Liven Up Your Bar or Restaurant with Live Music
Are you looking for a fun event that can bring more customers and revenue to your business? If so, consider hosting live music events at your bar, restaurant, or cafe. While you may already have a good restaurant playlist, it's important to change up your entertainment routine with live music to give your customers something new to look forward to. Whether you’re planning to book a pop cover band or a small acoustic set in your bar or restaurant, here are some things to consider.
Benefits of Hosting Live Music
Before you consider booking live entertainment for your restaurant, bar, cafe, or other establishment, it’s important to know the benefits. First, and most importantly, good live music entices your customers to stay longer and spend more money on drinks and food. Many businesses that have booked creditable entertainment have brought in increased profits from drink sales, and it's even been proven that higher sound levels from music lead to increased drink consumption. Additionally, hosting a band in your venue livens up the atmosphere, which entices potential customers walking by to come in. You can also draw in a new customer base, since the band’s local fans will most likely show up for the event.
What to Consider Before Booking a Band
While it may seem easy to find a band, book them, and have a successful and profitable night, there are a lot of factors to consider beforehand. Without proper planning, you could book a band that drives your customers away, or you could schedule an event on the same night as another bar’s and have no customers show up. There are also certain legal factors that you should be aware of to ensure your business is covered against any lawsuits. Before you jump head first into booking a band, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have ample floor space to accommodate a band?
- Does your establishment have the proper lighting and sound equipment?
- Do you have a valid music license for live music?
- Does your insurance cover the musicians, DJs, and any other possible liabilities?
- Will the noise from the music disturb neighboring businesses or residents? Be sure to know your local noise ordinances to avoid fines.
- Is your budget large enough for the band you want?
- Are you equipped to handle the crowds?
Finding a Band for Live Music Night
When choosing a band, individual artist, or other music performer for your event, it’s important to do the proper research. You want a band with a good reputation, so you know they’re going to show up, act professionally, and deliver what your customers want. To find a reputable band, consider checking out some shows at your local music venue, if you have the time. You can also use social media to follow band’s pages and build relationships with them. Local bands are great targets, because they’re usually cheaper and looking for places to play. You can even contact local colleges, because they often have music students looking for ways to get their name out to the community.
How to Make a Profit by Hosting a Live Band
If you've done the research and have decided you want to book a band, then consider some of the tips listed below:
- Choose a genre that complements your establishment’s personality, so your customers stick around for the entire set. For example, coffee shop owners might choose a singer-songwriter, whereas a bar operator may want a rock and roll cover band. The style of music you choose also depends on your establishment's regular clientele. If your business attracts an older crowd, a classic rock band may be more suitable, whereas a downtown bar with a younger crowd may book an Indie alternative band.
- Have a clear contract written up and signed by all parties.
- Charge a reasonable cover at the door and use wristbands to show that individuals have paid or are over 21.
- Keep free tickets on hand for journalists and promoters. If the event gets good reviews and press, then your business' name will get more exposure.
- Do a sound check before the event starts to clear up any technical issues.
- If you're hosting more than one band, have the first act go on within thirty minutes after the doors are opened and put the most popular band on last, so customers stick around.
- Keep in contact with the band’s manager throughout the night, so you know where they are if an issue arises.
Whether you’re looking to host open mic night once a week, live bands every Friday, or special events for holidays, these tips are sure to help you bring in more profit. Just remember that while the first few attempts at hosting live music in your restaurant may be difficult, the task of finding and bringing in better acts will get easier as you get a few events under your belt.
