By Nick Fosberg   |   March 28, 2012

Bar promotion ideas and marketing strategies should always incorporate the bottom line. The goal is profit. More people walking into the bar normally means more profit, but if you are operating with a very small margin or selling drinks at a loss, more customers are not necessarily a good thing. However, you want it to be a good thing. The key to a profitable bar is repeat customers, reduced cost, and a high margin. Below, you will find 4 ways to improve your bars bottom line while promoting your bar at the same time.

Look for Deals

Liquor purveyors are always trying to pawn off their overstock on unsuspecting bar owners. It doesn’t matter if you bought that case of pineapple-banana vodka at a significant discount if you have no plan to use it. Otherwise, it is just taking up space and collecting dust. Any bartender worth his salt can create a tasty cocktail from scratch. Use these deals as a way to generate new bar marketing ideas. Turn your bargain into high-margin cocktails and promote them. If you get a deal on fruit-infused rums, you can even run a tropical night and clear your entire inventory in one night!

Teach Your Bartenders How to Up-Sell

Better liquor makes for better drinks, and customers come back to the bar with the best drinks in town. Top shelf liquor also carries a higher margin than well liquor. Teach your bartenders how to up-sell. It’s not that difficult. When a customer asks for a gin and tonic, your bartenders shouldn’t automatically reach for the Aristocrat. Instead, they should ask, “Tanqueray, Beefeater, or Hendricks?” It’s as simple as that. If the patron replies, “Oh, I’ll just have well,” no big deal. Your bartender should pour his drink, but they should always be trying to push your top shelf liquors. Explain that higher checks equal higher tips.

Plan to Buy in Bulk

The great thing about liquor is it does not spoil, but you still get a discount for buying a large amount. Unlike your peers in the restaurant industry who need to worry about the fish going bad, you have an inventory that can last forever. Of course, you don’t want that to happen. You want it to go out the door. Create a rotating menu of specials that you cycle through each month and buy the ingredients to make these drinks in bulk. You’re saving money, increasing your margin, and promoting your bar at the same time.

Use Your Syrups

Bar marketing strategies should always include ways to maximize your profit. It is possible to save money, increase your margin, and promote your bar at the same time. It just takes a little creativity and planning. This is only one-way to market your bar; you will find many more bar marketing strategies throughout this website.For the cost, syrups are the best way to improve the margin on your cocktails. It’s easy to create a twisted margarita or highball. It’s a half jigger of syrup, but that half jigger of syrup just added 2 Dollars to the price of the drink. Now, you have a signature drink that promotes your bar and makes you money. Sit down with your bar staff a brainstorm a list of these profitable drinks and push them. They don’t even have to be specials. They can just be a bartender’s unique “signature” drink.


Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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