Author Topic: Starting at a New Bar  (Read 4038 times)

Offline GramS

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Starting at a New Bar
« on: February 18, 2012, 11:37:39 PM »
I started trivia at a Sports Bar in my town, I did alot of promotion thru Facebook, my network groups and the chamber of commerce. We launched last Wed, almost know one showed up. it was from 9-11pm.  the owner obviously want to thrilled. they didnt really promote it as much, I even made flyers for them to place on tables. they were expecting me to bring in the crowd or a following. its like telling the cotton candy vendor at a theme park that they are responsible for bringing in the customers. not that it's an added bonus and feature for guests to enjoy.  My question goes out to all the trivia hosts who started with no bars or a following, how many times did you perform in order for it to become popular at the place you host at. basically the owner wasn't really excited to try it again, so it has been dropped. it wasn't even given a chance. any suggestions or ideas who be much appreciated. I am in Santa Clarita California.


Offline F.King

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Re: Starting at a New Bar
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 09:27:27 PM »
We started a Trivia Night in a Bar with the same outcome... however, it has now grown to one of the biggest nights in the city! I will tell you right off the bat that no one is going to show up for the first couple of weeks. It's not until the bar posts it on their facebook, website, etc... and puts up flyers in the bar during the week for all to see. The best place to put the poster or flyers?? On the bathroom door as people are exiting or over the urinals and on the back of the stall doors... everyone wants something to read in the bathroom!! lol...

Okay... so... also, we got with the local liquor reps (you can contact them through the bar, they'll have the information) and asked them to give us some promotional items. T-Shirts, Koozies, Mugs, Hats, Keychains, etc. Here's where the plugin pack comes in handy! Offer the reps to customize the screens for their liquor!! Giving away free stuff is always a hit!

Now, back to the game... Here's what we do...

First off, pick a night of the week that is dead anyway (Ours is on Tuesdays).

Allow teams! We allow up to 5 players per team... no "teaming up" of buzzers though, meaning a table of 5 can't have 3 buzzers!

1. NO COVER CHARGE!!! We've seen too many Trivia Nights fail at bars because of this.

2. 6 Rounds of Trivia (I would start off with less if I were you, maybe 4 rounds).

3. The winner of each round moves on to compete in the final round for a gift certificate to the bar.

4. The winner of each round also receives a free dip from the bar (cheese and chips, etc.)... Keeps them eating and that makes them DRINK! (Where the bar makes their money!) This is not a necessity, but we've found it keeps everyone happy and they drink more because of the salty chips. Also, IMPORTANT! Have some carnival tickets or drink tickets handy to pass out so the bar can keep track of who gets what and no one is trying to get over on them.

5. The winner of the daily doubles (they must answer correctly) receives a drink determined by the bar manager each night (usually something their trying to get rid of!) ie. for the LSU vs Alabama game, they had about 6 bottles of Alabama Slammer... so we gave away shots of Alabama Slammer because they knew they wouldn't get rid of it. Plus, the bar gets bottles of FREE alcohol for purchasing a certain amount of something!

6. The OVERALL CHAMPION for the night receives a $50 Gift certificate to the bar or a Bar Tab (Make sure it expires!).

7. We also had some business cards printed up (and numbered) that are actually coupons for a free draught beer the FOLLOWING TRIVIA NIGHT! It gets them to come back!

8. Utilize the top banners to promote drink specials, advertise for trivia night, announce the nightly Daily Double Drink, etc.

9. Take a short break in-between rounds to allow players to refresh their drinks, smoke, go to the bathroom, etc. We play music videos in-between rounds during the break... its an AWESOME DRAW in and of itself!

10. MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS!!! Congratulations to round winners, reinforce "EVERY WEEK HERE AT ______", Drink specials, maybe hourly drink deals etc. Oh, and a big one... "DONT FORGET TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!"

Bottom line is the bar has to realize that what they're willing to give away is going to make them a lot of money in return. They need to be on board to help bring in the customers. Our trivia night didn't actually turn a profit for like 3 months... but hey, on those nights the bar wasn't making money anyway because it was DEAD! Now we use about 20 buzzers each week!

As for YOUR pay... I actually had to settle for dinner and free drinks until the ball started rolling. Work a deal with them that after they start pulling in some money, you start getting paid. Now I get $100 a night for the 3 hours of work (8pm till 11pm). It also allows the bar to not LOSE money while word is spreading... see, you have to figure, if they have 2 or 3 bartenders, a barback and a manager working on a dead night... they're losing money anyway! Anyone that you get to come back, or bring more people is profit to them!

It will be rough at the start... but it will definitely be worth it to all parties involved in the long run. But you have to get some kind of a committment from the bar... it will never work if they're looking for reasons to tell you to pack it up... and them losing money is a definite reason!

Hope it helps! Let me know if you have any questions! I'd be more than happy to assist you in getting it rolling.

Offline Thomas Dorsher

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Re: Starting at a New Bar
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 02:45:30 PM »
Great advise F.King.  I am going to have to try some of those thoughts even with my well-established clients.  GramS, did you see these posts:


These 2 posts along with F.King's post will get you right where you need to be with your venue.