Partners In Action

Behind The Scenes Of Events With B&B Beverage Management

Feb 22, 2024 1:25:01 PM


The B&B Beverage Management Team cover all styles of events from weddings to festivals to football games. Over the last few years their company has grown exponentially and now includes multiple different businesses, all centered around events. Follow along as we discuss the day to day of what has gotten B&B from a small project to a live event empire.


2-Sep-21-2023-08-14-10-8779-PMOn site with The B&B Management Team

To start off, what are your roles at B&B?

Cody I am the Vice President of Partnerships. It’s my first year in this new role. Previously, I was The Vice President of Operations. Since the transition, I have been a little less hands off on the day-to-day operations, instead my days consist of the bigger picture items that will set the company up for long term goals.


Cristen:  I am the Vice President of Special Projects. This includes Marketing, Staffing, E-Commerce, and Special Projects, which could be any number of things. Basically, I do a little bit of anything and everything. 


B&B runs bar operations at many different type of events from weddings to festivals to sporting events. Are there challenges specific to the type of event? Are any easier than others?

Cody:  Each type of event presents its own unique set of challenges. When comparing a smaller event, such as a wedding, to a larger festival, it's evident that similar tasks need to be accomplished, albeit on different scales. Our team is instrumental in handling these situations. We understand that every event comes with the possibility of last-minute changes or unforeseen challenges. This awareness from the outset helps us mitigate these hurdles.


unnamed-3-1B&B Staff Check In

Your events are all over, does your event staff change based on the location or is it always the same group?

Cristen: We do events all over the state of Alabama on a regular basis, so we have a collection of about 100 part time staff that just rotate out throughout the state. They go through training, have an employee handbook and set their availabilities making it more of a traditional part-time job. For larger events that include travel and large staffing numbers, we have a traveling bartenders team and production team that go onsite for these. Events like The Breeder’s Cup in Lexington, tailgate events in Ohio, concerts in Texas,  and the traveling Magic Mike Live show for example. For larger events, we also utilize volunteers as what we call 'beer’-tenders, where they are one-day people that want to work the festival or event and their job is to open the beers. So every year we will have recurring people who had a blast and want to come back while also having new people come join the family. The events themselves are always a lot of work but the staff makes it really fun.


Can you tell us about some pain points or some things that were more difficult without using atVenu?

Cody: In the past, we partnered with a well-known POS company in the food and beverage industry. However, we encountered challenges with rising rental costs and logistical issues. The units would often arrive last-minute or even on the day of the event, each in separate boxes that required unpacking and setup.

Additionally, not many companies are equipped to handle events in locations with unreliable WiFi or network connectivity. Some of our events take place in large fields, making a reliable Offline Mode essential. This feature allows us to process transactions, including contactless payments, without depending on a stable network. It made a significant difference for us at Rock The South this year.


8-Sep-21-2023-08-14-07-4676-PMWedding Festivities with B&B

Managing Live Events

What all goes into the day before an event?

Cristen: The day before an event is mainly making sure all of the bar areas are stocked and ready for service and making sure that everything is in place for smooth service. Typically, the night before we do one massive QC check. (Quality Control) of the entire site. From this walkthrough, we make a list of things that may have been missed or need to be perfected before the event begins the next day.


So, we all just kind of divide and conquer that. We want to make sure that all of the Registers are working and ready and everything is where it's supposed to be.


Just making sure everything is perfect, everyone has backups, everyone has their products, everyone has the same thing and we are set up for success.


What are some of the most common last minute issues you deal with when managing live event bar operations?

Cody: After show days, my ears will still be ringing for a week, not from the event noise, but from the constant barrage of internet connectivity and charging issues. It's almost always tied to connectivity. Without fail, the WiFi tends to go down as soon as the gates open - it's practically a standard occurrence. At some point, we can almost guarantee a 30-minute internet outage.


Fortunately, atVenu provides a valuable advantage in these situations. They have the capability to stay connected even when the WiFi is down, which sets them apart from other brands that leave you stranded in such scenarios.


IMG_6014The B&B Leadership Team

Can you both walk us through a typical day at an event?

Cristen:  I would say all festival and concerts are what a typical day is like. We get off about 1 a.m. the night before and then our management team is on site maybe 5 to 6 hours prior to when the event starts. So sometimes when we wrap up at 1 a.m and we're back at 6 a.m. That is very typical. 


Cody:  I often refer to myself as a 'one-man army' when it comes to handling the POS system at our shows. atVenu has been a game-changer, significantly simplifying my tasks, particularly in challenging scenarios. On the actual show day, my main focus is ensuring that every team member is logged in accurately on the iPads, that they're properly powered, and all card/ RFID readers are connected correctly.


Cristen:  I forgot the most important pre-show thing we do Cody!


Cody:  What did we miss?


Cristen:  We shotgun a Celsius before every gig!


Cody:  Oh yeah, it's become a tradition that is essential for those 20 hour show days!



The B&B Team Prepping For Hitchcock Field

How did B&B get started?

