How to Increase Bar Sales: 5 Best Practices For More Sales
Increasing bar sales isn’t an easy feat. Strategies need to be put in place to ensure bar sales and profits are maximised for serious success.
Bars are a place where fun memories are created. Even if people can’t trace back to what they did because of the level of their drunkenness, the place where they drink adds an element of warmth to their experience.
This is essential to the growth of your business. You see, once somebody likes the ambiance of your place, they are bound to come back.
That’s the beauty of selling alcohol. If somebody has a good time, they will come back and more often than not will bring more people. At least that’s what every bar owner dreams of. A place that makes their customers feel at home and increase their revenue at the same time.
Did you know that one of the earliest marketing strategies at bars was to rim the shot glasses with salt? Salt makes people thirstier. This policy was executed, hoping that even if the customers were done drinking shots, they might order a beer to help quench their thirst.
Some of the greatest bar traditions were invented to increase bar sales. For example, happy hours, themed nights, one plus one, wine night, singles’ night, and so on. However, it can get pretty stale once you’ve tried all of these, and the sales don’t drive up.
In many cases, the sales go up, but they stop after a certain point. This effect is known as the plateau effect.
Once your bar schemes give you a heavy turnover after the first few themed nights, the chances are that you won’t get the same result after a few months of implementing it. So how can you combat the stagnated report of your bar sales?
Well, there are several things you can do to increase bar sales. For example, you can start with the simplest marketing strategy of the hospitality industry by improving the service, or you can go big and do something innovative.
In most cases, a decision like that depends on the existing reach of your bar. Are the locals a fan? Do you have a definite brand? Before you answer these questions, let’s look at some bar practices that will increase bar sales.
5 top tips for how to increase bar sales
1. Boost your online presence
In the era of technology, nobody will be walking around the city with a map looking for a bar. Instead, people are going to search on their phones for a good bar nearby.
If you don’t have a good online presence, the prospects of someone walking into your bar with a group of friends to hang out diminish by a considerable proportion. Therefore, to increase your bar sales, the first thing you need to do is polish your bar’s persona online.
As a bar manager, your topmost priority would be to drive more traffic to your bar. In a world where your potential customers’ decisions are based on algorithms, you must take action online. The first thing you should do is have a presence on Google.
When it comes to Google, you’re playing with keywords, and that can be a challenging game. Whenever someone searches for a bar on Google, for example, ‘nice bar in Manhattan,’ it shows the top three results relative to that keyword.
These top three results are called power three because they usually get the most clicks.
Your goal is to obtain a place in power three. You can do this by following a few steps:
– Ensure that your bar’s website supports mobile servers, is user friendly, and doesn’t take a lot of time to load.
– The content on your bar’s website needs to have SEO-friendly keywords. It enables Google to direct traffic to the website.
– Positive online reviews on Google are a must.
– If you can, ask your customers to include the keyword phrases in their review.
Now that you know your website is getting traffic, it’s time to turn that traffic into increased bar sales.
Indeed, the first thing is to make sure that your website is up to date. Your bar’s website should portray exactly the kind of brand your bar represents.
For example, if your bar has a chic design in architecture, you can show that online by uploading pictures. To make it more innovative, add customer testimonials, funny bar stories, etc.
As you can see, there’s a lot you can do when you’re running a bar. The possibilities are endless. However, the real question is, which cases are you going to act upon?
After your website comes social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; here’s the thing about your potential customers: their lives are on their phones. The moment you get on their phones, half your work is done.
Having the right online presence on social media is going to make them feel more connected to you. A crazy thing happened at the bar? Talk about it online. Preferably on Instagram or Facebook. Something you need to share with your customers? Perhaps an update on the happy hour? Post it online.
2. Use poetry, music and all that jazz
Inviting local talent into your bar can do wonders to increase bar sales. While themed nights are generally great, there’s no foolproof way of hosting them. You never know who’s going to show up and whether people will like them to begin with.
So you need to invest your time and energy into something more tangible, something with more substance.
You can do this by opening your bar up to events like a comedy night, poetry open mic, perhaps a special local band.
Every city has a rich local art scene, and you can drive up the bar sales by finding a way to the center of it. How?
Allow local organizations to use your bar space for events. If you’re worried that it might stop you from serving your usual customers, do it at a time of the day that is generally slow.
This policy will introduce your bar to a whole new clientele, and as a result, the number of your potential customers goes up. However, make sure that you plan these events in such a manner that they don’t take business away from you.
