8 Tips to Increase Bar Sales
Owning a bar can be both incredibly rewarding and incredibly stressful. It’s tough trying to build up the profit you need to sustain your business, and you may notice that even on nights when you have plenty of customers, the bar sales aren’t quite what you’d like them to be. This can be a dangerous pitfall for many bars, but fortunately, if you know the tricks to increasing sales, it’s not hard work to do so.
A Helpful, Enthusiastic Staff
This is the basics. Make sure that everyone on your staff knows the names of every beer on tap without having to check and that they can answer your customer's questions in a friendly, helpful manner and maybe suggest a few to those indecisive customers. Even better, train them not to just take the orders of your customers but to always look for opportunities to up-sell them on a new drink. It’s a fine line between enthusiastic and just overbearing, but the right servers will understand it.
Display Your Stuff
You have good products. Now show them off. Every beer you have on tap should be on display when a customer walks into the bar. Even if you have a menu, it’s more helpful to them to be able to see the options than just read them. It might even be a good idea to advertise a featured beer of the week, both in your bar and on social media. Likewise, you should keep your spirits, wines, and bourbon on a nicely lit shelf behind your bar, a good way to display all the options and brands that your bar has to offer a new customer.
Have a Happy Hour
A must have. Everyone loves happy hour. Serve two drinks for the price of one to get customers drinking more so that they’ll be more willing to buy more. It’s also a good way to bring in customers that might not have otherwise come to your bar but were invited by a friend. Happy hour should ideally occur as customers are getting off work, sometime around 5 or 6 in the evening.
Make Some Unique Infusions
Find a fancy or odd looking container, fill it with your own concoction (blue berries, oranges, apples, assorted fruits, herbs, bacon - yes that is a thing) whatever your heart (and eyes, the better looking the more delicious) desire. Then add a spirit, let it sit for a bit. Take that infused mix and put together a unique cocktail and you’ve got a conversation starter, a signature drink and something no other neighborhood establishment will offer.
Serve Non-Alcoholic Drinks
I know, I know. You’re a bar. It doesn’t seem quite right. But the truth is, not everyone drinks beer but everyone drinks non-alcoholic beverages. Imagine one of your customers is meeting up with a friend who doesn’t drink. If all you have for their friend is water, you’re missing an opportunity. Sell Coke or Pepsi products or orange juice just to cover all your bases.
Unique Beer Pong
Everyone has billiards and darts, but what about beer pong? This idea just makes sense. You need large quantities of beer to play beer pong. The more your play, the more they’ll drink. As a team sport, this is a great way to get a large number of people buying your drinks. To go the extra mile, consider the Infinity Glow Beer Pong Table, a terrific option for dim lighting with eight remote control LED light settings, including four music sensor settings. The table has a water resistant surface and a sturdy metal frame to ensure that it will hold up no matter how hard the game is played. You can even customize it with your bar logo.
Eye Catcher Drinks
To follow up with the eye catching Infinity Beer Pong Tables, you can do the same with your drinks. From unique cups/glasses, fire drinks, light up glowing cubes, you name it. Create a special themed drink that really catches the eye as it makes its way through the bar. You want everyone to look at it and say "Ooo, what is that?". You know you have a good one when the first thing people do is take pictures right when they get it. This will help you out on social media as you will be reminding them to tag your place on facebook, twitter, yelp, instagram and snapchat. Now all their friends will want to know where to try one.
Special Promotions or Chances to Win
Have small fliers around the bar where people can submit their contact info (email and or phone) to get a chance to win something special. This allows you to gather and build an email list, then once in a while send out emails informing them that they won something of value, it doesn't have to be big. All they have to do is return with this email and collect it, bonus promotions to share with friends. Howl At The Moon does exactly this. They have you sign up for "free parties for 50+ of your friends" if you win. Everyone in your party gets free admission and a free drink voucher. Guess what? Everyone wins. You want the bodies to come, get them a free drink so they can order three more for their friends.
Make smart choices when it comes to getting a profit out of your bar, not hard choices. You may find that your efforts to increase your bar sales may make owning your own bar even more personally rewarding than before.