Today I want to give you 4 profitable bar/restaurant promotions that will get new customers in your doors and get your existing excited about something new. To make your promotions a huge success, you really have to start thinking outside the box and doing something DIFFERENT than the competition.
If you are doing the same old stuff and your competition is doing the same old stuff, everyone is board. But what if you could be different, unique, with better, more value / fun driven promotions? Don’t you think that will get people to choose you over the competition?
Of course it will!
The Super Bowl is right around the corner, but will you be busy for it? If you live in a state that your team is in the Super Bowl, more than likely you’ll be busy no matter what you do. However, if you don’t, you could just have an average Sunday, especially if you’re not the #1 known sports bar in town.
Over the years it seems people are choosing house parties over going to the bar. So how do we combat that?
My favorite Super Bowl promotion is giving away a big screen TV. What I’ll do is go out and work with one of our sponsors and get them to pay half. We’ll get a 55” or 60” TV from Sam’s Club anywhere from $350 to $500.
The reason I like doing this is to “bribe” people to forget those house parties and instead have a chance to win a pretty big prize. Always remember what’s on people’s mind. “What’s in it for me?” That’s how they come to making decisions.
The way I promote our Super Bowl parties is through my email list, text list, and social media outlets. What I say within my marketing is I future pace the experience they’ll have coming to my bar vs going elsewhere and explain the value of the TV and what they could win. I also like to mention that if they are considering having a Super Bowl party of their own, the real cost behind that, all the clean up before and after.
If you’re more of a restaurant and can’t do much to drive football traffic in-house, focus on catering people’s parties. What I like to do is put together a take-out/delivery package. Now if you don’t have delivery in your area, you can always do to go orders.
Example: Put together a package of wings, pizzas, and pop for a specific price. Come up with different options for 10-20-30 or more people.
When promoting this, focus again on the clean up, time to prep and cook. Future pace and express how simple it would be for them to cater from you and how simple the clean up is. This is what persuades people. Why? Because it gives them a better alternative! That’s what marketing is about!
February 4th is Thank A Mail Man Day and I really went outside the box on this one! Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to necessarily be done on February 4th, so you can plan it for any time during the month of February.
Reach out to your local post office to find out who is in charge. Then tell them that you know February 4th is National Thank A Mailman Day and you would like to do something special for the entire office because of how hard they work and the amount of service they put in. Tell them you would like to give the whole office a afterwork party with free food.
When we did this, it resulted in about 30 to 40 people coming in for the party. I don’t remember exactly what their total spend was on the overall party but I do remember everyone had at least two drinks, some many more. So even though we did give them free food that costs us around $4 a person, they were still in there spending money.
Besides spending money, another great thing about this was that we had new faces that have never been in there before. A few of these new faces became repeat customers who come in for lunch and dinner at least once a week.
Think about lifetime value and not first time sale. It doesn’t hurt to sometimes give away some free food to win over long term business.
The head person in charge was so impressed with the party and their experience, they now book their Christmas party with us every year. And because of that, we still continue to book the free “Thank A Mailman” party each year.
The free food for that party has paid for itself over and over and over again. It’s amazing how much you can get back when you give out a little free food.
Send a card to a friend day is the 7th.
This is the perfect opportunity to send to an email to your e-mail list. I’m huge on e-mail marketing because it brings an average of 3800% ROI – according to the direct marketing association. It flat out works when you know how to use it right.
Here’s what to do. Send an email and say “Hey its Send A Card Day To A Friend Day and I just wanted to send you an email to say thank you for being such a great customer because I don’t have your mailing address.”
Within this email, you could also give them some type of offer as your thank you.
Do you think your competition is doing anything NICE like this? NO! Be different. Be unique. CARE about your customers and SHOW it. You’ll notice a different in their loyalty to you!
National pizza day is on the 9th of February. There are a few different things you can do with this. If you really want to be different, crazy, unique, a pizza eating competition is the way to go!
Our past pizza eating competitions usually brought in about 50 to 60 people and we’d do this on a Monday or Tuesday when we needed to increase sales.
Here’s how we ran the promotion. We would look for 15 different guys or girls who would want to be in on the competition. We did a medium cheese pizza and whoever could eat it the fastest.
Each person paid $5 to enter which covered our food costs and showed their commitment to showing up.
Next, we would set up a table where most of the bar / tables could see everyone and we’d do groups of 5. This way the promotion wasn’t over in a matter of 10 minutes. Whoever had the best time, won a trophy, bragging rights, and 10 free pizzas!
If you don’t serve pizza, don’t worry. You can always partner with the pizzeria that’s very close to you. Make a deal with them to get your pizza at cost. $5 for what they pay to get in.
Why would they do this? Because you’ll include them in all the marketing! They get the exposure. They get new people trying their food. And it doesn’t cost them a dime because you’re at least covering the food costs.
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.