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Summer at a Bar

Enjoying a Profitable Summer at your Bar

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With summer upon us, putting together a game plan to maximize your revenues is vital for your bar or nightclub to have a profitable season. Potential customers are eager to enjoy their summer, so if you offer them what they want you can make huge profits in just a few short months. On the flipside, if you don’t entice your customer base, they will be just as content to stay home and drink in their backyard with friends. The key is to offer them something at your bar or nightclub that they can’t get anywhere else in town, and there are a few simple ways to accomplish that.

Get Your Staff Ready

Before you even consider trying to pull in more customers over the summer, you need to make sure your staff is set and ready to go. That means making sure you have enough bartenders and servers hired to accommodate any demand that may arise, as well as making sure that bar staff is properly trained. If you can have a complete staff of pros who know exactly what they are supposed to, your guests will stay longer and keep coming back to your bar which will lead to massively higher profits.

Plan Summertime Events

Events are the lifeblood to any successful summer marketing program for a bar or nightclub, so this is where much of your attention needs to be devoted in the months leading up to summer. You’re going to want to book a great variety of bands and come up with themed party nights such as beach attire or even a toga party. Make sure you book the most popular local bands in your area as soon as possible because they will get snatched up quickly for summer show. If you create events that are entertaining and make your customers feel like it is an exclusive experience, you can expect to see large profits follow.

Marketing

No matter how great your summertime event strategy is, it will be all for not if you can’t market it properly. You need to do all of the standard methods such as social media, your website, and even radio ads if you’re in a large enough market, but never underestimate the power of in-house marketing. By putting table tents of your next event on every table and having large banners boasting upcoming parties or bands, you will directly market to your best demographic of all: people who already want to come to your bar or nightclub.

Summer can be the most profitable season for a bar or nightclub, but if can also lead to a completely empty venue if you don’t know how to attract customers. It all starts with having a well-trained and competent staff that is ready to work, and everything else stems from there. Once you have a great staff in place, you can focus on putting together summertime entertainment and marketing it so your bar or nightclub packs out each night. If you can conquer those three factors, you can easily have a very profitable summer at your venue.

Bar Patio

Preparing Your Bar for Summer

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Summer is obviously one of the nicest times of year to be outside, and that can be a terrible thing in the bar industry. Over the summer months, more people decide to skip the bar altogether and do outdoor activities instead. Things like going to the beach, having a backyard barbeque, or sitting around a campfire takes precedence over bellying up to the bar, and that can impact your bottom line negatively. So what can you do to bring people into your bar during the summer months? Fortunately, there are a few tactics that will still bring out the crowds if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Open a Patio Section

One of the biggest reasons that people skip the bar during the summer is that they want to sit outside and enjoy the weather. That’s really hard to do when sitting inside a stuffy bar where the smell of beer and patrons hangs in the air, so you need to offer them an area outside to sit and enjoy their beverages. If you don’t have a patio yet, you need to figure out a way to setup part of your bar outside. You don’t necessarily need an actual bar and bartender outside, just a place where people can sit and enjoy the weather while buying items form your establishment. If you already have a patio, you should consider having a large banner printed up to hang out in front of your bar so everyone walking and driving by knows that you have outdoor seating available for customers.

Tropical Cocktails

Whether you live in Florida or in Minnesota, summers get hot and humid. When the weather feels tropical outside, people like to transport themselves to a tropical destination; if only in their minds. By creating a selection of tropical drinks for your customers to enjoy and advertising them properly, you will draw in a crowd of people looking to take a “vacation” for a few hours. Ice cold tropical drinks are irresistible in the hot summer months, and when you couple that with their difficulty to make at home you have a recipe for success.

Live Music

One thing that brings in customers regardless of what season it happens to be is entertainment, and live music is the king of that realm. Not only will you get most of your regular customers interested in coming to see the band, but usually the band will bring a small following to your bar as well to boost business. If you have the space and it is allowed by your local laws, you should try to have your music outdoors whenever possible. Not only will this combine the live music with an outdoor experience that customers crave, but it is also great marketing because people in the surrounding areas will hear the music and come to your bar to check it out.

Summer may be a slow time for the bar industry, but with proper planning and marketing you can still run a successful business. If you can key-in on what customers are interested in doing during the summer months, preparing your bar for success will be a much easier process.

End of Summer Party

Hosting the Perfect “End of Summer” Party

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Whether you’re looking to throw a party at your nightclub on Labor Day weekend or you are planning something closer to the Autumnal Equinox, it can be a huge opportunity to capitalize one last time on the lucrative summer months. Not only do things start returning to normal as soon as fall hits, but having the ability to go out and party start to diminish for the year as well. This means a huge groundswell of support and a jam-packed venue it you play your cards right. Here’s how you go about hosting the perfect “end of summer” party at your bar or nightclub.

