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What's a nice way to tell a local craft bar they need to step up their game?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by leedorham, May 21, 2013.

  1. leedorham

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    Here's the premise: A place opens up a few years back and has, at the time, one of the most impressive tap lists in town. Fast forward a few years and that place has been surpassed by a half dozen new and/or improved establishments.

    I pop in the other day for the first time in a while and get the whole 'long time no see.' I just laughed it off and ordered a beer but, truth is, it's because they just aren't the place to go any more. They haven't added any handles, they don't seem to be first to get the new releases, and they seem to be switching out their handles much less frequently and opting to stick with several regular offerings.

    What's a non-douchey way to tell a bar owner they need to step it up to keep your business?
     
  2. Rekrule

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    "Please step up your game."

    Just don't go there. If they don't care now, I can't see you saying something changing that.
     
  3. Ri0

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    Just ask, "Hey have you ever thought about getting X beer, as it is a very highly rated beer and many people seek it out." See what the reply is.
     
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  4. RandomBattle

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    Buy em out and change it up.
     
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  5. BKBassist

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    Yeah just have a conversation with them. Look at some of the brands they carry, see who distributes those brands and see what else they have in their catalog. Bring those brands up in your conversation, talk about how you dig what they have.
     
  6. YogiBeer

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    Talking does wonders. Crazy, right?
     
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  7. ParchedNeedBeer

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    Bring in your own bottle of beer. When they question what the hell you're doing, tell them they dont have what you're looking for.
     
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  8. leedorham

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    That doesn't seem very nice.
     
  9. jl28r1

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    You had the perfect chance to tell them when you got the "long time no see" line.
    Simply say that you like the place but other places in town seem to be more eager to keep things new and fresh. Seems odd that they would not know how many awesome places there are up your way to choose from but maybe they just got comfortable with how things were. You might be doing them a great favor by having a nice and relaxed chat about what you think.
     
  10. PalatePilot

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    Let the owners run their bar how they want to run it.

    If there are other bars that offer what you're looking for, frequent them.
     
  11. Swik

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    Sounds like you were a regular right? If they value your business they should seriously consider any feedback you provide them. Unless they truly don't give a shit. Just ask the bartender, bet it wouldn't be the most offensive thing they've heard all day. At first I thought you may have been talking about a smaller brewery but if it's just a beer bar their livelihood depends on you buying pints, go up there, suck down some liquid courage and demand better beer, nuff said.
     
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  12. YogiBeer

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    ........what?
     
  13. dennis3951

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    Is the bar crowded and doing well? If so don't waste your time.
     
  14. bifrost17

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    You don't need to be an asshole if they ask where you've been, just be honest. Tell them that other places have beers that you'd rather drink than what they've usually got on tap. I really doubt they'd take offense to that, especially if it's a beer bar and the people that work there are into beer, they should understand that you just want to drink the best possible beer that's available to you, and if they're not providing it then you're going to take your money elsewhere.
     
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  15. beertunes

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    Well, since you're in Washington, you could just go the Passive-Aggresive route: "Hey, I heard some asshole started an on-line thread about about about how shitty you guys are. I would never do that, you guys are my favorites!".
     
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  16. PalatePilot

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    What don't you get about that statement?

    Why does the OP feel like he needs to tell someone how to run their business?
    If a bar doesnt have what you want to drink, go somewhere else.

    That's the beauty about a capitalist economic system, if the public doesn't like a product ( Bar ) then the owners will choose to change something on their own, or they will fail.

    I thought it was a straight forward statement.
     
  17. smartassboiler

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    The point is that the OP would like to make an effort at a place that he spent plenty of time at before. It's obviously a place the OP used to really like, and judging from his comment here, it's a place he'd enjoy frequenting again if they'd simply offer better beers. There's zero downside to him walking in and respectfully talking up the bartender or owner about why he's started to take his business elsewhere. If they're receptive, maybe he gets his frequent hangout back. Worst case they do nothing, and he goes somewhere else knowing he at least made an effort.
     
  18. cyclonece09

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    Why not just do it with your feet and your wallet? If there are better options, your business there will help to show them something is wrong. Also, if you tell your friends and word starts to spread about the better options, things may change.
     
  19. OldBluesNewBrews

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    walk in with two storm troopers, wave your hand a la Obi-Wan and say, "these aren't the beers you're looking for." Then walk out
     
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  20. RWLawman

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    Be honest, but be nice. I think some of the people here have given good advice. If you're blunt, you'll come across like a prick, but if you sugar coat it just a touch, you'll be fine. I think the best advice on here was just saying something along the lines of, "Hey, you ever thought of getting "x" beer?" I don't see anything wrong with that. Of course, tone has a big part of conversation, so maybe find a tone that isn't sarcastic or degrading, and instead, genuinely inquisitive.

