Events to Increase Foot Traffic At Your Restaurant, Bar, or Brewery
How Can You Use Events to Get More People Through Your Doors?
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, don’t hesitate to switch it up and create several events so you can serve the 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. Thanks to events, they can learn about it. Also, hosting events helps 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 you can organize to drive more traffic to your door and increase your establishment’s sales:
A great addition to any night out 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 regularly. 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
Many people of all ages have talents that they want to share with the world. Why not have 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 singing, doing stand-up comedy, or just showing interesting talents that they may not normally get an opportunity to share. 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 the 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.
If your venue has the space, a real competition can be a great way to engage with your customers. A poker tournament doesn’t necessarily require too much set up unless you want a particularly high-end table. Once you have what you need, you can leverage the tournament to boost your marketing presence. Invite anyone and everyone to sign up for a spot and compete over the series of a few days. For the winner, you can offer a reward of a high-value gift card for your establishment, or free drinks for a week, etc.
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 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 around a TV show or random. It doesn’t matter because even if people don’t know much about the topic, many still enjoy drinking and playing just for fun. The 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 people an excuse to party, so get people to party at your establishment by making a themed event! Think – an ugly sweater party during Christmas, New Year’s Eve celebration, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and more. Many small and big holidays 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 the wines and beers offered, they will find a favorite and continue to buy full glasses of it! This is a great way to self-promote the new drinks you are offering. It will also help you learn which drinks are popular and which don’t catch so well.
There are always birthdays, bachelor 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 are 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 across 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 increase the popularity and appeal of your bar/brewery. People are always trying to find someone to connect with, so have a singles night to draw in many people. It will create an environment of hope, happiness, and love at your business. 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 a special promo for groups? This will encourage them to bring more friends and promote them to buy drinks all night long!
Many organizations are looking to have a nice meeting out, like a book club. If your establishment has a room in the back, why not host these? 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 basis.
Whether it is sports-themed for a big game or the first/final episode of a TV show, a themed night will bring 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 and 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 help your business turning them into your ambassadors.
Embrace Major Events in Your City/Town
If the local city or town team is in the playoffs, 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. It’s 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 boost your sales, increase the number of customers, and help with your business’ 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 food or a one-time thing, food is always a great reason for people 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 that wants 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 increase 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!
Host the Afterparty
When a festival or convention is 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 you teach them 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 an 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 number of 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 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 be very likely to take the class 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. It is the perfect opportunity for people to come in and learn more about beers while tasting some new ones. Not only will they likely stay after the “class” to drink more (spend more $), but also, they 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 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 playing!
Best of luck with your next event! And if you liked our tips, don’t forget to share them with your community!