bartender alone

Promoting Your Bar When Times are Tough

By: Jeff Law

It’s no secret times have been tough for the restaurant industry. As things start to get back to normal (maybe a new normal) there are a number of ways you can ramp up your promotions to bring back both the customer base you lost and a whole new group of customers. 

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Make Full Use of Social Media


Creating social media accounts for your bar is a great—and free—way to reach your audience. There are a number of platforms to choose from: Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook. If you’re not currently on social media, it might be helpful to just pick one or two platforms to start with so you’re not overwhelmed. We’d suggest starting with Twitter and a Facebook page. 


Staying active on your accounts and updating your audience with your hours, specials, and pictures of happy customers or highlights of your staff are all great ways to stay in front of your audience and be top-of-mind when they decide they want to go out. 


Get Active in Your Community


Marketing your bar starts with your local area. Get active in your community and be seen as a business that cares about people. Volunteer whenever you can and make a contribution to your local community through charities, non-profits, and the like. Not only will these actions help better the community where you live and work, but it can also help get your name out there and set you apart as a business that cares. 


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Offer Something New


Now might be the time to change up the menu and offer some new and exciting dishes for people to try. Create a night where patrons can come in and sample some of the new food or put the dishes as a special. You can also try this with drinks and desserts. 


Changing up an old menu can bring new life to your bar. Be sure to post the new options and reviews on your social media accounts. 




Money is tight for everyone these days, so why not help out your customers? Offer specials and discounts wherever possible. Things like a “burger and a beer night” are great ways to get people coming back. With any luck, by offering great discounts and specials, you’ll see an uptick in business on those days or during those hours—so be prepared for some extra work! 


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Email and Newsletters


Make sure you are set up with a good email system and a way to send newsletters. People often do not go to a restaurant the first time they visit a site or learn about a place. Make sure you stay in contact through email and newsletters. Offer incentives to come to visit, such as a coupon and percentage off that first order. Engage them with videos, articles, and other content.

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