Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Bar on Slow Nights

If you own or operate a bar, slow nights might seem like an unavoidable issue. Depending on the day of the week or time of year, not every night is going to be filled to the brim with guests.

That said, there are certain marketing strategies you can implement to help drive traffic on those "lesser" nights so that they become a thing of the past. The best part? Many of them require little to no cost on your end.

Check out these ideas – many of which were inspired by actual TablelistPro partners – to help spark your imagination and revive your bar's popularity. Spoiler: even just making the switch to TablelistPro will help!

1) Hold weekly events.

The possibilities for events are endless depending on your bar itself, which nights you're open, the kind of beverages or food you serve, and what types of guests you attract. A daily happy hour is one of the most common ideas, while Ladies Night and beat-the-clock drink prices are both notable offerings, too. Be creative, and have fun with it!

We like how TablelistPro venue Vesper Sporting Club in Philadelphia offers deals five days of the week: Mule Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, and Fri-Yay. These discounts are strategic, designed to entice different people for different reasons. More importantly, they actually work!

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2) Host viewing parties.

Is there a big football game coming up in your city? How about a noteworthy broadcast like the Grammy Awards? Capitalizing on television events such as these by hosting a screening at your bar is a sure-fire way to get feet through the door.

Over the last few weeks, TablelistPro client Bounce New York has invited customers to watch the World Cup from their venue's high-definition, flat-screen TVs, seeing a great turnout each and every time.


3) Celebrate holidays, big and small.

We don't just mean St. Patrick's Day and the 4th of July – although of course, those should be commemorated, as well – but you can even take it a step further with other "national holidays." As an example, National Tequila Day is on July 24th, so consider providing specials on tequila-based drinks.

This year, TablelistPro partner Red Lantern in Boston served a "2018 Pride Menu" throughout the first week of June. Their snack and cocktail list was inspired by notables of the LGBTQ community like the Adam Rippon Spare Ribs and the Pretty Mess, a drink modeled after Erika Jayne featuring Ketel One, Lychee, Barrow's Ginger, Lime Agave, and a special glittered rim.


4) Offer Tablelist Platinum perks.

Tablelist Platinum is a private member community for venues in Boston, New York City, and D.C. that offers various perks like weekly upgrades and members-only experiences. One of our partners in particular, Rumpus Room, lists complimentary champagne and a special bottle package deal. In doing this, they keep their tables full and their guests happy and coming back for more.


5) Use TablelistPro to your advantage!

TablelistPro offers an array of powerful tools for your bar, but perhaps the most applicable to help drive traffic on slow nights is our CRM feature. When using our app, you will be able to track your guests and determine how much they've spent, their typical order, and even a record of important notes like their birthday. From there, it's easy to build a relationship and come up with enticing perks to encourage them to visit more frequently, particularly on those less-visited nights.

One way to do this is by rewarding your frequent customers for their loyalty. Try gifting a buy-one-get-one drinks deal redeemable on a Sunday, or an all-you-can-drink special applicable for Mondays through Wednesdays only. It all depends on your bar's needs, but by specifying when the voucher can be used, it forces your guests to come on that night.

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6) Be active on social media.

You might be surprised how many venues aren't active on the big-three platforms of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It's crucial to stay up-to-date on each, as relying solely on your website as the means for sharing information about your bar is incredibly limiting. Post photos and videos, share flyers, interact with followers, and paint an overall picture so that visitors know what to expect (or know what they're missing out on!) just by looking at one of your social networking sites.

CÉ LA VI Singapore, a TablelistPro venue, posts nearly every day on their pages – sometimes multiple times per day – and has a large following to show for it. We think their range of content is effective, too: guests, drinks, food, outdoor views, interior shots, bottle girls, dancers, and more.

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We know that slow nights can be a big bummer, but that doesn't mean you have to accept them! By following these unique promotional ideas and teaming up with TablelistPro, you'll be able to drive traffic in no time. Be sure to visit our website to learn more or to set up a free demo.