Ideas for events at your
bar / restaurant / brewery
to increase foot traffic
First and foremost you should always understand who you are trying to target with each event – is it busy moms, singles, millennials or seniors? Second, is that the group you typically see around your establishment? If your target market consists of several groups, then don’t hesitate to switch it up and create several events so you can serve various needs of your diverse market.
Events are another way for cash to flow in and a great way to let people know about your establishment. People may have never heard about your locations, but thanks to events, they can learn about it. In addition, hosting events helps to create awareness thanks to word of mouth, social media, advertising, and more. Someone who normally would not visit your business might then be inclined to visit for the first time.
Let’s take a look at four categories with various options for events that can be organized to drive more traffic to your door and increase your establishment’s sales:
- When people go out and want to have a fun night with their friends or family, a great addition to that experience is live music. When a bar/brewery has a set night for a live musician to come and play songs, it often becomes a place where people want to hang out on regular bases. Whether it is a date night or just a night out, many people love listening to live music, and sometimes even request to hear one of their favorites.
- People love to laugh while drinking some wine or beer, so bring in a comedian to put on a show for your customers. Whether the comedian is well known or not, this will automatically increase foot traffic to your bar/brewery by adding an element of laughter and fun to your establishment’s name. A comedy show is a great way to bring in more customers and helps to increase your sales as people tend to stay around longer, thus order more.
Open mic nights
- So many people of all ages have talents that they just want to share with the world. Why not having an open mic night to bring in people from all over to share their talents with the rest of the customers at your establishment? Many truly enjoy to sing, do stand up comedy, or just show interesting talents that they may not normally get an opportunity to show. Besides attracting customers that want to perform, an event like this is always a good reason for customers that don’t want to take the stage to buy some beers, sit back, and enjoy the show.
Add a photo booth
- Depending on the style of your business, a photo booth could be a great addition to bring in a youthful crowd. Most customers, when having a great night, will want to remember it by taking some photos; a photo booth is a creative and fun way for them to do that and for your brand to stay on top of their minds.
Social Media Contest
- To increase awareness and your bar/brewery’s social media presence, put together a contest for the most likes on a photo or the most creative post about your bar/brewery with a gift card as a prize. This will increase publicity of your establishment and have people continually come with the hopes of winning a gift card to use at your business. Even if only 1 person wins, many people who have never heard and never been to your establishment will now know of it and be more likely to come by.
- Karaoke is a great way to have fun with your friends and create a memorable night. People love to sing together and will show up at your bar/brewery for a karaoke night to sing and drink with their friends. Especially with the younger millennial crowd, karaoke will attract so many people to spend their night on your premises!
Live Trivia/Bingo Nights
- Live trivia is something that many people love to partake in. Who wouldn’t want to go with friends to your bar/brewery, buy a bunch of drinks, and answer questions in hopes of winning a prize!? The trivia could either be themed about a TV show category or random; it doesn’t matter because even if people don’t know much about the topic, many still enjoy to drink and play just for fun. Same goes for bingo, the thrill of possibly winning something will bring anyone in and have them continue to buy drinks!
Season/holiday celebration events
- Why not celebrate the holidays or a brand new season at your bar/brewery? There are so many different holidays and seasons that will give an excuse for people to party, so get people to party at your establishment by making a themed event! An ugly sweater party during Christmas, New Year’s Eve celebration, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and others. There are many small and big holidays that provide you with a great reason to throw a party!
Special Tastings (Wine Tasting, brewery overtake tasting)
- If your bar/brewery is adding new beer or wine to your selection, why not kick off the night with a tasting of the new products to see people’s reactions. With customers purchasing different tastes of all different wines and beers offered, they will most definitely find a favorite and then continue to buy full glasses of that! This is a great way to self promote new drinks you are offering and also to see which drinks are popular and which don’t catch so well.
- There are always birthdays, bachelors parties or a company’s social events going on, so why not have those events at your establishment? Offer a certain amount for an open bar or possibly discounts on food and allure your customers to have their parties at your establishment. With many new people coming to these events, they will have a chance to try your drinks and food offered and then will then be more likely to come back in the future.
Special cuisine overtake (Regional or international)
- A themed cuisine night is another great excuse for people to come to your bar/brewery to drink beer and eat delicious types of food. Whether this is a country’s food style or a specific culture’s food, it will open people’s eyes to different places around the world, drive business, and encourage more customers to come back for more events like this. It is also a great opportunity for your establishment to gain visibility in front of different cultures in the area!
- Having a singles night can greatly increase the popularity and appeal of your bar/brewery. People are always trying to find someone to connect with and having a singles night would draw many of those people in. It will create an environment of hope, happiness, and love at your business and will bring many new customers in. And who knows, if two people meet at your event, they will always associate your establishment with the reason they are together and become regulars to relive the memories!
- Girls night out is always a fun time and will always result in your bar/brewery selling more drinks. When deciding where to have their ladies night, why not give them a great reason to come to your bar/brewery by having a special discount night just for ladies or special promo for groups? This will encourage them to bring more friends and promote them buying drinks all night long!
- If your establishment has a room in the back, many organizations are looking to have a nice meeting out, like a book club. Why not hosting those? They can set up in the back, go over their weekly read while drinking wine, cocktails or beers. Making this a regular thing will allow them to create a relationship with your business which can lead to them becoming regular customers. The organization might even become your ambassador. Not to mention that hosting events such as a book club guarantees you a certain amount of sales on a weekly or monthly bases.
