Is your bar or club stuck in a revolving door; the same clients in and the same clients out with the same profits night after night and no growth? To see growth in revenues, you want to attract 30% new business to add to the 70% earned from your “regulars.” Maybe it is time to change things up a bit. Here are 10 tips to take your bar or club from pinched to profits.
1) Attract women to your bar or club. Women bring men. You need to keep the following in mind when you want women to frequent your establishment:
a) Clean bathrooms that are well stocked with the necessities. If the budget allows, consider getting some extras in the ladies room: single use mouth wash, individually wrapped mints, etc.
b) Keep it safe inside and outside your bar or club with bright lighting and elimination of hiding places. Have a security presence (or perhaps offer an escort to her car) to address those locations your patrons will be that are a bit too dimly lit for comfort.
c) Keep the music and entertainment trendy and fun!
d) Food choices that can be shared and appeal to women. Offering a “sampler” platter on the menu is a great idea since a lot of women will opt to share with friends.
i) Keep it light and calorie conscious while still being great tasting.
ii) Choose items that are not messy to eat. The last thing a girl on the town is going to want is some messy meal that could ruin her new dress the first hour of the night.
iii) Keep it trendy, and maybe a little experimental. See what foods are hot and which are “so last week” and tailor your menu accordingly.
2) Create buzz with something other than music. If you staff a flare bartender, make it known! Offer some fun promotional items like blinking bracelets for the dance floor or some fun and funky glassware for the bar. Keep it interesting and changing so the clients will want to come back and see what’s new.
3) Offer an experience the customer won’t forget and will be willing to pay twice as much to repeat time and time again. Be the hottest party in town, but be classy and upscale.
4) Create two or three signature drinks and signature food offerings to draw in some new customers. The goal is to be best at something, not everything.
5) Teach your bartenders to upsell premium spirits. If you are having a Cinco De Mayo party, upsell that premium Tequila or on New Year’s Eve that higher priced Prosecco or Vodka tastes great with some bright red Cranberry juice with a lime.
6) On entertainment nights, you can charge more for food and drinks. Your costs are higher to support the entertainment; the demand for the food and drinks is higher for the clients, so charge that little extra to really make it count. (Consider having 2 sets of menus.)
7) Evaluate the use of promoters. Is your money better spent on a good looking flare bartender that customers flock to see? Is it better spent hiring some good looking dancers (guys and gals) to raise the energy on the dance floor?
8) On some nights, have a private “pre party” where you invite local VIPs for cocktails or beer tastings early in the evening, or special entertainment or free/low-cost food. Reward your regulars by letting them mingle with local athletes, celebrities, entertainers and other VIPs.
9) Have one theme from 4-9pm and another from 10-closing. This will attract different demographics and help boost profits. If you have themes that can slip into each other coherently even better! (If you have a Mascarade theme for the beginning it can slip into a Gatsby theme for the end. That way it isn’t awkward for people who want to stay throughout the entire night! Keep the client happy by keeping things smooth and easily adapted to.)
10) Have a good website. People are flocking to the internet to check out clubs and bars before they head out. If your website is not easily accessible or is not even up you are losing customers. Your website should be easy to maneuver on a mobile device, have photos of the venue and post your promotions and events. A website is a great place to offer a central hub to any social media you have out there (Facebook “like” button and check in, Twitter feed, Instagram, etc.)