No longer able to rely solely on the locals, bar owners are constantly looking for new ways they can attract punters to their bar. From offering craft gins to hosting themed nights, there are many ways they can do this.
So if you’re a bar owner and you’re looking for unique ideas that’ll drive more footfall through your doors every day of the week, here are some great ideas as to how you can reach out to all ages, tastes and interests in your local area.
1. Have a gin feast
Gin is quickly becoming the drink of choice. In fact, statistics indicate that, last year, gin soared in popularity with annual gin sales rising by 16%. This means a whopping 40 million bottles were sold last year, which is the equivalent of 1.12 billion gin and tonics, providing every person in the UK who’s of legal drinking age with an average of 28. Now that’s a lot of gin!
So what better way to cash in on this trend than by hosting your very own gin party, feast, festival or whatever you want to call it. Many eateries have started to offer gin-themed nights whereby patrons try specialist gins that have been paired with various foods and tonics. Held as a ticketed event, this drums up local interest, gets your venue shared across social media and invites new people to your bar to try your latest offerings.
2. Introduce some promotions
One great way to reach out to a bigger audience while also competing with bigger nightclubs and bars is to use some automated promotions. Create a social media campaign that offers discounts for parties of people and promotes various food and drink specials that’ll keep people coming back for more. You could also run a competition on these social channels, too, getting visitors to share posts to win a free meal or drink at your bar.
Don’t forget about return promotions either, as these are a great way to get repeat custom. Depending on what you offer you could give customers a voucher for a certain amount off their next visit, eg £5, £10 or £20. These vouchers can be restricted to drinks or food, or you may offer it on a certain promotion that you’re running for a short period of time – eg that craft gin you’ve just introduced.
3. Host a bingo night
Another thing that’s constantly growing in popularity is bingo. The rise of online bingo sites has resulted in an increasingly younger audience playing the game. The variation of the popular games is proving to be hit. So, don’t be afraid to stray away from traditional games if you can think of anything else that might be more suited to your area.
To create one of these nights in your bar, drum up plenty of advertising by perhaps using some of the iconic bingo phrases, such as “Droopy drawers, number 44” or “Grandma’s getting frisky, number 60”. Create an event on Facebook and share it with all your followers to generate interest and get your bar shared across social media. You could even team this with a promotion, offering guests a certain amount off their first game or drink, for example. Or why not introduce a happy hour for the hour leading up to the bingo event?
And don’t forget to make sure you’re adhering to the limits that are detailed in the Gambling Act. For example, this places a £5 maximum stake per customer per game for bingo.
4. Ask your customers what they would like
Still not sure what will go down well with your punters or concerned about isolating your faithful locals? Then why not ask your customers what event they’d like to see being hosted in your bar. Your existing customers are often the best resource when you’re planning events or promotions, so ask them what promotional ideas or themed nights they’d enjoy most.
If your bar’s at the heart of the local community, they might enjoy a charity event or gaming tournament. Or if your customers travel from further afield they might want to see something they’ve never seen before, such as a treasure hunt or scavenger quest.
5. Go sports mad
If you get a lot of sports fans in your bar or you’re near to a local college or university that’s got its own sports team, then it’s a great idea to introduce a sporting theme. You could run special day or night events when there are sporting events on, decorating the bar in team colours, for example. Or, when things are quiet on the sporting front, you could host trivia nights or race nights, offering food and drink specials while you’re at it. You could even set up your own football team from the bar that plays in the local league. This won’t just drive your team’s players to the bar but visiting players, too.
Attracting new people to your bar need not be difficult, instead, all it takes is some creativity and planning to offer unique, never-seen-before events that drive interest from your local community and the surrounding areas. And don’t forget to utilise the unbelievable power and word-of-mouth marketing that social media channels have to offer.