The restaurant bar space is an exceptionally competitive business in India. With alcohol becoming a socially accepted part of our culture and the younger population opening up to the concept of nightlife, bars, and pubs, more and more bars and breweries are opening every day. As a consequence, competition in this industry is off the charts right now. To give you an edge and speed up your slow nights, we have compiled for you a list of Bar Promotion Ideas to speed up your slow nights and further boost your bar sales.
Effective Bar Promotion Ideas For 2023
Here is a list of innovative bar promotion ideas for you to look at when you are in a tight spot but want to increase your bar rush!
1. Run Happy Hours
The list of bar promotion ideas will be incomplete if Happy Hours is not mentioned. One of the most tried and tested ways to promote your bar and rope in several people on slow nights or even daytime is to run a happy hour or one on one scheme.
Such bar ideas not only boost the sale of your liquor but also act as promoters as they catch attention for your brand. You can post about this on your social media pages to create a hype and even send personal messages to your regulars to act as reminders to visit you. You can use your restaurant management software to run these campaigns by using the already existing customer information in your POS.
Find out how to run a successful Happy Hours Campaign here.
2. Run Loyalty Programs
Running rewards-based loyalty programs can work as a stellar bar promotion technique. You can decide if you want to offer a point-based or a visit-based loyalty reward system depending on your average ticket size and customer demography. If you are targeting a growing customer base that visits your bar frequently but does not spend much, you should consider running a visit-based loyalty rewards program. On the other hand, if your customer base comprises of people who visit rarely, but spend more, you should run a point-based loyalty rewards campaign.
In both cases, running loyalty programs is going to encourage repeat visits to your bar and increase your sales.
3. Send Targeted Promotional SMS and Emails
Even if you are running special offers or hosting events, all of your bar marketing efforts are going to go to waste if you don’t promote them the right way. While you should tap social media to promote your bar events and offers, unless you target the right customers at the right time, your marketing will not generate many results.
Restaurant marketers have been sending bulk SMS and emails to their customer database and often wondered why they never converted to actual sales. The reason is the promotional message may not be relevant to your customers! For instance, if you are hosting a Ladies’Ladies’ Night at your pub, you should be sending an SMS or email about the same to your female customers, and not to the entire database. Targeted marketing campaigns result in 15 times better ROI.
4. Have Karaoke Nights
With global trends merging, Karaoke is one of the best bar promotion ideas. It is the next big trend on the block. Millennials hunt for places offering this experience, and so having karaoke nights will undoubtedly give your bar the publicity and the edge that it requires. Karaoke is a fun group activity, which means that a large group of friends will visit you. What is more, given its extended nature, it is a great way not just to create new sets of regulars to visit your bar. You can have special karaoke nights on a weekday to pique an interest in the corporate crowd as well, who can come to the event to unwind after a long and tiring day.
5. Host Live Screening Of Games
Ever thought how well you can use sports for the publicity of your bar? Drinks and sports go hand in hand, and you can use that fact to promote your restaurant. You can run a drinking game about the next sports event, put up a huge screen, and have live screening of different sports or leagues. You can even give out surprise vouchers or one free drink to celebrate the success of the winning team. This is sure not just to catch the eye of your patrons but of the press as well. Prankster in Gurgaon, for example, gave the first fifteen patrons to enter the bar free shots when India takes a wicket in last India vs. Pakistan Champions Trophy.
Here is how you can employ live screening as a great bar promotion tactic.
6. Host Mixers
Bars and singles have a special bond; you can target them. Hosting these mixers could turn out to be a great bar idea for promoting your brand. Host a mixer where people can come, relax, have a drink, and get to know other people. You can promote it on all your online channels and ask people to invite friends as well. A mixer like this with games and the opportunity to meet new people is sure to grab eyeballs and promote your bar in the younger lot of your target group.
7. Host Slam Poems, Musical Gigs, and Other Artistic Events
Nothing will promote your bar better than being the venue of an artistic event. Not only will it bring in huge crowds of people, but it will also feature your bar on the social media handles of the event and initiate word of mouth marketing. Hosting such events will also introduce you to several potential customers who may not have come to your bar otherwise.
8. Host Fun-Fridays (Hosting Games)
What better way to start your weekend than getting drunk in some fun bar game? Once a week, you can host games like Beer Pong, Texas Hold ’em Poker, or Kings and involve alcohol to make them a hundred times more fun. You can have a flat price to enter the game so at least the costs of your alcohol will be covered. Think of it as Ladies’ Night but better as anyone can enter the game. This bar promotion idea will require you to invest a little in the security though, as people can get too excited so we suggest putting a cap on how long a game will be played.
9. Get a Special Menu Item
This bar promotion idea is less of an event idea and more of a marketing strategy. Be known for something, then that dish or drink will automatically promote your bar. Get yourself a signature dish or drink and publicize yourself as the house of that item on all your social media pages. Add it to your bestsellers and be known for it. Next time, the very mention of the dish will remind people of your bar.
