Restaurants and Bars
Many restaurants and bars purchased can seamers to sell cocktails, margaritas, drafts, and other drinks to-go during the pandemic to stay afloat. However, they’re now finding that the seamers are continuing to add an extra revenue stream to their business while bringing in new customers and expanding their reach beyond their walls.
Our Client’s Stories
At Stella’s Lounge, general manager Tony Kisscorni said that Stella’s Punch, their take on a Long Island Iced Tea, is one of their most popular beverages.
“It became the drink to have at Stella’s,” Kisscorni said. “So much so that it was kind of a burden on the bar staff.”
Stella’s decided to start kegging their punch to save their staff time, and canning the beverage was a natural progression. They chose Oktober because of its great customer service and fast shipping. Since then, cans of Stella’s Punch have proven a hit, especially with people ordering through food delivery apps.
“People really wanted to take home our signature drink,” Kissocorni said. “We have a lot of people that will order a 24-pack of cans because they’re throwing a party. It’s allowing us to market ourselves a little bit further.”
Kisscorni said they want to use the seamer for additional cocktails as their business grows and changes.
“It integrates so easily and gives us another revenue stream,” he said. “We’re going to see more of these seamers go out into bars and restaurants because it's another way to push that product out further to expand your bar or your service to parties or dinner or anything like that.”
El Arbol Taqueria
An authentic Mexican restaurant, El Arbol Taqueria bought a can seamer to sell their signature margaritas during the COVID-19 pandemic. But co-owner Lauren Pilon said they’ve likely been using it even more since they fully reopened.
“People are excited that they can have their margarita outside of a restaurant,” Pilon said.
Many of their customers drink margaritas on their boats, or while traveling in northern Michigan.
“To know that El Arbol’s margaritas aren’t just being enjoyed within these four walls in Brighton, Michigan, and it's expanding outside of just this little town, is so cool,” Pilon said.
They’ve packaged their margaritas in four 12 oz cans to boost sales, making use of plastic carriers to make taking them out the door easier.
“They’re definitely doing amazing,” Pilon said of their sales. “We’ve given people the option to have a meal that they didn’t prepare with a drink that they didn’t prepare in the comfort of their own home.”
Pilon noted that their regulars keep coming back and ordering more, and the cans have brought in new regulars as well.
“Since we’ve gotten the seamer we’ve gone through about 20,000 cans, and made about $75,000,” Pilon said. “That number is huge for something that is almost like an add-on to an order that people are already coming in for.”
“After we made the initial purchase of the machine, it was scary, but we made the money back within a month, just from selling the cans.”
Pilon also said the Oktober seamer has been easy for her staff to work with.
“We can kind of create our own factory line of pouring, canning, packaging—out the door.”
Larry’s at the Lawrence House
A craft cocktail bar in Chicago with plenty of dedicated regulars, Larry’s at the Lawrence House bought a can seamer when Chicago allowed bars to sell cocktails to-go during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This seamer has allowed Larry’s to change and kind of stay the same,” manager Mike Treffehn said. “The other methods of preparing to-go cocktails are a lot of times a lot more labor-intensive, and that’s no longer an issue for us with the seamer. I can change our menu as frequently as I want to because the process of sealing a drink is not a super laborious or long-lasting one.”
Treffehn also appreciated how the seamer allowed Larry’s to keep the friendly, intimate atmosphere it’s always had, while also allowing the bar to expand its reach.
“It’s so quick to be able to use that I can continue carrying on a conversation with somebody about their drink that I’m canning for them, right then,” Treffehn said.
The seamer has also integrated well with their staff and their workflow.
“It just fits very easily,” Treffehn said. “It doesn’t take up very much space, and it's also unobtrusive looking. Because of the simplicity of the design of it, it's very easy to train people how to use it.”
“I think that having a to-go program is going to continue to be an incredible part of our business,” he added. “I imagine us using the seamer for a lot of years to come.”
Founders Brewing Co.
Located in Grand Rapids, Mich, Founders Brewing Co. has been ranked as one of the top breweries in the world for several years running. They’re also one of our most valued partners. They use Oktober’s can seamers in their taprooms to sell their beer to-go in CrowlersTM.
“The really awesome part of the taproom here at Founders is that this is kind of where every beer begins,” Founders education manager Marklyn Behling explained. They use their taproom to gauge interest in their latest creations and see which brews should be kegged or bottled, and which ones may need to go back to the drawing board.
“Using this seamer allows us to get those special beers out further than just the taproom,” Behling added. “So the excitement starts here, but then it doesn’t end here.”
They’ve found that the Crowlers not only eliminated the amount of wasted beer they see with growlers, but they’re also more convenient for their clients.
“Customers wanted Crowlers,” Founders taproom general manager Melissa Rusche said. “They wanted something that wasn’t glass, [that] they can bring to the beach. It’s fully sealed, so you don't have to worry about light getting into it.”
Founders also found that the seamer has been easy for their staff to use.
“There’s a lot going on behind the bar,” Behling said, “and to have a nice looking piece of equipment that runs well—I think those go hand in hand. And it's been great for our employees to be able to serve our customers faster because it's very streamlined.”
“It helps the brewers too,” Rusche added. “It gives us the opportunity to know what people are looking for or find the trends as the brewers, and we can communicate that with them.
“We'll still continue to use the seamer and kind of get away from the glass for a lot of reasons,” Behling said. “We'll still fill the glass growlers, but this can format seems to be the right way to go for us.”
“It’s been so popular that it was kind of a no-brainer to order a second one for our other bar,” Rusche said.