BeerBoard founder Mark Young has his eye on the future of on-premise retail, whenever it returns from a forced but temporary shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s why his tech and data company — which tracks more than $1 billion in retail draft beer sales from 3,000-plus on-premise accounts in the U.S. that include Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s, Hooters and more — has launched “Project Reset,” a program aimed at helping bars and restaurants determine which beers should be in their coolers.
“We see it as a time to start fresh,” he explained.
Starting fresh for BeerBoard means using data and analytics to help bars and restaurants determine the best mix for their establishments. The result could mean fewer offerings on tap or even fewer taphandles altogether, a sharp change from the “rotation nation” phenomenon of recent years in which retailers offered an ever changing rotation of offerings.
BeerBoard is looking at tap handle sets as a “planogram,” similar to off-premise retail shelves, in an effort to help general managers and beer buyers bring in the “right products and the right quantities.” Within that, he said there is a place for both hyper-local craft and the largest brands.
“Our mission is really about fresh beer and doing it profitably, and doing it right so the whole supply chain can work,” he said.
For Young, this all boils down to discipline and “more precise inventory management,” while ensuring guests have a good experience.
However, a full return of on-premise dining and drinking is still to-be-determined. Restaurants in Georgia, Tennessee and Alaska have been given the OK by their respective state governments to allow dine-in service this week, although with restrictions. And more states — Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee — have begun loosening restrictions. Even with states beginning to lift restrictions, some business owners are raising concerns.
On Tuesday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has topped 1 million, with more than 57,800 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.
Watch the interview with Young above, and visit Brewbound’s YouTube channel for more interviews and other content. Tune into Brewbound Frontlines, a live-streamed video panel discussion with the founders of Harpoon Brewery and Deschutes Brewery, this Thursday, April 30 at 3 p.m. EST.