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Ideas for Running and Promoting a Bar

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I need advice on how to manage a new bar for guys. There is a turn out. I really love my town and need to make the people here happy.


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December 26, 20080 found this helpful

How about making a drink of the week. Try new cocktails at good prices. There are some neat drink like Oreo Cookie, creamsicle that people never try but if it is the drink of the week. Also make sure bar is clean nothing worse than going into a gross bar.

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December 27, 20080 found this helpful

Try to get the local newspaper to do an article about you, also try to get your local TV and radio stations to interview you.

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December 27, 20080 found this helpful

Check out "Duct Tape Marketing" on the web for lots of ideas about how to promote your small business - Also Guerilla Marketing is a great book

It's marketing, marketing, markting & most ideas just require ingenuity and energy. Good luck.

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December 27, 20080 found this helpful

When I think "GUYS", I think SPORTS (& guys also want gals around). So I'd make sure you have at least 3 or 4 HUGE big-screen plasma or projection TV's for watching the game. Then I'd always have fairly-good free hors d'oeuvres during dinnertime for happy hour for the guys that are starving after work (real food, like baby franks in sauce or mini meatballs & some kind of potatoes etc)... Also, if you can hand out free chips of some kind then of course that makes people thirsty & also helps bring in customers. (We all like Mexican restaurant bars because of the free chips & salsa!) I think the free food (from 5 - 7PM) on weekdays & the free chips along with at least one or more large plasma screen TV's will easily pay for itself. Then, all you'll need to do is bring in the Ladies so the men will stay happy!

Will your state allow for a "Ladies Night"? If so, then that's another idea! You could also have a Ladies Margarita night, most ladies like Margaritas especially if they're discounted or half price!

Another thing to think about: If you have a big enough parking lot, Bikers tend to be VERY loyal to their bars. I remember when I went with a biker for over 3 years, back in the 90's, & as you most likely already know, bikers these days are not like the old days. They're not like Hells Angles or Banditos or bike-club bikers! ...To afford a Harley these days is NOT cheap! These guys may look like "Bikers" but their day job is most likely a Doctor, Lawyer, Judge, or Airline Pilot, because that's the sort of money it takes to afford to buy a Harley!

I remember many a time when we'd ride down to Seattle & the guy who owned the club we were going to (who was parked in the front) would move his car, just so the bikers would park in front. He did this for several reasons: One was that we as a group always spent quite a lot of money, but the other reason was that everyone likes to ogle & look at a nice Harley, just as you'll like to look at a classic car. You could have your bar be a stopping place for a bike-run... This would introduce your bar to bikers (& don't think with prejudices! Just because people dress in leather & grow a beard, does not mean they are bad or nasty people!)

* There's a bar in Seattle that has a free Taco Bar every Thursday in the late spring & summer & this brings in Bikers from as far as 90 miles away. Every Thursday ("Taco-Thursday") The whole street is full of every type of Harley imaginable & I'm not talking about 50 to 60 bikes, I'm talking about 300 PLUS! & they are all going to this one bar for free tacos! And, let me tell you, it's a blast!

Karaoke Night is also a great idea!

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December 29, 20080 found this helpful

Seriously consider a NO PERSONAL CHECKS policy! We have had to start declining checks due to bad check processing fees. People will need a lot of signs to be aware of this one rule but it will pay off for you in the long run. (Permanent lettering on the door) The key to a good bar is a good bartender/waitress! Someone personable, and friendly, with a trustworthy background! Stealing from the bar, for staff, is too easy! Remember, one attribute DOES NOT make up for the lack of another! Find someone who will help make your bar a profit just by being there.

Also, train your people, and be a good boss. They need to know of their responsibility to the law to protect themselves and the bar.

Have a "BARRED" list, where it takes two strikes and your out, for people who cause trouble. We do a 30 day suspension for the first fight/offense, and barred for life on the second fight/offense. Keeps Johnny Law happy and other customers too!

We also use larger glasses for mixed drinks and do a shot and a half pour, charging mid-price prices. That is all about appearance, and giving the customer a good deal, and keeping your bartender busy but not too busy to attend other customers.

Have a recipe book on hand and see to it that the bartender knows a few of the popular recipes. They will be asked to suggest something good, and should have something memorized. If they ask what the customer usually has and they say, Harvey Wallbanger, a good bartender will know what's in it and can suggest other drinks based on ingredients.

Another thing I can't stress enough is cleanliness! CLEAN IT! The type of customer that doesn't mind the nasty bathroom, is NOT the type that will help promote your business. Good Luck!

P.S. I am taking with me the advice to offer new bands a chance to play for free entertainment, but will need to hear a recorded sample first! Bad bands will ruin the atmosphere and drive even your most devout customers out the door!

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January 4, 20090 found this helpful

It's a lot of basic stuff now but it should get more and more detailed as the year goes on

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January 5, 20090 found this helpful

Why is it only for guys?

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January 20, 20090 found this helpful

I own a bar on long island if you'd like email me at the2ndwiseman AT and compare ideas I'm trying to bring in a new customer base after 25 years.

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February 11, 20090 found this helpful

I have bartended for 13 years in small pubs on the Gulf Coast in Florida. With the constant pouring-in of tourists, locals night is big around here. Happy hour drink prices all night and bucket beer specials. $10 for a bucket of 5 domestic long necks. Also, talk to managers of local hotels. S.I.N. (service industry night) is usually for other bartenders/wait staff in town, but you can include ppl that work for the hotels and they will be happy to promote your bar. Also, have a 'second drink is free' promo for people who have a receipt from the local hotels.

Funny movie night is great for Thursdays here. Thurs is dart league night so half of our bar is taken up for darts, but you can put a tv on the other side and show a movie... beats watching the CNN ticker when there's not a game on. Poker night, beer pong, open mic... all of these are fun and bring in different crowds.

Sundays are good for $2 plate day, cook some easy foods, have regulars bring in pot luck stuff and BBQ. Have a special food price for people on bikes. Our Harley group rides every Sunday and the boys love to have some kind of special for them. I wouldn't do a drink special for bikers, you don't want to promote drinking and riding, but food is always a plus to someone on an all day ride. Hope this was of some help, Good Luck!

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February 16, 20090 found this helpful


I run a large bar in Spain and my hardest task was increasing daytime revenue. For the past year we have offered a $2 deal from 10am till 6pm which includes a coffee and free brandy. We get a very cheap brandy but tastes good and this goes down a storm, the profit might not be great but customers come back at night time when drinks are full price, good promoting by your staff in the day can increase revenue at night, we also offer a loyalty card, we give customers a small card (Branded) and we stamp it every time they buy a drink, collect 9 stamps and they get a free drink to the value of $6. they collect stamps day or night sometimes they fill it in a day and other times over a week... but they come back that's for sure! Have a look at our website for more ideas.

regards mark

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