Everything You Need to Know About First Fridays
Today, many cities and towns are finding innovative ways to support their small businesses. One popular choice is to hold First Friday events that encourage residents to come together once a month and explore what their city has to offer. As a business owner, you can give back to your community while also attracting new business by participating in First Friday. To learn more about what First Fridays are, why they're beneficial to your establishment, and how you can make your business stand out during the event, keep reading.
What Is First Friday?
First Friday is an event held in many American cities and towns on the first Friday of each month. Some cities host it on other weeks of the month, so you may see Second Friday, Third Friday, or Fourth Friday instead. While each community hosts this event a little differently, here are some common elements that cities choose to include:
- Live music
- Extended business hours for shops and restaurants
- Food trucks
- Kids’ activities
- Art exhibitions
- Craft vendors
First Fridays not only help to support tourism for cities and towns, but they also encourage members of the community to engage with each other. This event brings out more people at once than a typical Friday evening might, so it is an opportunity to support local businesses, enjoy cultural experiences, and fit in some social interaction.
Why Your Restaurant Should Participate in First Friday
Now that you know what First Friday is, you can consider getting your business involved. Below, we’ve outlined some reasons why participation in First Friday would be beneficial to your establishment.
Customers Are Already in Town
Because your city or town will already be full of more people than on a usual Friday evening, First Friday is an excellent opportunity for your business to attract customers. Many cities host First Fridays around dinnertime, so people could be interested in grabbing some food before they peruse the shops and vendors around town.
It Shows Your Support for the Community
If you choose to participate in such a community-centric event, this shows customers that you are interested in supporting your city and the businesses around you. Joining in on the First Friday festivities makes your business less of a stand-alone establishment and more of a member in a group. As a result, this could foster loyalty in customers who like your establishment’s commitment to the community.
It Helps with Publicity
Many cities and towns use social media or websites to advertise First Friday events, and if your business participates, it will likely be shared on these platforms. That means that before they even come to First Friday, customers will see your business name and know to look for you while they’re in town.
How to Attract More Customers on First Fridays
While just being open is a great way to bring in more customers on First Friday, here are some ideas for how you can make your business especially enticing to customers.
Offer First Friday Specials
Having some exclusive menu items that are only available on First Friday motivates customers to come in for the event. Whether you add a cocktail or a limited edition entree, these offerings will catch the eyes of patrons and encourage them to try out or revisit your establishment. If you want to really get into the First Friday spirit, show your city pride by naming one of your specials after a local landmark or characteristic of your locale.
Run First Friday Discounts and Promotions
Customers may go out on First Friday with the intention of shopping at boutiques and vendors, so a discounted meal or drink could convince them to eat out as well. Try offering promotions like a free dessert with the purchase of an entree, half-price cocktails, or 15% off of your bill during First Friday hours.
Host an Event
To offer something really special for First Friday, consider hosting an event. You could display artwork from local artists and hold a reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, hire some live music to play while guests enjoy your menu items, or even throw a party to celebrate your city. No matter what kind of event you decide to host, be sure to advertise it well in advance to increase curiosity and anticipation.
First Fridays are a growing trend in cities, and they’re an excellent opportunity for your business to integrate with the community. Try offering specials or promotions, or open your doors for a special event like live music or an art exhibition. Either way, you can bring in new customers and show your support for your town.
12 Live Event Ideas for Restaurants
As a restaurateur, you’re in the business of food. To see more repeat customers, get into the business of fun by hosting weekly live events. As time goes on, Americans are increasingly interested in spending their money on entertaining experiences, and this is the perfect opportunity for your business to provide that entertainment. From running live trivia games to teaching a bartending class, these 12 easy live event ideas will bring guests back on repeat – without breaking the bank for your restaurant. Shop All Event Planning Supplies Host Live Trivia Games Bring everyone together over a little friendly competition. Trivia games are popular everywhere from neighborhood restaurants to sports bars. Here’s how to get into the action: 1. Live Trivia Tournament You have several options when it comes to hosting live trivia games. Some restaurants hire an outside trivia host. Others do it all themselves, from creating the questions to the hosting. No matter which format you choose, there is one “secret” to success when running trivia: make it an ongoing tournament to ensure repeat business. Invite guests to form teams and compete for 6-7 weeks. Select a great prize, like a sizeable gift card or bar tab for the winning team. 2. Corporate Trivia Faceoff Companies are always looking for team-building events and exciting off-site venues for meetings. Invite them to your restaurant and offer to run a game of trivia. You could also create a tournament where teams made up of employees from different companies compete against each other. The winning company can select a charity – and your restaurant makes a donation. 3. Trivia with a Tasting Twist If you want to spotlight some of your beverages or new menu items, you can host trivia games that double as tasting events. To make the event even more engaging, create a special menu and incorporate trivia questions based on the dishes’ ingredients. Educational Entertainment Ideas If your customers are eager for interactive fun, you can engage them with these educational events and workshops. 