We spend a significant amount of time planning special events. From food and drink pairings to themed parties to holidays, we strive to always have something fun in the works. However, they aren’t always successful! It’s like throwing mud at the wall – we try different ideas to see what sticks, then build on the popular ones. We experiment with time of year, ticket price, day of the week, time of day and other factors to see what works best for both our business and our customers.
From top left: 2015 Beer & Bacon Tasting crowd | Sunnyside Pissa | 2014 Beer & Bacon Tasting menu | Digging in | Bacon sampler | Billy pouring a round
Recently, we hosted our third annual Beer & Bacon Tasting. The idea came from a similar event we attended in Chicago several years ago – they served five cuts of bacon with five beers, simple and delicious as that. As we began planning the preparations for our first event, we decided to try our own spin on the idea and created three recipes with bacon as the primary ingredient rather than just strips of bacon prepared differently. We were pleased with the results and had a good turnout, so of course we planned to duplicate the event. We also tried a couple different pairings that year: Beer & Potato, Beers & Ears, Founders Beer Dinner, Crepes & Beer… Each had their merits, but didn’t have that must-repeat reaction. Same goes for our third attempt of pairing beer with bacon. While the menu was tasty as ever, we didn’t get the turnout we would have liked. Perhaps the trend has come and gone or we just planned it on the wrong day, but we’ll scrap that idea for now and turn our efforts elsewhere!
Our recent survey results show that our customers want to continue to see unique events, especially food and drink pairings and pop-up brunches. That serves as motivation to keep planning to see what sticks! The calendar dictates much of our planning – we have to work around the big holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day, and our menu changes in the spring and fall. The trick is to fit other events into the schedule to provide a well-rounded experience for our customers!