Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Beer Miles

Earn loyalty miles and enjoy some club class service in your local.
  (+34, -2)(+34, -2)(+34, -2)
(+34, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

Living and working in Canary Wharf, London, I am frequently amused and frustrated by the lack of service I am treated to in the numerous pubs and bars around the estate. As my thoughts turn to the imminent Friday evening melee, I wonder whether the landlords of these bars aren’t missing a trick. With a limited number of venues to choose from, each establishment should be doing its very utmost to win my attention and single me out from the foam of grabbing hands they see at the bar.

And so I propose a new model. Identify your customers, reach out to us, and win our trade by rewarding us for our patronage.

I can see a time where I am upgraded from Silver card to Gold card membership at Davy’s, where I can select my first round of drinks over the net at 4:55 and be assured that I will get priority check-in on arrival. I can use the dedicated lounge and enjoy complimentary peanuts and olives. Regular e-mail contact will let me know how many beer miles I have earned in the week and what I can exchange them for - perhaps a nice bottle of wine or maybe a holiday for two in Tuscany, provided I’ve been drinking like a fish in that particular bar.

To take the idea further, if I’m in another part of London, I can use my card at a number of partner pubs and still earn miles. The types of drinks I choose to buy will give me “cabin bonuses”, I can select and reserve window (or aisle) seats, and from time to time I will be offered free upgrades to the Gold lounge with it’s TV, free bar snacks, and comfy chairs. I now feel happy to spend my money at my favourite bar and I feel like I’ve been recognised. I’ll never fly with another pub again.

Checkers, Aug 19 2005

Political geography of British Isles http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/British_Isles
[Ling, Aug 22 2005]

United Kingdom http://en.wikipedia...wiki/United_Kingdom
[Ling, Aug 22 2005]

Summit's Tavern http://www.summits-...e.com/passport.html
This is one such program at one of my regular haunts here in Atlanta. [krelnik, Aug 22 2005]

Taco Mac (PDF) http://www.taco-mac...passport/index.html
These guys do the same thing, and even have "mag stripe" card so you can go into any of their locations and still get credit for your "miles". [krelnik, Aug 22 2005]

[link]






       Time of posting 09:45:42 am BST gets my vote.
skinflaps, Aug 19 2005
  

       Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes [+]!
DocBrown, Aug 19 2005
  

       You're bluring my {{{vision}}} Doc B.
skinflaps, Aug 19 2005
  

       If this isn't a bun magnet, I'll be visiting the Edible Hat posting.
On the other hand, this will all come apart when the peanut and olive providers fire 500 of their staff, the rest go out on strike and the bar-staff come out in sympathy at the height of the drinking season
coprocephalous, Aug 19 2005
  

       It's a clear winner, complete with the gold card "bring any old bag" advantage.
1,000,000 beer miles gets a free liver transplant, provided you claim 1 year in advance, and the liver is available at off peak times.
Ling, Aug 19 2005
  

       (+) If only...   

       <flashback alert>   

       I used to visit a particular nightclub in Glasgow *all* the time. I would admit to binge drinking... only there generally wasn't much sobriety to identify a binge...   

       Of course this nightclub had a vip system - a system that passed me by completely. So much so that on one of the last visits that I payed to the place the bouncer at the door refused my group entry - on the grounds that we weren't regulars. You'd think they'd have the wit to say the real reason why not to let us in. </fba>
Jinbish, Aug 19 2005
  

       Nice one Jinbish. I'm now wondering if I would ever have the means and wherewithall to remember which bar I've got a card with, let alone bring it with me when I go out.
Checkers, Aug 19 2005
  

       This is merely an amplification and indeed a complification of the existing ad hoc loyalty rewards handed out by barstaff at local pubs in areas with less mobile populations: Wee Jamsie is always in the pub at the same time every day, so his pint is sitting waiting for him as he shambles in; Big Rab chucks out undesireables and breaks up fights, so he gets to stay back after closing; the auld buggers get their giro on a Monday, so on a Monday there's free crisps and cheese rolls for them when they get back from the post office. Of course, these signs of customer loyalty tend to be more noticable when the customers are in all day every day and the pub itself is not too busy. So I suppose that the idea here pertains more to economic loyalty, rather than any social loyalty.
calum, Aug 19 2005
  

       I was wondering how the bar staff could recognise your elevated "Beer Miles" status from behind the bar? Maybe some form of rfid pickup as you entered. Then, if you were a really "Hi Roller/Drinker" special attention could be heaped upon you. The major breweries should see this, really. Bun from Arlington, Texas.
BritUSA, Aug 19 2005
  

       frequent drinquent miles.
yabba do yabba dabba, Aug 19 2005
  

       I'll drink to that.   