How to Add a Game Room to Your Restaurant
Game rooms in bars can be a fun and efficient way to boost your bar sales and profits. But the addition of bar games such as arcade games or billiards can come with some financial, space, and crowd-interest concerns. Fortunately, adding games to your bar or restaurant can be easy, cheap, and space-efficient. Read on to learn about some game room options that bring in the most profits and help you effectively market your business. Shop All Game Room Equipment What Are the Best Bar Games to Offer? It can be tough to think of bar game ideas that will bring in customers to your restaurant. The game options can seem limitless, but some options are better than others when trying to boost your profit margins. Here is a short list of popular bar games and game room equipment that can help your bottom line and bring in more customers: Pool Tables or Billiards Air Hockey Tables Basketball Arcade Games Foosball Tables Darts Pinball Machines Vintage Arcade Games Interactive Board Games Lawn games Hook and Ring Cornhole Ladderball Washer Toss Giant Jenga® Which Bar Games Are Most Profitable? As a business owner, your main goal is to increase your profit margin as much as possible. You can cast sports events on televisions in your bar to keep customers in their seats, but this will only cater to the interest of a portion of your clientele. Adding fun bar games to your business can capture the interests of a wider audience and increase your sales, but different games will affect your bottom line in different ways. For example, some games like arcade games and basketball arcade machines will directly affect your profits because they cost money to play. Other games, like board games and billiards don't cost money but they can encourage your customers to stay in your bar or restaurant longer, increasing the chance that they'll order more food and drinks and boosting your profits indirectly. As a result, there isn't one specific game that will make your business more money than others. Why Should You Offer Restaurant Games? Having dart boards, arcade games, pinball machines, and other games can bring in new business to your establishment. When customers have games to play at a bar, it can keep them in your location longer. Additionally, you don't necessarily need a separate game room to add games to your establishment, which makes offering pay-to-play or free pub games more accessible to customers looking for something unique to do with their friends and co-workers. When customers enjoy their experience at your bar or restaurant, they are likely to share about your establishment on social media, providing you with free marketing. What to Consider Before Adding Games to Your Business: While there are a large variety of bar games for adults available, not every type of game will fit your specific business. Here are three things to consider before choosing what types of games you want to offer at your foodservice establishment: Your space: Before you decide what type of games to use in your business, you should consider what your restaurant layout has space for. Billiards, arcade games, and pinball machines can bring in a lot of business, but they take up a lot of space, so use them in large establishments like sports bars and large restaurants. Interactive board games are fun and take up less space, but they don't have the same earning potential as arcade games and machines. Your customer base: While offering games at your restaurant or bar can seem like a good idea, you need to consider who your customer base is, and what types of games, if any, they would want to play. Billiards and arcade games will be popular with an older crowd. Interactive games, air hockey tables, and basketball arcade games are better for a younger audience. Your restaurant or bar's atmosphere: In addition to your customer base, consider the atmosphere in your establishment. Loud pinball machines can ruin a quiet and calm atmosphere. It may be hard for guests to play board games, card games, or other bar table games in establishments that play music. How to Make the Most of Your Game Room Once you've decided to add games to your business or to create a bar game room, there are some additional things you can do to boost your profits and market your bar. Here are a few tips: Game Nights: Have regular game nights on your typically slow days, especially in the winter time to attract more customers. For example, you can make every Tuesday Jenga night or invite a pool league to use your billiards tables on Sundays. Competitions: Offer competitions and promote them on social media. Having competitions like basketball championships, card game tournaments, or Beat the Bartender games are an excellent way to bring in more business. Having arcade games, billiards, board games, and other attractions can seem like a large expense, but they can help bring in more customers and boost sales over time. Your establishment can rise in popularity for customers looking for game night ideas, which in turn can lead to free social media exposure for your business and a wider customer base.
