profitable promotions: nickel beers in vegas

When Kelley Jones joined the team at the new Todd English P.U.B. in CityCenter in Las Vegas as managing partner, he brought a blast from his past to celebrity chef English’s latest venture: five-cent beers.

Todd English P.U.B

“I did nickel beer night for years when I lived in the British Virgin Islands, and it was such a tremendous success,” Jones admits. “Since P.U.B. is so beer-centric, it seemed like an obvious promotion.”

Nickel Beer Night runs every Tuesday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Guests seated at the bar, in the dining area or on the patio can purchase 8-ounce cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon for five cents each; there is a $12 food minimum for guests in the dining area and the patio but no minimum at the bar. After an ID check at the front door, guests get wristbands so the hectic bartenders can easily see who is over 21.

How is such a low-price promotion working out in a high-priced locale like Las Vegas? “It is going great,” Jones says. “We manage the flow from the front door. The crowd is growing week over week, and we do have to control the door by limiting access when we get full.”

It costs Jones 20 cents to pour each beer, but the 15-cent loss is more than compensated with the rise in food and cocktail and craft beer sales, he says, making nickel beer nights profitable for the bar and pleasant for the guest.