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Top 3 entertainment tips for restaurants, bars, and their patrons

by Bruce Dugan
entertainment tips for restaurants

Top 3 entertainment tips for restaurants, bars, and their patrons include games, tournaments, and contests. 

The pandemic is receding, so now what? Here are the top 3 entertainment tips for restaurants, bars, and their patrons. So if your favorite bar or restaurant doesn’t have them, suggest these ideas to them. It will generate profits for the venues and fun for patrons. 

2020 was a devastating year for restaurants, bars, and their patrons as we discussed in the article Restaurant’s Surviving the 2020 Pandemic

We’re all breathing easier in 2021 as vaccinations rise in the New York City and New Jersey areas and restaurants and bars are returning to full capacity. So now what? 

Restaurants and bars are looking to fill up their venue and increase revenues, while patrons are equally enthused to go out again. 

One of the ways to create a win-win for all is in-venue entertainment.

While live entertainment might be a source to draw patrons in and provide a great experience, it is a cost center for venues. However, while coin-operated entertainment improves fun for patrons, it also generates newfound revenue for the venues. 

Pool tables, video jukeboxes, photo booths, and arcade games are often overlooked opportunities. 

Top 3 entertainment tips for restaurants, bars, and their patrons

I was chatting with Eddie Fahmy, CEO of A2Z Restaurant Consulting about ways that restaurants and bars can reignite brand awareness and access new-found revenues — as they try to hit the ground running as they expand capacity in 2021. 

#1 would be coin-operated amusement in New York and New Jersey. It is a great way for venues to essentially rent space in their venues at no cost.  Here are  three of the top amusement companies serving NYC and New Jersey:

  1. Emerson Amusements
  2. NY Juke Box
  3. McGee Entertainment

Emerson Amusements

Emerson Amusements offers ATMs, Arcade games, pool tables, ice-hockey tables, and jukeboxes, among other things. They will place the machines in your venue FREE. Their revenue-share program brings together venues and machines for a win-win scenario. Moreover,  as a member of AMOA, they’re also members of Club Lucky. Club Lucky organizes tournaments and contests for popular arcade games such as Golden Tee 2021 and Big Buck Hunter Reloaded. Patrons compete for cash prizes as high as $2,000, or more. They also coordinate with game leagues for things such as Skee Ball. 

This is the perfect way for restaurants, bars, and patrons to come together where everyone wins. 

#2 would be Trivia Night. It is a fun way to bring people in to your venue on a slow night; for example,  Tuesday evenings. You can host a fun trivia night changing the themes from week to week. The patrons have a great time, have a chance to win cash and/or prizes, and the venue sells moe food and drink. Another win-win.

There are several 3rd party companies that will come into your venue and set up and run the trivia night. If you need assistance, contact Eddie for guidance.

#3 is the most obvious, which is live entertainment. This however is a bit more time intesive, as the owner has to either coordinate with a booking agent, or review persformers on their own to make selections. It aslo requires a certain type of layout, so planning and and a good ear are requirements. But it can still pull in patrons and raise yur revenues.

As with any promotion for a bar or restaurant, marketing is key — you may have a great feature to offer, but if no one knows about it, your venue might as well be a basement with no sign out front. Budget for marketing! Find more marketing tips here, and additional tips on websites, marketing, and more here.

So as 2021 sees the reopening of restaurants and bars in the New York City and New Jersey areas, these are our 3 tips of the week. If you’re a patron and frequent a bar or restaurant that has space but doesn’t have these entertainment options, suggest it to them.    

Photo by cottonbro

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