25 Creative Bar Promotion Ideas for More Midweek Revenue
As many bar owners know, the weekend is usually the time when bar business thrives. However, there is great potential for bars to make more revenue during midweek.
The key is in the marketing and promotion, and to stand out from the competition, the more creative the marketing the better. In this article, we will go over 25 of the best bar marketing ideas, so your business can rake in profit every day of the week.
25 Creative Bar and Restaurant Marketing Ideas
1. Live Music
Hosting events like live music can be a huge pull for new customers and loyal customers alike. While many people may not have the motivation or desire to go drinking or eating at a bar during the week, live music provides the perfect excuse for people to go out and have fun during the work week.
One great idea is for your business to designate specific days of the week for the type of music that you will be hosting at your bar. For example, your bar might host jazz on Tuesdays and folk music on Thursdays.
This way your customers will know what type of music to expect and can organize their week with the idea of going to your bar in mind. Of course, hosting live music is not enough to get people into your bar. Just as important as booking the band is making sure that people know about the event.
Social media is a great way to keep people informed of what is going on at your bar. Local businesses can really benefit from an active and engaging social media presence, and bars are no exception.
But beyond social media, one of the best ways to inform people of the events happening at your bar is through promotion inside of your bar. For in-store event promotion, there is probably no better tool at your disposal than digital signage.
With your digital signage solution from Loop TV, you can display a list of bar events on screens that everyone in the bar will see. So, people who might have only thought of going to your bar on weekends will see that there is tons of fun to be had in your establishment on weekdays as well.
2. Stand-Up Comedy
Bar owners do not need to limit the type of entertainment they have at their bars to just one type. In fact, offering a wide range of different events is a great way to appeal to a broad customer base.
Stand-Up comedy nights are one of the best ways to get customers into your bar during the work week. There are usually not many bars that offer stand up comedy entertainment in any given area, so hosting stand up comedy nights is a great way to draw new customers to your bar and create loyal customers.
As with live music, using digital signage for bars to promote your stand up comedy events is a highly effective way to get people coming to your bar in droves.
3. College Nights
If your bar is located near a college or university, and college students are one of your core demographics then hosting college nights during the week is a great way to draw foot traffic to your bar during the week.
College students are often looking for a place to blow off steam and have fun after classes, and there are many people who do not want to limit their partying to the weekends. Moreover, there might be no other demographic that likes a good deal on alcoholic beverages than college students.
College nights, where you offer discounts to students who can show their student IDs, can be a great way to capture this demographic and ensure that business is booming during the week.
4. Happy Hour (with food and drinks!)
Happy hour is certainly a familiar concept to all bar owners, and for most bars, happy hours are an integral part of their marketing strategy.
However, many bars limit the deals they offer during happy hour to drink specials alone, and while this might be perfectly fine for the weekends (when people are going out late anyways), adding bar food deals to your happy hour during the week can be a huge pull for customers.
When you offer happy hour deals on food and drinks during the week, many people will come to the bar after work to have dinner with friends. Offering drinks and food drink deals for happy hour is a great way to stand out from the competition, and many people will choose your bar over others for precisely this reason.
5. Trivia Night
One event that is a part of the marketing plan for many bars is trivia night. But just because many bars host trivia night does not mean that you should not take advantage of this kind of event.
One of the great things about trivia night is that it has the potential to draw many people to your bar. People usually do not go to trivia night alone. Instead, people will often go to a bar for trivia night with a group of friends, since this will mean that they already have their team put together.
To ensure that people are invested in your trivia night, it's a good idea to have a prize that is offered to the winning team. There are tons of prize options but one of the best is certainly free drinks or food. That customers may spend money on drinks and food in their pursuit of a prize of free food is just a plus!
In addition to over 200 channels of premium music and non-music content, Loop TV also offers several streaming trivia games in a variety of categories. Since Loop TV is completely free to businesses, this is a free and hassle-free way to add a trivia night into your business.
6. Live Sports
A great way to get people into your bar is to play important sports events on your televisions. This is the case whether your bar is a sports bar or not. One of the great things about playing sports on your screens is that sporting events often take place during the week.
7. Beer Pong Tournament
Beer pong is a popular drinking game, and hosting tournaments for bar games like beer pong is a great way to get people interested in coming to your bar during the week. When it comes to beer pong, people are usually eager to show off their skills, so coming out on a weekday to face off against other people who love the game will be very attractive to many.
8. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to boost business on both weekends and weekdays. By establishing a loyalty program, your regular customers will be that much more motivated to come to your business during the week. You can even have special offers for loyalty program members during the week.
This can make becoming a loyalty program member more attractive and increase the amount of customers coming to your bar during the week because everyone loves a good deal (especially if only certain people have access to the deal).
9. Branded Merchandise
A great way to make some extra revenue is to offer branded merchandise like t-shirts for customers to buy. Bar regulars will often be happy to sport the shirt of their favorite bar.
