“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…”
One of the keys to turning one time, walk-in customers into loyal, repeat customers is the interior of your bar. People want to frequent a bar where they feel comfortable, and the design and ambiance of a bar is the key to creating that feeling of hominess and comfort. It is amazing what the right type of furniture, the right lighting, even the right type of bar glasses can do for your bar business. That is why it is important to consider the look and feel of your bar as part of your overall bar marketing strategy. Don’t just grab bar stools and laminate tables at auction. Select stools, tables, chairs, posters, and paintings that will add to the “feel” that you want to create in your bar.
So, how do you go about creating an atmosphere? Well, unless you know interior design, the best way to achieve the look and feel you want in your bar design is to hire a professional to handle that for you. Many bar owners balk at hiring an interior designer to help build or rehab their bars, but why hesitate? You hired a real estate agent to handle the purchase of the property. You retain an accountant to do your books. You even have a professional cleaning service come in on Sundays to deep clean the carpets. Is an interior designer any different? They provide a service that you would rather not do, and they do it better than you can.
A professional bar designer will take your vision and make it a reality. Whether you want a traditional Irish pub or a molecular gastronomy lab complete with test tubes and bubbling beakers, they can make it happen. They are trained in creating ambiance and incorporating a theme throughout your bar. Using their network of craftsmen, wholesalers, and resellers, they can transform your suburban, strip-mall bar into something that looks as if it belongs in Belfast or on Mars.
Of course, professional, qualified designers do not work for free. There will be some cost, but in comparison to other bar promotion ideas, hiring an interior designer to design your bar may be the best investment you ever make. Plus, you may be able to work a deal with the designer. Designers like to show off, and your bar is a public place. In exchange for some free advertising or hosting a party, you may be able to get the work at a discount or pay in trade.
People come back to a bar because they like it. They like the service. They like the people. They like the drinks, and they like the way the bar makes them feel. Creating a bar with true ambiance and appeal is one of the best bar promotion strategies you can use. A well-designed bar will last a lot longer than the next happy hour special or 2-for-1 night promotion. Using a professional designer will ensure that you have the kind of bar that people want to come back to.