Luxury Coach & Transportation

May 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 32 of 51

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION MAY 2019 31 are their livelihoods. Respecting their staff and place of business helps build long-term mutually beneficial relation- ships with them. your clients are aware of such details before- hand so they can dress appropriately. Giving them advance notice of brewery tour require- ments (check your local laws; may not be ap- plicable in your state) is also good practice, so your clients know what to expect. NO. 3: Build strong relationships with the breweries. Relations with the breweries are vital. In our area, breweries contact each other frequently to discuss busi- ness matters and you definitely don't want them to be talking about how you are negligent in sending people in to their places of business in bad shape. is can result in your brewery tour service being shut down before it starts. Consider that while you are of- fering this as a service, these breweries tour probably isn't a good idea. Sending overserved clients into a brewery will anger the brewmasters and may result in being banned permanently from their establishments. Instead, inform these clients you would suggest a bar crawl type service. While we never condone overserving, and we always hope clients will exercise responsible drinking, traditional bars are better places for these types of clients. NO. 2: Develop good restrictions to keep group members, brewery staff, and drivers safe. Strict policies like "no pre-gaming" and "no open toe shoes" are good ways to make sure your group will be safe and in line with the breweries' policies. While most companies already have some form of terms and conditions, brew tours dif- fer. Breweries are places of work and the brewery conducted tours often involve going up and down stairs as well as exposure to areas where hot liquids can spatter from equipment. It's important DO LIST Monitor your groups closely. If someone appears overserved, act fast. Tell your customers in advance brew tours are for sampling, not overindulg- ing. Remember, it is your relationship with the brewery on the line. We've even shortened our tour lengths and limited consumption in transit to avoid these situations. Check hours of availability and special events. Breweries often operate under different hours and may not be open when you get there. Don't risk upsetting your clients. Simply check the schedule or create a spreadsheet of hours in a Google Doc for you and your team to review before tours. Don't forget, they may also be operating special events when you visit. If so, make sure it's OK for you to bring in a group. Package in comped food as an added value, not comped flights. We've partnered with a local burrito joint to offer a food package we include in certain tours. At first I just thought this was a good way to round out the tours as a "package." Later, I realized free food at the right time would help folks with lower tolerances avoid becoming outright drunk, and hopefully make for an easier to manage group. Some tours offer free flights, which is something we would suggest avoiding for obvious reasons. DON'T LIST Allow group members into breweries with outside beer. If you allow your groups to purchase beer from other breweries, it should remain in the vehicle between stops. This is a big faux pas and will make the brewery operators uncomfortable. Promote overindulgence. The time and place for excessive drinking (if there ever even is a time) is not on a brewery tour. If, for example, clients want to bring along hard alcohol to drink during their ride, they should be taking a pub crawl, not a brew tour. Use vehicles over 15 passengers. Bringing 30-plus people in unexpect- edly to a brewery on a busy Saturday can overwhelm staff. Often, 30 people would even push a tasting room past its legal capacity. In our experience, we've found 15 or fewer is easy to handle from both an operating standpoint for the driver as well as the brewery. BRENT ABRUZESE is the owner of Black Rock Limousine and Red Bank Limo in Red Bank, N.J. He can be reached at Brewery tours are popular with people of drinking age from all walks of life, and using chauffuered transportation ensures nobody gets a DUI.

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