How Denver’s Bonnie Brae Liquor Built a Reputation of Reliability
Top-notch customer service, a wide selection, and a big delivery fleet earned a 2021 Drizly Top Shelf Retailer Ol’ Reliable Award
When a customer needed expedited delivery of their order on Christmas Eve, Bonnie Brae Liquor’s lead delivery coordinator took it upon himself to temporarily leave his post, find an available vehicle, and personally take the product to the customer’s doorstep.
This is just one example of how Bonnie Brae Liquor goes above and beyond for their customers. The unparalleled commitment to providing the best e-commerce experience—coupled with fast and reliable delivery —has earned the store recognition with one of Drizly’s 2021 Top Shelf Retailer Ol’ Reliable Award.
“That’s the culture that we have here at the store, where people are willing to step up and do [what’s needed] for the customer—and go the extra mile,” says Luke Sims, the shop’s lead delivery coordinator.
In January 2020, Bruce Gallagher and his business partners took over ownership of the Bonnie Brae Liquor store, which has been a mainstay in the Denver metro community since the 1970s. An executive chef and hospitality industry professional, Gallagher soon laid the groundwork for a new and improved online ordering platform, augmented by a fast and reliable store-to-door delivery service.
First-class customer service is the foundational pillar that Bonnie Brae’s success is built upon. “It’s about being hospitable, being sincere, and being appreciative [for the business],” says Gallagher. Fundamental to that ethos is being a helpful and highly knowledgeable resource on all products for their customers, which includes having a wine sommelier available in-store.
Gallagher and his team quickly ramped up the store’s delivery fleet by employing 35 to 45 drivers to reliably accommodate spikes in online orders.
Taking great care of the store staff is also a top priority and driving force behind Bonnie Brae’s star rise in the Denver market. Gallagher makes it known that “nobody works for me, they work with me. When you take care of your staff properly, your customers will always be happy.”
While the pandemic boosted the volume of orders and deliveries, it was also Bonnie Brae’s vast range of online inventory, superior customer service, and reliable one-hour store-to-door commitment that drove the growth of their online business, which now comprises 40 percent of all sales. They have also achieved a near-perfect rating for quality and speed of delivery.
Under previous ownership, Bonnie Brae averaged approximately 45 to 60 deliveries per day from Sunday through Thursday and 75 to 105 deliveries per day on Friday and Saturday. Their optimized e-commerce and delivery system, expanded with the help of Drizly, has boosted that volume to an average of 160 deliveries per day from Sunday through Thursday and 200 to 275 deliveries per day on Friday and Saturday.
“We did over 56,000 deliveries in 2020 and are on track to do over 60,000 in 2021,” says Brian Phillippe, the fleet manager at Bonnie Brae. This is quite the milestone for Phillippe, who has been fundamental in establishing the building blocks of the current delivery system, leveraging his experience as the store’s very first delivery driver over six years ago.
Maintaining a Broad Inventory
The Bonnie Brae team is laser-focused on providing a huge selection of products at low prices. Bonnie Brae’s staff updates the store’s online inventory on a daily basis, ensuring that the wide variety of high-caliber wine, unique spirits, and the newest beers are available to their online customers. With over 4,500 products available to choose from online, they are setting the pace in the local market.
“The buying patterns with the generations have changed dramatically,” says Gallagher. “Mostly with millennials, it’s all about a convenience factor. I think that’s where a lot of the industry is going.”
Gallagher and his team also use Drizly’s back-end reporting tools to stay up-to-date on product sales and consumer trends. Insights into what is selling and what consumers are looking for online enables Bonnie Brae to stay ahead of the curve and add the right mix of new products to their inventory.
Their dedication to providing an exceptional online shopping and delivery experience is validated when they discover reviews that share a wealth of positive experiences from a growing, loyal customer base.
“If you’re focused on customer service, you’ll retain your customers for life,” says Gallagher.