Know the Crowd

The first thing you need to do in order to be successful is to know your crowd. This should be easy if you’ve been in business for long enough, but few times will it be as important to pay attention to as when you’re hosting a major event or party. When you know who you’re catering to, you can choose each aspect of the party accordingly to draw in the largest crowd possible.

Provide Entertainment

Food and drinks alone won’t fill your bar or nightclub during a competitive season like this; you’re going to need entertainment. At a minimum, you’ll need to hire a locally recognized band or DJ to get people in the door and boost the energy of your party. Not only that, but you should consider having other activities such as dart competitions or trivia games to help make it a bigger deal.

Great Drink Specials

Offering drink specials not only brings in more guests, but it can increase the size of each check. Make sure you have a great beer and cocktail special on the menu, and also consider crafting a special cocktail just for the party (even if it’s just a twist on an existing classic).

Charge a Cover

If you want your end of summer party to be profitable, you definitely want to charge a cover. Your customers are looking for an experience, so if you provide something fantastic they will always be willing to pay for it. We aren’t talking about a huge cover here; just something between $5 and $10 will do. You can even give them a drink ticket or two to offset the cost of admission, and then it is equivalent to having a two drink minimum policy.

Advertise

Lastly, you’ll need to advertise your end of summer party in order to get people in the doors. This is where the entertainment, games, and drink specials become so important because that’s what will generate buzz on social media. With the proper party elements in place and the right exposure, you can expect to see a pretty great turnout.

Overall, giving your customers what they want is more important than what you charge at the door. You’ll need a good mix of fun, entertainment, and good values at your end of summer party in order to be successful, but once you start hitting on all cylinders you can repeat the party every year with increased turnout and enthusiasm from your customers.

Summer Trends for Bars and Nightclubs

Summer Trends for Bars and Nightclubs

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Summer is historically not the best time of year for sales at a bar or nightclub because there is too much to do outdoors. Many people would rather sit around a fire in their backyard with inexpensive beer that they purchased at a liquor store and enjoy the beautiful weather than belly up to an indoor bar for expensive cocktails. Additionally, many people travel during the summer months which means that on any given weekend the pool of available patrons is much smaller than other times of the year. However, with careful marketing and the proper choice of activities, you can still pack your bar with plenty of customers that are ready to pay for a great experience. Here are some summer trends for bars and nightclubs that will help you keep your venue in the red until the much more lucrative fall and winter months arrive.

Summer Music Shows

With so many fun things that people can do at home on a budget, you need to really come up with enticing forms of entertainment that can’t be duplicated outside of a bar or nightclub. For dance and nightclubs that are staying with the latest trends, make sure you’re bringing in the best DJs and EDM (electronic dance music) performers possible. For neighborhood bars, try to bring in the best known cover bands in your area to draw in as much of the available crowd as possible.

Fun Summer Cocktails

You should constantly be evolving your selection of delicious cocktails at any bar or nightclub, and this is particularly true right now with such a strong emphasis on mixology. For a summertime treat that your guests will love, you should create some delicious cocktails that are refreshing after a hot day of work in the backyard based around fruit drinks like lemonade or pomegranate. You can also put these types of drinks on special to revive sales for cocktails such as long island iced teas or Lynchburg lemonades.

Utilize Outdoor Spaces

To make your venue more enticing, consider making use of whatever outdoor spaces you have available such as a patio. If your permit allows, you should setup a temporary service station outside so your customers can buy drinks right there and people passing by can see that there’s a lot of outdoor activity at your bar. This isn’t one of the newest marketing trends around, but it’s highly effective.

Themed Events

Themed events are another great way to bring in more business during the summer and are one of the hottest trends currently. Consider having a “beach party” event, a weekend dedicated to Caribbean cocktails and cuisine, or anything else people associate with a tropical adventure. Most people don’t get to experience these things on a daily basis, so it can be a great way to offer your customers a mini vacation right in their own town or city.

Increase Your Marketing Efforts

Whenever there are less people to attract to your bar or nightclub, the first thing you should do is make sure everyone knows what you’re offering. However you happen to advertise, you should consider ramping up those marketing efforts for your bar or nightclub to bring as many people into the venue as possible.

By offering great events and activities at your venue, you can keep your business profitable during the down summer months. Just make sure to cater to customers using the best summer trends for bars and nightclubs and people will be lining up around the block for a really great time.

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