As digital marketing has evolved, restaurant and bar owners have come to understand its benefits. However, increasingly business owners see digital marketing as an essential tool for standing out in the marketplace. They are learning how to use it effectively themselves, as well as hiring people to help.
So what is on the horizon for 2020? Here are the top bar and restaurant marketing trends to watch out for in 2020.
Many bars and restaurants are still stuck in the old way of doing marketing. They send paper menus via direct mail to their customers as a way to drum up new business. In 2020, you can expect to see that more marketers start to instead send personalized invitations via direct mail because they are easier to track from an ROI standpoint. This approach also helps marketers to better understand the individual preferences of each customer.
Chatbots have been a trend in marketing for some time. However, many restaurants and bars are still not using them because they don’t know how to use them effectively. In 2020, you can expect that more restaurants and bars will be creating “VIP lists” of customers. They can use the chatbots at any time to update them about specials, live events, and more.
In 2019, 68% of restaurants reported having an Instagram profile. In 2020, this figure is expected to rise even higher and to become as commonplace as the 91% of restaurants who reported having a Facebook profile. Instagram makes it insanely easy to visually portray a restaurant or bar in a positive light through high-quality photos and videos. It is also the ideal platform to reach millennial and Gen Z customers.
User Generated Content
Customer proof is far more effective than any branding messages that a restaurant or bar can create. As a result, more restaurants and bars will begin to leverage the content that their followers create in promotional videos and even within the establishment itself as decorations.
Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers have been a boon for retail in the past few years. In 2020, we can expect to see more restaurants and bars leverage social media influencers to promote their businesses. Expect to see collaborations between restaurants and bars and popular food and drink influencers, especially to boost awareness about special events.
With all of the focus on climate change in 2019, restaurants and bars will be pushed to create purpose-driven marketing as a way to differentiate their businesses as brands that conscious consumers should support. From touting locally sourced foods to the reduction of plastic and other waste, expect to see more brands promote their positive impacts.
BOTY Marketing Platform
BOTY is a marketing solution for bar and restaurant professionals to reach customers directly in an industry specific community. The SaaS model helps bar owners to eliminate the confusion of all the tech driven resources available while providing a simple platform to enhance the customer experience, make better business decisions and improve their bottom line.
We hope that you've found these trends helpful. Hopefully, they will give you some ideas of how to get an edge on the competition in 2020 and bring in more profits.
Want to connect people at your bar in a whole new way? Sign up for the ultimate marketing platform at Get BOTY!
Is your wallet feeling a lot lighter after paying bills? Do you hate not having enough money saved?
So you're feeling frugal, but you still want to drink tonight. Fortunately, we have some tips to help you make it happen. Here's how to enjoy barhopping on a budget.
Make a Barhopping Budget Before You Go
Before you head out tonight be aware of how much money you plan to spend. It seems so simple, but for most people, a barhopping budget seems to go right out the window as soon as they open up a tab at that first bar.
If you know that, as soon as you buy your first few rounds, a hypothetical budget isn't going to work, try making actual limits for yourself by only bringing a certain amount of cash. Leaving your cards at home so that you can't spend more then you’ve budgeted will make it also impossible for you to drink yourself into debt.
Don’t Forget About the Tips
When you make your barhopping budget, don’t forget about the tips for your bartenders. Those tips add up fast, and even more so if you plan to go to more than a couple of bars over the course of the night. On average, your tip should be around 20% of the drink price.
To help you figure out how much you might spend on tips, think about how many drinks you usually order in an evening and the average cost of each drink. Then you’ll know about how much of your budget will go to the drinks themselves and how much you’re likely to spend on tips.
Look Out for Drink Specials
Almost every bar offers happy hour and other drink specials. If you just pay attention to the specials, you'll know what's available for you to order at cheaper prices. You can also try only including bars in your barhopping plan that are likely to offer drink specials, like dive bars.
As another tip, you can find drink specials simply by looking at the bar's website, Facebook or Yelp page. Don't be afraid to go full cheapskate and use apps to find check-in discounts at local bars in your area.
One Word: Pre-Game
If you want to save money while at the bar, the secret is to pre-game at home before you go. However, make sure that you stick to only having a couple of drinks so that you don't end up wasted after only going to the first bar with your friends.
On the other hand, by pre-gaming, you’ll also have a bit of a buzz going already so you won’t feel compelled to order extra drinks later on if you end up at a bar that serves watered down drinks for $15 each.
The bottom line? Plan ahead. Sometimes ‘adulting’ is hard but you don't have to let your finances ruin a great night out if you don't let them. So drink up and enjoy saving money in the process!
Is it your dream to become the cool person that the bartender gives a nod to when you approach the bar? Do you want to impress someone you just met with your expert drink selection skills?
