Life is super busy for everyone at bar and restaurant groups. Operations and marketing play all-day-everyday whack-a-mole at the office. GMs and on-the-ground staff do the same at each location.
This is true for all hospitality groups, but those with rotating selections are doing it at a whole different level: their selections change all the time, which means their menus need to be updated all the time. And keeping up with that is a significant challenge.
Menu automation from BeerMenus solves this headache, providing a solution that:
Saves everyone time because on-the-ground folks manage menu updates on their professionally designed templates.
Makes it possible to keep menus truly up-to-date. Updating only takes a second, so menus actually get updated as soon as kegs kick, not a week later.
Ensures menu information is always accurate and error-free. Our databases ensure there are no more spelling errors or issues with product info like descriptions, etc.
Ensures menus will be professional and consistent. Your custom menu template is designed by professional graphic designers and item changes get automatically plugged into the template.
BeerMenus Print Menus are designed for bars and restaurants with rotating selections, and can be especially helpful for bar and restaurant groups.
Groups typically try to solve their menu conundrum in a few different ways:
Some have operations or marketing make beer and drink menus at the office, then send them to the locations.
Some don't even try to provide up-to-date menus, and just write something like: "Ask your server about our rotating drafts."
Some groups task GMs or other on-the-ground folks with making their beer and drink menus.
All these approaches are problematic:
If office folks are making the updates, there's a ton of unnecessary back-and-forth that wastes time and creates a lag—by the time the updated menus arrive, they may not even be accurate any more.
If you're not providing a fully up-to-date list of your beers or drinks, you're leaving beer and beverage sales on the table.
And if you're putting menu-making in the hands of an already extremely busy GM, the up-to-date menu you get (if they're able to get to one at all) will likely be lacking in professionalism or quality.
In a perfect world, the "office" folks from bar and restaurant groups would be able to provide professional menu templates that on-the-ground folks could easily update and print on their own in just a couple clicks, without ever having to worry about incorrect info, misspellings, etc. This system would save everyone time, ensure professionalism, be affordable, and actually increase beverage sales, too.
We believe a great beer and beverage program shouldn’t make your life hard. You rotate your selection because you want to share great products with your customers—you shouldn’t be penalized for that by enduring this time-wasting, money-burning menu updating. You’re doing god’s work—there should be a way to make your life easier for doing so.
This is where BeerMenus Print Menus come in—we offer print menu automation for bars, restaurants, and taprooms with rotating selections.
Everyone saves time because on-the-ground folks manage menu updates on their professionally designed templates.
Menus will be truly up-to-date. Updating only takes a second, so menus actually get updated right when kegs kick, not weeks later.
Menus will be accurate. Our databases ensure there are no more spelling errors or issues with product info like descriptions, etc.
Menus will be professional and consistent. More on that later, but the take home is that your menu will be designed by professional graphic designers, and it won’t be possible for anyone at the locations to adjust design or layout.
How does it work?
Our menus are powered by our gigantic beer, wine, and spirit databases, which contain hundreds of thousands of beers and tens of thousands of wines and spirits.
(Note: other services only offer beer databases, so making wine and spirit menus must still be done the old fashioned, painstaking way.)
The database entries for all these products contain essential information like ABV, producer location, style, and description.
This means that when a menu item changes, on-the-ground folks just need to head over to their computer, phone, or tablet, delete the thing that's gone, then start typing the name of the item they'd like to add. The item they're looking for will appear in the dropdown menu, so when they see it they just need to select it and then click "Add to menu."
When they do that, all relevant product info gets pulled over to that customized menu template we designed, so they're ready to just push print.
All in all, an average menu update takes just 15-20 seconds or so.
And since you can update from any device, updates can be made anywhere in the world by anyone who's been given access to make them (by you).
Here's a video of an entire menu update (note that it's just ~20 seconds long 😉):
The BeerMenus design team works directly with all enterprise customers to craft their custom menu templates from scratch.
Your level of involvement in the customization process is completely up to you. Working closely with a BeerMenus graphic designer is one option, but so is a more hands-off approach—if provided with just a previous menu design or a mockup and basic collateral (high-quality logo, fonts to be used, colors/hex codes), our graphic design team can take the lead.
All of this customization can and does happen prior to any payment. You’re able to make sure BeerMenus is the right solution for you before any transaction occurs.
Here are some menus we recently designed:
It's important to note that it's not like you only get one shot and then that's your menu for life; we work with our enterprise partners whenever they need a menu overhaul, and there's never any additional charge for design help or updates.
We’re flexible on this front, and can tackle rollout however you’d like.
We’re perfectly willing to provide training materials (e.g. screencasts, help docs), hold group training calls, or even hold individual training meetings with each location.
Whatever we can do to get you up and running, we’ll happily do it.
