More than 110 million people will tune into the big game – Super Bowl LI – this year on February 5th. So what does that mean to you? Well over half of all of your customers will be watching…and drinking and eating “bar food and appies,” with or without you! In other words, all the things they normally celebrate with you, during so many other big sports events, they might do at home or other places. Make them want to be with you for the big game.
If you are going to win big, on this most competitive day on and off the football field, you need to think bigger! You should want to step up to deliver that “big hit,” not only on Super Bowl Sunday but also for the rest of what can sometimes be a slow February.
Smart bars, clubs, and restaurants turn the weeks before and after the big game into a traffic- and profit-building opportunity. Make the month “Super February!” Here’s how!
1. Start building excitement before the game: Groundhog Day is on February 2nd. Although Groundhog Day has never been a celebratory holiday, consumers and media buzz about it each year. You can celebrate that, but why even wait for the 2nd when you can get a jump on the 1st – and help out those who are starting the new month chasing a great beer or two? Host a screening of the popular film classic and declare February 1st Houndgrog Day™ at your bar, offering beer discounts or unique brands. Promote it the week before. Use the traffic as an opportunity to “pre-sell” your Super Bowl specials: start with half-price appetizers during the game for those who celebrate Houndgrog Day with you!
Six more weeks of winter? Six more weeks ‘til Spring? Make it six more weeks at your place!
2. Promote that you cater to all audiences via unique food and drink attractions. The Super Bowl is the second largest food consumption day in the US (after Thanksgiving), and as many women watch as men now. Look beyond beer and wings. Make your place compelling to both sexes and diverse tastes. Engage your (or a) chef in coming up with Super Bowl treats, perhaps even creating apps and cocktails around the home states of the competing teams. If you play it right, you can set yourself up for Valentine’s Day with great food and Champagne or roses for game day attendees who come back to celebrate that big (romantic) game day. Offer package pricing to boost revenue.
3. Every guest should feel like an MVP. In your marketing, emphasize the fact that people – women and men alike – will be hosted and pampered for the game. No crowded supermarkets. No beer cans to recycle the next day. No crushed chips in the rug at home. All fans have to do is show up, eat, drink, and cheer.
4. Before the big game, wave those digital pom-poms to old and new audiences…and make sure prospective customers know that the party is at your house. Use social media, reach out to local news outlets (for listings and maybe even feature stories), and handout flyers.
5. Recruit the hottest players. Connect with singles groups who can use it as opportunity to meet new dates, your local Chamber of Commerce, alumni associations, and other groups that want to cheer together, like the SPCA or dog lovers celebrating “Puppy Bowl,” and many other communities. Offer group pricing as an incentive.
6. Commercial breaks are not just restroom breaks. Those of us who work in the advertising/marketing world are as excited about the ads as we are about the game itself. Here are this year’s advertisers. Ask your guests to vote for their favorites and then post results on social media.
7. During your game day festivities (and the day after), post pictures on Facebook and Twitter. Create a unique hashtag for your event and post it prominently so people will know to use it. If you ran a promotion or contest, publicly announce and tag the winners on social media. Ask your followers to chat about their favorite commercials. Be sure to promote your upcoming events!
8. Have a winning service team on the field. Make sure you have enough staff in the front and back of the house to deliver fantastic customer service. Events and specials will bring in people who’ve never been to your bar or club before, so you’ll need to deliver a quality and memorable experience for every guest.
9. Speaking of experiences, 55% of millennials say they spend more money on live events rather than things. If your location caters to the younger crowd, take advantage of that fact. Make the evening eventful and memorable.
10. Shower up and get ready for all of February’s upcoming big events. The Chinese New Year (the Year of the Rooster, which starts on January 28th), the Grammys on February 12th, Valentine’s Day on February 14th, President’s Day (half-price Busch beer?) on February 20th, the Oscars on February 26th, and Mardi Gras on February 28th (when you can transform your venue into a little corner of New Orleans) are all opportunities to build excitement, offer food and beverage specials, design fun experiences, and create traffic.
No matter who walks away with the Super Bowl ring this year, you’ll emerge a February winner – and be carried away by a throng of cheering and delighted guests!