Cheesie’s Pub & Grub's Untappd Case Study
With three locations across Chicago, the CPG Restaurant Group operates a series of unique concepts including two Cheesie’s Pub & Grub grilled cheese restaurants and the Whiskey Business craft whiskey bar.
Operating several establishments each with their own variety of food, brunch, drink, and craft beer menus poses its own unique set of challenges. Mainly, each location needs to constantly maintain and update a rotating series of menus. Furthermore, after the COVID-19 pandemic, the CPG Restaurant Group wanted to find a secure, touchless way to display its menus to consumers.
For the last three months, the CPG Restaurant Group has been leveraging Untappd for Business’ QR codes and digital menus to help organize and implement each location’s drink and food menus while simultaneously providing a safe, contactless way for patrons to view what they can order. Partnering with Untappd has provided a comprehensive, easy-to-use solution for all three of the CPG Restaurant Group’s concepts.
With over 45K menu views at Whiskey Business and both Cheesie’s Pub & Grub locations combined, the CPG Restaurant Group reports that their experience with Untappd for Business has been overwhelmingly valuable. The Untappd for Business software has helped improve their bottom line and reduced printing and labor costs.
We sat down with Tony Contri, CSG Chief Operating Officer, and Juliette Driscoll, CSG Marketing Director, to chat about running a business that brings out the kid in adults, the importance of operating digital menus in a post-pandemic climate, and how Untappd for Business’ QR codes have helped Cheesie’s and Whiskey Business run easy-to-update, safe, streamlined digital menus.
Grace Weitz: First, for those who don’t know, can you describe Cheesie’s Pub & Grub and Whiskey Business?
Tony Contri: Cheesie’s is a strictly grilled cheese restaurant that is trying to bring back the kid in everyone, with an emphasis on the 1980s and 1990s. It’s a fun, comfortable, relaxed environment. It takes your childhood favorites and puts them into grilled cheese: chicken tenders, jalapeno poppers, french fries, [and more].
Whiskey Business is a very approachable 1980s- and 1990s-themed whiskey bar. We do whiskey right. Rather than having a thousand whiskeys on the shelf, we bring you back to a simpler, happier, fun time, with high-energy music and a 3,000-square-foot rooftop. We’re always trying to be creative and have fun.
GW: What problem were you looking to solve with the Untappd QR codes?
TC: Pre-COVID, we just printed menus. Then, we got a subscription to something that posted PDFs online, but every time we wanted to change a PDF it took a day or two before it went live. It was convenient but slow. We needed one PDF for drinks, one for the food menu, one for brunch. It got out of control.
With Untappd’s QR codes, we found a streamlined [strategy]. One QR code [takes you to] all the information right away. It’s instant.
GW: With that in mind, how did the Untappd QR codes fit into the day-to-day operational model at Cheesie’s Pub & Grub and Whiskey Business?
TC: We’re changing so many things constantly, running out of products, etc., so that was our biggest priority when we jumped in [with Untappd]. It’s nice to be able to have software that we could implement right on the fly to keep things up to date for the customer without reprinting QR codes and menus. It has a very easy user interface. We could update things without having to reprint or go back to the drawing board.
We appreciate and enjoy that [Untappd] is a more convenient place to drop all of our menus where people can read them.
GW: What have been the specific advantages to using Untappd’s QR codes and digital menus?
TC: We’ve saved on printing costs and definitely on labor costs. From an administrative perspective, changing the menus is so much easier. Communication [amongst our staff] has improved because we’re able to 86 items pretty quickly or change a beer on the fly.
Juliette Driscoll: That has been such a blessing. It’s wonderful, particularly for me.
TC: We’ve sold a lot more of our whiskeys at Whiskey Business because the whiskey list is a lot easier to access and people can actually see what we have on there. We have 115 bourbon whiskeys, so people are doing more suggestive ordering rather than just ordering what they came in to drink.
JD: Our whiskey sales have increased by fifty percent for Whiskey Business and Cheesie’s combined since we launched with Untappd.
GW: Based on the success of Untappd’s QR codes, will you be implementing other features?
JD: Yes! We’re going to start implementing digital menu boards on TVs in about a month. Overall, it’s the same approach based on what we’ve experienced with ease of use [with the QR codes]. We’re hoping for some more interaction with Untappd as well. If we can get that interaction, hopefully we can increase the amount of craft beers we have at Cheesie's and maybe even have some tap takeovers and events to throw up on the digital signage as well.