March Madness Bar Sales: How To Score Big!
The NCAA’s annual men’s basketball tournament, or March Madness, is a somewhat unique animal in the world of American sports. Unlike the Super Bowl, it takes place over multiple days. And as opposed to championships in most professional leagues it features more than 60 collegiate participants spanning a large geographical cross-section of the county. Between locals and alums there are few sports fan without some interest in the games.
In other words, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get extra people in your door during late March!
According to the National Restaurant Association the three most important factors that go into selecting a March Madness viewing location are (in order) price specials, viewing experience and food/drink choices.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help maximize your profits during the tournament this year:
Let’s Make a Deal
To some degree basketball fans will be able to accomplish their primary goal – watching the game of their choice – at any bar with at least a half dozen TVs. So give them a reason to park their fanny inside your doors for five or six straight hours. March Madness is an ideal opportunity to up the ante with regard to drink and food specials.
Their Viewing Pleasure
Since your bar probably won’t be adding 25 new flat screens in time for opening tip-off next month, you’re stuck with the TV situation you currently have. The key then becomes optimizing the experience for customers. Over the first two weekends there will be instances where as many four games are being played simultaneously on different channels. Make sure you have a firm handle on your cable/satellite schedule and ensure at least one employee is always able to handle customer requests for games.
Join in the Conversation
It’s a good idea to make it clear early on that your bar is invested in the whole March Madness thing. Start including references to important games and tournament selection in your Facebook and Twitter posts. Make it clear you’re following the building excitement along with the fans and it you’re likely to get more traction as you start dropping mentions of specials you’ll be offering during the games. Social media is an easy way to have potential customers begin associating you with the tournament.
Bracket It Up
Perhaps more important than the games themselves is fan interest in the accuracy of their tournament predictions. Brackets are king during late March and early April, so make sure you’re involved. In the days leading up the tournament offer contests for the best picks. Make sure you have brackets posted prominently in your restaurant. Always keep in mind you are catering to people with faces buried in sheets of paper for three weeks.
March Madness turns casual sports into basketball junkies for a few weeks every year. Even if your restaurant wouldn’t usually be confused with a sports bar, this is still a golden opportunity to pick up additional business.
How will you be celebrating March Madness? Comment below and let us know!