- Whether it is sports themed for a big game or for the first/final episode of a TV show, a themed night will bring in fans to celebrate the moment. If there is a big game, everyone can wear jerseys for the game night. Patrons can also dress up like their favorite TV show characters as they watch an episode at your establishment.
- Nowadays life is all about networking and connections. Host a networking event at your bar/brewery to help the community around you find new work opportunities as well as bring customers into your establishment to talk over some drinks.
- Invite your regulars on their birthday by having them put down their information. They can come in, possibly get a free drink, and bring all their friends to start the celebration off right! This will really help your business turning them into your ambassadors.
Embrace Major Events in Your City/Town
- If the local city or town is in the playoffs of a sport, then cater to that by having many themed nights for the team at your business. If the city/town’s anniversary is coming up, celebrate the anniversary by having a special deal in honor of that. Simply, cater to whatever the locals feel passionate about and watch your sales grow!
- Partnering with a charity is a great way to give back to the community around you, and also a great way to drive customers to come to your bar/brewery for a special event. Reach out to a local charity and bring them in one night for a special fundraising event. This will not only boost your sales and increase the number of customers in but also help with your business’s image/positioning. You will attract many philanthropic customers and they will continue to come back knowing that your bar/brewery truly cares about the community.
Food Tasting Event
- Whether it is your own food or a special one-time thing, when people are foodies, food is always a great excuse to visit a bar or restaurant. If you don’t serve food, you could partner up with a new local restaurant or a catering company which want to get some more exposure.
Partner with a Microbrew for a Tap Event
- Are you looking to increase the number of craft beer lovers in your bar? Look into teaming up with a craft brewing company to have an event at your place. If they are unveiling a new beer or even a seasonal beer, look to see if they would be interested in having a tap event, where fans of their brewing company can come to see the first keg of that beer tapped.
Join a Bar/Brewery Crawl
- Why not reach out to other bars and breweries in the area and attempt to put together a crawl? While this will help your competitors, it will also greatly increase the amount of foot traffic to your business. (And hopefully, you can show them that your bar/brewery is the best!)
- Having an instagram takeover would help increase the social media awareness of your bar/brewery immensely. Invite some popular instagrammers to come for a night and each night one of them can take over your instagram account. This will give your bar/brewery a professional running your instagram, and they will know what the younger generation wants to see, increasing exposure and eventually customers!
Festivals, Tradeshows, and Others Can Be a Great Opportunity
- When there is a festival or convention going on in your location, host an event after the festival/convention is over for the day and advertise directly during the event. So once everyone attending the festival/convention leaves, the first thing in their mind is to come to your establishment to keep the night going by socializing over a few drinks.
Arts & Crafts
- Set up an arts and crafts night for families to bring their children and have a fun family night. You could also make this a fun date night for adults who want to come and sip on some drinks while making art decor for their homes.
Cooking classes (chef’s secrets)
- If your bar/brewery offers a great variety of food, you could offer a cooking class with your chef one night or afternoon. Mothers, fathers, and young millennials who love to cook would be dying to attend a class where they are taught different recipes to make that go well with certain beers, wines, and cocktails. People are always trying to entertain their friends or families and this would give them a great opportunity to buy a class with your chef.
- Painting is a great activity for couples or friends to partake in together. Hosting a small “sip & paint night” in part of your bar/brewery would be a great activity to increase the customers that come to your bar. This is a great way to involve drinking and eating at your bar with a fun activity such as painting. The customers will make a piece of art at your bar/brewery while sipping on drinks and then will forever have the piece of art in their home to remind them of the time at your establishment!
- Many people would love to learn how to create great cocktails to impress their guests or significant others. However, bartending classes are expensive and people don’t want to spend the time or money to learn how to make hundreds of drinks if they are not going to bartend professionally. Offering a one-night mixology class would bring in many young customers willing to pay for this fun event. People want to look cool around their friends and if they have the opportunity to buy a spot in a one night class and learn how to make one or two drinks well, they will take that opportunity. Each class could show how to make two specific drinks then people would not only buy a spot for one class but be very likely to take the class again in the future to learn how to make more drinks!
Beer education class
- Many people love beer, but only a few really know how it is made. Teach beer lovers how their favorite pilsner or IPA came to life, or why and how they are different. This is the perfect opportunity for people to come in and learn more about beers while tasting some new ones. Not only they will likely stay after the “class” to drink more (spend more $$) but also will be more likely to return.
Fitness (beer yoga), you can call it Brew Flow
- Beer and yoga may seem like an interesting combination, but in reality, it is a perfect one. People can either drink while they are doing their yoga or wait until after. Regardless it is a popular concept that is a great way to help your customers feel healthy while drinking some of their favorite beers.
- If your establishment is pet-friendly, or if you have an outside patio, host an event bringing pet lovers from all over to mingle over some drinks while their dogs play together. This would be a great way for people to meet and to show that your bar/brewery loves animals.
- If your establishment is children friendly, organize special events targeting parents with children to bring more traffic into your doors. You can have special activities for children such as decorating, painting, drawing, singing, treasure searching, dress up party, there are lots of opportunities for play!