4. Craft Workshop No, we’re not talking about craft beer. The latest trend in restaurant entertainment is craft night: from painting a masterpiece to planting a fairy garden. (Although, if you have a killer craft brew list, why not call your event “Arts and Crafts?”). Like trivia, these workshops spark socializing among patrons – creating a lively atmosphere that everyone wants to be a part of: Build a Terrarium: Provide guests who have signed up ahead of time with supplies like stones, plants, and soil in order to create their own terrariums. This interactive activity not only keeps your customers interested, but it gives them something to take home that they can associate with your event. Paint and Sip: Hire an artist to walk your guests through a painting step-by-step as they sip your beverages and eat appetizers. Just like the terrarium event, your guests leave with something and have made memories at your business. Pint Glass Painting: This event could be hosted by your own staff members. Provide pint glasses and painting supplies (look at your local craft store for paint that is specifically for painting glass). Then, let guests get creative! 5. Chef and Bartender Demos Show off the talents of your team with live bartender and chef classes. You give patrons a chance to bond with your staff, which helps to foster loyalty. Once a week, try running these live events: Mini Mixology Class: Ask your bartender to run a short, 15-minute class once a week. The class can be a short tutorial on how to make classic cocktails: from mojitos to whiskey sours. These classes can double as marketing moves. Use Facebook Live to live stream your class: you’ll show everyone what they’re missing! Secrets of the Chefs: Similar to the mixology course, your chef steps outside the kitchen for a quick demo. She can reveal “secrets” like how to achieve perfect grill marks on steak and how to really know when pasta is al dente. Musical Entertainment We’ve covered trivia and classes, but no list of live event ideas is complete without music. There’s nothing wrong with bringing in a band or musician, but it can get expensive. You also run the risk of your live music becoming just background music. Instead, try these live music events to add excitement and an interactive element. 6. Open Mic Night Invite local musicians or other creatives to take the stage with a weekly open mic night: Make Music Competitive: Just like trivia games, open mic nights are best when prizes are on the line. You can run your open mic night like the hit TV show American Idol. Invite a professional musician or two to judge the performers. The winning musician becomes the next week’s judge. Stand Up Comedy: Already run an open mic night for musicians? Now, let aspiring comedians take the stage with a comedy open mic night. Create themes like “Best Dad Joke” and let the crowd vote on their favorite contestant. 7. Radio Station Remote Broadcast Contact a local radio station that plays music which appeals to your target audience. Cater to millennials? Aim for Top 40. See more seniors at your restaurant? Contact the oldies radio station. Invite the DJ from the radio station to broadcast live from your restaurant. On top of the entertainment appeal, it’s great exposure for the radio station and your establishment. 8. Dance Party Dim the lights. Move the tables. There, you’ve got a dance floor. Just add music and these live event ideas: Offer a Dance Class: Hire a dance instructor to teach guests at your restaurant. Vary the theme each week from salsa to the foxtrot, hip hop to line dancing. Let Your Staff be DJs: DJs can be pricey to hire. Why not let a staff member create a playlist and emcee a dance party? Have Decade Theme Nights: Each week, play tunes from a different decade. Invite patrons to dress up for that decade. What about a throwback prom night? Guests can rock that 1990s tux or dress (or find one at the thrift store). Create a Club There’s a reason bars and restaurants create “mug clubs.” Clubs give patrons VIP status and a built-in community. You can even invite members of existing clubs to hold their weekly meetings and gatherings at your restaurant and then use these ideas for launching your own clubs. 9. Game Night Club Invite patrons to get their game on at your place: Trivia Club: Trivia lovers may not be satisfied with just one night of live trivia games! Invite the diehards back on a separate night for extra-challenging trivia. Or, they could be tasked with creating questions for your next night of trivia. Classic Bar Games: Have a dart board, pool table, or shuffleboard? Ask the best players if they’d like to teach newbies how to play in a weekly bar games club. Offer them a small bar tab as a thank you. 10. Book Club Book clubs are big with everyone from seniors to young adults. While book club members typically meet at a different member’s home each week or month, you can bring them into your restaurant instead. You could even ask your bartender to create a cocktail based on the club’s featured book. 11. Booze Club Create a spirited club around a love of spirits, wine, or beer: For Craft Beer Fans: Let craft beer fans be first to taste your new brews. On occasion, invite a local brewmaster in to share tasting notes. Wine Wednesday or Whiskey Wednesday: Run specials on wine or whiskey on Wednesdays and offer exclusive tastings for club members. 12. Charity Meetups Charities and non-profits need places to hold weekly and monthly meetings. Could you provide the space for free? Charity Night: Take your charitable efforts a step further with a weekly “charity night.” Donate 10% of the proceeds to the featured charity. Your heartfelt ways will pay off, because customers may remember your generosity and come back to support more charitable events. Supplies for Your Live Event Don't forget to stock up on helpful supplies for your live event! Check out some of the products that can help you say organized: Wristbands - Identify the over-21 crowd or VIP customers with disposable wristbands. Name Badges - Name badges come in handy for speed dating events or group meetups. Coat Check Tags - If you're hosting a charity night or auction, you can make the event more special by doing a coat check. After guests exit your restaurant, they should still be hungry…for their next visit. Entertaining events – like live trivia games and interactive workshops – send them home with great memories, and a reason to return for more.