Follow these rules to learn how to order drinks at the bar to ensure a pleasant drinking experience for yourself and to avoid pissing the bartender off.
Don't say: "Give me whatever you got."
Bartenders don't want to have to read your mind to figure out which brands of craft beer you like. So when it comes deciding which brand of alcohol you want to drink, take a second and actually pick something from the menu. You'll save the bartender time and you'll actually get something you want to drink.
Don't wave your money around or cut in front of others
So you just got a raise at your job. Good for you. But acting like you're better than other customers at the bar won't win you any points with the bartender. Don't stop the bartender from taking other orders ahead of you first; don't try to get faster service by flashing your cash. You'll get your drink.
Do greet your bartender
While you don't have to pretend to be besties from college, greeting the bartender and treating them like an actual human goes a long way in showing that you're a good customer. Say hello, please, and thank you as you place your drink order.
Don't ask for extra liquor for free
Bars exist to make money and they're not in the business of making your drink stronger for free. In fact, a lot even measure their drinks to make sure that their employees pour the right amounts. So don't expect any favors that you aren't paying for.
Don't flirt to get better service
If you thought the bartender was into you simply because they are being really nice, they're really just doing it because it's their job. While there's always a chance that the bartender is actually attracted to you, it's mostly a good idea to leave the bartender alone. No one likes to be harassed while they're working.
Don’t ask a million questions
If you don't know what you want to drink, ask for a menu. While the bartender can answer your questions, a lengthy conversation with you takes away from the time that they could be spending on other bartending tasks. If choosing a drink is usually a tough decision for you, work it out on your own with the menu or ask a friend for help.
Don't forget to tip
Now that you have your drink, make sure that you leave a good tip. Make sure to leave at least a standard tip and even a little extra if you liked the service. The bartender will appreciate your generosity and will be even happier to serve you next time.
Getting a drink in a crowded bar seem like a nightmare to you?
If you want to get the bartender's attention, the best way is to make yourself stand out in a good way. Here are 5 of the best tips for getting a drink in a crowded bar that make it a lot easier and won't get you thrown out.
1. Wear Something Flashy
Wearing something sparkly or flashy will catch the bartender's eye. A nice watch or necklace does the trick. Not only will it show that you're probably ready to spend some cash but it will also probably catch some eyes from across the room.
2. Put Your Cash in the Air
Raising your hand in the air with a few dollars in it is like getting on the express line when it comes to getting a drink at the bar. Bartenders want to deal with patrons who will get their drinks, pay fast, and get out of the way.
By showing the bartender that you know what the deal is, you can be sure that the bartender will notice you a lot sooner. Just make sure that you also leave a nice tip.
3. Strike Up a Conversation
If you see some people who seem to be getting a lot more attention from the bartender than anyone else, head over and strike up a conversation. You can even offer to buy them a drink.
You'll make some fast new friends who will probably introduce you to the bartender. It's a win-win for you: you get a drink and some new acquaintances.
4. Find an Empty Space
In most crowded bars, there are usually small spaces where people aren't smashed against the bar. Duck and dodge your way through the crowd until you reach this temporary oasis.
It's best to do this fast before someone else catches on to your strategy. Once you're there, congrats! You can now place an order while everyone else waits.
5. Just Ask Someone
If you've managed to get your first drink but you're now staring in fear at navigating the crowd to get another round, there's one final tip that can save you from waiting an eternity for your drink.
This is also a great tip if you're short. Politely tap someone on the shoulder who seems to be getting drinks easily and ask them for help. A simple, "Hey, if I buy you a drink, can you please get the bartender for me?" should do the trick.
Know When It's a Lost Cause
Sometimes you might just have to wait. However, if you see other people crowd surfing just to get closer to the bar, better get out your surfboard instead!
It's everyone's dream while traveling in an unfamiliar city to walk into a random bar and discover that it's one of the best kept secrets. Unfortunately, most travelers don't know how to find the best places to drink and just settle for the bars that are close to their hotels.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be your fate on your next trip out of town. If you're looking for a solid drinking experience that you can brag about, here's how to find awesome bars while traveling.
Rely on Your Social Network
Before you leave, tap into your online network. Go on Facebook or Instagram! Ask your friends if they know someone who might be able to recommend some bars in your travel destination. You might have some friends who know bartenders, chefs, and other people who work in the hospitality industry.
You can ask these people for recommendations on where to go once you arrive. Most will be happy to even connect you with someone they know that works in the place that you're traveling to.
See What the Locals Post Online
Foodie blogs that are posted by bloggers in the location to where you're traveling can be a big help. These bloggers typically review places that have been recommended to them by locals. This is also a great way to find out what drinks and spirits are popular with the locals.
