When you're an established bar or pub with a seasoned group of regulars, it can be tempting to slide into status quo territory, thinking your brand will speak for itself. But for smaller niche bars and booming franchises alike, the key to attracting new customers and increasing your word of mouth advertising is by shaking things up and finding new ways to cater to your customers. For many bars, pub games are crucial for invigorating the atmosphere and encouraging a fun evening where the drinks flow freely. But don't settle for the one or two in your arsenal. Try some new pub games that don't cost a fortune, and turn fun into a sizeable profit.
That's right: cornhole isn't just an underground Southern pastime anymore. Cornhole has gone decidedly mainstream with its simple rules and ample room for error and laughter. If you have a spacier bar, hosting a small cornhole tournament is a great way to encourage “localizing” your bar by drawing in patrons to create a community. Cornhole boards are fairly cheap to make, and beanbags sell for mere dollars online. Facilitate drinking games during cornhole and you can watch your sales skyrocket on slow nights.
A Wall of Champions
All you need for this “drinking game” is adequate wall space and a mind for sales. Creating a competitive elite space for customers that, for example, win in a pub game tournament or drink one of every beer on the menu (over time, of course) promotes loyalty among your customers by giving them a goal to strive for. Feel free to make the challenge for entry into your “wall of champions” difficult or lengthy so that your customers spend more money earning their spot. The fun is in the exclusivity, so don't make it too easy or you'll flood your walls, leaving the game to be soon forgotten.
A Picture Booth
Some “pub games” aren't necessarily games at all, but just ingenious ways to promote your bar and let your patrons have a ball. Installing a simple photo booth will have any boozy customer eager to take photos with their group of fans, and in the modern social media climate these photos will undoubtedly be uploaded to social media. Create a “location” on major social media sites for your bar so your customers can tag themselves at your pub. For extra marketing, include a watermark of your bar name in the bottom corner in all photos from the photo booth.
Yes, darts are standard for many bars, but there's a proven reason why pub games like darts are classics. The materials are cheap and easy to rent out (or replace if necessary), and they create a fun and competitive climate. Darts encourages bonding, and booze, and a lengthier stay at your bar. Again, hosting tournaments or special nights exclusively promoting your dart game can certainly draw a crowd, and bring out more than your regular customers.
Board Games for Crowds
No, we're not suggesting you rent out Risk to your gallivanting patrons. However, certain simple board games like the ever popular Cards Against Humanity are a no brainer: for bars with table lounging areas, these games ensure a party will stay for at least an hour, and the suggestive nature of the game will undoubtedly lead to a fun, memorable night that your customers will want to replicate in the future – by coming back again and again. And they're on the cheap side, too – most board games for socializing run between 20 and 30 dollars.
Classic Table Games
When you have a larger bar, purchasing traditional pub games like pool, foosball, or shuffleboard is a wise investment. Beyond providing entertainment and activity so patrons end up staying longer, they also help facilitate foot traffic in bigger spaces and keep things from being congested. These pub games explain themselves, and are a terrific way to add a fun vibe to your watering hole. However, these aren't as recommended for smaller bars that could make more efficient use of the space.
Never underestimate the sales power of simple pub games that pit patron against patron or perhaps a team of customers against your bartender. Standbys like rock-paper-scissors, dice roll, and even flipping a coin can be marketed with prizes and discounts for the winners, and these kinds of games are (quite obviously) cheap to put on. Remember, any kind of fun is good fun for pub games.
Be sure to include a wide variety of pub games at your location to continually boost your profits and generate new interest in your bar. No matter what games you select, create a competitive event to promote around the pub games for the most bankable results. Fun is the name of the game, so play to win accordingly.
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