How to Offer Private Cooking Classes in Your Restaurant
With so many restaurant options available to diners these days, it’s important to think of ways you can set your business apart from all the rest. Private cooking lessons are one way to increase interest in your cuisine and encourage people to eat at your restaurant. If you think cooking lessons might be a good idea for your restaurant, but don’t know where to begin, we’ll help you figure out some things to consider as you get started. Benefits of Private Cooking Lessons Cooking classes are great for brand exposure because providing guests with a fun experience will get them talking about your business, which can go a long way for word-of-mouth advertising. Similarly, you can take this opportunity to market the benefits of taking private cooking lessons to potential customers. With people becoming more and more health conscious when choosing what to eat, private cooking classes can be a way to show customers the fresh ingredients that are being used in your kitchen every day. Opening your kitchen up to curious customers may help you gain trust and peace of mind, which can make you their first choice when dining out. Decide on a Cooking Class Style When you offer cooking classes at your restaurant, you can decide how much you want your customers to be involved. Two popular cooking class styles are: Lecture-style demonstrations where your customers sit back and relax (perhaps with a glass of wine) and watch you explain step-by-step how to put together a dish that they all get to taste at the end. Hands-on learning where customers roll up their sleeves, put on some aprons, and actually make dishes themselves, under your guidance. Both lesson styles can be effective in giving your guests a great experience, so you just need to decide what you feel most comfortable with and which style best suits the setup of your kitchen. How Frequently Should You Offer Cooking Classes at Your Restaurant? How often you choose to host lessons depends on your availability as a chef or restaurateur. You could offer a lesson once to see how popular it is, and then continue with them on a regular basis if you received positive feedback. Some chefs offer classes that are meant to be a one-time experience, while others are designed as a series of classes for patrons who want to hear more. Another option to consider is hosting classes either on or right after major holidays. Create a romantic couples cooking class as an alternative to going out to eat on Valentine’s Day. Or, offer special Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, or Mother's Day classes for customers to enjoy with family members. If you want to partake in the holiday hype without opening your doors on special days, schedule a healthy eating class in January and market tickets as a great Christmas present customers can buy for their loved ones. How Much Should You Charge For a Private Cooking Lesson? There are a few factors to consider when selecting a price for your cooking class. Along with your location and types of cuisine, here are a few things to consider when coming up with a price: What you plan to serve If drinks are included with the price of admission The quality of ingredients being used in each course How many students you allow per class: Smaller, more intimate settings typically mean guests can receive more one-on-one instruction with the chef, which you can charge a premium for. Your chef's or your guest chef's level of notoriety: If your cooking lessons involve a well-known chef, such as a cookbook author or television personality, customers will be willing to pay more for their tickets. How Many People Should You Host at a Private Cooking Class? Make cooking lessons open to a designated amount of people, depending on the size of your kitchen. If you have the space, 20 people in your kitchen may be perfect for learning basic techniques or doing small prep tasks. If you’re looking to host a more exclusive, intimate event, narrow it down to five or six people. Advertising your space limitations can create a sense of urgency in patrons. Knowing they may not get a spot can entice patrons to buy tickets sooner and encourage friends to do to the same. And if people call your restaurant asking for a lesson but you don’t have room, simply thank them for their interest and let them know when registration begins for your next event. Stock Up on Separate Supplies for Students to Use For groups that will be helping you cook, consider buying supplies that are separate from what you typically use in your kitchen. This way, you don't need to worry about a customer ruining your favorite chef's knife or piano whip. When the event is over, you can wash everything and store it in an area for cooking lesson supplies only. Aprons, mixing bowls, extra chef knives, and cutting boards are some food prep basics that can help with cooking classes in your restaurant. You can also provide recipe print-outs, so customers can take notes and remember what they helped you prepare. Make Safety a Priority Of course you want your guests to have the best experience possible at your cooking class, so take some steps to keep everyone safe and happy. Safety considerations are especially important if you choose to do a hands-on lesson. This is because your customers will actually be touching and interacting with ingredients and equipment that they may not be familiar with. Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you consider safety precautions: Write up a liability agreement for your guests to sign. Accidents happen, so make sure your business is not put at risk. Having a written agreement ensures that everyone’s on the same page and your guests understand that there is always a risk of injury when working in a kitchen. Learn if your guests have food allergies. Before class begins, take the time to ask students if they have any allergies. If so, take extra precautions to avoid cross-contamination when preparing their food. Discuss basic guidelines. Explain all the basic rules of kitchen safety and sanitation at the beginning of class. Hopefully, everyone will be familiar with these already, but it never hurts to review. Opt for demonstrations. If your recipe requires the use of large cooking equipment, consider keeping that step as a demonstration, rather than having guests work with your commercial appliances. At the end of your cooking lesson, share the meal you've prepared with all of your guests. Customers will love telling their friends they helped make dinner at a restaurant, and they'll encourage more people to join your cooking classes. Also be sure to advertise your private cooking lessons in your restaurant, on flyers, on social media, and on your website. It's unique to find a restaurant that will open its kitchen doors to amateurs, so you could become the trendsetter on your block.
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.