If you’ve ever walked into a crammed-to-the gills watering hole where enthusiastic patrons are playing trivia, music bingo, or singing karaoke, you’ve probably strategized about having the same kind of success in your own establishment.
You may decide to hire a company to host your new weekly entertainment and hope it will transform one of your dead weeknights into “standing room only”. You might also assume that it’s your host who’ll be bringing in all the new business…that you can just sit back now and wait for the money to roll in.
While it is true that adding weekly entertainment can occasionally result in rapid and massive success with little or no promotional help from the management or staff, that scenario is rare.
The far more common bar successes are those whose managers and staff take an active role in their own promotion by maximizing the marketing resources they already have in place.
Your establishment has resources at the ready, too. And by using them consistently, you can turn a slow night into the busiest night of the week – the kind of night when people arrive early for dinner so they can hold their table to play the game!
Here are 5 ways to massively increase the chances of packing your house
1. Use the print and digital promotional materials that your entertainment company provides. And use them CONTINUOUSLY.
Print materials can include flyers for high-traffic areas and postcards for your bar and tables.
• Post the flyers at entrances, hallways, restroom walls (and don't forget the stalls!) They can make a huge difference in attendance – especially during the early weeks.
• Place the postcards on the bar (every 4 chairs or so) and one on every table. Keep a stack of them by the condiments. Have your staff replenish the postcards before every shift and every night before closing.
• Place a stack of postcards in the area where “to go” orders are filled. Include a postcard in every single order that goes out the door.
IT'S WORTH REPEATING...
All too often, promo materials are put out once and are never replenished, while the box of materials is placed out of sight and out of mind. This is a huge waste of a free resource that has the potential to pack your house. To maximize this opportunity, continue to replenish the postcards near the condiments and the “to go” area. If you run out, that’s a great sign! Just don’t forget to ask your entertainment host for more.
These may include a flyer to post everywhere that you have an online presence.
• Post these flyers on all your social media accounts, along with the start date and prizes. Also, post frequently on the day the entertainment starts. Your host might also create an ongoing Facebook event and make you an admin.
• Post reminders, food and drink specials, and prizes on this event page. The more you do, the more likely you’ll have engagement and returning customers.
Whenever your host shares or tags you in a post, be sure to re-share it.
2. Food & Drink Specials
Welcome your game participants by creating unique food and drink specials that are only served during the game. Ask your entertainment company if they have a signature cocktail created for the same purpose. It adds an extra layer of fun.
3. Your Mailing List
If you have a mailing list, send a recurring announcement each week. Use the digital flyer your host provides.
4. Your Existing Advertising
If you advertise in print, radio, or other media, add an announcement about your new weekly game night.
And now for the greatest marketing resource of all:
5. Your Staff
Enthusiastic promotion by your staff is the most powerful way to ignite interest in your new game night. Imagine each bartender and server excitedly talking up the entertainment weeks in advance and referring your customers to the promo materials for details.
Encourage your staff to attend your new game night and play as a team with those who are already working. They shouldn’t be allowed to win the prizes, of course, but you could incent them in other ways, such as holding a raffle for all those who participate.
Remind your staff members who work those nights that the busier it is, the more money will go into their pockets. Let the others know that you may be able to offer extra shifts once business increases.
Don’t waste these opportunities! Follow the steps consistently and it will go a long way in helping your host create the wildly successful game night you’re hoping for. Together, you can make YOUR place the envy of your competition.
For more info on pub games, contact WRIK Entertainment at 401-769-1325