Bars, restaurants, and breweries across the country are struggling. With good reason, the industry's collective anxiety is high and we're all scrambling to adjust to rules and regulations that are changing hour-to-hour, let alone day-to-day.
We want to help as best we can, so we built a way for any local bar, restaurant, brewery, or beer store to promote their to-go and delivery options. We also created an easy way for local customers to discover the local businesses near them who offer to-go and delivery.
Best—and most important—of all: this is completely free for businesses to use.
This functionality can truly benefit any restaurant, bar, liquor store, or producer (e.g. brewery, distillery, winery, etc.).
In other words, just because we’re BeerMenus doesn’t mean you have to sell craft beer to join or benefit. Any business can join for free and by doing so get exposure to many thousands of local customers. Adding the relevant information only takes a few minutes.
On the consumer side of things, our aim is to make it easier for consumers to support local businesses. Right now, the best way to find out which businesses are offering what and when is a constant scouring of social media. This product aims to aggregate all the information about this stuff in a single, easy-to-use place, making it easy for customers to find great local businesses to support and order from.
Why make this?
Hundreds of thousands of people visit BeerMenus each week. That’s even been true the past 7 days—which feels like a damn month more than just one week.
These people have come to BeerMenus for one thing: to find and buy beer. That’s always been the case, and they especially want to do it right now. There are two reasons for that.
First, they want to drink beer. No surprise there. Anyone who doesn’t want a breakfast beer right now is a fool.
Second, and even more important: these people want to support the beer industry right now, when it needs that support the most.
They understand that the entire craft beer world—from producer to bartender—is struggling, and one thing is absolutely certain: if the service industry as a whole (and the craft beer world specifically) is going to be anywhere near the same after we emerge from this unprecedented period of self-quarantining, they need our money now.
So, back to the question at hand: why make this? Because we can and want to help.
How does it work?
In order for this to work, a business must have a BeerMenus business page.
So, if you don't currently have a business page on BeerMenus, step one is adding your business:
Once you have a BeerMenus page, simply update your settings to reflect your to-go and delivery options.
As soon as you do this, your to-go and delivery options (as well as your gift card URL, if you add that) will appear on your public-facing BeerMenus page, like this:
More importantly, though, when these businesses add their to-go and delivery information, they’ll automatically be included on our brand new to-go & delivery page:
The page automatically pulls a visitor’s location and then serves the full list of businesses near them that offer to-go or delivery.
The list is arranged simply by distance from the visitor (nearest will appear first). There’s no situation where businesses can pay to appear higher on the list, nor is this a platform where you have to pay to appear at all. It’s free.
Visitors can filter the full list down if they want to see just takeout places or just delivery places. They’re also able to change their location if they’d like to see what’s available elsewhere.
Once a visitor clicks or taps on a business in the list, they’re brought to that business’s BeerMenus page, where they can see its to-go and delivery options (including instructions on how to order) as well as a link to purchase a gift card.
To be clear: this doesn’t cost businesses (or visitors) a single penny, and we’re not taking a cut. Right now generosity needs to be our collective north star.
If you don’t already have one, create a page for your business by adding it to BeerMenus now (remember, it’s free):
After that (or if you already have a BeerMenus page) visit your Settings page. Scroll down to where you can add information about your to-go, takeout, and delivery options. Enter it, and then press “Update” at the bottom of the page.
Once you do that, you’ll be sharing your information on your public-facing BeerMenus page and you’ll appear on our brand new to-go/delivery page.
If you’re having trouble or you’d like some help, please don’t hesitate to reach out—either send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 347-927-1574.
And please don’t stop there: once you add your to-go/delivery information, please share the to-go/delivery page and/or this blog post with other local businesses who you think could benefit. Remember, the more businesses who get involved, the more people will see it. This is most definitely a “rising tide lifts all ships” situation.
I’m a beer drinker
There are two ways you can help.
First, and most obvious: Visit our to-go/delivery page and select a business from the list that you’d like to support. Click/tap that business and either place a to-go or delivery order or buy a gift card from them.
Second, and less obvious: Tell your friends, family members, and colleagues about our to-go/delivery page. The more you spread the word about it, the more people will see it. And the more people who see it, the more people who can support your local businesses.
When you’re spreading the word, please consider sharing with folks who are unlikely to discover this page on their own—non-beer drinkers, older folks, etc. Also consider sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get the most bang for your buck.
Frequently asked questions
Does getting promoted on these pages cost anything?
Nope. For what should be obvious reasons. As mentioned above, right now generosity needs to be the country’s collective north star.
So can people order to-go and delivery through BeerMenus?
Nope, but we provide you a place to paste in any menu URL you'd like. You can link to your own website, EatStreet, GrubHub, UberEats...anything you'd like. This will allow people to find you on BeerMenus, then easily place an order.
Why is this now available on BeerMenus?
Simply put, because of Covid-19 and the damaging effects it’s having on bars, restaurants, beer stores, breweries, and other businesses throughout the world. Our hope is that by helping out in this way, we’ll be able to provide struggling businesses another marketing channel.
How else is BeerMenus going to help?
We’re not stopping here.
Gift cards nearby page
Similar to our brand new to-go/delivery page, in the next couple days we’re going to launch a “find a gift card nearby” page. It will work the same way, basically showing the list of places nearby who are on BeerMenus and have gift cards for sale.
We’re also actively working on a number of other projects, and we’ll be sure to let the world know about them once they’re live.
Thoughts from BeerMenus
I was talking to my grandpa on the phone yesterday. He recently moved into an assisted living facility.
His life has dramatically changed over the last couple weeks. He’s moved away from the home in which he’s lived more than 50 years. He’s lost the ability to walk. His life was suddenly confined to a wheelchair and three small, sterile rooms. And we—his family—were unable to help with the move or visit him because of the pandemic.
The phone conversation was good. We talked about golf, about a friend he had growing up in northeastern Nebraska who the gang had nicknamed Tiny (he was 6’5“ and weighed a ton—that generation really had a way with nicknames). Normal stuff.
And though the conversation wound and waned and he relayed a few stories that I’d heard at least a hundred times before, whenever we landed on the subject of Covid-19 he produced one clearheaded sentiment: “this country’s been through worse, and we’ll get through this.”
It’s true. Mustard gas and machine guns unleashed on high schoolers in World War I. The Spanish Flu that exploded at the same time and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. The creation and deployment of the atomic bomb and the existential dread that was forever after woven into our lives. The proliferation of terrorism in the ‘90’s and beyond, which, though it has killed and wounded far fewer Americans than this pandemic eventually will, completely altered the way we look at the world.
No doubt, this virus is horrifying. The only way to stop it is to stop gathering, celebrating, and sharing, which—sadistically— are the very things that make us human.
But despite that, Grandpa’s right. We have been through worse. And we’ll get through this.
Keep being generous to all, and always seek out ways to help.