9 Bar Promotions That Work

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9 Bar Promotions That Work

As a bar owner, you’re always looking for innovative promotional ideas. These bar promotions keep things exciting for your customers. This keeps them coming back and allows your bar or pub to be profitable. (That’s the reason you went into business for yourself, after all!) We’ve gathered some popular bar promotions that could spice things up at your business. These bar and pub promotions are proven successes, and they don’t cost much or require a lot of time to do. Are they the best bar promotions of all time? You’ll never know unless you try them at your business!

Here are some popular bar promotions that are sure to boost your bottom line:

  1. Shot/Shooter Paddles

Do you have shooter paddles at your bar? These simple wooden devices let two or more people do shots (aka shooters) at once. People having a good time will happily buy more drinks just to down them with one of these devices. You really don’t need another reason to have at least one in your bar. The best thing about shot paddles is that you can make them yourself with some wood and a few tools. If being handy isn’t your thing, you can buy a paddle, which tend to be affordable.

  1. Theme Cocktails

As a bar owner, you know that holidays and special events are busy times at your business.  You’ll increase profits with signature cocktails for Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.  These unique drinks add fun and flavor to the celebrations at your bar.  For the best concoctions, consult with your bartender and search for delicious and creative drink recipes online.  You’d be surprised at how many great drink recipes there are out there!

  1. Food & Drink Combos

Discounting alcohol isn’t always a great business move.  You could lose your shirt offering cheap drinks to your customers.  Some states and territories have ordinances on how much you can discount alcohol.  If you serve food, try offering a discount on that instead.  For example, your customers could get cheap tacos or wings when they order a pitcher of beer.  Many bar owners have success with appetizer discounts and drink specials during happy hour.  Give it a try and see how it goes!

  1. Offer “Sports Specials”

Showing sporting events in your bar is an excellent way to attract customers who’ll hang around for a while and buy more food and drinks.  (We call this “beer math.”)  These folks are tend to order more food and drinks while they’re there.  Games and sporting events are a great time to offer food and drink specials, such as discounts on wings and various drink specials.  You have to have a way to offer these games and events at your bar, of course.

  1. Specials Shots and Shooters

Here’s a great bar promotion: create new shots, aka shooters.  This is easy for any bar owner to do, and it introduces your customers to new and exciting drinks.  Just come up with a different shot/shooter for the day and offer it at a slight discount.  There are tons of shot formulas online waiting to be discovered by bar owners willing to try something new.  Here are some easy shot recipes you can make using equal parts of each ingredient:

  • Purple Haze: blue curacao, vodka, grenadine, and lemon-lime soda
  • Sicilian Kiss: Southern Comfort and amaretto
  • Three Wise Men: Johnnie Walker Scotch, Jim Beam bourbon, and Jack Daniel’s whiskey
  • Cement Mixer: Bailey’s Irish Cream and lime cordial
  • Bazooka Joe: banana liqueur, blue curacao and Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Banana Jack – Jack Daniel’s and banana liqueur
  • Broken Down Golf Cart: vodka, amaretto, and melon liqueur

These are just some of the many exciting drink recipes you can find online.  Start out with a few that you already have the ingredients to make.  As your shot/shooter of the day gains popularity, you can always add new shots, and the ingredients to make them, to your drink menu.

  1. Beers of the World

Do you serve a variety of import beers?  If so, you can host a “beers of the world” promotion.  (Some bar owners call it the “around the world” promotions.)  The idea here is to get your customers to try a different bottle of imported beer each time they come to your bar.  You can make it fun and challenging by offering a punch card or app that tracks their progress.  Offer a fun prize to everyone who completes your bar’s worldwide tour of beer.

  1. Sponsor Local Sports Teams

Whether its softball, bowling, or any other sport is a great way to promote your bar.  In most cases, you will be asked to pay for the team’s shirts, jerseys, or uniforms.  To make this worth your while, offer to do this under these two conditions:

  1. Your bar’s name/logo is featured on the team’s uniform.
  2. The team agrees to meet at your bar after each game.

While your team is at your bar, offer some type of food and drink specials just for them.  This keeps them happy and it encourages them to bring their friends with them.  This means more customers for you!

  1. Jello Shot Syringes

These novelty drinks are a great way to create excitement and boost your bar’s bottom line.  First of all, bar patrons love Jello syringes and shots.  Secondly, the special syringes are rather affordable, and the Jello shots are easy to make.  It’s not uncommon for people to come back week after week until they’ve tried every flavor.  Do you really need another reason to start offering Jello syringes/shots at your bar?

Here’s how to make Jello shots or Jello syringes in five easy steps:

  1. Pour eight ounces of alcohol into a shaker glass that contains ice.
  2. Pour Jello into an empty pitcher and add eight ounces (1 cup) of boiling water. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Pour the chilled alcohol and ice into the pitcher, and stir until ice melts and mixture becomes room temperature.
  4. Pour contents into Jello shot cups or suck up into shot syringes.
  5. Put the Jello shots/syringes in the refrigerator and let them cool for about two hours.

Bonus Tip: Get DIRECTV for Your Bar or Pub

Do you want happy customers who come back to your bar on a regular basis?  Of course you do!  To make this happen, you need DIRECTV.  This satellite TV service offers a variety of programming.  Bar owners love the sports packages that deliver the most in- and out-of-market games.  One of these will get people to stay longer, order more food and drinks, and spend more money.   As an AT&T Preferred Dealer, Signal Connect helps with everything a bar owner needs to get a commercial DIRECTV account. To learn more about this process, give us a call at 866-726-4182

Enjoy These Top Bar Promotions!

To make these bar promotions profitable, make sure to use the right ones for your business.  A clever bar owner such as yourself will know which ideas will work best, and how to tweak each for maximum effect.  Have fun with these promotional ideas, and be sure to read the follow up to this post: Six Fun Bar Games and Contests.  This is more helpful tips and information that we’ve gathered to help bar owners like you.  Plus, these bar contests tie in to all of the bar promotions ideas we shared here.