Around four year ago (maybe more maybe less but I digress) Scotty’s Brewhouse opened on 96th St. in Indianapolis. Every time I drove by the parking lot was always packed. I had to go check this place out. A few of my co-workers and I headed to Scotty’s on a Monday after work. We had a great time, had some good food and plenty of cold beer. Even though the tab was higher than some of the other places we frequented we enjoyed it enough to return in the future.
Fast forward to March of that same year. NCAA March Madness was in full swing. My bowling team planned to try out Scotty’s after our normal Thursday league play. We hoped to be done in time to catch the second half of the late game. My teammates and I pulled into Scotty’s around 11:00 and the parking lot was still packed. Upon entering we noticed lots of bricks, on the walls and during the basketball games, and LOTS of people. There was only one high top table left open without patrons. There were basketball games on the multitude of TV’s and a packed house of young good looking patrons, we could get used to this place, or so we thought.
After fifteen minutes of not seeing a server or hostess we got a little concerned. Until this point the games and crowd kept our interest but we intended to get some food and drinks, not just watch basketball. About ten minutes later we finally saw a waitress. After flagging her down we were first told we couldn’t get a menu as the kitchen was closed. A lot of places don’t serve full menus at this hour but to not even offer an appetizer menu was odd at best. We then asked if we could get a drink. The bar is closed as well we were told. The team and I couldn’t believe it. Full house, live basketball games and no food or drink available? My teammates and I swore to never go to Scotty’s again.
Fast forward again to 2009. The new digital media world is all a buzz with Twitter and Facebook and, and, and. I started an account on Twitter for and I kept on seeing this account named @brewhouse pop up all over the local Twitter stream. The man behind the account seemed to be a funny, down to earth guy. I later learned that this was THE Scott Wise, owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse. I initially thought it was cool that a man that owned four (now five) restaurants would be interacting with us common folk on Twitter, so I followed the account. After numerous interactions and a few direct messages I felt a rapport had been built between Scott and myself. Mind you I had never met this man face to face.
I mentioned to Scott in a direct message that I had something I wanted to let him be aware of and asked for his email. Five minutes later I was sending Scott an email detailing the bowling teams previous experience. My intentions of the email were to let a business owner know of a negative experience I had. Maybe he didn’t know the manager at 96th St. had this “policy”. Maybe he wanted to know in case it was still going on so he could correct it and ensure happier customers and more revenue in the future. What followed was something I didn’t expect.
I received a response nearly instantaneously. Scott mentioned the manager at the time had since been let go. Scotty’s now had longer kitchen hours and even a separate section called Candlelight that stayed open later than the regular bar. Our conversation could have ended at that point and I would’ve been happy. The owner of the establishment had personally interacted with me and assured me an experience like ours wouldn’t happy again. What followed was again something I didn’t expect.
Scott offered to make our previous situation right. He said he relished the fact that he had a chance to turn a couple of his detractors into staunch, loyal supporters. Scott said he would cover food and beverages for the night should our team accept his offer one night after bowling. You heard it right he would cover our food and beverages for a night for a situation that happened 4 years ago. My teammates thought I was joking with them. You know Scotty they asked. I said no, not really. Not until I forwarded them the email did they believe me.
Fast forward another couple months. After a few emails between the private party planner and myself we had our night all set. Food and drinks on Scotty! The night was great. They were expecting us and knew my name when I mentioned our reservation. The manager on duty came over and talked to us and asked if we were the bowling guys. The food was a lot better than I remember from my first time. I had a bison burger that really needed to be eaten with a knife and fork it was so big. I had the (over) loaded waffle fries. I had my new favorite beer, Gumballhead. The only bad thing about the night? A couple of my teammates still weren’t buying the fact this was all comped by Scott and were skeptical until the waitress told us we were all set. Needless to say she made a lot of money thanks to Scott’s kindness.
For anyone looking for a great place to drink, eat huge burgers (and a million other things) and have a good time then Scotty’s Brewhouse is your place. For anyone looking for a great person to follow and interact with on Twitter, @brewhouse is that account. For anyone doing case studies on social media, customer interaction, customer service or anything business related you would be hard pressed to find someone better to study than Scott Wise.