13 Things That Can Cause Slow Nights at Your Bar
Your bar is open, your drinks are ready, and your bartenders are ready to serve…but where are your customers? Although you’d like your bar to be full and bustling every night, slow nights are bound to happen sometimes. However, you don’t have to accept them! Read through these 13 reasons why your bar might have slow nights, along with things you can do to work around them.
1. A bad local economy.
The truth is, some things are out of your control, and the economy is one of them. In lean times, people tend to cut spending, and their “going out” budget is usually one of the first things to go.
2. Your food and drinks are too expensive.
This goes along with number one…if people are short on cash and all of your cocktails cost an arm and a leg, you’re probably not going to get much business. There’s no need to cut out your expensive items entirely, but offer drinks and food at a variety of price points to cater towards every customer.
3. It’s a week night.
Of course people aren’t as jazzed about staying out late when they know they have to be back in the office in just a few hours. You can’t compete with the calendar, but you can offer special deals on weeknights. Consider offering great specials on Tuesday nights to bring in more weeknight business.
4. You don’t have a happy hour.
Happy hours are a great way to bring in business on slow nights, and you can bet that every bar around you has some sort of happy hour going on. If you don’t, your customers will likely to just somewhere else.
5. No promotions.
Aside from happy hour, it’s important to have some sort of promotion going on. You can’t just open your doors and expect customers to come rolling in.
6. People don’t know you’re there.
Are you new in town? Or is your bar hard to find? If so, people might not even know you’re there, which can lead to a lot of slow nights! Invest in some signage and, of course, advertisements.
7. You’re not using social media.
Social media is a great way to get the word out about your deals on typically slow nights. Without it, customers won’t know what you have to offer. A quick tweet or Facebook post about your happy hour deals might remind customers to check out your bar.
8. You don’t stand out.
Chances are there are quite a few bars in your neighborhood. What makes you different from the rest? If you can’t answer that question, you might be in for a lot of slow nights. You need to give customers a reason to visit you when they could go anywhere else.
9. It’s not a holiday.
St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and New Year’s Eve draw in big crowds, but what about when there are no holidays in sight? Just because there’s no reason on the calendar to celebrate doesn’t mean you can’t create a party.
10. A boring menu.
It seems like common sense to have great drinks and a delicious menu, but many bar owners ignore this crucial aspect. Without this, you’ll have far more slow nights than you’d like. Invest your time and money in improving your menu.
11. You haven’t updated your décor in years.
If your bar looks like it’s straight out of another decade, you’ll have a rough time attracting customers. You’d be surprised at how updating your décor can perk up your slow nights.
12. No loyalty programs.
Loyalty programs—like giving your customers a free meal or a discount for every so many purchases they make—can encourage customers to come in when they would otherwise just stay home. They’re a great way to get rid of slow nights.
13. A lack of creativity.
Sure, some of these reasons are out of your control. But the one thing you can control is your action! It often takes a little creativity to cut down on slow nights. Think outside the box and go for new promotions, advertisements, and strategies.
Slow nights will always happen sometimes, but by keeping this list in mind, you’ll be aware of what causes them. You can’t control everything, but you can use these tips to help turn your slow nights into busy nights.