    If you're looking to help them out, and are genuine in your motivation, then go for it. Otherwise, I do think going to the places that have the selection you're looking for may be a good option too. You know the business owner better than any of us here, so the end decision is in your hands.
     
  21. SammyJaxxxx

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    Ask the owner if he has ever watched Bar Rescue?
     
  22. bifrost17

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    Oh damn. I didn't realize that we're in the same state. What's the bar you're talking about? Feel free to message me if you don't want to say it publicly, I'm just curious.
     
  23. bcm75

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    I run my own business. I would very much like to hear about why potential customers are taking their money elsewhere, if I am doing something they do not like. Maybe I have my reasons for what I do, but more info is always useful and it might change my decisions going forward. The OP is of course free to do what he wants, as are the bar owners in question.
     
  24. Stugotzo

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    You must be new around here.

    ;)
     
  25. bifrost17

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    Hahahahaha well of course we're all assholes on here, with the "privacy" the internet provides.
     
    ironchefmiyagi13 likes this.
  26. TongoRad

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    Who says they are in trouble? It seems quite plausible that they have settled into a niche that is comfortable for them, but just not the Op's cup of tea.
     
    PalatePilot likes this.
  27. devlishdamsel

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    Would this establisment be anywhere near the west side of Spokane ;)?
    If I am correct get in contact with the local distributor and have the distributor talk to the establishment... they are friends and will listen to the voice of reason.
     
  28. Providence

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    Just level with them. "Hey, I'm no business man, and I don't want to be telling you folks what you should be doing with your business, but I gotta say....
     
  29. mtbeer3649

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    either man up and talk to them face to face or do a google/yelp review. any business worth a shit reads those from time to time to see what people are saying about them.
     
  30. Madoo25

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    Give em a smack up side de head.
     
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  31. zestd

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    Kick in the door wearing Shock swag, turn over tables, run in the cooler and switch the tavern heads around, steal the bartenders tip money and run out screaming "go Zags!"
     
  32. TheGoof

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    Talk to them. I am completely shameless when it comes to bitching about/suggesting beers to local bar managers/owners. And it pays off. Two of the best beer bars around me have gotten beers at my request before, all because I was shameless in asking for them.
     
    rlcoffey likes this.
  33. bpd2001

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    Like bcm75 said, most small business owners would appreciate direct feedback from their customers.

    Voting with your $$ might work at McDonalds. But a bar owner might not understand why he's losing customers. Unless someone tells them. Just my 2 cents.
     
    bcm75 and TheGoof like this.
  34. rlcoffey

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    This.

    I did it with a new place last summer. They did.

    Your situation is different and you should have said something about the time you stopped going regularly, not now.
     
  35. TheGoof

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    Yep. Now, I don't think he should mention the bar's selection in relation to others in the area, but he should just talk to them about beer, what he would like to see there, and maybe mention something like "such and such bar has beers x and y... it would be awesome if you could get those and maybe beer Z from that same brewery sometime too."
     
  36. neophilus

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    If its only the beer you're interested in just buy it at the store and bring it home, no reason to pay so much for a pint if the atmosphere/staff/food don't really mean much.

    If you like the place but wish they carried beer x or y then just keep suggesting it to them, I'm sure they would appreciate customer feedback. When someone doesn't come back they don't know if it was because the hamburger was overcooked or the bartender cussed them out or something else.
     
  37. TheGoof

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    I don't know if it's different where you live, but where I live the selections of what you can find around town on draft are far different from what you can find in bottles.
     
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  38. rlcoffey

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    Same for me. Lots of stuff I drink on draft is only available on draft.
     
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  39. mecummins

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    The easiest way would be to shoot the owner an email. Just mention that you enjoyed your visit the other night, but the reason you've been frequenting other pubs is their more diverse beer list (or whatever your reason is.) Give them a positive that you enjoy about their place (you like the bartenders, the mood is friendly, whatever) and then mention that you'd probably visit more often if they changed up their tap list with a higher frequency. Be polite and to the point. If the owner has any business sense, he will take your email seriously and be glad of the feedback. If he blows you off, just be glad that you have other options to spent your evenings at.
     
    Beerontwowheels and YogiBeer like this.
  40. OneBeertoRTA

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    If they are loyal to the same breweries they have been carrying from day one maybe they should ask for the seasonal and special releases instead of the regular stuff. No reason they shouldn't be rewarded...
     
    bjhorvat likes this.
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