The Brass Tap is rolling out craft-beer inspired interior design updates and a complete menu overhaul to build upon and complement the brand’s impressive bar selection. When the pub first opened its doors in 2008, it’s goal was to serve as “the ultimate beer bar” for guests to enjoy high quality beer in a laid-back environment. Keeping that mentality at the core of the business, The Brass Tap looks to speak to a young professional audience seeking out happy hour specials and delicious shareables, while maintaining the focus on craft brews.
“The restaurant and bar industry is more competitive than ever,” says Kris Kirkpatrick, director of design and construction at FSC Franchise Co., which owns The Brass Tap. “To grow the brand, we must continue to innovate to stay relevant and continue to build traffic, attract new franchisees and appeal to developers.”
To better understand its target market, The Brass Tap conducted customer research in early 2016. The data revealed that 89 percent of Brass Tap customers are young professionals. Wanting to better cater to that demographic, Kirkpatrick worked towards creating a more modern environment to complement the high quality and extensive selection of beer.
“Our new design features deep golden tones, brilliant ambers and splashes of caramel, with rich chocolate and coffee accents reminiscent of a flight of beer. A touch of elegance with some rustic and industrial elements are combined to keep in line with some of the latest design trends,” says Kirkpatrick. “To provide a more authentic and craft beer-centered feel, we added wood planking, chalk boards and beer educational pieces. We are also giving more attention to our patios by adding festive lighting, planter boxes, patio covers, soft seating and fire features. Patios are a great way to reduce your interior build-out, add curb appeal, and are loved by our guest.”
The first Brass Tap featuring the new image opened at the end of October 2016 at the Waterford Lakes Town Center in Orlando, Florida. So far, the pub has received very positive feedback. Kirkpatrick is confident that once existing Brass Tap franchisees see the results of the redesign, many will want to refresh their locations, too. Opening a Brass Tap includes a franchise fee of $35,000, with start-up costs ranging from $664,050 to $1,223,000.
Stan Dorsey, corporate executive chef and director of menu development at FSC Franchise Co., joined The Brass Tap team in summer 2016 to help create a menu that compliments craft beer and caters towards The Brass Tap’s customers, from young professionals who are looking for a quality beer and small bites after work to a group of friends who want to catch their favorite team’s game.
“I made it my mission to serve the most amazing bar food ever that would complement our wide selection of craft beer and cocktails,” says Dorsey. “All in all, I think we developed the new menu in about a month and a half.” To design an amazing menu that would offer something for everyone, Dorsey created options perfect for sharing amongst friends in a social environment. The new menu features shareables such as Boom Boom shrimp, House-Made tater tots with jalapeno beer cheese sauce, Tempura Beer Battered Avocado and Dorsey’s popular Nashville Hot Wings. Recognizing the importance of offering a burger that satisfies anyone’s taste buds, Dorsey included a new gourmet Angus burger on the menu.
Dorsey also created a completely new happy hour menu with small bites for incredibly reasonable prices (think $4 to $7), like tacos, pretzel bites, bruschetta and prime rib French dip sliders, all which pair exceptionally well with a fresh beer.
The Brass Tap is now working on rolling out the menu at all locations, training the line staff and taking stock of customer’s reactions.
“If we take care of the guest, everything else will follow,” says Kirkpatrick. “I am confident that this new image, and the menu that pairs so well with our beer selection, will generate higher sales thru guest traffic and frequency, attract new franchisees and be more appealing to developers. We have really taken an in-depth look at every component of our design to enhance the guest experience and will continue to innovate and evolve.”