Bar Marketing Ideas

Running a bar or restaurant can be a profitable venture, but if the marketing and bar promotions are not properly done, establishments can go out of business in a few short years. Bars and restaurants are in a very competitive marketplace and need to find bar marketing ideas that will differentiate them from their competition.

While running a bar can be fun, it remains a constant challenge to deliver the best bar promotions that will create a solid customer base and delivers repeat business. Marketing can be as simple as word of mouth or done with strong, financial backing to reach more people. Either way, bar marketing ideas must be a priority to attract new customers.

Get new customers with fresh bar marketing ideas

Social Media Contests:

Contests are a great way to get people interested in your bar, and you can easily use social media to maximize interest. A few ideas for social media contests are:

  • Ask customers to post a photo of themselves hanging out at your bar on Facebook, and encourage people to vote for their favorites.
  • Offer up some freebies or discounts for customers who check in on Foursquare or Facebook.
  • Using Foursquare, Facebook or Twitter, turn each check-in or tweet into a contest entry. Select one winner to be your Customer of the Month.

Sponsor Community Teams:

Find local sports teams and offer to sponsor them by paying for their jerseys, which will include your bar’s name on it. Agree to meet them at your bar after each of their games. Include some food and drink specials to keep the group happy.

Often, these teams will come back on their off days with friends, and they become new customers for you.

Guest Bartenders:

This bar promotion is simple. You can find either local celebrities (radio and television personalities, DJs, high school and college coaches, etc.) or pick a guest bartender among your friends or regular customers. You might want to run a simple bar-training course prior to the event.

Guest bartenders will bring their friends to come see them work. And if you use a local celebrity, you could attract some press coverage for your bar.

Promoting the Community:

Bar promotions are about the community. Show off what local businesses have to offer by hosting a Community Night. First, ask area businesses to see if they would be interested in coming together and hosting a Community Business Night at your bar. Each business would have an area set up to display their store’s product.

Happy Hour Promotions:

Obviously, Happy Hour isn’t literally an hour long. In fact, it’s as long as you need it to be to get customers in during lull periods. You can put a new twist on this bar promotion with a “Five-Minute Happy Hour,” when you have discounts for five minutes at various points of the evening, announced only by the surprising ring of a bell.

To increase sales during slow hours, Happy Hour will attract customers who might not otherwise try your bar or restaurant. Itt’s a great way to showcase your appetizers and drinks at a good value. Keep in mind, discounting food and drinks during Happy Hour takes major consideration. If discounted items do not already have a high margin, you could end up losing money.

Remember you can use Happy Hour to help attract a specific market during a certain time. For example, you can target business people getting off from work or a group of Sunday NFL fans.

Create Signature Drinks:

Creating a signature drink is an important bar promotion to help develop a unique identity for your bar. Putting your own spin on your drink menu gives customers a special reason to visit your bar instead of the one down the street.

In order to make great signature drinks, you need to make sure those drinks taste good and have a high perceived value. The goal is to gain recognition for a unique offering that gets people coming back to your place to try it.

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