenus Untappd
TV Menu/Digital Board
TV Menu: custom design for no additional fee Unclear
Custom specials or ad slides on TV menus
Online Marketing BeerMenus Untappd
Website menu
Website menu: custom design for no additional fee Unclear
Email marketing
Push notification marketing
Facebook and Twitter integration
Local audience see below see below
Promote events
Sponsored badges

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.

Untappd offers a free 7 day trial with specific terms.

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). Before, during, and after 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, QR, and/or website menus during your trial for no additional fee. It is not clear whether custom menus are possible through Untappd or if you can get one for an 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.

Pricing

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. You can figure out pricing by talking to other businesses and asking what they paid.

Untappd's price had been $599 per year, but in Winter 2021 Untappd increased its price to $899 (a 50% price increase). Even businesses that have been with them for years saw their price increase.

Then, in Spring 2023, Untappd moved to a two-tier pricing model: $899 for Untappd for Business Essentials and $1199/year for Untappd for Business Premium package. Untappd for Business Essentials limits non-beer (e.g. wine, spirits, food, etc.) items to 20 and does not provide access to their new Wine Searcher database integration. You're also limited to 5 team members. With Untappd for Business Premium you get access to Untappd's API.

The limitations built into this new two-tier system mean many businesses who were previously at $899/year will have to move up to $1199/year to keep using Untappd the same way they had been.

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 :)).

Untappd offers breweries the ability to manage their beer information (e.g. name, description, ABV) for free, but Untappd for Business does not offer a free plan.

Company background

Untappd, based in Wilmington, North Carolina, was founded by Greg Avola and Tim Mather in 2010. It was purchased by the company Next Glass in 2016 and both founders are no longer involved in day-to-day operations

Untappd has a parent company (Next Glass), and that parent company has received "significant" investment from the growth equity fund of a private equity firm.

On the other hand, BeerMenus was founded by two beer-loving and home-brewing brothers over 10 years ago, one of whom is still the CEO. It remains an independent small business and because of that it's able to operate according to its values.

Untappd for Business also charges higher prices than BeerMenus.

You can understand more about Untappd by reading their customer agreement.

Once you read that customer agreement, compare it to this: with BeerMenus you get a money back guarantee, you can cancel right up to your renewal date (and even then will refund you if you meant to cancel but forgot), and there is no late fee if your payment is late (for example if your on-file card expires or gets lost/stolen).

Databases

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.

Untappd now provides a wine and spirits database through Wine Searcher (as of Spring 2023). We have not yet heard verified reviews of this database from Untappd for Business users. What we do know is that in order to access that database you must use their Untappd for Business Premium plan, which costs $1199 per year (vs. their $899/year Untappd for Business Essentials plan).

On the other hand, BeerMenus provides access to an ever-growing wine and spirits database with descriptions, producer, style and additional info, which you have access to in all BeerMenus plans (the most expensive of which is $599/year).

Print Menus

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 certainly offers to create a custom menu design for no additional fee. This means your totally custom menu, designed by professional graphic designers, is included in your membership fee.

It is not clear whether a custom print menu design is possible with Untappd or if they charge 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. The BeerMenus menu builder is extremely flexible and offers all sorts of these kinds of variations.

Example BeerMenus Print Menus

QR code menus

Only BeerMenus offers a mobile-optimized QR code menu that's hosted on BeerMenus.com.

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).

Like with our other menu products, QR Menus from BeerMenus are customizable to your business, so your menu will actually feel like your menu.

With Untappd for Business's QR Code Menus, you can set it up so that customers get directed to a.) your public-facing Untappd page, which requires an extra click and includes third party ads if your customer isn't signed into an account on untappd.com or in the Untappd app; b.) a PDF of your Untappd print menu (meaning customers would have to pinch to zoom); or c.) an external place like your website.

In sum, the BeerMenus QR Menu solution provides an ad-free separate webpage that's just your QR Menu. Untappd does not offer this kind of standalone QR Code Menu URL that's meant to primarily be used as a menu—customers just get sent to your regular Untappd for Business public page, where they may see third party ads.

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 certainly offers to create a professionally designed custom menu for no additional fee.

It is not clear whether a custom TV menu design is possible with Untappd or if they charge an additional fee for custom menu designs.

Untappd for Business provides a way to show recent Untappd check-ins on your TV menu.

Here are some examples of recent custom TV Menus from BeerMenus:

Online Marketing

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 certainly offers to create a professionally designed custom website menu for no additional fee.

It is not clear whether a custom website menu design is possible with Untappd or if they charge an additional fee for custom menu designs.

BeerMenus focuses on helping you 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.

Untappd does often rank when people search Google for certain beers, but they do not rank as well as BeerMenus when searchers include terms with buying intent, like "find [beer name]" or "[beer name] near me."

(You can try this yourself—google "[beer name] near me" and see where the BeerMenus result turns up and where the Untappd result turns up.)

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 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.

Local Audience

If you want to reach beer drinkers when they’re deciding where to go, BeerMenus is the most targeted option.

The BeerMenus audience is extremely focused on buying intent. When asked the primary reason they use BeerMenus, 88.4% stated it was to 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.

This is because BeerMenus focuses on helping your customers find you for your great beer, not rate it after they already bought it.

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 BeerMenus, you can see your local audience in the Insights section of where you manage your business.

Looking for an alternative to Untappd?

Give BeerMenus a free test drive

Learn more about Untappd for Business.