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Updating business hours during COVID-19

  • 5 min read

No one wants to lose a customer to their tasting room, during coronavirus or otherwise. Yet the reality is customers can fall into and out of “like” with your brand fairly quickly. Don’t push customers away by forgetting to update your business hours and COVID-19 procedures in highly-visible places. The LAST thing you want is for someone to commit to visiting only to be turned away because you’re closed.

World closed photo for coronavirus postWe’ve witnessed the backlash on social and heard it from clients: with frequent changes to state guidelines it’s difficult to stay on top of updates. We get it, which is why we put together a checklist of 40 common spots where your business hours may be displayed:

Market Your Craft barrel logo for mobile discoverability emailHow do up-to-date tasting room hours make your craft beverage business more discoverable?

States are learning about and reacting to COVID-19 in real-time, issuing updates and revised guidelines sometimes daily. In response, consumers have to remain flexible and explore every option around work, shopping, education, travel, etc. Which means a visit to your tasting room is more calculated than spontaneous. They’re researching whether or not you’re open and making the decision if they’re comfortable with your pandemic procedures. Seem like common sense to you? We were surprised at how inconsistently the top 5 most visible below are being updated!

high visibility – listings you control

Changing business hours photo for coronavirus postWe understand it’s nearly a full-time job keeping business hours and procedures up-to-date everywhere your customers may be looking. The point is not to update them all, because there will always be something you missed. The goal is to establish a routine, updating those listings that reach the largest audience when change occurs. To help your business do this, we’ve identified the most visible points of update when you have changes to hours and procedures at your tasting room:

  • All team members should find out about schedule changes the same way each time, preferably by trackable means like email, a team meeting or shift scheduling app
  • Your website
  • The tasting room voicemail
  • Google My Business for search engine listings
  • Facebook Business Pages and any social media accounts

Also in your control are updates to customer touchpoints:

  • Printed or emailed receipts from your point of sale system (for example, Toast, Arryved and Square)
  • Email templates for newsletters and announcements
  • Regulars, who you may want to reach by phone
  • Any first responder groups that enjoy services or discounts at your tasting room
  • Food trucks and commissaries
  • Partner restaurants that deliver to your tasting room
  • Entertainment and local vendors
  • Pre-booked events

Get the idea? You may have others not listed that are resources for your customers. Pick the top 5 on your list to start, make sure they are updated immediately, then add others to your routine as you have time.

medium visibility – partners and press

Owners and managers have become incredibly nimble during coronavirus in an effort to stay open and keep team members working. Many have explored creative relationships with local businesses and the greater craft beverage community, discovering new sales outlets in the process. It’s important to update partners with changes to your hours and operating procedures. Consider:

We deliver photo for coronavirus post
  • Local delivery services like Drizly, Saucey, DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub
  • Love it or love to hate it, Yelp displays hours of operation
  • Your local news entertainment writer
  • Press release templates
  • Your branded mobile app
  • Untappd for Business
  • Uber, Lyft and other car services – most source hours/directions from their rideshare apps, so updating Google will help
  • Your top 3 social media influencers (paid or organic)
  • Services used by the business
  • Neighboring businesses
  • Nearby tasting rooms
  • Local craft beverage clubs
  • Biking, jogging and other enthusiast groups
  • Any retail point of sale items (usually these have longer lead times)
  • Online or offline advertising currently running

lower visibility – directories

Tasting room photo for coronavirus postDirectories are most beneficial to local businesses when they serve as pointers for new customers and destination visitors. Needless to say, “craft beverage tourism” isn’t exactly booming right now, which is why these are lower priorities. As we continue to learn more about the virus and craft drinkers in your state have more confidence visiting [new] social settings, updating the following will be important:

  • Your craft beverage association or guild
  • Directories of [essential] local businesses
  • City or regional Visitors Center website
  • Distributor or retail partners
  • Shopping sites like CraftShack, and Craft City
  • Bing Places for Business
  • Local business listings
  • Tour companies
  • Limo or shuttle drivers
  • Community bulletin boards and event calendars
  • Wedding planners
  • Corporate event planners

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