Cristen: The company started 15 years ago with our president Bobby Greenawalt, he was just coming out of the Navy and he was working at a bar and someone asked him, "hey, do you know any bartenders? I'm doing an event and need to hire some." That's how it started, bartending small private events with his friends and then he kind of made an empire out of it. We became very well known in Auburn, Alabama area because it's a niche company that would be involved in so many events in the city. He capitalized on the market here and everything just exploded from there.


15-1B&B at Rock the South

Tell us a little bit about what got you both into the live event industry?

Cody:  My professional career began in 2015, initially in sales with an insurance company. On the side, I also worked as part time bartender for some of B&B to earn extra cash. In 2018, Bobby offered me a full time position as a Regional Manager with the responsibility of opening B&B's first satellite branch in Birmingham, Alabama. Fast forward five years, and we now boast over  100,000 square feet of office space, warehouses, a fleet of vehicles, and a state-of-the-art command center. It's been awesome to witness first hand  how far we've progressed in such a short span.

In 2019, we signed an exclusive partnership deal with Revel XP (formerly Tailgate Guys), becoming their official beverage provider at all of their tailgate sites nationwide. This venture also marked the beginning of Cristen's full-time role with B&B as well. At the time, she was working part-time as an event manager in Auburn for us, and when the opportunity arose to expand with additional branches, she was the first person we turned to. 


Cristen:  That's it! Cody summed it up perfectly haha I was working part time and loved the team, so when a role opened up I jumped at the opportunity and never looked back. It isn't easy finding people you love working with and genuinely love what you do. 

 B&B Behind The Scenes 

What is your most memorable event that you've worked at?

Cristen: I have to say two. My first would be earlier this year when I got the opportunity to run our F&B program at the Magic Mike Live Tour that was hosted in Dallas for a few months. It was a very fun experience. I saw Magic Mike three times a day, every night, for three months straight. It never got old.


The most memorable for being anything but perfect would be Rock the South in 2021 where a monsoon came through for three days straight. It rained so hard, so we couldn't even sell because it was such bad weather...tents were flying, water was flying, iPads were getting wet and I was to my literal knees in the mud. LITERAL KNEES IN MUD. My whole bar sunk down into the ground. At the time we didn't know what to do other than to laugh. At one point the festival put out a warning and asked fans to leave and instead of leaving fans were mud wrestling. Hands down one of the most memorable and hilarious events I've ever witnessed.


Cody:  I would say my favorite events are the ones tied to sports. While I certainly enjoy the large-scale concerts we put on, the sports side of our business is where the real excitement lies for me. In 2022, we had the incredible opportunity to serve as the official beverage sponsor for the World Games, which turned out to be one of the most intense yet enjoyable events we've been a part of. Over the course of 14 days, we provided over 100 different bar services at 14 different venues all over the city of Birmingham. It's like a mini-Olympics, with the Olympic committee directly involved. 



Wedding Service with B&B

What is unique about running bar operations for an event like the World Games or the World Series?

Cody: For the World Games, it was two weeks of over a dozen different events, all at different locations around the city. We managed all bar operations from 6 AM to 10 PM each night. It felt like we were simultaneously running 12 different festivals because each location had a unique setup, varying event times, and different requirements for stands, among other factors. However, I have to say, it was one of the coolest events to run. Not only was there a lot happening, and it was a challenge to coordinate simultaneous events, but the sports themselves were incredibly fascinating


 In 2021, we had the privilege of hosting a high-end VIP Mixology experience at the World Series for the Atlanta Braves, which included their C-suite executives,  top corporate sponsors, and former players. In terms of operations planning, it presented a completely unique challenge for our team. With only three days' notice, we managed to fly in top mixologists from New York City, Houston, and Los Angeles to deliver an unparalleled service.


Despite the tight timeline, we successfully navigated many logistical hurdles, which included sourcing high-end products, curating custom cocktail menus, and ensuring all necessary equipment and supplies were at the venue. As a team, we overcame over these challenges, ultimately creating a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for our guests.



B&B Founders Bobby and Rhianna Greenawalt  

You've mentioned additional businesses that have been created, what are the different companies associated to B&B?

Cristen:  Greenawalt Hospitality is the LLC we operate under which consist of five different companies: AmPro (Brand Ambassadorships) , Happy Cocktail (Cocktail Kits that ship across the country) , Event Restroom Trailers (Luxury Event Restroom Trailers), Event Ice (Cold Storage and Ice Trailer Rentals), and then B&B (Event Beverage Solutions) ! Event Ice and Event Restroom Trailers we launched recently this year, while Happy Cocktail was our solution to COVID when the Events Industry came to a HALT in 48 hours. 



B&B On Site for the World Series


For people that aren't familiar with the food and beverage side of events, how best would you summarize the events and everything you do?

Cristen:  Handling chaos like chaos handling masters. The logistics and foundations of most events are the same. In all honesty the biggest way to summarize it all up is knowing to prepare for the unexpected. You can plan down to the number of straws you'll have at your bars and it can all go to chaos at the last moment, you just have to be ready to eventually say at some point every day "alright let's solve this problem." 



Cody:  What Cristen said. Knowing to expect fire drills. Our team goes into events knowing their may be last minute changes and we go "okay, let's solve it" and move on. 


B&B Team Onsite Various Events This Summer


Learn more about the B&B team and their company here