As I have mentioned previously, this is not a snarky, mean-spirited blog. I wish to be more at the Huell Howser end of the spectrum as opposed to Bill Maher but, at times, I will have to detour into criticism. This is one of those instances.
Now, I am a fan of Pizza Port beers (and the pizza). I enjoy the hop bombs they make and recently I really liked the Hot Rocks lager. Lost Abbey is hit and miss. Their wit is sub-par but Inferno ale is pretty good. I do appreciate the experimentation though which is why I wanted to check out this party in the first place.
So I was expecting a lot at their Christmas party. Maybe too much. My first problem was that they did not appear to be fully expecting a crowd. There was no signage as to where to line up for what so there was one medium, barely-moving line due to the second noticeable problem, only one person checking ID and only one person taking bottle orders and taking entrance money.
The third miscue was that you placed a bottle order for Duck, Duck, Gooze then you had to go stand in a new line to purchase it. A line with 1. Yes, only 1 credit card machine. Now that would be ok if the beers were $8.00 or $10.00 but if you are charging (and rightfully so) $30.00 you have to have at least two credit card machines because not everyone will have that much cash on hand. And forth, they ran out of some beers after three hours. Amigo lager? Sorry, all out. Shark Bite red? Nope. This is why, myself and others were at Stone enjoying a leisurely beer.
Here are my recommendations for fixing the situation. Separate the bottle sales from the party. This way people can come in, donate to charity, have some beer, get a photo with Santa and not have to navigate a humid room with a big line of cranky bottle buyers in the middle.
To speed the bottle sales, at least two credit card machines. Then hand people order slips as they wait in line. Also have two people as stock pickers to speed up the process. This way, the order is ready quicker from both the buyer and the seller’s sides. And it is only one line which may move faster. There is nothing worse than a line that inches forward then finding out you have to be in another line that inches forward.
The mantra should be to prepare for a big crowd and then scale down if needed. Because it is just too hard to scale up.