Creating a Tropical Cash CowMay 7, 2013 By: Brian Speed
As summer approaches, nightclubs and bars across the world are revamping their venues for the upcoming season. Summer can bring all sorts of income possibilities as long as you do your research, know what direction you want to go in, create a realistic budget, gear your party themes, update your menus and staff around what you created. Here are some tips to help you kick off summer.
The first thing is to look at websites of other venues across the world. As long you have the flexibility, it would be very beneficial to travel to these venues to research and see what their furniture, fixtures and décor looks like. Cities such as Miami, New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles each boast hundreds of creative unique nightclubs, bars, hotels and roof top patios. Ideally, you should try to go into as many venues as possible for as little as 5 or 10 minutes. Even if you think the venue is irrelevant, try it out anyway. If you see that a venue is doing ninety eight things wrong, but has one creative idea, it is worth five to ten minutes of your time. Make sure you have your phone ready in order to take notes about what you are seeing, including the furniture and décor. Later, compile a comprehensive list of what you saw including both the good and the bad. Take your ideas from the fifty places you just went to and combine them to create a new vision for your venue.
Furnishings & Fixtures
Some of the greatest on the water, beach clubs, roof tops or outdoor venues have had top notch fixtures and design. They usually start with the furniture, which is kept in light colors. You could never go wrong with white. However, the only issue you may have with white is that it gets old and dirty fast. My advice is to create a cash cow summer operation, so you could buy new furniture next summer. Day beds are great for bottle service. Keep them light colors as well. If someone is spending premium dollars on the bottle service experience, don’t give them a cheap day bed. Spend the extra couple of dollars, as you will make it back fast through the revenue it will create.
Painting the deck white could brighten up your outside patio. Now as far as the accents for décor, you want to keep them light but have them stand out. Bright colors like orange and red seem to stand out the most. You could also mix red and gray or orange and brown. Small details such as light colored candles and black lights at the bottom of the deck will intensify the summer theme. Fake palm trees, a life guard chair, white or light colored fabric hanging from the walls or ceiling are some cool summer options. Fish tanks with bright fish inside scream summer. However, always feature your liquor as a main attraction. Do not hide it in the wells. Have your liquor on shelves with cool lights behind it. Obviously, bright colors work the best for summer.
On a Budget
Not all venues have large budgets to spend on summer furnishings and fixtures. When on a serious budget and need to give the room the look and feel of a summer venue there are plenty of things you can do without breaking the bank. First, paint the walls. Then for a beach club feel add fun surf boards, kiddy pools and robotic or inflatable sea creatures.
Even if customers laugh at some of the choices you make you are getting a reaction out of them. This reaction is exactly why you put the ridiculous kiddy pool, in a dead corner of the bar. It created customer interaction with each other and with staff, which leads to customers staying longer. And as we all know the longer customers stay, the more they drink. Tiki torches, candles, and lights can always add to your summer concept for a very cheap price. You can also buy things to hang from the ceiling like a huge blow up plastic shark, volleyball net and beach balls. The Surfer Girls (i.e. staff) can wear skimpy Surftender T shirts and shorts. Build it through creativity and a vision.
Summer Theme Parties, Menu and Staff
So, what good is revamping your venue with new furnishings and fixtures, if you aren’t going to tie it into your summer concept? In order to tie it all into your summer theme, you can do creative theme parties. Some summer concepts would be: Beach Party, Bikini Contest, Summer Fashion Show, Summer of Love Party, Baseball promotions, white party, Hawaiian Luau, Hurricane Party, Foam Party, and hundreds of other theme parties.
Your drink menu should gear towards your summer concept as well. For example, tropical frozen drinks and summer drink specials (i.e. anything blue or pink). Don’t forget the umbrellas in your drinks, pineapple slice garnishes, or even try serving drinks in a fish bowl. These inexpensive differences can make a lasting impression.
Also, try incorporating a summer food menu, with items such as fish tacos and seasonal fish specials. Remember, it’s the little things that count. In addition, your staff needs to dress and be part of your new summer theme. Are you an upscale nightclub? What about pink, red, light blue or yellow dresses for your bottle service girls? Are you a wild and crazy sports bar? Then how about cute baseball outfits for your waitresses?
Most people believe if you build it they will come. Wrong! Research it, budget it, build it, market it, manage it, be creative, involve your staff and they will come. With summer quickly approaching, now is the time to revamp your nightclub or bar into a tropical cash cow!