Investing in state-of-the-art flat screen TVs and an accompanying sound system when you’re about to open your new bar or restaurant may carry many upfront costs, but the return on investment always makes up for it. In todays’ digital age, customers always want to be connected to the world, and good bar ideas seek to disconnect customers from their smart phones, even for just a moment, to create an immersive and satisfying dining or social experience.
TVs are versatile and the key to drawing crowds. For sports bars, having enough TVs to broadcast multiple major games simultaneously is vital in keeping customers whose bar outings are intrinsically linked to sporting events. Good restaurant marketing for these demographics centers on the ease with which they can catch the game at your location.
Beyond constant sports coverage, you can make some traction with promotions and events surrounding games. If you have plenty of TVs, you can incorporate Buzztime sports trivia into your sports promotions and events. The interactive and engaging game enables players to predict outcomes of plays in real time, creating a competitive gaming experience to compliment any NFL game screening.
However, you can attract more business by taking advantage of restaurant marketing that makes use of your TVs and entertainment factor outside of sports events. When there isn’t a big game going on, don’t let your investment go to waste. Throughout the country, bar screening events of popular TV shows are becoming increasingly popular. Draw large crowds of customers you otherwise wouldn’t reach by hosting weekly screenings of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, or any other highly rated TV show. You can choose shows that run at different times of the year, and schedule screenings of various shows throughout TV’s yearly cycle to provide a consistent destination for screenings.
Screening parties are a foolproof bar idea for increasing sales, because they don’t require much investment. Once you have the TV and sound system, hosting a screening party can be easily accomplished with a concentrated marketing push. You will have to make some accommodations, and depending on the layout of your bar or restaurant, you may want to keep the screening event to a special area or room. As fun as the atmosphere should be, ensure your patrons can hear the action on the TV over the rest of the crowd. If chatter and other business blocks out the sound, attendees won’t likely return the following week.
When you first start hosting screening parties at your bar, it’s important to create a strong community and offer perks for attending your screening that customers can’t get at home. It doesn’t hurt to modify drinks or appetizers to fit the theme of the show, especially at season premieres or finales. For example, if screening The Walking Dead at your bar, try serving a select amount of zombie-themed shots and snacks to appeal to viewers. If pressed for time, you can simply change the names of your signature menu items to generate interest.
One major factor that will determine the success of your screening party will be how fully the audience can enjoy the show. We’ve already addressed noise issues, but go out of your way to meet the needs of your customers before they become an issue. With many action-packed TV shows, missing even a moment spells disaster. During the screening you can offer table service for drinks so that viewers can order additional rounds without taking their eyes off of the TV.
Screening parties are relatively cheap, and can attract sizeable crowds to your bar or restaurant. Many popular shows like Game of Thrones air on Sunday nights and other evenings that are usually slower for business, so take advantage of screening parties to boost sales and customer satisfaction.
Want some more ideas on how to bring in crowds and make your bar stand out? Download our free whitepaper, “50 Best Bar Promotions”, and find out 49 other ways to become the neighborhood hot spot.