When Jon Taffer took the stage to present awards and speak to the attendees of Nightclub & Bar 2015, he applauded the crowd for attending the 30th anniversary show.
“You are the special ones, the exceptional ones,” he said, “If you look around, your competitors aren’t here, are they?”
There are exciting times that in store for our industry said Taffer. A fanatic when it comes to statistics, he explained that 13 million college students between the ages of 21 and 27 graduated in 2014. That demographic is the Holy Grail as adults, once they’ve passed the 30 year mark, visit bars less frequently each year. Ideally, you should be targeting Millennials who are between the ages of 23 and 27 years old. Of course, this can be easier said than done.
Millennials don’t care about “old” brands. They don’t relate to such brands or their history, bottom line. What they do relate to is ego. The Millennials will spend twice the money – even when they don’t really have it – just to feed their egos. However, you have to give them a reason to hand their money over to you. The challenge lies in giving the Millennial a reason to come to your venue. More often than not, that draw is something that makes your establishment unique. Find something that makes you special.
“One little thing,” explained Jon, “can make a big difference. You need to have a reason for Millennials to connect.”
Of course, one of the most effective ways to connect with Millennials – with anyone, for that matter – is through Reaction Management. Jon manages for moments of impact. One longstanding theme that has been near and dear to Nightclub & Bar is the understanding that we do not sell food in this industry. We do not sell beverages in this industry. We do not play music in this industry. We sell experiences. We sell reactions. We play reactions and experiences: if heads aren’t bobbing, if feet aren’t moving, as Jon says, we lose. If a guest is not wowed, if you don’t coax a reaction out of them, you will be stuck in mediocrity and then it’s simply a matter of time before your competitors are making money and your doors close.
Colleges and universities that offer hospitality courses and degrees will tell you that there are five things in our industry to which people react, including convenient locations and food quality. Jon, however, easily dismisses both of things by pointing out that people will drive out of their way to visit bars that wow them and eat mediocre food if the bar manages to get reactions in other ways.
“The fact of the matter is,” Jon stated confidently, “our business is not logical.”
Each attendee was tasked with finding something at the show that they could take home to their bar and put into action. For those who couldn’t attend, consider the following: shadowing something on your menu will result in an increase 14 to 17% overnight and skipping .50 pricing intervals means you won’t leave .49 on the table with every transaction.
You are one idea away from your next hundred grand. Do it.
For more highlights from the 2015 Nightclub & Bar Show click here.