Every small business owner knows that there can be slow periods for bars and restaurants, what’s more important for owners to know is how to get out of these depressing slumps. Below are a couple of tried and true tricks for bars and restaurants to check out and try!
One of the best ways to get new customers in and to keep them coming back is to introduce creative craft cocktails to your drink menu. While these cocktails can be complicated to make, bartenders can focus on learning a new cocktail every week and create a rotating menu of the cocktails. The rotating menus will also create a sense of exclusivity and excitement, as customers will be encouraged to come back every week to try the next cocktail! If you need a list of starter craft cocktails, start searching the internet or check out this handy list here! For those looking to be truly unique, try the recipes on this list of coffee inspired craft cocktails!
Not looking to change your menu? Try drawing in new customers by holding exciting weekly events like a trivia night or a pub quiz! These easy to set up events are sure to draw a large crowd of people who are eager to prove their trivia skills. While you can hold a general knowledge trivia contest, try to spice things up each week by hosting themed pub quizzes on your slowest nights. Popular movies and television shows, sports history, and popular culture are common theme nights, but feel free to really switch it up with a completely randomized topic like marine life to try and stump your competitors. If you want to draw in specific groups of fans, try connecting your trivia night to other live events! Is your bar showing the football game on Monday night? Host a Football Trivia Night on Monday and throw out exciting football questions during the commercial breaks to entertain guests. At halftime, the leading table in correct answers can win some sort of prize like a free drink or appetizer!
Want to increase the number of video gaming patrons you get at your bar? Start advertising your video gaming machines more! Invest in posters or banners that advertise the machines available in your establishment. Maybe create gaming food and drink deals, such as a free drink after so many games played. Make sure to keep your gaming area clean and welcoming to any patrons. Also make sure the gaming area is clearly separated from the rest of the bar or restaurant, in accordance with Illinois Gaming Board rules and regulations.
Last, but not least, try drawing in passers by by creating a fun and exciting exterior. This can be done in a myriad of ways, and most of them require very little work on your part. If you are really looking to draw in a young crowd, consider completely redoing your exterior in a fun, flashy color like “millennial pink”. This is not only eye-catching, but will encourage young people to take pictures in front of the building and wander inside. If you do not want to paint your exterior, simply create eye-catching floral displays. These should have the same effect for many young customers. Looking to do something more understated? Invest in a sandwich board and fill it with funny phrases and jokes. These puns will often draw in more customers than just advertising the daily specials. Check out this Pinterest list for inspiration!