6 Ways San Diego Bars, Breweries, and Distilleries Can Survive the COVID-19 Shut Down

As San Diego restaurants, hotels, nail salons, and similar establishments brace for further COVID-19 restrictions, business owners are searching for creative ways to survive another round of stringent stay-at-home orders in Southern California. 

For bars, breweries, and distilleries, these challenging times have brought particular hardship. While the restaurant industry has moderately competitive revenue-generating potential with takeout and delivery as opposed to dining in, it’s hard to recreate the purchasing cadence of a consumer buying multiple alcoholic beverages during a night out when they are removed from that environment.

In order to survive another COVID-19 shutdown, San Diego bars and breweries need to utilize creative new revenue streams and engagement campaigns, and have an effective strategy in place for marketing and promoting their innovations. Here are 6 creative ways to help your San Diego bar, brewery, or distillery survive the Southern California coronavirus shut down.

 

 

1. Participate in Takeout and Delivery Options for Alcohol.  

California is among the many states that have relaxed (even temporarily) laws around alcohol takeout and delivery. Check your state and local laws for emergency or temporary changes in legislation, decide on an ordering, payment, and delivery plan, and create a strategy for letting your customers know this exciting new service is available! 

 

 

2. Start a Wine or Beer of the Month Club.

Wine and beer of the month clubs aren’t a new idea, but they could be a smart addition to your business’s revenue stream while you are unable to serve customers at your establishment. With a subscription-based service, customers typically pay up front, meaning this could be an immediate cash infusion for your business. 

 

 

3. Sell At-Home Cocktail Kits.

Bring fan-favorite cocktails to your customer’s kitchen by selling cocktail kits! They can craft their own drinks from the safety of their homes, enjoying a different family bonding or date night activity with pre-measured ingredients and a professional recipe. This is a revenue stream that could continue to be part of your business after the coronavirus shutdown lifts.

 

 

4. Host Virtual Pairing or Bartending Classes.

Charcuterie? Wine and cheese? Stout beer and chocolates? Everyone loves a good pairing, so why not host a master class on alcohol and food pairings for your fans and followers on IGTV, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, or Facebook Live?

Bring your brand into people’s homes by utilizing live streaming tools for pairing or bartending classes and answering questions in real-time. While it may not be an instant revenue stream, it can play an important role in protecting your brand by continuing to offer fans a connection while they can’t visit your establishment.

 

 

5. Share Your Cocktail Recipes.

Whether your cocktail menu is continually changing or consistent with cult classics, people will be excited to try making them! This is a fun way to boost excitement and keep people engaged while your in-house experience is closed. 

Pro tip: use this as an opportunity to promote user-generated content, asking fans to tag you in their cocktail photos and use custom hashtags so you can share them on your stories! You could even try making a contest out of it, with a randomly selected photo using your custom hashtag winning a drink for free in-person when your establishment is able to reopen.

 

 

6. Host Virtual Happy Hours for Your Community.

Many of us are sick of being home on Zoom calls and attending virtual events, but happy hour? Count us in! 

Continuing to engage and build a community around your business is critical to surviving this challenging time. A virtual happy hour could include a promotional offer for when you reopen and gives your fans an opportunity to socialize. If the idea is popular, you could even start building an online community or Facebook group around your products and events.

 

 

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