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The Craft

The ultimate resource for alcohol beverage news, trends and reports for bars, distributors and suppliers.

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Making the smart technology choice to use Provi is just one of the ways bars and restaurants are improving sales and driving better revenue. In this Customer Spotlight, we take a look at Brucey’s Sports Bar in Loganville, Georgia, which recently saw an unexpected boost in sales from an astute policy change spurred by the COVID pandemic. It's a spot located within a bowling alley where patrons can enjoy sports games, shoot pool, sing out their souls in karaoke and participate in regular poker nights. In a region where smoking establishments are still very much the norm, Brucey’s decided to make the switch to non-smoking. We spoke with general manager GeneYes Hill about the change and how it pleased customers.

What made you want to become a non-smoking establishment?

We had been weighing the possibility since we have several managers that do not smoke but have to spend a lot of time in the bar. During the COVID-19 pandemic, my staff was concerned the virus would travel through second hand smoke. Six feet of social distancing was not nearly enough distance when smokers exhaled.

You mentioned that your competitors haven't taken this approach. Were you wary that there might be pushback from customers?

As with any changes in the bar, even as minor as a bartender taking vacation, of course I was wary about pushback. But for the safety of our team and guests we had to make it happen and we were 100% committed to growing new business if we had to.

When did you first notice that this helped boost an increase in sales?

When we recognized so many new faces in the bar and realized we were running out of stock faster, I decided to investigate. Being a family entertainment center, our sales come from other revenue centers so it was difficult to track growth in the bar. Storewide we are down in alcohol sales but our bar sales continue to grow and improve.

I knew the change was going to be big when a long-time regular called me from behind the bar on a busy Saturday night. I assumed it was a complaint, but she walked me away from the bar to a high-top table and said, “It’s about damn time someone in Loganville had the balls to go non-smoking!” Since then she has brought in regular groups with as many as 25 guests.

How has Provi helped you manage the increase in sales?

Being able to look up and find vendors, new flavors of alcohol and to quickly input orders on the fly has made life so much easier. Working a Saturday night with high volume and running to the liquor room and noticing we’re low, I can just open the Provi app on my phone, add it to the cart and get back to the bar.

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