Okay, maybe Dick Vitale impressions don't translate well when delivered in writing, but the fact remains, March Madness has arrived and 64 of the nation's best basketball teams have taken to the hardwood to compete against each other with one goal in mind: Winning the national title. Just in time for the Sweet Sixteen, here are some great tips sure to make your bar and grill the best place around to catch every moment of the madness.
Nothing makes this time of year more special than the friendly competition of bracket pools. At work and with friends, people love to fill out brackets and predict how the tournament will play out. Get your establishment in on the action. Next season, organize a pool amongst your patrons, charging a small entry fee with something like a gift certificate as a grand prize to the winner. The entry fees should cover the certificate amount and the prize will ensure repeat business after the tourney is over.
Get in the Game
The Big Game is the only other occasion where apathy and gluttony in front of a television is not only expected, but encouraged. Bear in mind, basketball games will be running all day, and in order to keep people in your bar and grill for the duration, it's important to adjust your menu accordingly. In addition to keeping the drinks flowing, when it comes to combining sports and food, the name of the game is "snacking."
Rather than opt for a typical meal, fans will likely want to stretch their appetites into overtime and munch consistently throughout the day. You may consider a buffet featuring bar-food classics like wings, nachos, and burgers, as well as some salads and cold cuts for lighter eaters. Dig these assorted wing recipes that are sure to satisfy every palette in the place. For convenience and cleanup as easy as spelling Krzyzewski, I mean…Duke, plastic plates, plastic cups, and folding tables are great ways to handle the full-court press of large crowds.
When your bar and grill is celebrating sports, sometimes having the game on the television is not enough. Sure, the bracket pool helps and the lure of great food is always a plus, but let's face it, every bar in the area is going to have these games on. To separate your spot from all the rest, you need create the most authentic sports experience possible. For starters, cut the jukebox for a while. Such a simple step goes a long way when it comes to pleasing sports fans. For perhaps the only time all year, basketball is paramount over the greatest hits of Hall and Oates (Believe me, it pains me to say that.) The excitement of the crowd is contagious and making your establishment the place with the in-game atmosphere is a tremendous assist to bring in people.
Add an element of excitement to your game-watching. Maybe offer a raffle every time there's an upset. This will be a great way to engage casual viewers, keep them invested in the outcome, and keep everyone in your establishment from tip-off until the final buzzer.
No matter how the madness plays out this season, your bar and grill is sure to come out a winner if you capitalize on these simple steps to success. Give your patrons a one-of-a-kind NCAA Tournament experience that is sure to keep them coming back year after year. Until next March, may your brackets be live, and plates and glasses full.