Bar Marketing Ideas
One of the most important aspects of opening a bar is creating a marketing plan that will attract new customers. In order to successfully run a bar, you must have several bar promotions to not only reach new customers but also to keep existing customers coming back. Quality bar marketing will have your bar packed with patrons and well-established within the local community. Below, we’ll cover proven bar marketing strategies that will generate awareness for your bar and entice new customers. You can navigate to the different bar promotional ideas by using the following links: Bars Social Media Promotions and Online Advertising Bar Menu Promotions and Diversification Bar Entertainment Seasonal Bar Promotions and Calendar Events Bar Publicity and Partnerships 1. Bars Social Media Promotions and Online Advertising Most of the population depends on smartphones for communication, browsing, working, and social interactions. What better way to reach your target audience than through mobile devices and online platforms? Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are excellent bar marketing outlets that can provide a cost-effective and personal way to reach a large audience in a forum they are already visiting. Here are a few tactics you can use to reach new customers online and on social media: Create a Facebook Page You can create a page on Facebook where customers can interact with photos, polls, and reviews. This allows customers to share their feedback on bar event ideas you come up with. Experiment with posting at different times of day to see which posts your customers interact with the most. You can then find the best time range to advertise bar promotions. Utilize Facebook Events Create free online invitations for bar events you’ll be hosting that customers can RSVP to and share with their friends. Mention upcoming beer pong, pool, or poker tournaments on social media with these event pages. This interaction allows you to provide links to online registrations, gauge interest, and provide customers with reminders when the event is coming up. Use Advertising Hashtags Display your bar’s hashtag in your dining space to encourage patrons to reference your bar on social media. Offer special promotions like bar discounts for those who use your hashtag and check in at your bar on social media. Turn it into a monthly photo contest by offering a gift card for the best photo that features your bar's name and hashtag. Work with Brand Advocates and Influencers Invite local influencers such as bloggers, politicians, and public figures to your location in exchange for a free drink and a bar review. Consider asking loyal customers or employees to act as brand advocates as well and talk about your bar on social media to help boost your bar advertising. Create a Bar Website Consider creating a website for your bar and signing up for local directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Trip Advisor. A website or listing can help a wider audience locate your establishment. You can use keywords on your website that include the name of your town or city, such as “bars in Manhattan,” to attract customers who are searching for new local places. Start a Blog and Newsletter Update your customers on new menu items or give them a behind-the-scenes look at your business by creating a bar blog or email newsletter. Include unique marketing ideas in your blog by adding videos, photos, and interviews to keep your customers engaged and feeling connected to your bar. Post regularly and add a call to action in your posts to bring customers into your bar. Get Your Bar on the Map Help locals and tourists find your bar by making sure your establishment shows up on the map. By adding your bar to Google My Business, it will also add your location to Google Maps. You can input your business information directly in the Waze app to have it listed on their map. To add your bar to Apple Maps, just visit the Apple Business Connect website. Host a Live Stream You can keep your customers connected with your business by using live video services like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Skype sessions. These services allow your customers to chat back and ask questions. During bar closures, bartenders can stream live cocktail-making tutorials and other mixology tips. 2. Bar Menu Promotions and Diversification One of the main factors that will attract customers to your bar is your cocktail and food menus. For that reason, it’s important to make your bar menu diverse and easily accessible online. Below, we cover a variety of ways you can diversify your menu and amplify your marketing efforts to reach new customers and audiences: Promote Your Bar Menu Online Placing your menu online is a great way to reach more customers in your area. Getting your menu indexed by Google will help your bar’s website appear in the first few search results when local customers are looking for a bar near them. You can also sign up for a SinglePlatform account which allows for your menu to be published on a wide range of search engines, review sites, and social media platforms, increasing your bar’s online visibility. Bar