What distinguishes a bar from a restaurant is its versatility, where the set theme of a bar is allowed a far greater degree of wiggle room to truly become something unique and incredible. While there is certainly a very broad scope to provide your restaurant with defining characteristics, through the use of interior design or even the physical layout of your restaurant, a bar can focus on these details more wholeheartedly thanks to its more restrictive product line up. A restaurant is comprised of an astounding number of moving parts, whereas bars don’t need to deal with the hassle of food orders and product turnover, as spirits and mixers go off at a much slower rate than natural produce does.
Moreover, such is the nature of a bar – where conversation flows at a similar rate of swiftness to the alcohol being served – there is greater leeway for more experimental themes and design in how the bar is presented. The tables need only accommodate a handful of drinks, rather than a banquet of side plates and main courses for a large party of diners, so there is added license for decorations and trinkets that customize a table for the sake of style itself. As such, bars have fantastic potential to carve out their own identity and really make themselves known as something special and worth visiting. But perhaps the most important consideration should be how to market this business – and these are some of the top tips to keep in mind.
Utilize the personality of your staff
The star attraction of bar can often be the man or woman behind it. Indeed, the concept of the charismatic and swift-fingered barman, capable of spinning bottles and concocting a rainbow of colorful beverages with barely a glance at what their doing, is such an attractive concept that an entire film came out of it (1988’s aptly named Cocktail). A great way to generate social media traction for your business is to demonstrate what your bartenders can do - either by posting a talk-through of how a certain drink is made or videos of them spinning bottles - is some of the best material for engaging the interests of potential customers. In many ways, the bartender will serve as the face of your business, so if you have the consent of that member of staff, be sure to promote their abilities, as this will reflect well on your business and the bespoke experience customers can expect.
This is also an opportunity to share some well-lit, eye-catching images of the drinks themselves, as these really are the bread and butter of your business. Naturally, you want to ensure every drink made will arrive on a customer’s table looking the very best it can – many bars generate their trade through word-of-mouth social media posts, wherein customers document their beautiful drinks and tag the business which made them – but presenting a dazzling line up of cocktails across your bar is a terrific means of giving your customers a clear idea of what awaits them should they step foot inside your business.
Invite the public in with bartending classes
The allure of the bartender is one that has repeatedly been employed in film and literature for decades, as the sounding board against which patrons can voice their woes and seek advice. Bartenders are also, in a word, cool: being able to magically concoct delicious, uniquely colored drinks in a matter of minutes is a highly desirable skill – so why not capitalize on that allure and invite the public in? Offering a course of bartending lessons is not only a savvy way to boost your business’s revenue stream but an excellent way to expand the positive buzz surrounding your operations.
Inviting your students to promote their bartending lessons on social media serves as a terrific complement to your own social media promotion. You can also rely on the brand loyalty nurtured between you and your students to materialize as a new group of repeat customers, all apt to bring their friends and family along. They will be bursting to tell their friends that they can make some of the drinks they’ve ordered, and if it isn’t too busy that evening, the bartender may just let them come behind the bar for a moment to show off their new skills.
Run a blog
Blogging is one of the most popular and immersive ways for a business to invite their customers behind closed doors and see first-hand how the cogs are turning. This is especially helpful for organic restaurants, as the staff of that business can go into great detail in explaining where their goods are sourced, as well as explain the history of a signature dish that had been on that restaurant’s menu for decades – but there is plenty of scope for a bar blog, too. A good blog will balance a line-up of simpler posts, explaining how to make a certain cocktail, with a much more in-depth series of posts outlining the history of a certain wine or the significance of a new vintage of shiraz that is soon to be stocked on the premises. While not every customer will be so interested in the complexities of alcohol production or gin distillation, you can rely on a sizeable number of aficionados who will want to know where their drinks have come from.
This is another opportunity to showcase the interior of your bar with photos of every stage of a cocktail’s production: you can begin with a wide shot of your spirits shelf, before gradually moving in to focus on the ingredients and instruments required to make the drink showcased in that specific post. The benefits here are twofold, as you can demonstrate the care and expertise with which your products are made, while also highlighting the high-quality work station from which those drinks will be dispatched. A company blog is a terrific opportunity to prove the depth of your knowledge and your appreciation of high-quality alcohol.
There is so much opportunity to promote the personality and character of a new bar, and these tips here are sure to help your business achieve wider word-of-mouth and nurture stronger customer relationships. But there are plenty of other aspects of running a bar that also relate to running a restaurant, such as writing a business plan and marketing your business with Instagram. This is where Buffalo Market comes in.
We don’t just supply kitchens across the country with top-tier organic produce, but we have an in-depth restaurant owner’s blog helping you navigate the challenging and confusing world of the hospitality business. No matter if you’re new to the game or have been the head of a family bistro for decades, there’s always something new to be learned – so take a look at how you can improve your business operations today with our informative and easy-to-follow blog posts.