Beer distributors are busy today. If you were out on the roads, you probably noticed an unusually high number of beer trucks. That’s because local restaurants and bars are restocking in anticipation of opening for outdoor dining on Friday and indoor dining next week.
Issac Peed, bar manager at Patties & Pints, says things have been hectic. “We’re trying to get there.”
I caught up with him in the middle of placing one of the many orders for beer, wine, and spirits he’s made recently. He says he got together with the restaurant’s owner and GM to figure out a plan to restock after Ohio’s shutdown.
“We got together at the beginning of the week. We’ll have to start getting all the orders back in. We’ve got two orders in already. We’ll need to restock up on beer and liquor.”
Peed says he’s already taken advantage of a special $500 COVID-19 rebate offered by the State Liquor Authority when bars and restaurants order.
“Everything is kind of falling in place for us here. We’ll get everything ready with the outdoor dining. It’s going to be like when we first opened again. We’ll probably have a big surge of people coming in.”
He says he anticipates the kind of traffic the restaurant saw when it first opens. But don’t worry, they’ve got a plan to keep customers and employees safe by practicing social distancing and proper sanitizing.
Part of that plan involves keeping the bar area closed, for now. “We don’t have any plans to open the bar now. Just dine in. We’re working on some ideas with the bar. Perhaps a glass panel to separate them from the bartender. We want to try to maintain safety for customers and personnel to bring the bar back in use.”
Peed says it’s challenging because bartenders are face to face with their customers. “We’ll hold off on the bar for now. We’ve got some idea we’re throwing around.”
Beer In Demand
Peed said he’s spoken to beer distributors and to delivery people about their surge in business. Beer distributors saw steady sales for bottled and canned beer during the shutdown but demand for kegs dropped. “Now, kegs are back. The delivery guy said he was very busy delivering kegs.”
Another reason for the uptick in beer delivery is that beer doesn’t have the shelf life of liquor. “Beer has an expiration date. A lot of bars and restaurants will have to exchange expired stuff. The distributors will be a lot busier.”
Peed says he missed seeing his regulars. “You always have those customers you can’t wait to see every day. It’s a whole different feeling. It puts in perspective how you’ve taken things for granted. It’ll be great to get back to a little bit to normalcy.”
He says that he thinks customers will appreciate seeing staff and each other. “Anybody can go to Kroger and get something and have a beer at their house. But socializing is what they are missing.”