Alcohol Delivery and Take-Out Options With the availability of third-party delivery services, alcohol delivery has become one of the fastest growing bar trends. By offering cocktail carry-out or delivery options, customers can enjoy your bar's menu from the comfort of their homes. You can even create and sell cocktail kits, featuring all of the ingredients needed for a signature cocktail, so customers can recreate them at their leisure. Diversify Your Bar Menu Encourage patrons to stay at your venue by offering an all-inclusive environment with beverages and food. Consider pairing your bar food and drink specials together for additional deals. If customers hear about combined specials, they're more likely to buy both, increasing your overall sales. Keep in mind that venues not previously serving food may need to acquire a license or permit. Here are some appetizer ideas for bar-side snacking that your customers may enjoy: Onion Rings Chicken Wings Boneless Bites Potato Wedges Chips and Dip French Fries Bar Specials Ideas Since these staple foods are available at most bars, you'll need to add some menu variety to gain a competitive advantage against similar businesses. Try these bar specials to stay relevant and fresh! Daily Specials - Encourage patrons to try new drinks each time they visit. Happy Hour - Offering discounted drinks within a certain time window is a great way to fill your bar during slower shifts. Seasonal Specials - Offer event-inspired or seasonal beers and/or mixed drinks. Mystery Drink - You could occasionally offer a mystery beer or mixed drink. It'll pique your patrons' curiosity and have them guessing the unknown beverage. Private Sampling Party - Invite your loyal customers to an invite-only sampling for new drafts or signature drinks. Prior to the event, guests will be frequenting your bar in hopes of gaining an exclusive invite. Plus, it rewards loyal customers for their continued business. Punch Card Challenge - If your bar offers appetizers consider offering a punch card challenge or a loyalty program. For example, after buying nine appetizers, the 10th one is free! This contest encourages patrons to order food while having a drink. Signature Dish - Offer a signature dish that can’t be found in other bars in your area. You can try being the home of 6-foot-long subs or extra spicy chicken wings. This will give your bar a memorable edge. 3. Bar Entertainment Successful bars create an inviting environment that keeps patrons coming back for more. Beyond just serving food and drinks, your bar can be the location of social outings with the implementation of bar entertainment ideas such as games, activities, performances, and other bar events. Bar Games Adding bar games to your establishment is a great way to increase your customer base and boost sales. Encourage friendly competition by providing yard and game room equipment like darts, pool tables, lawn games, Foosball tables, games of chance, vintage arcade games, pinball machines, or board games. You can even hold tournaments and offer gift card prizes for the winners. Bar Music Consider bringing in special entertainment like a DJ or local talent to attract the community's support to your bar. It could be the first time some guests enter your venue, so you'll want to make a good impression. Additionally, many local performers are likely to have a fan base that will come to watch them and simultaneously discover your bar in the process. Here are some bar ideas for acts and entertainment to add to your lineup: Local DJs Bands Karaoke Nights Poetry Slams Open Mic Performances Comedians Plays and Theater Performance Improv Nights Dance Troupes Art Galleries Be sure to obtain the appropriate music licenses before hosting live performances in your establishment. Bar Activities Make your bar the go-to stop for group hangouts by hosting a variety of different activities. These are a few popular ideas for bars that can help attract customers to your location: Trivia Nights Hosting a trivia night is a fantastic way to attract new customers and create an interactive experience. Teams will compete against each other for prizes, creating a fun environment that all can enjoy. Trivia nights are extremely popular and don’t require a ton of effort to set up, making them an effective way to bring in new customers. Bar Olympics If you cater toward a predominately younger crowd, events like Bar Olympics could be a huge success. Bar Olympics contain many well-known drinking games such as flip cup, cornhole, and beer pong. These games don’t cost a lot to organize, and young patrons will surely have a blast. Classes Hosting a variety of classes is a great way to establish a connection with your patrons while providing something of value to them. Bartending classes teach young adults a valuable skill, and might even allow you to find your next great bartender. Alternatively, fun events like art and dance classes are a great way to try something unique at your bar and attract new customers. Audience Specific Events If you notice your bar hosts a specific type of crowd or caters to a target market, you may want to consider utilizing specific