       Every 20 beers you get a traffic cone.
Ian Tindale, Aug 19 2005
  

       I too live in London, and see the need for this type of arrangement. Although, over the years I have found that if you do often visit a particular pub, and make it clear it's your local...you will get a better standard of service...but dont get too close, or they'll consider you as staff... + though
shinobi, Aug 19 2005
  

       So, you're a very frequent customer, but what if you are an arse / SOB / & poor tipper? The staff will still put extra fluids in your beverage.   

       Actually, tipping (in the US) is already the customary way to get good service, esp. if you're a regular good tipper, and should work better than Beer Miles.
sophocles, Aug 19 2005
  

       /there aren't enough pubs and bars/   

       England and Ireland have been exporting bars for decades.   

       This trade has resulted in a serious shortage of bars in London and Dublin.   

       The Scots and the Welsh however have fiercely held on to their drinking establishments.
TheBearMadeMeDoIt, Aug 20 2005
  

       I love this idea, other than the fact that drunken stupors prevent the finding of my fucking ID for last call and the bill much less finding some random card for membership. I already have bar membership cards so that I can purchase spirits on sunday (I live in the bible belt and the right wing bastards don't take kindly to anyone having a good time on their day of guilt) Not to sound terribly negative but perhaps a change of medium could be in order, maybe something so simple as a necklace or a cap that the card could be used to authenticate. This too would alleviate the question as to immediate recognition before flashing of the card in terms of prompt and exceptional service.
adambettinger, Aug 20 2005
  

       //Brittian, Ireland, and Scotland//
I respectfully request you read up on your political geography of the British Isles.
calum, Aug 20 2005
  

       Why not get a t-shirt printed for yourself with "I love The Clockhouse!" or similar. That should advertise your loyalty to that establishment and promote their loyalty to you. If you're a real lush, just get one saying "I love this pub!".
wagster, Aug 20 2005
  

       "I love you, pub, I jes luv yer, like a mate. I luv yer, 'cos thassesortaluv I have for yer - I just luv yer" ...fade to tears.
Ian Tindale, Aug 20 2005
  

       Azzerspirit mate...aarrrgh...
wagster, Aug 20 2005
  

       "...and with your Gold Club membership you will be permitted to vomit in our Golden Bowl in the VIP Lounge when necessary."
goober, Aug 21 2005
  

       How could anyone fishbone this? (+)
gorjabuble, Aug 22 2005
  

       Pa've, some links for you. It's easy to make a mistake.
Ling, Aug 22 2005
  

       Well I for one am fishboning this from here to a very far place/time. What a depressingly stupid idea.   

       You want better service when it is busy. Just stand in line like the rest. Even if I charge you three times the normal price it would still not be profitable to give you your vip treatment.   

       Even the nicest customer should not come every single day. Get a life, make friends, see a movie, buy a bloody dog why don't you but just don't think you are entitled to anything special because you sit in the pub every day.
zeno, Aug 22 2005
  

       Sheesh [zeno], that idea really offended you didn't it?
wagster, Aug 22 2005
  

       WTAGIPBAN?
po, Aug 22 2005
  

       It's WTAGIPBAN, and I agree.   

       There are a couple of local pubs here in Atlanta that specialize in having a wide variety of beers available--one has 224 operating taps! They have programs somewhat like this, designed to get people to try different beers. Once you have checked off 100 different brews, you get your own personalized mug which hangs over the bar. 250 gets you an even larger chalice-like glass, and 500 gets you a huge stein. (There are also shirts and jackets and such that get handed out in this program).
krelnik, Aug 22 2005
  

       [krelnik] I sell about 90 different types of beer and am going to suggest your idea to my boss.   

       [Wagster], I am not offended, just a little angry. (comes from serving the same drunks four days a week, after some time I can predict at what time they walk in and what they will order and what they will say and do, they bore me and sometimes I wish they would find a new bar or join the AA and order a cup of tea. Now just you watch the super VIP treatment a former drunk would get if he ordered a cup of tea!)
zeno, Aug 22 2005
  
      
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