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Cheers! Hold Your Meeting at Your Office Bar

Think bars are just for unwinding after work? I built one right in my office. Here's why.

I love beer. Stouts? IPAs? Pilsners? Yes, please.

I'm in the business of selling fun and am pleased to report our fun-loving customers love beer too—to the tune of about 750,000 cups worth in 2011.  How could we sell fun to these beer lovers without having a few ourselves, right?  That's why I put a bar in the middle of our office. Yes, it's a real bar, with beer on tap for anyone to drink anytime for free.

Beer has been naturally integrated into our company culture.  A successful event?  Let's cheers with a cold one.  A company outing?  It starts at beer:30, our office bar. A late night at the office?  Let's have our meeting at the bar.

When you hire responsible adults (see 4 Ways to Recruit and Hire the World’s Best Employees), it's never abused.  It's always there for the taking, but also always treated respectfully—even our Juggler of Justice (see Let Your Employees Choose Their Titles) is okay with it.

There are plenty of reasons we love having a bar in our office. Here are six of them I think will apply to your business:

  1. It fosters trust in employees. Having free beer available all day in the office shows your employees you trust them.
  2. It encourages co-worker friendships. Red Froggers—what we call our employees—are definitely closer because of times spent tipping a few back together.
  3. It helps recruitment. It's appealing for most to work at a place that's both trusting and, occasionally, laid back. Free beer is truly an employee perk.
  4. It's just plain fun. Our job is to sell fun experiences. That's easier to do when you're a regular at having fun experiences yourself.
  5. It shows your staff you care. It's a nice perk that your employees will appreciate—especially when they tell their disbelieving friends.
  6. It helps build relationships, in and out of the office. Our bar is a great excuse for our beer sponsor to pay a visit once in a while to refresh our empty kegs. And getting clients to accept invites to visit our office is a breeze.

Come see for yourself. A smiling face is ready to give you a tour of Camp Red Frog the next time you're in Chicago and at the end you'll have an ice-cold brew waiting for you. 

Cheers!

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Last updated: Mar 2, 2012

JOE REYNOLDS | Columnist | Founder, Red Frog Events

Joe Reynolds turned a $5,000 investment in an event production business called Red Frog into a thriving $45 million company in just four years. Red Frog Events was named the 2011 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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