events targeted towards your audience. For example, if your bar frequently hosts college students, then you may want to consider hosting events for young singles or graduation parties for graduating seniors. Alternatively, if you want to position your bar as a family location, you can host several family-friendly days, offering special discounts for children’s meals. Themed Events Themed events are a fantastic way to draw a crowd to your bar and create a wonderful atmosphere. Events like Big Game celebrations and watch parties for local sports teams can bring massive crowds to your bar. Other events like decade parties create a unique and memorable atmosphere that customers will enjoy and want to come back for more. 4. Seasonal Bar Promotions and Calendar Events Along with themed events, you can use the calendar and food holidays to come up with some clever bar promotions and marketing plan ideas. Large, traditional holidays can be hectic and your patrons most likely already have plans. Instead, pick holidays that relate specifically to your customers and business. Consider these unique occasions for your bar: Beer Can Appreciation Day (Jan. 24) - Continue celebrating the new year by offering discounts on canned beers. Try serving uncommon and locally-brewed beers for beer can-collecting enthusiasts. National Irish Coffee Day (Jan. 25) - Bring Irish-themed celebrations to your bar by offering special Bailey's drinks in festive Irish coffee mugs. National Drink Wine Day (Feb. 18) - This day provides the perfect excuse to showcase your wine list for customers who may not be into beers or cocktails. World Cocktail Day (May 13) - Try out new drink special ideas on World Cocktail Day to test run recipes you’re considering adding to your menu. St. Patrick's Day (Mar. 17) - Deck out your bar with leprechaun green decorations for St. Patrick's Day parties. You can run Guinness specials, serve specific St. Patrick's Day foods, and add green coloring to specialty drinks. Cinco de Mayo (May 5) - Take advantage of drinking-related holidays. For Cinco de Mayo, try offering tequila and margarita drink specials, along with deals on guacamole, tacos, and burritos. National Chocolate Day (Oct. 28) - Offer delicious and unique mixed drinks like chocolate-rimmed cocktails, chocolate martinis, beers, and wines to celebrate this flavorful day. Oktoberfest (Early Oct.) - This may be a two-week festival occurring in Germany, but that doesn't mean you can't recognize the merriment of beer, food, music, and dancing by hosting an Oktoberfest celebration at your bar. First Day of the Season - Ring in each new season with a specialty drink and food menu. You can serve refreshing and floral cocktails for spring, add hotdogs and hamburgers to your summer menu, break out pumpkin and apple flavors for the fall, and switch up your bar list to winter beers when the colder months roll around. Your Bar’s Anniversary - Provide an opportunity for your customers to connect with your business by celebrating the anniversary of your opening and other milestones along the way with discounts and giveaways. 5. Bar Publicity and Partnerships Hosting a fundraiser or forming a partnership with a local company is an excellent way to give back to your community and increase your visibility. You may choose to: Host a Charity Night - Offer to give a portion of a specific night’s proceeds to a charity you have chosen. You can even have members of the charity act as waitstaff and bartenders for the evening to further enhance the partnership. Work with an Animal Shelter - Publicize pets available for adoption outside of your location. You could also work with the shelter to set up a stand and playpen with available animals right outside of your bar doors. The idea can be a win-win situation, attracting customers to your business while providing homes for pets in need. Host a Business Mixer - Invite local businesses to your bar for a business mixer. This event establishes important connections with other local businesses, creating important network connections. The companies and employees you host can also network with the other businesses present, creating a great situation for all. Partner with Local Breweries and Wineries - Working with local breweries and wineries in your area allows you to establish valuable connections in the industry. For example, you could run special deals on a brewery's products, giving them a lot of promotion. In the future, you'll likely be rewarded with discounts on that location's supplies or special treatment in the form of early access to new beverages. For these bar events, consider contacting the local media via press releases or radio advertisements. It may be helpful to even designate one staff member to serve as your public relations coordinator to ensure effective organization and promotion. Try out a few of these bar promotion ideas that best suit your customer base and see how they end up impacting your bottom line. Simply showing patrons you care about their safety is a great way to build loyalty and can help promote your bar. With a bit of advertising and creativity, your bar will get noticed by new patrons.
