Embracing Change: Hill City Tap House stays connected to their community during social distancing measures


We’ve been talking to business owners to learn the steps they took to shift their business model to exclusively offer pickup and delivery in light of the current pandemic. 

A neighborhood taproom depends on their foot traffic and because of that Mathew Hipp, owner of Hill City Tap House, felt anxious as he watched the news and anticipated an announcement that businesses would have to close. Like so many small businesses owners across the country, he had to think differently about how he would be doing business in order to make it through this period of stay at home orders. 

Planning

Matt knew they were going to have to do business differently and went to the liquor board to get his delivery license before the announcement came from Jay Inslee that restaurants and bars must stop providing dine-in. With that came a new plan for doing business. The staff were all part of the conversation and planning. They ended up with a plan for collecting identification, communicating with their customers and setting very clear expectations for delivery.  

Minimize Delivery and Pickup Options

Hill City has a set delivery area and provides delivery Tuesday and Friday between 4-6pm. Initially they did not limit the area, and the time it took to fulfill deliveries was too much for one delivery driver, Matt himself. They maintain their store hours even on days they aren’t busy to make sure customers don’t end up coming by to see a closed store to avoid them choosing not to come another time. 

Some things to consider when adding delivery or pickup:

  • Which days and what time frame you will be offering delivery
  • Think about a realistic delivery area, factoring in travel distance from your store
  • How many drivers do you need? 
  • Minimize but be consistent – set your hours and be open during those times 

Connect Creatively with your Community 

Matt found that staying connected with the community and leveraging established relationships is key. “Those relationships that we built during normal times have been coming back to us and allow us to operate during this period of time,” explained Matt. Tuesday Trivia nights were traditionally a very busy night for them. They continued the tradition and went virtual. As part of the promotion of their Virtual Trivia, they remind customers to come pick up beer (curbside, contactless available) or schedule Tuesday delivery as a way to support the Tap House. They also partner with other local businesses, including a local flower vendor and have pickup windows at their Tap House. Not only does this remind customers that they should support local small businesses, but it is a great way to cultivate community by extending what they offer while customers are stuck at home. 

Businesses across the nation are being affected by social distancing and getting creative with how to serve their communities. If you’re doing delivery or pickup, Glympse can help support you with our free location tools – https://info.glympse.com/deliveryandpickup

About Hill City Taphouse: 

Nestled between Columbia City and Hillman City in Seattle, WA, Hill City  stocks an extensive variety of craft beers and ciders with a focus on local producers. Order online or call 206-687-7984 to place your order and pay over the phone. Current delivery windows are Tuesday & Friday between 4-6pm. Curbside pickup is available 1-8pm daily.

https://www.hillcitytapandbottle.com/

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