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Marketing for Bars: 12 Creative Bar Marketing Plans

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Marketing for bars is one of the most critical components of running a successful bar business. It brings life to your customer service and exemplary menu options. Whether you use strategies like restaurant email marketing or happy hour deals, marketing for bars is vital.

In this BinWise blog, we’ll walk you through a variety of tricks and tips for marketing your bar. Between types of content marketing, business marketing, and everything in between, read on to learn all about marketing for bars.

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The Tricks of Marketing for Bars

Marketing for bars is multi-faceted. It covers general marketing practices and ongoing campaigns. It also dips into special promotions, seasonal deals, and unique events. Overall, the marketing that goes into bar businesses covers all the potential needs of the business.

To give an in-depth view, we’ve separated the tricks of marketing for bars into three categories. Those are marketing for sports bars, marketing for cocktail bars, and marketing for dive bars. 

Most, if not all bars fall into one of these categories in some form or another. The tips and tricks coming up can be used across the board, but they’re especially helpful if your bar fits these characteristics.

Marketing for Sports Bars

If you’re opening a sports bar your marketing plans should center on the people who are going to visit your bar. These four sports bar marketing tips will help you reach customers. With them, you can build up your bar to be a sports bar people want to spend time at for every game.

4. Meal Deals

Meal deals are perfect for any bar, but they can be especially well suited for a sports bar setting. These are daily deals and types of meals you can offer as bar specialties.

3. Team Menu Choices

As a sports bar, creating menu choices centered on sports teams will be a hit. If you have local teams, lean into their colors and fan identities. 

2. Game Day Specials

Game day specials may be those team menu choices, but they can also be much more. From appetizers to unique brews to call drinks, dress up game days with something special.

1. Group Rates

Group rates are perfectly suited for sports bars. When folks come in to watch the game, they generally come with friends. Group rates will encourage this community in your bar.

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Marketing for Cocktail Bars

When it comes to starting a cocktail bar, your marketing plans should focus on the variety of drinks you are serving. In these four cocktail bar marketing plans, we have a mix of drink-focused plans and general promotions. Combining both will help you reach everyone looking to enjoy a cocktail. 

4. Seasonal Cocktail Specials

Seasonal cocktail specials are perfect throughout the year. From easy summer cocktails to winter cocktails that will keep your customers warm, the options are endless.

3. Signature Cocktails

Signature cocktails are a way to showcase the personality of your bar. If you have a theme or aesthetic that is specific to your business, lean into cocktails designed with it in mind.

2. Contests on Social Media

Contests on social media can be useful in many ways. For one, you can use them to get suggestions from customers about fun drinks. For another, giving people a chance to win a promotion of some sort will draw them in.

1. Courses for Beginning Mixologists

To truly make your cocktail bar the hub of activity in your town, offer courses for beginning mixologists. These can be monthly events where you teach a group of people how to make a few drinks and appetizers to go with them.

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Marketing for Dive Bars

The world of dive bars is unique in the marketing realm. Many dive bars have the attitude of not marketing too heavily because the allure of a dive bar is the haphazard nature of them. These four tips help you market a dive bar without seeming like you’re aiming beyond the relaxed nature of the best dive bars.

4. Promotional Game Nights

Promotional game nights are built for dive bars. Hosting game tournaments will bring in repeat customers looking for a good time.

3. Anti-Marketing Campaigns

Anti-marketing campaigns are a basic foundation of marketing for dive bars. Dive bars have the charm of a place that doesn’t invest in overt marketing. Anti-marketing, with limited visible structure, is the way to go.

2. Unconventional Happy Hours

Unconventional happy hours suit the chaotic cozy nature of dive bars. Some good ideas include happy hours at unconventional hours, and happy hours with a food theme beyond your normal dishes.

1. Curated House Drinks

Curated house drinks can be a surprise for a dive bar, to give customers something unexpected that will keep them coming back. Some of the best options are to have house wines, beer on tap, and well drinks that are slightly higher quality than normal.

"Key Takeaway: Marketing for bars is one of the most critical components of running a successful bar business. It brings life to your customer service and exemplary menu options."

Frequently Asked Questions About Bar Marketing

All the work that goes into marketing for bars tends to inspire many questions from bar owners, bar managers, and everyone in between. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will give you more building blocks of bar marketing. From here, keep experimenting with your bar to find what works best for you, your staff, and, of course, your bar patrons!

How Do I Promote My Bar Business?

Promoting your bar business encompasses everything from initial impressions to the lasting feel of your bar, all with these promotion ideas:

  • Focus on your online presence to bring new people into your bar business
  • Discover what makes your bar unique and lean into it
  • Use referrals as a large part of your marketing plans
  • Use social media to promote your business, menus, and atmosphere

… and many more! The marketing for bars outlined in this blog will help you promote your business as well.

What Brings People to a Bar?

The main thing that brings people to a bar is great customer service. Yes, having great drinks, delicious dishes, and promotional plans is always a good idea. That said, the center of your plans for marketing to customers and bringing them back time and again should rest in customer experience

How Do You Promote Drinks In a Bar?

You can promote drinks in a bar with any of the following ideas:

  • Design an intriguing and aesthetically pleasing menu
  • Organize contests for customer-created cocktails
  • Promote your happy hour drink specials each day
  • Offer signature and seasonal drinks and other alcoholic beverages
  • Focus on your customer service for customer satisfaction

With these ideas as part of your drinks promotion plan, you’ll draw in more customers and learn what drinks they love. These ideas will help you start learning what should make up the key points of your drinks menu.

How Can I Improve My Beverage Sales?

Some ideas to improve beverage sales and maximize profits include:

  • Adding a happy hour to your bar plan
  • Hiring the best bartenders and barbacks
  • Serving craft beers
  • Offer flights of beer and wine
  • Work on portion control in pours
  • Cycle through many types of promotions
  • Upsell when you can
  • Offer meals with ingredients that are cheap to purchase

These ideas will help you build profits as time goes on. They will also increase your loyal customers and establish your bar as a favorite in the area.

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Bar Marketing Plans: How Will You Grow Your Bar Business? 

Marketing for bars will guide your business forward and give you tangible steps to take. As you’re marketing your bar, remember to balance those marketing plans with inventory and order management to keep everything running smoothly. BinWise and BlueCart can help you there.

The BinWise Pro beverage inventory program, paired with the BinScan mobile app, gives you peace of mind with a perpetual inventory system. BlueCart’s order management software simplifies your order management system

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