Interviews with Bar Owners & Managers – Amber from Lone Tree Brewing Co.
Welcome to our new series, “Interviews with Bar Owners & Managers.” These posts feature bar owners and managers like you, sharing industry experiences and tips, because no one knows the business better than you. So read on, learn, connect, and reflect!
Amber Davis-Sato is the tasting room manager at Lone Tree Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. Lone Tree Brewing Co. has been in business for 3 years.
TH: What do you like most about being a bar owner/manager and managing a bar business?
ADS: Our customers! They become family and we look forward to hearing about their lives and sharing a pint with them. This is followed very closely by our employees. They are amazing people who bring something different to each day. Plus, they put up with me!
TH: What do you like least?
ADS: Paying bills. 🙂 Honestly, everything we do is because we need to do it to have a successful business, keep our employees happy, and continue to make great beer. I don’t really have a least favorite part.
TH: That is a great way to be thinking, especially as tax season looms. We’ll try to think more like you, Amber! But every business has a challenge or two. Tell us about a challenge you’ve had. How did you handle it?
ADS: We have been blessed to see a very rapid growth. This put a strain on everyone as we worked quickly to grow faster than anticipated. New equipment, additional staff, utilizing more efficient products (such as Taphunter) so we could keep up with what our customers want and need.
TH: What do you wish you’d known before you started your business (besides the fact that people would like you so much you’d have to grow super quick)?
ADS: We wish we had known about some of the great vendors that were available to use. The “big guys” who can afford to advertise everywhere may not necessarily be the best fit for us. We love to use local and/or smaller, growing companies that can be difficult to find at first.
TH: What do you look for when hiring staff?
ADS: Strong work ethic, dedication to taking care of all of our customers, and an engaging personality. No matter what job we do, front of house or back of house or sales, we will at some point come into contact with our customers and it has to be a great interaction for them each and every time.
TH: How do you keep staff up to date on what you’re selling?
ADS: TapHunter! We encourage our staff to have the app, not only to keep up to date with what’s on tap in the Tasting Room, but also so they can use it on their off time.
TH: We’re glad to support you and your staff! Anything else you do to keep each other in the loop?
ADS: We also love to talk to each other, so we will text, email, have meetings, etc.
TH: How do you tell new and current customers about your offerings?
ADS: We utilize social media in every way we can. We are a constant presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. TapHunter ties right in, [sending] our newest tappings to these [outlets] with ease. We also put flyers up in the tap room for upcoming beers.
TH: Does an informed customer have any impact on your business/sales?
ADS: An informed and excited customer will always have a positive impact on our business.
TH: How do you use TapHunter, and what do you like most about it?
ADS: We use TapHunter (TH) in numerous ways. We have digital boards that are always up to date. We print menus off of TH for use at tables and out on the patio. I love that with one quick change on my computer or laptop I can update our digital menu boards, Facebook, our website, and, of course, the TapHunter app.
TH: So those excited customers can come running when you tap something new and delicious (or classic and delicious)! Besides TapHunter, do you use other tools/services to run your business?
ADS: WOW! It takes so many things to keep us running efficiently. Here’s a list that I’m sure is not all-inclusive: POS; line cleaning, various vendors for sellable items (apparel, etc.); building cleaning; bookkeeping; sales analytics; local advertising; festivals (what a fun way to boost our presence!).
TH: Wow is right. We’re going to need to check out that Lone Tree Brewing Company apparel . . . but before we do that, tell us, what is your most popular-selling drink?
ADS: Depends on time of year. 🙂 Acres ‘O’ Green Irish Red tends to dominate most of the year, both in the Tasting Room and at Off-Premise accounts.
Come warm weather, the Lone Tree Peach Pale Ale steps up and becomes the leader. In the Tasting Room, the Hoptree IIPA also has a strong showing year round.
TH: Do you hear that, Denver visitors? Plan for a taste of something pale and peachy when you visit Amber and her team this summer. We might have to make the trip ourselves. Sounds refreshing!
How has the craft beer trend affected your business?
ADS: It has been positive! We love seeing great new breweries constantly opening. New takes on beer, new recipes, and different personalities just keep this industry growing and evolving. As long as we are all making great, consistent beer and taking care of our customers, the craft beer explosion will be great.
Plus, it give me great new places to try no matter where I happen to head on vacation!
TH: You just nailed our favorite vacation activity, Amber! Thanks for sharing your experiences as manager of Lone Tree Brewing Company with us. We look forward to a chance to visit!
Follow Lone Tree Brewing Company on TapHunter to see what Amber and her team are serving in Denver, Colorado.
Do you wish you had more hours in the day, just to fit in all the work you do as a busy bar owner? We’ll give you back you time by automating your day-to-day management and marketing tasks. Try a free trial of TapHunter.
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