Why Your Bar Needs to Be Innovative
Your bar might be extremely successful today. You might have a packed house, tons of regulars, and plenty of new customers. But where will you be tomorrow, or next year, or five years from now? If you don’t adapt and grow, you could find yourself going out of business! Being innovative is becoming increasingly essential for bars, and bars that don’t innovate might not survive much longer.
Think about all the changes in technology that have happened in just the past few years. At this point, customers expect free Wi-Fi. They want to be able to access your website and menu from their phones, watch games on the newest and best televisions, and have the most cutting-edge technological experience possible. If you aren’t always keeping up on how you can use the newest, most innovative technology, you won’t be giving your customers the best experience.
Aside from being expected, being innovative can make things more convenient for your customers. This helps you drive sales. Mobile ordering, iPod ordering kiosks, digital menu boards, and tabletop checkout tablets are all innovations that can create a much smoother, easier experience for your customers.
Frankly, today’s bar scene is crowded. There are probably tons of other bars in your neighborhood alone, not to mention your city. What makes you stand out? What will make customers pick your bar instead of all the others? Bars fail all the time, but innovation can help your bar succeed. These technological innovations do more than just keep your customers happy; they also attract new customers and more attention. Being the first to adapt new technology means that you have a leg up on your competition.
Showcasing that new technology in a creative way is even better. For example, we’re all used to seeing QR codes on packaging or in advertising. But chef Jose Duarte takes things one step further by drawing QR codes with squid ink. By scanning the code, customers can learn about the source of their food, watch videos, and see recipes. This isn’t just utilizing technology—it’s making it fun and unexpected, which is something customers love.
Fun innovations don’t have to be technology-related. Chef Grant Achatz created a $45 smoked Manhattan that uses vanilla-infused hickory chips. By being creative and trying something new, he’s able to charge significantly more than the price of a regular Manhattan. The novelty of an innovative recipe or technique can encourage customers to spend more.
Innovation isn’t just optional—it’s necessary for your bar’s survival! Whether your innovations are technological or food-related, remember that innovation can keep current customers happy and attract new customers.