Quick Tips on How to Make Your Bar and Restaurant More Revenue in 2019 and Save Money on Entertainment
Anybody who has been in the bar industry long enough knows it takes some tricks to maximizing bar tabs which will in turn maximize tips and overall revenue. Those can be easy (upselling, promoting shifts). The real trick is to maximize revenue while minimizing costs. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that bar owners are spending WAY too much money on live entertainment. I was managing a beach bar in Southern California for years and day after day we are forking out hundreds if not thousands of dollars to bring in local bands. Add in the bands comp tabs, discounted food, is it really worth it? Is it paying off? I understand that maybe that's your shtick but for the rest of us where live music is a novelty or perhaps there just isn’t enough space in the venue, we need affordable alternatives.
There are lots of ways to cut costs around the bar but there’s no need to start seperating two ply into one ply just yet (for all you Dunder Mifflin fans out there). One of the quickest and cheapest ways of getting people in the door is trivia. It might sound simple but nowadays it's more popular than ever. Hosts are no longer that half-interested guy in the corner with a mic that sounds like an adult from Charlie Brown. People are teaming up all week long to find the best shows around, I have seen first hand the effects of a well put together trivia night and the volume of patrons it can attract. This, coupled with some drink specials and prize giveaways (you’d be surprised how many people will show up for free koozies) and you’re on your way to a full bar with an end of the night payout of less than 100 bucks.
4 Ways you can advertise and incentivise customers to come to your establishment, and be a part of your community.
(photo of Ryan Henderson, Fat City Host)
In every bar there is someone that is looking for a bit of fun & fast cash, start with offering $25 cash and a $25 bar tab for a few hours of work. That cook in the kitchen who is always singing and dancing or the barback that is overly friendly would be the perfect candidate to host. All you would have to do is buy some ready to go trivia games and a mic and start promoting. There are tons of trivia groups for you to join on FB and reddit. Look up trivia groups in the area and start pushing your “Tricky Tuesday Trivia”. Everybody loves a good band but let’s remind people of how fun it is to get drunk and play games with your friends!
This is Aly! if you have any additional tips and tricks feel free to leave them in the comments! :)
How To Utilize Music Bingo Cards Or Game Show Presentations To Entertain Guests And Draw New Customers. Plus, An Example Of A Weekly Entertainment Budget Of Less Than $150.
Hey trivia fans, music fans, fellow entrepreneurs, and entertainers!
I’ve spoken quite a bit in this blog about how to use music bingo cards and game show presentations easily by downloading and presenting in front of live audiences wherever and whenever you choose. Now I’d like to speak more about the strategy behind such and event, and some reasons why you might find that a games night might be right for your group.
Music Bingo & Game Show Trivia For Bars & Restaurant
My background is most prominently as a Restaurant Manager for a variety of different venues. One was a corporate franchise restaurant with over 70 locations across Canada. One a local’s type pool bar complete with foosball, darts, games, wing night, and the whole enchilada.
Another was a tiki-bar in Costa Rica straight out of the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail”, with not-so-coincidental similarities. I fact, I spent 20 years in the Food & Beverage industry before I really separated and focuses mainly on the Entertainment aspects, which I have grown to love so dear.
The business strategies for each of these places were vastly different, but the one constant that travelled with me from location to location was a need for community, and a hole that could only be fed with Live Entertainment. My greatest moments at each of these venues was no doubt on nights when the ambiance was set perfectly, the kitchen staff were on their A-game, and the entertainment was running point.
These nights were the whole motivation behind creating an easy-to-use line of Music dobOFF bingo cards, and Fat Bottom Trivia download-and-present game shows.
There is more to successful entertainment than just having the right games on hand.
People like playing pool and darts. This doesn’t mean that buy purchasing and installing a dart board or pool table means you will undoubtedly become a success. You must create an flow for your customers to know about your new additions, know about it ahead of time, plan for it, and then enjoy it fully. Then you want to ensure the nest event is already planned out, so they can continue the flow right into the next night.
You don’t want to fatigue your guests either. Too many events of too much intensity will not be received as well with your loyal regulars, so spacing nights out appropriately can be important too.
Pillaring Your Week Of Entertainment And Food & Drink Specials
One of my favorite new projects when consulting a new entertainment venue is appropriately “pillaring” the week’s events. This may be a new concept for you, so if I don’t explain it well enough here, please leave a comment below, or even shoot me an email, and we can discuss it further, and use direct examples from your business. I’m always available for our readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Example 1: (Low entertainment budget)
This is a pretty basic style of entertainment pillaring with a budget that permits 3 nights of entertainment. You’ll notice that instead of going heavy on Thursday through Saturday, I have split the events up, and I’ll now explain a few of the reasons why…
First, customer fatigue. Give your regulars some time to decompress, and discuss the next event at the water cooler before shoving another event at them. Loyal customers want to be a part of all the major events, and there is no reason they would have to stay away on nights that nothing is happening in between. On the contrary, I believe you will find heightened sales on nights such as Wednesdays and Fridays between events as well, when guests come back to reminisce about past events, pick up leftover vehicles (don’t drink and drive, people), and come back for the food and drink specials they noticed when they were at your last show.
Here, I’d like to actually use fun game examples to your weekly calendar that would work in almost any bar, restaurant, or other live entertainment venue. I’ll also add up the full expenses afterwards, but I will work with the assumption you are going to host the games yourself, or have one of your staff members host the games, that are already on paid salary. This will save you up to $300 per night in paying a local trivia company to host your games instead.
Game 1: “Body Parts” ($9.99)
Game 2: “TV Theme Songs” ($9.99)
These games are both classics. They can probably be used once a month and people will still love them!
Game: Fat Bottom Trivia “Wild Wild West” ($24.99)
This is a consistently overlooked error for many up-and-coming restaurants… They think “oh it’s Friday, people want to go out anyways, so let’s make the maximum amount per customer.
Unfortunately, this is a short-lived philosophy. People will get fatigued quickly by over-paying on Fridays. My motto is: “Give the people what they want!” They will respect you for it, and become loyal on other days of the week. There is plenty of competition in town. Give your #1 on Fridays when you have maximum exposure to clients.
Game: Music Trivia Party - “Boy Bands & Divas” ($24.99)
Ok, so considering you were already running these food & drink specials, the games themselves only add up to less than $70 for the week. This gives you plenty of room to buy prizes for the top teams at 5 Below. And remember, when you buy these games, you can definitely use them more than once! Come back to them in a few months, and your entertainment budget will be even less. Of course, we’ll have some new games out by then, that we’ve tested in front of real audiences, as we do for all our games :) And I’m sure you’ll love them too.
Thanks for listening! Please reach out and let me know what’s new in your area for entertainment, and how it’s working out with Music dobOFF bingo cards, and Fat Bottom Trivia!
Fat City Entertainment