Bar Promotions are essential for most bars to stay open these days. And coming up with new bar promotion ideas is not always easy.
Although a tough economy may not affect the bar industry as much as other industries, it can still get tough to bring the people in. Bars, clubs and pubs all have to fight to keep people coming back night after night.
Before getting into some ideas for different bar promotions, lets examine the main reasons for holding these events in the first place (aside from the obvious ‘making more money’)…
- Increase Customer Traffic – Bring in new customers and keep current customers coming back.
- Get Customers to Come in Earlier and Stay Later – Fill those empty afternoon or early evening hours. By entertaining customers with different bar promotions and bar contests, people will stay longer and spend more.
- Create Buzz – By putting on cool new bar events, people will talk, resulting in more customers on non-event nights.
- Match or Beat out the Competition – Stay ahead of your competitors by doing something a little more fun / wild / crazy / cool than they’re doing.
- Reward Regulars – Bar promotions give the bar a chance to give back to their regular customers.
- Celebrate Milestones – Whether its new menu items, a new signature cocktail, the owner’s birthday, a remodelling or a 1 year anniversary, there are always good reasons to throw a party.
- Creates a Lively Atmosphere – Without regular bar promotions, it’s not only your customers that are getting bored, it’s your staff as well.
Bar Promotion Ideas to Get People in your Bar
- Guest Bartenders
- Dog-Friendly Bar
- Wines of the World Promotion
- Video Game Tournament
You can either find local celebrities (radio DJ, weather girl, model etc) or you can pick a guest bartender from your list of friends / associates or one of the regular customers. You may want to have a pre-night quick bartender training (or at least orientation) before they go live. Guest Bartenders will bring in their friends to come and see them. And if you use a local celebrity, you should be able to get some press coverage with it. Careful to watch your guest bartenders – they may not know what’s OK to do and what’s not.
Many bars don’t allow dogs into their establishments. If you’re open during the day and especially if you have a patio, allowing dogs into your establishment can bring in a whole new crowd of people. Why not kick it off with a Dog Lovers gathering and use Facebook Ads to traffic people in your area with dogs?
If your establishment serves a fair amount of wine, you may want to try a Wines of the World promotion. Make a punch card that the customer can take with them (with your bar contact details on the back) and punch it each time they try a wine from your Wines of the World promo. You could offer 10 wines from 10 different countries, crossing as many grape varieties as possible – chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon etc… This bar promotion could be run by the bottle or glass depending on how many wine drinkers frequent your bar. If they punch their way through 10 glasses or bottles, give them some bar or wine merchandise – a pair of wine glasses, a wine opener, a bottle opener etc.
Play them or not, video games have a huge following. Find out what the popular video game of choice is amongst your patrons and put on a tournament. This works especially well if you can put the game on a projector screen so that everyone in the bar can see. Have people sign-up before hand and make sure you check all the equipment before the big night / weekend. You can charge people an entry fee and give away cash prizes and / or bar merchandise.
These are just a few of the ways that you can bring people into your establishment. When trying to think of new bar promotions for you bar, ask and look around. Ask your guests for their opinions or what they’ve seen. Talk to your own staff and see what kind of ideas they have. And lastly, look around your city to find out what other people are doing – and then do it better.