Getting in the bar business, and remaining in business, has become a most difficult task, because of the growing competition. Many bars and restaurants have come and gone, long forgotten with the passage of time. Working on how you present yourself to the clientele is crucial to gain an edge over other bars, and to continue your business.
It’s important to work within the constraints of your budget, create an effective business plan that takes account of all the staff, food, beverages, entertainment, maintenance, promotion, cleaning and bills. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s get back to the topic at hand.Here are some ways to attract people to your bar:
Know your audience
First of all, you need to establish the kind of bar you would like to run. Think about the people you’re targeting, your budget, and services (and entertainment) you’re willing to offer. A sports bar would be easier to finance and is more straightforward than targeting other audiences, such as the corporate sector. In the case of a sports bar, installing a TV and keeping it visible for the entire bar can be easy, making baseball or soccer screening fun! Know what your audience wants from you.
Promotions and themed parties
A lot of people won’t go to a bar simply because it’s there. They need an incentive to choose yours over another. Offer discounts, or special events, like a themed party, karaoke or wine tasting. Weekdays usually offer slim patronage, because most people are resting at home after work. But special offers can still pull customers to your bar, think Tequila Tuesdays, Thirsty Thursday or Fizzy Friday. Happy hour specials are also a great way to lure in new customers (and keep old ones)! The promotions will look good on flyers, but more on that later!
Food and drinks
Offer high quality beverages, with enough variety to satisfy the audience. But make sure to keep drinks well in stock, for those who need a more “affordable” option. If you’re targeting corporate clients, keep alcoholic drinks of the best brands in stock, because they’d like to sit down and have the best wine you can offer. You can also choose to offer food at your bar, such as burgers, fries, onion rings if you’re ready to pay for the cost of setting and maintaining kitchen and paying the staff. Fast food is generally the best option, because people don’t normally come to bars to dine in, but to relax and perhaps have a snack.
Ambiance through good music and entertainment
Some good music will always help create the mood at your bar. Of course, the music you choose depends on the kind of audience you get – slow or classic music would be a better option if your audience consists of older people, and rock or some electronic music would do well if your audience are young adults. Get board games, to further lighten the mood. Hosting karaoke nights or dance competitions could be a great success, and may become the defining factor for your bar.
Advertising yourself with flyers!
The simplest and effective method of advertising a bar has always been through the use of flyers and pamphlets. PosterMyWall offers an online flyer creator, that you can use to design a free flyer with the help of bar flyer templates in no time! Tell customers all about the awesome deals and fun nights you have to offer. Distribute these flyers to pedestrians or paste them around the neighborhood – you’re sure to get customers.
Another effective strategy that a lot of bars implement are hiring promotional models to distribute flyers outside right outside your bar, or at key locations. They should wear promotional tee shirts or outfits, or have a logo of your bar, to represent it.
Use social media and blogs to your advantage
Keeping a presence on Social media is crucial, as many potential customers will look online for places to go before stepping out. Create accounts on all major social networks, and also post regular updates, deals and photos. Check out this article to understand more on promoting your bar online.
Create a presence on Yelp and Foursquare. A lot of people use these websites to find restaurants and bars in their area, and many will also check-in at the bar they go to. Use this to your advantage and offer discounts on checking in. This improves your presence on social media as the customer’s friends will know, and is one of the best way of getting referrals online.