By Nick Fosberg   |   June 12, 2011

Three Rules to Increasing Bar Owner Profits

No question about it, drink sales are the number one profit maker in the bar industry. When the bar is full, the drinks are flowing, and the crowd is having a great time…you have nailed the recipe for a profitable bar business right on the head. If this sounds like you, then you already know the three ways to increase bars sales. However, if your revenue stream is merely a trickle, then read on about how to ramp up sales, increase profits, and keep your ideal customers coming through your door.

Rule #1 – Keep your Existing Customers Happy

This is the easiest, but often overlooked avenue of keeping your business profitable and successful. It has been proven over and over again that it is much more profitable to keep your current customers happy than try to find and market to new customers. Find out what makes your customers tick and they will return to your bar…bringing their friends with them! Talk to your customers, collect their contact information so you can let them know about specials or upcoming events at your bar.

Want to keep your customers from wandering off to a competitor? Start a loyalty program so customers will return to reap the awards. Loyalty programs are quick to initiate and bring an incredible return on your investment. Send emails and text messages about hot deals that are happening right now. Most importantly, get personal with your clientele, put a name to a familiar face, and make them feel welcome.

Rule #2. Get New Customers to Come in the Door

With the above being said about keeping current customers happy, there is still a need for new customers to come through the door. Even though your existing customers are happy as clams, you will eventually lose some loyal customers due to relocating, etc. To get new customers into your establishment, you must figure out who the ideal customer would be. Where do they live, what are their occupations, income levels, and interests? Target that group of people and send a personalized mailing/postcard making an offer they can’t refuse to come into your bar.

The great thing about getting a new customer into your bar is they typically don’t come alone! A customer wanting to check out a special at your bar will bring friends or work colleagues to check it out with them. Make sure they get tremendous customer service and offer them your loyalty program before the end of the evening!

Rule #3 – Increase the Value of Each Transaction (OR…What’s in it for the customer?)

If you are successfully retaining your customers and having new ones come through the door, what else is there? You can increase the value of what your customers are getting. Everyone loves a good deal, a great bargain, discount… you name it. For example, offer a 10% discount off a $100 tab or offer a special where the women get one free drink with the purchase of one drink. This gives the customer a sense of satisfaction that they received a good deal when coming to your establishment. If the customer feels good about the experience they had at your bar, they inevitably return.

Think outside the box with innovative ways to increase the value of your offers. Keep your current customers happy and bring new ones in the door. The best part is, you don’t have to break the bank with any of the rules mentioned above. Take the focus away from yourself (what’s in it for me?) and put yourself in the customer’s shoes (what’s in it for them?) What needs aren’t being met and what can you offer that competitors are not offering. Create an experience that will turn customers into loyal customers.

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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