👉 But the key is this: whatever BeerMenus Business tools you use, that one magic menu update made by the folks at each location automatically updates everything. This is the beauty of menu automation.
Pricing and what's included
Print Menus from BeerMenus are far and away the most affordable automated (i.e. they automatically include product info like descriptions) menus in the market. They're also the most customizable. Competitors charge upwards of 50% more, with considerably less design customization available (you must operate within a set number of menu templates).
Pricing for just BeerMenus Print Menus is regularly $499/year per location. Our all-inclusive plan, which also includes Online Marketing tools and access to TV Menus and QR Code Menus, is regularly $599/year per location.
👉 However, our multi-location discount is 10% off for each location, bringing the price down to either $449.10/year or $539.10/year per location.
Since cash flow can be a concern for bar and restaurant groups, we also offer groups the option to submit payment for their annual membership on a quarterly basis.
Month-to-month options are available as well, but they do not qualify for our multi-location discount.
That’s it. There’s no setup cost or nickel-and-diming for custom menu design. Everything is included in your membership cost.
How you can learn more
Scheduling a call is by far the most efficient way to orient yourself to BeerMenus. It also kicks off an experience that's unique to multi-location bar and restaurant groups (unlike our usual new business flow, which is designed for single-location businesses).
If you’d prefer, you could start a free 14-day trial below, but if you go that route please reach out to us to take advantage of our custom menu design services!
Case study: Bad Daddy's Burger Bar
Walk into a Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar and you’ll immediately understand that beer matters. Metal brewery signs cover the walls. Taps front and center. The beer list is long, and it’s prominent.
Bad Daddy’s cares about beer, a sentiment echoed by Community Outreach & Bar Operations Support Rachael Clark: “We put a high value on having local craft beer on tap in all locations, across 7 states.”
But packed inside that quote is a challenge. 40+ locations. 7 states. That’s a lot of locations to manage, and that’s a lot of different local beer that you’re going to run into, especially if you regularly rotate your local beers like Bad Daddy’s.
Making drink menus the old way is not going to cut it, especially with such a focus on their beer selection.
In years past, a chain the size of Bad Daddy’s would have followed a pretty typical pattern to create their beer menu:
Create a beer menu template (marketing or operations would do this)
Include boilerplate items for your rotating taps called, for example, “Sam Adams Seasonal—Ask your server”
Whenever there’s a menu change, use the talents of a graphic designer to update the menu
Send the updated menu off to a printing service
Get the menu delivered to the location
In the case of Bad Daddy's, if everything went perfectly, this process would take about two weeks.
Rachael felt the pain of that delay:
“Our production time for new beer menus was up to 2 weeks which was just too slow of a turn around time for seasonal and limited time draft beers, so we did have compromises on our menus such as ‘Breckenridge Rotator’ or ‘Full Sail Seasonal.’ These beers had a tendency to be in our bottom ten for sales since there was not a description to entice guests to order them. ”
This totally makes sense: if you’re trying to sell a beer but don’t include the name of the actual beer, let alone the beer’s description, how can you expect to actually sell it? And if you didn’t have to, would you want to treat your seasonal beers—the ones that need to be messaged—that way?
So Bad Daddy’s needed a solution for making menus in-house at each location. But they also needed to make sure they had control over menu design to ensure brand consistency across their expansive footprint.
So Rachael set out, hunting for a solution.
The hunt for a solution
So Rachael began reaching out to businesses who solved the problem. She spoke with three such businesses: Taphunter, Untappd, and BeerMenus.
Before speaking to BeerMenus, she spoke to both Taphunter and Untappd. According to Rachael, “we ruled them out because of two factors. The first, price point for what we needed. The second, and more importantly, was the customer service.”
When asked what set BeerMenus’ customer service apart from Taphunter and Untappd, she said it stood out as exceptional from the very beginning:
“The day that I reached out to BeerMenus, I received a call a few hours later and follow up information to review the same day.”
Rachael added that the high level of customer service has continued since then: “With such a small internal team at Bad Daddy’s, it was really important for us to partner with a company that would value our time and our operators’ time if they have questions or problems. BeerMenus has always exceeded that expectation.”
As for pricing, the take home for Rachael is that it’s a great bargain for the work involved and the responsiveness and availability of the BeerMenus support team: “The pricing with BeerMenus has been great. They have gone above and beyond during menu design and whenever we have had to mass upload information for all locations.”
It’s also important to note that BeerMenus is sensitive to issues of cashflow for chains like Bad Daddy’s. The inflexibility of annual payment schedules is a challenge when you start getting into the number of locations Bad Daddy’s has.
As a result, Bad Daddy’s structured their membership quarterly so that membership payment could be better spread across an entire fiscal year.
So, with BeerMenus checking all the necessary boxes, Rachael had found her solution. Now it was time for rollout.
