Owning and managing an airport bar or pub presents many upfront challenges. Higher prices tend to turn customers off, and many commuters are simply dashing to get to their terminal on time. However, utilizing alluring bar trends and touching up your pub to increase its charm can pay off in a matter of months. Here’s the secret to making the most of your airport location: catering to the layover crowd. Knowing the demographic and suiting their sensibilities is key to booming business in a crowded airport.
First, understand your audience. True, a large party would inevitably pay more money per table. But you shouldn’t sacrifice your image or brand to appear overtly family-friendly. When families have layovers they tend to either go the food court route or stock up on snacks at the convenience stand. The true veteran of the layover who’s much more likely to hunker down at your restaurant or pub is the seasoned traveling businessperson looking to let loose.
To attract these types in droves, be sure to incorporate many screens and TVs into your location if at all possible. Beyond this, don’t turn every station to sports – even if you’re running a sports-themed pub, ensure one or two sets are glued on general news and financial news so PR execs, brokers, and physical trainers alike can all become comfortable with the idea of staying at your location for the duration of their layover. The other necessary accommodation to keep the bustling traveler in your pub is an electrical outlet. Make sure to include as many outlets as possible so your day drinker doesn’t run away to charge his or her phone
In addition, your pub must have an exhaustive and impressive selection of beer and spirits. It may be tempting to go cheaper or leaner in order to reduce costs and maximize revenue, but the additional investment in selection and quality will keep business steady over time. Once commuters share that your pub or bar is the ideal location to relax and kick back in your particular airport you can rapidly secure a monopoly on the heavy-working heavy-drinking crowd. Follow current restaurant trends to guarantee you keep the latest ale of choice stocked and ready.
Finally, run promotions specifically to appeal to layover-laden customers. “Have two tickets? Get one free drink!” is an easy way to lure in a weary traveler and help them settle at your location. With strategies like this you can quickly become the wine-and-dine destination in your airport and overcome any drop-offs in business.