How to Use Data to Make Your Venue More Profitable

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The key to measuring the success of your venue is knowing exactly how you’re performing, yet many venues I talk with don’t know their numbers. How much revenue did you earn over the past month? Which days are your busiest? What times are your busiest? Which channels bring in your guests? Are your promoters just bringing in bodies or are they bringing in spenders? How much are you giving away for free?

These are all questions to which you should know the answers. And luckily, there are systems that will automate this for you so you don’t have to spend time combing through it. Not only does that save you time, but having this data at your fingertips is what allows you to make decisions to become even more profitable. When you know exactly what’s working, you’re able to spend your money more wisely and grow your return every month.

Here’s how you should be looking at your data to maximize profit potential in the future.

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1. Make your nights more predictable.

Nightclubs go into each night without an accurate idea of what the evening will hold. And when you don’t know how many guests will arrive for a night, it’s hard to plan and staff accordingly. If you’re busier than anticipated, VIP tables get double-booked, the door gets bottlenecked, and staff aren’t communicating to solve the issues. Your guests notice this, and it hinders their experience before they even walk in your door.

When you use your data, you’re able to predict how your night is going to go based on historical data. Do you consistently get slammed around the same time? Staff accordingly. What issues have you experienced in the past? Fix those issues with processes. Pre-selling inventory is another great way to make your nights predictable. It also helps you to understand how far in advance people tend to pre-purchase and whether you’re on target to hit your numbers.

 

2. Decrease unnecessary costs.

Just as your past data helps you understand if you need to boost staff and processes, it also tells you when to decrease unnecessary costs. Do you need to have as many servers as you do working at 8:00 PM when you consistently don’t get busy until 11:00? Do you need to pay your promoters a per-guest fee when the guests they bring in don’t end up spending anything once inside your venue? Know where you’re overspending and cut costs accordingly.

 

3. Improve marketing efforts.

Speaking of knowing where you’re overspending, marketing is one of those places you’re likely throwing money in the wrong places. But when you track your marketing efforts, you’re able to see exactly what drives traffic and results. So while a third-party website may claim to have garnered you 100,000 impressions, you know that it actually only got you 3 clicks and $0 in return. Now you know not to spend money there in the future and redistribute those dollars toward activities you know work for you.

 

Venues we work with have seen an average uptick of 30% to their bottom line after switching to a system backed by data. That’s because they know exactly what’s working and what is not, which allows them to spend their money more wisely. They also improved their operations to get their guests in the door faster to get to the bar more quickly, resulting in increased bar sales. When you have absolute clarity on your venue’s performance, you can do even more to increase your success. Without data, you’re simply guessing and could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

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