Six Tips for Boosting Revenue

Need a fast fix? Looking for quick cash? Starting with this issue, NCB First Round delivers several of the 50 Money-Making Ideas presented at the recent Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show. The session was standing-room only as author and beverage management consultant Robert Plotkin of BarMedia and Nightclub & Bar publisher and editorial director Donna Hood Crecca blasted out 50 ideas in 50 minutes, organizing them into four “buckets,” or sections.

Donna Hood Crecca and Robert Plotkin

This week, we’ll dish out six ideas for Increasing Sales Without Raising Prices. These simple steps can lead to big profits, so read on!

50 Ideas — Increasing Sales Without Raising Prices

Leverage Bar Real Estate – Drive Revenue With In-House Advertising
Do you have a TV screen (or maybe two or three or 12)? Got space for a jukebox? Then you have a new revenue stream. Systems that allow for advertising on television monitors or gaming systems and digital jukeboxes that feature ads can bring significant dollars into your venue. Look around your place and see what revenue can come from unexpected places.

Get Social – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the Internet
Social media is not just for kids, nor is it child’s play! If you’re going to do it, do it right: Create a dialogue with your fans and friends, and give them a reason to act. Tweet a secret code word with an offer of free chicken wings to the first 25 people in the door who know the word. Announce on Facebook a hot band coming to your place, and then post photos from the event, which will invite comments and feedback on the night. This will engage your patrons in dialogue, plus they’ll share the excitement with their “friends” and expand your customer base! To really do it right, you must dedicate the staff and be strategic.

Suggestive Selling – Increase Sales, Guest Satisfaction in a Moment
When the guest asks for a Gin & Tonic, immediately make a premium or super-premium brand suggestion. If they ask what’s on tap, inquire what style they prefer and give quick but complete descriptions of similar or next-level draft brews you offer. Don’t miss that moment to change the entire course of the evening and the amount on the check.

Infusions – Create Spirits and Cocktails the Competition Can’t Duplicate
Take a nice-looking container, fill it with something special – berries, citrus fruits, herbs, bacon, whatever –add a spirit, let it stand and you’ve got something unique. Take that infused spirit and create a one-of-a-kind cocktail and you’ve got a conversation starter, a signature drink and something the bar down the street doesn’t have. Note: Check local regulations to determine if infusing spirits is permitted in your operating area.

Promote, Promote and Then Promote Some More
Research shows that promotions drive sales (see any of our Tracking Drink Trends reports based on GuestMetrics data), but be careful not to give everything away! Be strategic – promote what makes you different and what makes you money. Discounting to the point of a zero profit margin might put butts in seats, but it does nothing for your bottom line. Create “value” through strategic pricing and a value-add, like a collectible glass, great garnish or paired appetizer for a few dollars more. Be creative in how you market the promotion (social media, anyone?) and then deliver on the promise.

Do Two-fers and BOGO Right – But Lose the Back Up!
If you are going the two-for-one or buy-one-get-one drink route, don’t serve both drinks at once. That second beer will be flat and warm, and the backed-up cocktail will be diluted and dull by the time the customer is ready to move on to it. Plus, you’re encouraging quick consumption – never good in a .08 world! Instead, deliver the first drink with a smile, and then the second when requested, perhaps suggesting some food along with it.

Next issue: Money-Making Ideas on Operations – The Devil is in the Details.

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