Moreover, this is a great way to let customers do the marketing for you, as more people will be exposed to your brand as customers wear the shirt around.
One great way to encourage customers to purchase merchandise is by offering a special deal to customers who come into the bar wearing branded merchandise.
10. Exclusive Events for Yelp Elite Squad Members
Yelp is a trusted resource for reviews of restaurants and bars. Yelp also has a group of reviewers known as the Elite Squad that post frequent and high-quality updates.
Host an exclusive Elite Squad event and invite Yelp super users to try your menu and drinks. Positive opinions from members of the Elite Squad mean more to people researching your bar.
11. Digital Signage for Social Media Engagement
One of the best uses of digital signage in a bar environment is to highlight your social media pages. With digital signage, you can show real time social media updates, so customers can see that your bar is sharing interesting and engaging content.
This will make more people follow your accounts, which opens up more paths for marketing.You can also encourage customer engagement by getting customers to post about your bar on their social media accounts using hashtags.
For example, you could give a customer 10% off a specialty drink for a post on their social media account. This can encourage word of mouth marketing, which can be highly beneficial for brand awareness.
12. Karaoke Night
Hosting karaoke nights is a great bar marketing idea. People love to sing, and often people will go with groups of friends to participate. If you can establish your karaoke night as one of the best in the area, this can draw in a lot of business (and a lot of drink sales).
13. Open Night Mic
Hosting an open mic night is a great way to support local artists and musicians, while also drawing a crowd to your bar during the week. Many people want a place to showcase their talents, and they will be very happy if your bar can serve as a place for them to do just that.
Moreover, people who plan to perform at open mic nights often invite their friends to come watch. Many people make friends and form connections at open night mics, and it will be at your bar that those connections were formed. This is a great way to foster loyal customers.
14. Theme Nights
People can get really excited for theme nights. There is just something that is so fun about getting dressed up to go drink with friends. That is why many people will come to your bar during the work week for a theme night when they otherwise might have stayed home.
15. Ladies Night
Having a night where ladies get drink deals is a great way to increase foot traffic during a weekday. There are many ladies who simply want to go out and have fun with their girlfriends, and a ladies night is the perfect excuse.
16. Encourage Customers to Suggest Events
You can increase customer engagement by opening a channel for customers to suggest event ideas. This can be done on social media or through interactive digital signage. In addition to event ideas, you can have polls where people vote to choose which local acts that fit the event idea your bar will host.
17. Free Cups
People love free stuff, even when the cost of the item is already factored in. Offer a free logo branded cup with the first pour, and if guests bring it back, they can receive $1 off drinks poured into that cup. Even when they aren’t in the bar, they’ll still be sporting your logo in their kitchen cabinets.
18. Board Games
People do not always want to party on a weekday, but that does not mean that your bar should not be a great option. With board game nights, you create a lowkey vibe in your space for people to have fun and meet new people.
19. Business Card Drawing
The business cards in a fishbowl is a classic promotion that many businesses use. Encourage visitors to drop a business card in the drawing where the winner will receive a gift card to your bar. Many people from the same local business may come in as a team, and you can allow them all to put their business cards in the fishbowl. This is a great way to capture the after-work crowd.
20. Highlight Local Breweries
Breweries are very popular right now, and people love to get a taste of the local flavor.
While you might not always have a huge selection of local beers on tap, you can host special nights where you get beers from multiple local breweries (or many different beers from the same brewery). Many potential customers will jump at a chance to find their favorite beers (or discover new favorite beers) at your establishment.
21. Pop-Up and Food Truck Event
This is a great option for the summer. If you have the space, you can invite many of your local food truck businesses to come to your establishment. People will love all the food options (and will likely buy drinks from your bar menu) on a summer night.
22. Gift Cards
Gift cards are a marketing tactic that has stood the test of time. Offer gift cards for people to buy their friends and family, and you might find yourself with many new customers.
23. Decorate for the Holidays
Many bars will put some decorations up for the holidays, but you can make your bar stand out by taking holiday decoration seriously. For holidays like Halloween, deck out your interiors with lights, wall decorations, spider webs, and anything else you can think of.
24. Partner with Visitor Centers
Most cities have a Visitors Center that helps guests find what’s unique about a town. Reach out to your local Visitors Center and offer a coupon or discount to guests that hear about you from the information staff.
25. Email Marketing
While much of the digital marketing has shifted to social media platforms, your bar should not neglect the classic email marketing strategy. If your demographic is a bit on the older side, you should make sure that your customers can keep updated about the happenings at your bar through email.
Beat the Mid-Week Blues
Business owners of bars need not fret the weekdays. Week-day customers can be a huge source of revenue for your bar. If you put on great events and use a variety of creative marketing techniques, the mid-week blues can be a thing of the past.