How to Capitalize on Sports Bar Marketing
There are a lot of tips out there that can help you run a successful bar, but sports bars present their own unique set of challenges and opportunities. By targeting the sports community, you can create a fun environment and a set of regular customers. But, how can you combat lulls between major sporting events and keep the interest and excitement piqued year-round? Can you appeal to a casual crowd without alienating sports fans? Read on for a few sports bar marketing ideas that apply to new and established operations alike. Shop All Sports Themed Furniture and Decor Use these links to learn more about individual aspects of sports bar marketing: What Is a Sports Bar? Sports Bar Marketing Traditional Sports Bar Marketing Sports Bar Designs What to Broadcast at a Sports Bar What to Offer at a Sports Bar for Non-Sports Fans What Is a Sports Bar? A sports bar is a bar that caters to sports fans by continuously showing televised sporting events. Sports bars are typically themed with sports memorabilia to enhance the atmosphere. For many, sports bars are their preferred way to watch major sporting events because it allows them to have a sense of community while watching the game. For this reason, big-ticket sporting events are extremely lucrative for sports bars. Sports Bar Marketing One of the most important elements of sports bar marketing is advertising. You may have great bar food and a lively atmosphere, but advertising through social media and other more traditional methods can help fill your seats, even during your local team’s off-season. Social Media Marketing Using social media as a sports bar marketing tool provides you with instantaneous connections with your customers. Establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to make your business more accessible to followers. These sites can give you a strong and free way to spread the word about special deals and events to your target audience. But if promotions are all you have to offer on social media, they can easily become white noise, so be sure to actively communicate with your followers to establish a more meaningful and profitable rapport. Consider the following social media features to get your sports bar’s name known: Use Facebook Events to spread the word on upcoming events and gauge interest. Go live to notify customers of what they are missing out on at your location. Share Instagram Stories and Facebook Reels with some behind-the-scenes videos of your location and staff. Purchase a Snapchat Filter that customers can play with while in your sports bar and share with friends. Join a beer-based community like BeerAdvocate, TapHunter, or Untappd to indicate to customers what new beers you’ll be featuring at your establishment. Mobile Options In addition to your social media marketing, consider creating a website where customers can access information about your sports bar and the promotions you’re currently running. The National Restaurant Association discovered in a 2017 study that 90% of smartphone users first search for restaurant information online when choosing a dining establishment. A website, Google listing, or Yelp page will make your location more prevalent during their search. You can also try creating a loyalty app or mobile club using SMS marketing where customers can opt-in to have coupons and other special offers sent directly to their phones. There are a lot of things to consider when going this route, so be sure to research how to set up an SMS campaign system before you get started. Traditional Sports Bar Marketing In an age of technology, you may find that there is a lot of competition in an online setting. Here are some traditional sports marketing methods that can help you advertise directly to your local community: Advertise at a Local Game Marketing your sports bar at a local sporting event is a fantastic way to reach your target audience. Here are some advertising ideas you can use to advertise your bar at local games: Get your advertisement in the program. Buy banner space in the stadium. Ask to cater food during the game. On-Air Advertisements On-air advertisements during games are a great way to cast a wide net and get your sports bar's name out there. Below are some of the most common ways to advertise your sports bar on-air. Run a short radio commercial around game days. Submit a television commercial to run a few days before a big game. See if a television station would be willing to cast a pre- or post-game segment at your establishment. Run Promotions Running promotions and special deals is a fantastic way to reach sports enthusiasts and non-fans alike. Here are some of the most common promotions run by sports bars: Provide limited-time offers like new appetizers or drinks. Have a raffle giveaway. Incentivize large parties with group rates or discounts on larger dishes. Offer a freebie after team victories. Provide play-by-play discounts according to the action during a big game. Sponsor a Team Sponsoring a local team or charity can be a highly effective advertising choice in traditional sports bar marketing. This allows your bar to create connections with the local community while getting exposure for your brand name. Supporting your community establishes your company as a valuable asset to the neighborhood while providing a place where locals can come to dine and relax. When you sponsor an amateur league team, your advertisement may be placed on banners in the stadium, in the program during games, and sometimes even on their jerseys. Your sports bar also becomes a location where the team can bring their friends and family to celebrate victories or unwind after losses. Sports Bar Designs Once you have decided what you will be broadcasting in your sports bar, you’ll need to make sure that the sports atmosphere is established to accompany the games and matches. The atmosphere depends not only on your decor but on your staff as well. Sports Bar Themes Help your customers become fully immersed in the