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Behind The Bar: Don’t Raise Prices, Draw a Crowd

Make it fun for them: Amid rising costs and changing customer habits, there are untapped opportunities to pack them in and maximize sales with creative events and activities.

Greg Engert Oct 6, 2022 - 8 min read

Behind The Bar: Don’t Raise Prices, Draw a Crowd Primary Image

Photos: Jamie Bogner

The pandemic and its reverberations have been relentless, pummeling our industry with one complication after another. From staffing shortages, inflation, and sales disruptions to issues with shipping and the supply chain, running a business over the past few years has tested our resolve and forced a reconsideration of just about every facet of our operations.

More recently, various effects of the pandemic—along with climate change and global conflict—have coalesced to cause a rise in costs that’s impossible to ignore. As the costs of grain, packaging, and shipping go up, so goes the cost of beer—whether you’re brewing it, serving it over the bar, or selling it retail.

The big question becomes, “Should we raise prices?”

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Greg Engert is beer director of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, whose bars and restaurants include ChurchKey, Rustico, and the Bluejacket brewery, among others.