Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hey Bud!

Anyone who has visited any of my restaurants may have noticed I don't sell Budweiser. I haven't for many years. I also don't sell any beer brands that the local Bud distributor sells. In my opinion that's the biggest downfall for not dealing with that supplier. They sell Guinness and Sprecher among other worthy beers. Those I'd like to have on my lists.

The original reason for not selling Bud was simply that I didn't like it. I also grew up in the shadow of Miller Brewery and feel an allegiance to that beer. As a young man if I was short on cash my friends and I knew we could always take brewery tours to satisfy our taste for the hops. We also could go over to the brewery and buy "shorts", bottles that were incorrectly filled and sold dirt cheap. Many of my friends dads worked there as well. You simply didn't drink beer that wasn't brewed in Milwaukee. (To this day I rarely do)

When we opened #1 I was convinced by the locals that I HAD to sell Bud. It was a big Bud town. So against my better judgement we opened selling the evil brew. The decision to stop selling it was made easy by the arrogance and ineptitude of the local distributor. Their service and attitude were terrible. It gave me a good excuse to dump it. So for years I didn't sell it, much to the chagrin of the local bumpkins who drank it. Unfortunately, one of my favorite beers, Sprecher, (A Milwaukee micro brew)recently switched to the Bud distributor. I stopped selling Sprecher. To their credit the Sprecher guys got wind of it and starting shipping direct. It must have been a pain in the ass for them because the next thing you know a Bud salesman shows up at my door. (They've always known better not to waste their time) I explained the lousy service and attitude and how I'd really like to sell Sprecher. He promised better service and mentioned I wouldn't have to sell Bud to sell Sprecher. I'm sure he looked at it as a foot in the door. I agreed and began selling Sprecher once again.

I think it was the second time we placed an order that the distributor screwed up. They also didn't fix it and gave me the impression they couldn't care less. Bye bye Sprecher. They will not be given a third chance.

I guess when you are the biggest brewery in the world you don't have to try so hard. Customer service is simply two words in the manual. In my book, it's the first two.

You would think that Bud would want a presance in the best restaurants in a community of a quarter million people? Also the restaurants that host executives from the biggest employers in the area and from all over the world. We may not sell a ton of beer but you'd think it would be embarassing for the Bud people not to be sold in the highest profile restaurants in the area. They couldn't care less.

So Budweiser? Kiss my ass.