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The Quarterly Canadian Restaurant Intelligence Report

Liquid to lips: How brands use technology to stand out


How brands use technology to stand out amid growing competition

We are living in a golden age of craft beer and spirits, and wine lists are growing ever more complex. Consumers everywhere rejoice as more and more options arrive on the beverage menu and at the local liquor store. While restaurant-goers appreciate the added variety and increased quality of offerings, it can overwhelm guests and cause headaches for competing alcohol brands. There is only so much liquid hitting lips, so it becomes increasingly important for a brand to stand out to ensure that they’re selling their fair share.

Having a quality product and intriguing brand story is always step one, but that won’t do anything for you if a restaurant-goer doesn’t KNOW that you have a quality product and cool brand (or worse, that you are even on the menu!). Unfortunately, you can’t have your brand ambassadors sitting at every table, so you need to turn restaurant staff into advocates for your brand. With limited resources and busy operations, this is easier said than done.

Traditionally, brands have marketed themselves by building relationships with licensees, and through the use of physical items like glassware, signage and coasters. These tactics have an impact, but with growing competition and a more educated consumer, server recommendation will rise in the ranks of sales drivers. As this trend continues, it will be increasingly vital to educate the staff who represent your brand in front-line conversations.

Chris Spoyer, Founder

As rising wage costs make it more difficult to bring a group together, and shrinking attention spans reduce the impact of the sessions that DO happen, more brands are leaning toward technology to boost beverage sales. To extend the voice of a sales team and boost brand recognition, mobile apps like Spiffy can deliver product knowledge in video format, directly to the mobile phones of restaurant workers. For example, a video on an IPA may highlight the major flavours and aromas, food pairings, and the story behind the brand which always makes for great table talk! To improve engagement, servers can even be rewarded for completing the training, directly within the app.

Training content is more likely to stick with a millennial workforce when delivered in short bursts of video, and each module has a quick quiz attached to ensure the message was absorbed. As GMs monitor team progress on the dashboard, and brands know the state of training in their accounts, we can take some of the guessing out of on-premise spend with measurable results. We all know that “people sell what they know” and what they can confidently speak about, so let’s arm servers and bartenders with the information they need to properly represent your brand on the front line, where that liquid hits the consumer’s lips!


Chris Snoyer, Founder,


Menu Canada's Foodservice Magazine
The Quarterly Canadian Restaurant Intelligence Report