You can do this by adding a cover charge or charging for the event by the hour. That way, you will generate revenue no matter what.
Remember that at the end of the day, you’re running a business. And you need to use your bar’s greatest assets to your advantage when you’re trying to appeal to the local art scene.
For example, is your bar easily accessible from public transport systems? Is it close to a treasured landmark? These factors will help you seal the deal while negotiating with local art organizations.
While we’re discussing this part, play good music. It is an essential part of the kind of experience you’re selling to your customers. When we say good music, we mean relevant to your customers— places with good music rank higher everywhere.
Ask your customers what they like. Do they prefer a particular kind of music? Perhaps they want to shift from your usual choice to a more mellow type? The best way to figure that out is to ask them. Art attracts people, but what’s more attractive is a business that cares about their needs.
If you still think that hosting local art events might prove bad for business, you can ask your customers what they would like. Show your customers that you care.
3. Place your bar on Bloc
Bloc is an innovative way of driving customers to your bar. Bloc is a pay-per-customer application that pays people to come to your venue. It’s incredibly convenient to use.
All you need to do is create an advert on Bloc. This advert will then be shown to all Bloc users within a 10-mile radius of your bar’s location.
It’s one of the most effective things you can do to increase bar sales. It’s free to place an advert on Bloc. Whenever a user decides to go to your bar, Bloc charges a maximum of £2 inclusive of VAT.
Tell Bloc about your venue, give us a glimpse into what a day at your bar looks like, and voila, your ad is out there. You can also score £150 credit as a free trial, where you won’t have to pay for the first 75 customers.
The best part about Bloc is that the advertisement is based on the results you get. That makes it completely risk-free and cost-effective.
Get on Bloc now to increase your bar sales!
4. Monitor your staff
Monitoring your staff refers to making more and more of an effort for getting them interested in employing new marketing strategies. For instance, make sure that they know everything about the drinks they’re serving.
If you have a new drink on the menu, educate your staff about it. This gives your customers a sense of security when they’re being served.
People are more inclined to buy a drink that someone can testify for. Moreover, this gives you a great chance to push your new cocktails while they’re still deciding what to order. Ask your staff to tell the customers about your latest innovation at the bar before they order their drink.
Most people with a regular bar order a regular drink every time they visit. But telling your regular customers about your new drinks will reinstate a feeling of trust and loyalty in them.
The idea here is to be as initiative as you can be. It shows your clients that you want them to have a good time, which is the foundation of any good bar marketing strategy.
This strategy can also be an excellent opportunity to get your customers to try top-shelf drinks by offering them a free sample. Have an especially old bottle of smooth whiskey that has aged well? A top-shelf Jack Daniels that you just stocked?
Ask your customers to have a free taste. If you’re confident about your selection, then the chances are that they will order a full drink.
When it comes to your staff, the most important part is to make sure that your bartender is a people’s person. Employing a bartender with good interpersonal skills is one of the primary factors involved with keeping your customers engaged. This is one of the most underrated things you can do to increase bar sales as a manager.
While it’s easy to find someone who can follow the conventional practices of tending a bar, it’s difficult to find a bartender with enough patience to sit through your customer’s stories. This is especially important if some of your regular customers come to the bar alone.
5. Revamp the bar’s atmosphere
Do you know the joke about a horse walking into a bar? And the bartender asks the horse, “Why the long face?” While this joke’s premise is apparent, it stems from people’s need to look for a place where they can sit back and have a drink, someplace away from the hustle of the world.
The bar’s atmosphere is one of the key factors for the customer to decide whether your bar is going to be that place for them.
A variety of people go to bars every day. They could be moms looking for a night off, people in business trying to cool off with a beer, and friends who may be looking for a place to hang out, etc.
These people have one thing in common: they want to have a drink and relax. We live in an age of ever-anxious online bloggers, troubled salespeople, and there’s no reason why you can’t monetize that.
Make the atmosphere of your bar cozier. Add sofas instead of the traditional booths, improve the lighting, change the music according to the time and mood. This will encourage your customers to stay a little while longer, which translates to an increase in bar sales.
Bars are a great investment. You don’t have to get frustrated if you’re not able to make as many sales as before. Because of the general nature of bars and the customers’ unpredictability, the potential for implementing innovative ideas is vast.
You just need to understand how you can use that to your advantage. Here’s to hoping that you can increase bar sales with the help of the practices mentioned above!