10. Launch Theme Nights
A little tried and tested but definitely, effective bar ideas are having a theme night in your bar. You can create a different sort of experience for your customers when you introduce a theme to the night as it creates a fun element and gives people a break from the monotony of routine. Come up with different themes that match your bar and its concept and then go on to invite your patrons. Don’t forget to publicize the theme on all your social media channels. You can even create an event page for it if this is a less regular feature of your bar. You could keep different discounts on your drinks that go with these theme nights, and thereby ensure an increase in restaurant sales in spite of discounts offered. Using a restaurant POS would help you achieve higher strata of marketing, and thereby attract more customers.
12. Host Competitions
A bit of competition is healthy for your bar, especially when it attracts people and boosts sales. You can have competitions like ”Ultimate Gaming Showdown” or ”Dart King”. Regulars or people who usually engage in a sport or games will love to show their talent and you will be able to serve huge amounts of present and potential customers.
13. Introduce Couple Games
While it is true, bars are havens for singles but that does not mean that couples do not like a drink or two. Your next promotion idea can be around couples as well. Most places only remember couples when Valentine is around the corner, but a bar hosting fun games for couples in July will perhaps do better than their competition who are focused on singles alone. You can have interesting games like ”Truth or Drink” or ”How Well Do You Know Your Partner” with fun goodies as prizes. Several couples and people on first dates will love to be a part of this fun.
14. Tell Your Story
Social media today is not simply a recreational tool but a powerhouse of options when it comes to promotions. With the new story feature, you can do wonders and promote your bar in ways you never thought of. Uploading the making of a drink or the journey behind a dish or even a slight mess up by your bartender while practicing your juggles will let you connect to your audience on a personal level. Not to mention that video is the new buzzword for sharable content. Uploading videos will not only bring in more traffic to your social media pages but ore patrons to your bar as well.
15. Host Online Competitions
Who said that competitions to promote your bar had to be offline only. You can run an online campaign and generate a hashtag for the competition. Now this competition can be anything ranging from the wackiest drink a customer can think of if he/she was the bartender to giving a redesign to your classic cocktail or mocktail. The prize can be vouchers for your bar, a free drink for the winner for a month, or even a feature on all your social media pages. You can create a hashtag based on your bar name for this and then let the participants promote your bar to the fullest.
16. Engage With An Influencer
Never underestimate the power of micro-influencers. Bloggers have the power to make your brand when promotions come. Given that they have a huge fan base and people take their word as true, they can go a long way in promoting your bar. Letting them on the other side of the bar, getting your team, and the workings of your bar on their channel and giving them the best of experience would mean, by extension, letting their entire fanbase understand how your bar is. A recommendation from a food blogger will create the buzz that your bar needs.
17. Turn Your Customers Into Evangelists
No one can promote your bar better than the people who frequent it more often. Use them to upsell your brand by giving them the incentive to bring new people in. You can give them extra points on your loyalty program for referrals. You can also give them special discounts on occasions like birthdays or anniversaries so that they throw the celebrations at your bar and invite a guest list full of potential clients.
18. Start A Blog
A blog for a bar may sound like a bizarre idea, but the fact that you are a bar allows you to add elements that you might not normally see in a blog. You can promote your bar through the blog and get people to love the blog by making it casual and fun. You can add humorous stories that happened in the bar, talk about a new dish, tell your customers about gastronomy, and whatnot. A blog for your bar can get you, regular readers, and patrons, for your bar, create a dialogue among your patrons and improve your online discoverability beyond social media pages and online delivery channels.
19. PR Promotions
A public relations (PR) plan helps create awareness about your restaurant using media outlets. It helps you get the attention you need before your grand opening. Here are some promotional ideas that can take your bar’s PR to the next level:
- Celebrate a Milestone: There are some significant ones, like a political turning point or a celebrity’s birthday. Then there are the more interesting niche ones, like the last premiership won by a football team or the birthday of a local hero.
- Celebrities or Influencers: You might have to pay celebrities and influencers, but it’s worth it. A celebrity could be just what you need to boost your sales. Think of all the deals you could run at your bar or restaurant during the week if you had a famous person over.
- Bartender Competitions: Every month, put two bartenders up against each other in a mix-off. Offer deals at bars and restaurants based on the drinks they make. Let the guests vote on what they like best. When you do this right, a bartender competition promotion gets a lot of positive publicity, builds brand awareness, and brings more people to your bar.
- Break a Record: Have a crazy idea for a record to break? You could use the Guinness Book of World Records to promote your bar or restaurant. Remember, though, the idea is not to focus on breaking a record but leveraging media coverage. Even if you fail, people will come to watch you try, and the media will be all over it.
Running a bar in this competitive scenario is stressful and taxing. Promoting your bar right is of utmost importance if you want to run a successful venture. Employ these 18 bar promotion ideas and look at your profits soar!