- December 9, 2019
How Team Efforts Drive Quality Over Quantity
A landmark in Bucks County, family-owned Bensalem Beer & Soda has been around for ages. Located on a prime corner of the always-busy Street Road, the store’s dedicated managers have made it a priority to maximize shelf space to accommodate as many new products as possible. Staying current with the industry’s latest trends and delighting their customers with superior service, selection and a great shopping experience are their priorities. Heady Times sat down with Andrea Siegfried, the store manager at Bensalem Beer & Soda and warehouse manager, Mike Skelton, to learn what goes into the day-to-day operation of such a massive store.
Heady Times (HT): Can you tell us more about Bensalem Beer & Soda and the operation you’ve got going on here?
Andrea Siegfried (AS): We’ve been in this location since 2000 and I’ve been a part of the family business for as long as I can remember. I started doing small things to help when I was younger, but continued to gain responsibilities. I learned so much about the business during that time because of the hands-on experience. Having grown up in this industry, it feels natural to be here, and I really enjoy what I do.
HT: How has the evolution of the craft industry affected your business since 2000?
AS: We sell to more people, who buy more variety, but less quantity than before. Instead of buying cases, customers are buying 6-packs or 12-packs to try new things. Seltzers are huge. We’ve also had success with non-alcoholic products and even noticed a growing interest in hard coffee. We never thought we’d be going through so much Heineken 0.0 or Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher, but younger consumers are gravitating towards these flavorful, healthier options.
Mike Skelton (MS): We’ve been successful selling more single-serve cans and 4-packs at the register, which is where we highlight new products. Our refrigerated, single-serve section near the back of the store also does well. We offer a wide selection that is arranged by new releases first, followed by styles. We are all about efficiency. My biggest challenge has been finding room to add more cooler doors so we can stock all the products our customers want.
HT: How do you keep up with your customers’ expectations with everything going on in the industry?
AS: We have a texting system which currently reaches 900 people. It’s how we communicate what’s new. There are new products hitting the market daily, so this helps simplify things as much as possible. As for kegs, people tell me what they are looking for. Because they typically only need one, I contact them myself.
HT: How do you enhance the in-store experience for your customers?
MS: We put a lot of effort into the store’s design and lighting. Expansions have given us tons of space to work with, so we have wide aisles and the flexibility to build eye-catching displays that stop the shopper. We’ve set the place up to be easy to navigate. This way, customers can quickly find a category or brand, and grab what they need. We’ve been lucky to have gained the shelf space to carry all the new products and properly show them off to our customers.
HT: Has Origlio helped your business over the years?
AS: Yes. Heady Times is a useful tool for us. Between that and all the email blasts, Origlio keeps us informed about inventory and upcoming releases. It makes things easier to keep track of. The new online ordering system has simplified my weekly orders and allows me to be more efficient. Being able to quickly search for what I need, and have the system automatically check for any discounts, makes the process smoother than before. On top of that, everyone has always been genuinely caring, from the sales team to the delivery drivers and helpers.
BensalemBeerAndSoda.com • 1919 Street Road, Bensalem • 215-639-4790