NEWS & PRESS
Boosting Income at Your Bar or Restaurant
May 1, 2020 | Education, Industry, Inspiration
Businesses in our industry are scrambling to find creative ways to bring in some supplementary income. We put together a few ideas that you might like to try alongside to-go cocktails and delivery services. They might not completely transform your business during this pandemic, but they could help keep the lights on for a month, raise funds for your staff GoFundMe.
PARTNER WITH BIG PERSONALITIES
Half of all Americans say that they’ve run out of things to watch, read, or listen to. If you have a spot with a big online presence, leverage it to partner with local trivia or open mic hosts, drag performers, DJs, and MCs (who are all likely looking for extra work at the moment), to put on a virtual night out. Make it hilarious, play music, and create opportunities for interaction from your guests.
CREATE A SIMPLE MERCH STORE
Even if your brand isn’t a big iconic enough yet that people would wear your logo on their shirts or hats, you’ll probably already have a good idea of what will pique your clientele’s interest; funny food or drink puns, community strong designs, or something beautiful or evocative of the nationality of your menu. Search on Etsy and Amazon to find out what’s popular in those categories. If you don’t already work with a designer, or can’t afford to pay for something custom, you can create a simple design using a site like Canva, and then use Custom Ink, Merch.ly, or Spreadshirt to put it on some merch. If you don’t already have your own online merchant system, try setting up a simple Shoppable on Instagram, or Depop profile.
CREATE A SIMPLE RECIPE BOOK
People are getting creative in the kitchen. If your place has had some star dishes or cocktails over the years, you could share some of your recipes for people to try at home. It doesn’t have to be a big production. The more charmingly lo-fi your recipe looks, the more people will think they’ve been let in on a secret. You could either sell the PDF through your existing e-commerce function or use PayPal. You could also send the recipes in the post on notecards in a brown envelope marked ‘confidential’. Make it clear that buyers don’t have permission to post them online.
EMBRACE YOUR IN-HOUSE NERDS
Is your bar manager a master whiskey blender? Or does your head chef make their own delicious miso? Ask them to put together a webinar to run a few times and charge people in your community a modest fee ($10 – $15) to sign up. Lots of people have gotten used to using Zoom in the crisis, but there are plenty of low-cost webinar software options available online.
CREATE SOME SPECIAL DELIVERY BOXES
Many of us are doing without our favorite rituals at the moment. Would your customers enjoy receiving a Saturday morning delivery box of pastries with freshly-squeezed orange juice and a mini bottle of prosecco, or all the equipment and ingredients they need for a matcha ceremony? Try to offer things that create an experience around food and drink.
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