Spring Forward with Fun & Games
Turn a Bite to Eat Into a Blast
Spring brings renewal and it’s the perfect time to refresh your operation. For some, this means engineering a new menu to reflect the season. Bar and grill operators can refresh their menus, but they also have the flexibility to spring forward with new entertainment concepts that will draw their customers out of hibernation. After an arduous work day, people are hungry, weary and stressed. What’s needed here are the three “Rs” — refreshment, rejuvenation and relaxation. The first order of business is to provide a cool beverage; next, a satisfying meal. Once they are sated, keep them interested in hanging around with fun and games. A little friendly sporting competition or lively entertainment will lift their spirits and perhaps turn an infrequent customer into a regular.
Girls and Boys Just Wanna Have Fun, Regardless of Age
Providing fun and games for your customers is a bona fide traffic builder. Of course, there are many factors to consider. Does your operation have adequate space – indoors or outside – to facilitate adding activities? Naturally, you should gear your entertainment to your demographic. Millennials love to dig for that volleyball, while Baby Boomers would likely enjoy a more sedentary or cerebral pursuit. Entertain some of these ideas to provide that extra measure of fun and relaxation for your customers:
Paparazzi Photo Booth
Reminiscent of those frequented by kids in malls, photo booths provide a timely adult alternative to “selfies.” Groups of friends pose together, and usually post the shots on social media. Your logo should appear in the background, which delivers loads of free publicity. Consider mounting shots on a “wall of fame,” to cement loyalty and make your customers feel like celebrities.
Bocce (pronounced BOTCH EE) is an Italian ball game usually played in a rectangular pit lined with clay or sand. It requires much less space and physical prowess than volleyball, yet makes for lively competition.
On a specified night, feature the opportunity for your customers to showcase their talents. You might be surprised at how many people can sing the blues, tell jokes, perform magic or play a mean guitar. All that is required is a microphone and an area in which to stage the “show.” Non-performing customers will get a kick out of seeing their friends strut their stuff. Consider making it a competition, with customers voting for their favorites. Co-op with other local businesses, who could donate prizes in exchange for the publicity.
Paint nights are really gaining momentum across the country. Guests pay a fee to participate and actually create their own masterpieces on canvas. Most major metropolitan areas have companies that specialize in staging painting parties, and provide everything necessary, including an art instructor, canvas and paint. All an operator needs is a party room and staff to take beverage orders.
Nearly everyone enjoys pitting their skills against their friends with electronic darts, skee ball or trivia games. The idea here is to extend the visit, without taking up valuable dining space.
You already have the culinary staff and the kitchen, so why not stage co-ed cooking classes on Saturday morning. This is an excellent way to build loyalty, garner extra revenue and showcase your staff.
Operators who have the space to erect a volleyball court will reap the benefits of a full parking lot. Once leagues are formed, players show up like clockwork, likely bringing an entourage with them.