The restaurant bar space is an especially 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.
Bar Ideas to Boost Your Sales
Here is a list of innovative bar ideas for you to look at when you are in a tight spot but want to increase your bar rush!
1. One on One Offers or Happy Hours
The list of bar promotion ideas would be incomplete if Happy Hours is not mentioned. One of the most tried and tested ways to promote your bar and rope in a number of 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. Loyalty Programs
Running rewards-based loyalty programs can actually 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 young 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. 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 definitely 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 really be relevant to your customers! For instance, if you are hosting a 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.
Read this comprehensive marketing manual that will help you create smart strategies to increase your bar sales.
4. Karaoke Nights
With the global trends merging together, Karaoke is another bar idea not something people shy away from. In fact, it is the next big trend on the block. Millennials hunt for places offering this experience and so having karaoke nights will certainly give your bar the publicity and the edge that it requires. Karaoke is a fun group activity which means that you will be visited by a large group of friends. What is more, given its extended nature, it is a great way to not just earn on drinks sale for the night but 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. Live Screening
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 in order to promote your restaurant. You can run a drinking game in relation to 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 in order to celebrate the success of the winning team. This is sure to not just 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. Hosting 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. 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 a number of potential customers who may not have come to your bar otherwise.
8. Fun-Fridays (Hosting Games)
What better way to start off 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
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. 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.
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. 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. A number of 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. 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 really 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. Use Your Regulars
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 what not. 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.
Running a bar in this competitive scenario is difficult 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!