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Super Bowl 2018: Boosting your bar business

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Super Bowl 2018: Boosting your bar business

As game day approaches, Super Bowl excitement hits fever pitch and small businesses should be looking to leverage this energy to capitalise in the long run. We examine what independent bars can do to retain those new customers after the trophy’s been raised and the flags have come down.

An estimated 188.5 million people will be watching the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles with a projected total spend of $15.3 billion, an 8.5% increase on last years Super Bowl spend and the perfect opportunity for bar owners to cash in.

First impressions count

Super Bowl 2018: Boosting your bar business

Your die-hard fans maybe propping up the bar no matter what, but those flirting with football fever are unlikely to enter an establishment that looks unappealing or has a bad reputation. Ensure the entrance of your bar is clean and tidy, removing any weeds or trash from your frontage. Why not get into the Super Bowl spirit and decorate to advertise the fact you’re screening the game. Build on the excitement with a countdown timer in your window, or on external ad boards outside your premises.

Be prepared

Super Bowl 2018: Boosting your bar business

Sports events can conjure images of jeering crowds jostling for attention, waving cash at frantic bar staff who have run out ice/glasses/napkins. This is not the lasting image you want new customers to go away with. Running out of stock presents you as ill-prepared, it's unprofessional and results in customer disappointment. By utilising your POS inventory report you should be able to quickly identify if you have enough stock to see you through. Don't just think about your consumable stock, you still need to wash glasses and plate up food during the rush. Neglecting these items can cause bottlenecks in service and result in costly delays.

Customer service is key

Super Bowl 2018: Boosting your bar business

Customer service excellence is the aim at all times, as a single bad experience can lose you a customer for life. As a repeat customer is worth 10 times more than the value of their original transaction, losing customers through poor service is costly as well as careless. A quick and efficient service is paramount, especially in periods of high footfall. Get basic queue busting strategies in place before the big day. Is your POS system reactive and easy to use? Are your staff well trained on the system? Do they know they know food and drink standards? Are complimentary product items grouped together in an effective way? If you’re not confident, hold a meeting with your staff to run through procedures before the crowds descend.

Get sharing

Super Bowl 2018: Boosting your bar business

Don’t neglect social media as a means to drive business growth. Take some photos when the celebrations are in full swing and share them across your social media platforms. People are attracted to success and presenting your bar as a bustling hive of activity reinforces it as a great place to visit. It’s even more valuable if you can get your customers sharing. Encourage these behaviours by leaving props on tables, or set up a dedicated branded selfie area, all you need is a simple backdrop with your name and logo. When your customers 'check in' with your business or tag images with #SuperBowl, your audience reach is dramatically exstended.

Stay in touch

Super Bowl 2018: Boosting your bar business

Whether your patrons are drowning their sorrows or celebrating long into the night, if they’ve enjoyed the experience you’ve won a long-term customer. Why not take the opportunity to capture their details and stay in touch? 90% of adults in the US use email so this is the cheapest and most viable way of reaching out to your growing customer base. Offers, promotions and newsletters are can entice customers back during periods of slow footfall, so capturing their details now puts you in a good position later. Running a competition or sweepstake will encourage customers to leave their details. Even small prizes such as a pitcher of beer or a plate of nachos can be enough to incentivise drinkers to sign up.

The Super Bowl is a great opportunity for bar owners to capture a whole host of new customers, but it's by being a fantastic host offering quality products and services that will ensure you keep those customers visiting long after the final whistle is blown.


Erin Heenan

Erin joined Epos Now in 2016 as an in-house content writer for the marketing department, making use of 10 years experience working in busy restaurants. An avid fan of shopping and eating out, she is committed to helping retail and hospitality SMEs get the most out of their businesses.

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