Next Glass Subsidiary Untappd Launches Business Feature

By Jenny Callison, posted May 17, 2016
Correction: This version of the story updates the number of Untappd for Business customers and corrects the fee structure from a monthly fee to a yearly contract.

Next Glass subsidiary Untappd is earning kudos from local beer establishments on a new business feature it’s offering.

Several months after its launch, Untappd for Business (UTFB) has found favor with bars, restaurants and bottle shops because it enables easier outreach to customers and prospective customers. Currently, the feature has about 600 customers around the world, according to company officials.

Mike Duffy, co-owner of Hey Beer! bottle shop in Wilmington, said his business has used UTFB for about two months, and sees increasing numbers of his customers checking out Hey Beer!’s current offerings on its Untappd app.

“We constantly see people come in and pull out their phone to see what’s new,” he said Tuesday. “We’re able to have a stronger presence [online]. Or before they come in, they can see what we have on draft. We pay a monthly service fee but it’s definitely worth it."

The new app feature is especially helpful for specialty shops like Hey Beer! and restaurants that change their beer menus frequently.

For places like the Ogden Tap Room, whose beer list is “constantly changing,” according to general manager Trevor Rice, the feature streamlines marketing outreach.Rice said he can enter his establishment’s current offerings on the Untappd app, and the information is sent to Ogden Tap Room’s Facebook page, website and Twitter feed.

“They’re all linked,” he said Tuesday. “You can go to any one of the three places and see our beer list for the day. The same goes for our music events.”

The feature also allows users to see how their customers are responding to particular beers, and allows beer lovers to find specific brews.  

“It allows people to search for beers in the Wilmington area and if we carry it, then our restaurant will pop up with a verified check mark,” said Maxx Jackson, marketing director of JohnnyLukes Restaurant. “It has made our online presence, when it comes to beer, look way more professional.  It shows that we care about our beer selection and that we put time and effort into making the best beer selection that we can.

“Although we have only used it for a month or so there have already been new features added like the ‘instant post to social media’ feature, and we are just excited to see what else the guys at Untappd have in store when it comes to the program,” Jackson continued.

Untappd, an app-based social platform for beer lovers, was founded about five years ago by Greg Avola and Tim Mather. It merged with Wilmington-based Next Glass in January. The move was designed to help both entities grow, with Next Glass having access to Untappd’s millions of users and Untappd able to tap into Next Glass’s financial resources and data analytics.

"With the recent merger, this gives myself and Tim Mather the ability to work on Untappd for Business in a full-time role, which wasn't possible before," Avola said in an email. "This allows us to dedicate more resources and time to marketing, developing and improving the platform with feedback from our audience. [UTFB] is a feature that Tim and I have wanted to create since the start of Untappd. We're glad that we can finally make this happen through this merger."

Duffy said he has seen “a lot more features” emerge from Untappd since that merger, and he looks forward to more. He’s especially impressed with his ability, through UTFB, to send out alerts to his regular customers when Hey Beer! adds a new brew or is running a special.

JohnnyLukes’ Jackson noted UTFB’s benefits extend to enhancing the restaurant’s wait staff.

“One of the best things about Untapped for Business is that it gives a detailed description of the beer from the brewer and now we just tell our servers to read the beer menu online in order to learn about the beer so they can better educate the customer,” he said.

Avola, Untappd's CTO, said the Untappd team is growing and his company has between five and 10 people working on the business project now. Customers contract on a yearly basis to use the new business feature.

"We're focusing on [making] the process of finding what you're looking for easier for both consumers and business owners," he said.
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