Winter Bar Promotions

In addition to preparing your premises for cold temperatures, you should implement a promotional plan to attract customers. Thanks to unfavorable weather conditions, freezing temperatures, and shorter daylight hours, many bars see a decrease in business during the winter months. Use our tips to entice people to venture out and generate profits throughout winter.

How to Attract Customers to Your Bar in the Winter

Winter can be a challenging time for bars to attract customers, but with the right promotions, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere that will draw in patrons. Below, we’ve outlined some effective ways to attract customers to your bar during the winter months. By implementing these strategies, you can help your bar remain a popular destination in the colder months.

1. Invest in Bar Advertising

The first step towards attracting customers to your bar in the winter is investing in marketing campaigns. When executed correctly, this can keep you in the public eye and generate interest in your bar. Below, we’ve listed some common marketing techniques that bars use to attract customers.

  • Social media marketing: Consider establishing a Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok account. Social media marketing allows you to engage with customers directly and provide immediate updates if the winter weather forces you to close early. You’ll also be able to personalize your page and get creative with your messaging.
  • Menu specials: The promise of unique winter menu specials can pique the interest of prospective customers. Consider offering daily specials and happy hour deals to attract guests.
  • Partnerships: Consider partnering with local charitable organizations, youth programs, or other local businesses to expand your reach. Not only does this help give back to your community, but it creates more visibility for your brand.

2. Offer Seasonal Drinks

a glass mug filled with amber liquid and a cinnamon stick

Whether you’re putting a festive twist on signature drinks or adding popular winter beers to your selection, featuring seasonal cocktails in your bar is an easy way to drive sales. Once you've established your drink selection, you can even partner with other local bars and organize a winter-themed pub crawl. Each bar can feature its unique drinks and decorate for the occasion.

Consider adding some of these tempting winter beverages to your menu:

  • Spiked hot chocolate
  • Mulled spiced cider or wine
  • Hot toddy
  • Winter fruit-flavored cocktails
  • Butterbeer
  • Irish coffee
  • Hot buttered rum

3. Host Weekly Events

Many people appreciate routine, and hosting weekly live events is an easy way to attract groups of friends, families, and even coworkers. Live events encourage large groups to come out, create repeat customers, and cultivate a lively atmosphere in your bar year-round. Some of the most common events to host at your bar include:

  • Bar trivia: Fill empty seats in your bar by hosting a trivia night. Groups are encouraged to create teams and enter the competition, playing for incentives like gift cards. These prizes encourage winners to spend more money at your bar in the long run.
  • Open mic nights: An open mic night gives local artists a chance to perform for a crowd. These can consist of musical acts, stand-up comics, and even slam poets. The promise of free entertainment can persuade guests to come back weekly.
  • Karaoke night: Karaoke nights allow guests to sing along to their favorite songs. To host karaoke, you’ll either need to invest in karaoke equipment or hire a host with their own.
  • Viewing parties: You can create customer loyalty by hosting weekly viewings of popular TV shows. This allows guests to watch their favorite programs alongside others, creating a sense of community.

4. Foster a Warm Atmosphere

interior of restaurant view from fireplace

A warm and inviting atmosphere can entice guests to stay longer than they expected, especially on cold nights. It’s important to note that several factors can affect the atmosphere of your bar. To sustain an inviting environment, follow these tips:

  • Check insulation: Make sure that your insulation is up to date. This can save money on heating costs as you maintain a constant warm temperature.
  • Change lights: Consider installing warm lighting to create a more relaxing atmosphere.
  • Set the mood: Consider lighting a fireplace or decorative candles to bring a sense of comfort to your bar. You can also consider playing relaxing music.
  • Upgrade your outdoor area: By installing heat lamps and preparing your patio for winter, you can create a unique outdoor dining area for guests to enjoy.

5. Offer Game Day Promotions

It's a smart marketing choice to host a party for The Big Game at your bar, but it's also great to keep football, basketball, or hockey on during the season. You can create even more excitement around game days by hosting sports-based activities. Below, we've listed some common steps you can take to attract more customers on game days:

  • Invest in game room equipment: Purchasing game room equipment provides your guests with an entertaining pastime. You’ll also be able to host weekend tournaments and offer free drinks or gift cards to those who sign up in advance.
  • Televise pay-per-view events: Purchasing a subscription to a pay-per-view event attracts guests who might not want to watch the event on their own or can't afford to buy it. This can include boxing matches, MMA events, and even professional wrestling.

6. Host a Tasting Event

four glasses of whiskey on wooden flight with pecans hazelnuts walnuts dried fruit and pretzels

A tasting event is an opportunity for your guests to sample and compare various drinks. When organized correctly, a tasting event allows guests to take in the finer details of a drink and enjoy various foods along with them. Tasting events are also an excellent tool for making future menu decisions, as you'll be able to get the honest opinions of your guests. Since tastings are commonly held indoors, they are the perfect event to hold at your bar during the winter months.

Some examples of common tasting events include:

  • Wine tastings: When hosting a wine tasting, be sure to invest in the proper wine-tasting equipment. You should also consider how many guests will be attending, the different wines you want to feature, and what foods can complement your wine selection.
  • Whiskey tastings: Whiskey has seen its popularity grow in recent years, making whiskey-tasting events an excellent option for your bar. Before hosting, make sure you are equipped with the proper whiskey glasses for the event.
  • Tequila tastings: To host a tequila tasting, you should feature the five different types of tequila as well as the different ways to drink tequila. To improve your guest’s experience, you can serve traditional Mexican foods during the event.
Back to Top

City sidewalks may be covered in salt and thermometer readings may continue to drop, but that doesn't mean customers can't warm up in your bar, pub, or restaurant. Through effective marketing, thoughtful planning, and proactive thinking, you'll be able to set your bar up for success this winter.

Posted in: Bars & Breweries|Seasonal|By Ashley Kufera
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