wide world of sports with some careful interior decorating. Pennants, pictures, jerseys, sports movie posters, balls, and other memorabilia should be craftily sprawled across the walls of your sports bar, with extra points for anything that's autographed. Here are some more ways to embrace the fandom in your establishment: Name a meal or beverage after teams or players. Print stat charts for your customers during big games. Set up a photo booth station with creative backgrounds and props for customers to take pictures. Sports Bar Uniforms Your location may be decorated in the right way, but your staff can truly make the sports atmosphere come alive with their attire and their conversations. You may choose to have your wait staff all in referee uniforms to embrace the sporting theme while keeping it general. Another option would be to design a custom jersey for your sports bar featuring each staff member's name on the back. On special occasions, you might encourage them to wear their favorite team's jersey. And remember— sporting events are a social experience so, while not everyone needs to be a die-hard fan, hiring those who have a basic level of sports knowledge can turn some of your more passionate customers into regulars. What to Broadcast at a Sports Bar You may already be equipped with a great menu, great service, and great pricing, but what you televise at your sports bar can make or break your business. Perhaps the most important thing to consider when it comes to sports bars is excellent programming. Broadcasting the local teams' games is an absolute must, but you’ll also want to create a broadcasting schedule to cover your establishment year-round. Local Sporting Events To create regular customers, be sure to take full advantage of a fan base that is already established in your area during game season. If your sports bar is located in a town or city with a champion team, be sure to make your loyalty known by broadcasting their every game and getting into the excitement. Fans will then be able to use your establishment as a place to celebrate team victories or mourn team losses together. Even if the local team is off their game, maintaining a commitment to that team throughout the season can earn you some goodwill with its most ardent supporters. You can also draw local fans into your location by: Hosting a tailgate party for pre-game hype. Throwing big parties for significant games. Celebrating the opening of a sports season. Providing an after-party location for team victories. Pay-Per-View Broadcasts Broadcasting games from your local teams is important, but they will not provide you with year-round coverage. So, what should you broadcast when many of the major sports enjoy their off-season? Consider showcasing classic sports broadcasts from years past that have local, national, or worldwide significance. It's also important to expand your scope beyond regional sports coverage, especially when it comes to big games and events with broad appeal. You can take things to the next level by offering premium content that customers otherwise wouldn't have access to without paying subscription fees. This could mean showing pay-per-view events like boxing matches or providing access to every pro football game (which are regionally restricted). The key is to draw patrons in with something they couldn't just tune into at home on basic cable. Not sure what to show? Poll your customers on sporting events they would be interested in viewing that go beyond what regional cable can offer. Once you establish what you will be broadcasting, prepare a schedule that customers can access so they don’t miss their favorite events. What to Offer at a Sports Bar for Non-Sports Fans It's understandable that your target customers for your sports bar will be sports fans; however, to maintain a steady flow of business, you’ll also want to provide ways to attract and entertain non-sports fans. The key is knowing how far you can go to create an environment that will appeal to the casual crowd, without interfering with the sporting atmosphere enjoyed by your regular customers. There are various ways that you can cater to both sports fans and non-sports fans alike. Set up Game Stations Creating a game room in your sports bar can give customers fun activities to do while they wait for their food and keep them ordering drinks while they play. You can include games like: Arcade games Dartboards Board games Jenga Pinball machines Billiards Feature Competitive Events Competitive games get guests involved and excited, especially when there are prizes to be won. For prizes, you can offer a free beverage or appetizer, merchandise with your sports bar's logo on it, or gift cards. Here are some competitive events you may be interested in featuring: Trivia nights Cornhole tournaments Backyard beer games Card table games A basketball hoop to shoot for prizes Host Live Appearances Creating events like live appearances can give your customers something to look forward to and bring in a new crowd of faces who come to support the act and order food and drinks while they are there. Some suggestions for live appearances include: Book a local band Feature a local comedian Host an open mic night Bring in a local celebrity to do signings Rent out Spaces Larger parties of customers tend to gravitate toward locations where their group can have an added level of privacy. By adding a party room that can be rented or a patio that can be reserved, customers can then host private events at your sports bar. When those areas are not booked, they can be used for overflow seating. Back to Top You can build these tips into your sports bar marketing plan to start bringing in customers and keep them coming back for more, whether they are sports fans or not. However, don’t be discouraged if you do not see immediate positive feedback after implementing one of these ideas. Give it time, poll your regular customers about their needs and wants, and adjust accordingly to achieve success in your sports bar.