The word “brunch” is usually met with smiles. And why not? For most people, brunch is a social event. It’s relaxing with friends at a local hot spot while enjoying comfort food and twists on traditional brunch foods, sipping Champagne or other bubbly, and indulging in classic brunch cocktails.
But what does it mean for independent bar and nightclub owners?
The majority of the venues that offer brunch tend to do so on one weekend day: Sunday. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule. Some bars host brunch on Saturday, while others choose a weekday to bring in guests who can enjoy this leisurely promotion Monday through Friday.
Perhaps you’ve been considering brunch promotions but have yet to pull the trigger. To some operators, it’s the territory of established chain restaurants and independent multi-store operations. But there’s no reason independent operators with just one or two venues can’t benefit from the examples set forth by their multi-store and chain counterparts.
The thing to keep in mind is that while brunch may not necessarily boost your weekly sales, it can boost Sunday sales. As we’re all acutely aware, many bars, nightclubs and restaurants experience a lag in sales on Sunday.
“Since our brunch program is only once a week, it does not necessarily make a significant increase in weekly revenue,” says Jordan Mendez, general manager of STK in Las Vegas. “It does significantly increase our revenue on Sundays, since that can tend to be a slower dinner service night.”
If you’re looking to pick up sales on Sundays, a brunch promotion could be just what you’re looking for.
“We do have a good number of people that come in for our Acoustic Brunch,” says Amanda Smith, general manager of Pizza Rock, also located in Las Vegas. “The brunch items are not a significant percentage of overall sales.”
These sales are opportunity. You should be offering brunch not only because of the boost in sales to a slow weekend day, afternoon or evening, but because of what else it offers your business. Being a social event, it means leveraging social media, discoverability and word-of-mouth marketing. Ensure that your food and beverages are photo-ready when presented and your guests will take, post and share pictures and videos via their social media channels. Apps designed to help users discover new bars, nightclubs and restaurants are becoming more prevalent. A brunch promotion will help you capture foot traffic, tourists, and foodies looking for their next favorite venue. Finally, the value of word-of-mouth marketing cannot be overstated, and being the neighborhood spot to kick back for an hour or two with friends will certainly boost a formerly slow day’s sales.