No doubt Rachael felt good when she’d made her decisions. But when you’re dealing with a solution that needs to be used at 40+ locations across 7 different states, choosing the solution is just part of the battle. Rollout is an intimidating animal all on its own.
As a member of the corporate team, Rachael knows this challenge intimately. But the rollout process she and BeerMenus aligned on helped it go off without a hitch. And, even though this is basically unheard of in this industry, together we managed to get all locations onboarded and using the system ahead of schedule.
You read that right. Ahead of schedule.
Rachael put it simply: “Rollout was great...BeerMenus gave us a great training tutorial to work off of and make our own and offered plenty of support when needed.”
Rachael also cited BeerMenus’ ease of use as a big rollout help: “The site is extremely easy to use. Lots of other sites can be cluttered with unnecessary information so we love that to review the menu and to make modifications at a higher level is all in one place.”
While we’re certainly happy to hear that, we’ve gotta point out that we can’t take all the credit for the smooth rollout. Rachael was on point throughout.
First, she created a small local pilot program—test BeerMenus at a few locations near the company’s Denver-area home base. This meant that, together with their in-house (and talented) graphic designer, Gabrielle, we could hone in on the exact custom menu design Bad Daddy’s needed. After a few short back-and-forth passes, that was done. Next it was time for on-the-ground implementation.
Rollout was great. BeerMenus gave us a great training tutorial to work off of and make our own and offered plenty of support when needed.
Bad Daddy's Burger Bar
This is where the genius of the pilot program came into play: because the locations she chose were close to the Bad Daddy’s home offices, she could offer local, hands-on help as the teams adapted to the new system. And, since she could teach and see it in action, she and her area managers learned first-hand how best to train and rollout the system.
This process went off without a hitch.
The next step was rolling BeerMenus out to the rest of the Colorado stores, and because of how smoothly the initial pilot went, this happened ahead of schedule.
The next two steps—partial rollout to the rest of the locations, then full-on rollout—followed the same pattern. Smooth as can be and ahead of schedule.
Because of the compounding ahead-of-schedule-ness, BeerMenus was live in all locations more than a month earlier than initially planned.
Rachael and Gabrielle (the aforementioned talented in-house graphic designer at Bad Daddy’s) had a clear vision of what they wanted their menu to look like: they wanted something very similar to the beer menu they’d been using beforehand.
That meant they wanted to use their custom fonts, their header, and include special messaging for their Bad Daddy’s branded beers, particularly the Bad Daddy’s Amber Ale.
In other words, they needed something extremely custom that wouldn’t “break” when moving from one location to another.
So they sent over one of their older beer menus:
They asked us to match that design (and make a few tweaks, e.g., transition to black and white). By the next business day we created this menu for them:
As you can see, we used their fonts, we used their header, and we included the special messaging about their Bad Daddy’s beers.
In Rachael’s eyes, the design process went very smoothly, as have the tweaks and changes we’ve made to menus since then: “The first round of design process went very well and has only gotten better as BeerMenus knows our brand design even more. Communication was spot on during the process so any changes that needed to be made we done quickly and correctly.”
As far as the design itself, Rachael and the Bad Daddy’s crew was equally effusive with praise: “Design has been spot on. We love the flexibility that BeerMenus allows us to have so we can still have menus that reflect our brand.”
Adding a wine and cocktail menu
After designing and implementing draft beer menus for Bad Daddy’s, we worked with Rachael on a second menu that takes advantage of the fact that you can now list all your menu items on BeerMenus at no extra charge.
Specifically, this new menu includes their wines and cocktails. Here’s how that one looks:
And, because the previous rollout process was so smooth, the product was so easy to use, and the individual operators like BeerMenus so much, this rollout basically happened in one fell swoop: from idea conception to full rollout took less than one month.
Imagine doing that at 40+ locations across 7 states.
Still using BeerMenus after 4 years, a bunch of menu overhauls, and 1 pandemic
Rachael and the Bad Daddy's crew are still using BeerMenus at all locations, and have easily onboarded new locations along the way as they opened up.
We've also helped Bad Daddy's transform their menu several times, updating the layout, the spacing, what kinds of products go where, etc.
Of course, the pandemic was a challenge, so we helped Bad Daddy's customize and implement QR Code Menus at all locations, much like we did with Print Menus. As of this writing (April 2022) they're still using both Print and QR Menus at all their locations.
In fact, we just finished a company-wide menu design update for them last week!
Learn more about BeerMenus for bar and restaurant groups
This is by far the most efficient way to orient yourself to BeerMenus. It also kicks off an experience that's unique to multi-location bar and restaurant groups (unlike our usual new business flow, which is designed for single-location businesses).
If you’d prefer, you could start a free 14-day trial below, but if you go that route please reach out to us to take advantage of our custom menu design services!