Skip the Online Reviews
Bars that have been reviewed extensively on online review sites are likely to be overrun with tourists. In addition, they probably also aren't the places that are popular with the locals. If you want an authentic bar experience, don’t rely on online reviews written by people who don’t live in the area.
A lot of online reviews for the most popular places in a city are usually written by tourists. They may be biased and could even deter you from visiting a cool bar. Someone might point out negative experiences at a bar simply because it wasn’t to up to their own personal cultural standards.
Research the Bars That Serve the Most Popular Local Drinks
Almost every popular destination around the world is known for a particular drink or spirit. As a result, the easiest way to find an awesome bar is to find a bar that is famous for a local drink.
These aren't the bars that people will go out to for an ordinary night of drinking. Instead, they'll be somewhere that people go when they want to have a special night out to celebrate, which will pretty much guarantee you a great time.
Finally, don't look for the foreign version of a bar that's popular back at home. It's not going to give you an authentic idea of what it's like to drink in your destination city. Now is the time to try something new and different. So get out there and live a little (or a lot)!
To be a great bartender, you may think that you need to memorize hundreds of cocktail recipes. However, the truth is that you really need to only know the ones that your customers usually drink.
Here are 5 cocktail recipes to master so that you'll be able to satisfy even the most sophisticated bar patron.
1. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned has a lot of variations on the recipe. However, it is overall known as a simple but classic drink that every good bartender should know how to make well.
Here is the recipe to follow:
1⁄2 tsp Sugar
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 tsp Water
2 oz Bourbon
Large Ice Cubes
Add the water, sugar, and bitters to the glass and stir until the sugar becomes dissolved. Then add large ice cubes and the bourbon and stir gently to allow the flavors to combine.
Garnish with an orange peel and serve in an old fashioned glass.
2. Moscow Mule
The Moscow Mule is a popular drink because it goes down easy and it's served in a distinctive copper mug. Although, it was invented in 1941, it has become popular again these days because people love ginger beer and it is readily available thanks to the popularity of craft beer.
Here is the recipe to follow:
2 Shots Vodka
1⁄2 oz Lime Juice
1⁄2 cup Ginger Beer
Garnish with a lime wedge. Serve in a copper mug.
The Margarita is the perfect summertime cocktail and one of the world's most popular cocktails. Whether served frozen or on the rocks, the recipe for making a margarita is the same, except for the fact that you need to blend the margarita mix with crushed iced for a frozen margarita.
Here is the recipe to follow:
1 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 oz Blanco Tequila
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Garnish with a lime wheel and serve in a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with salt.
4. Long Island Iced Tea
The Long Island Iced Tea is a staple of college bars and nightclubs. It's essentially a blend of many different spirits, but the key is mixing the ingredients in the right proportions so that it actually tastes good.
Here is the recipe to follow:
Vodka (1⁄2 shot)
White Rum (1⁄2 shot)
Blanco Tequila (1⁄2 shot)
Gin (1⁄2 shot)
Triple Sec (1⁄2 shot)
Fresh Lemon Juice (1⁄2 shot)
Simple Syrup (1⁄2 shot)
Finish with a spritz of cola and garnish with a lemon wedge. Serve in a hurricane glass filled with ice.
5. Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary is considered to be the perfect cure for a hangover. It’s a favorite that people enjoy whether it's brunch or lunch. While some people hate it, others absolutely love it many due to the unique ingredients of tomato juice and hot sauce.
Here is the recipe to follow:
2 Shots Vodka
4 Shots Tomato Juice
¾ Shot Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Dashes of Tabasco
3 Dashes of Worcester Sauce
¼ of a Teaspoon of Horseradish (optional)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Garnish with a rib of celery and serve in a hurricane glass.
Here's the best times to post on social media while you’re at the bar.
When You Arrive
So you’ve just arrived at the bar and your friends are starting show up as well. Now’s the perfect time to whip out your phone and capture some of that “Omg, I haven’t seen you in forever!” excitement.
Take selfies with your friends and make sure to get one of the entire group before you guys head into the bar. Don’t forget to get yourself into all of the shots. Unless you’re a journalist, you should actually be in the photos and videos that you’re posting online!
When Your Drink Arrives
You just ordered the craziest drink on the menu (after all who really needs a giant frozen beer margarita). It’s arrived at your table and its huge. Now’s the time to post on social media and let everybody know what you’re drinking tonight!
Even if you’ve opted to order something a bit more sexy, you can post pics of your drink just to show how sophisticated you are. Post yourself or a friend taking that first sip so that it’s a lot more interesting than just a pic or video of a drink.
While You're Talking Shots
The highlight of hanging out at the bar is always taking shots. Gather everybody for a photo and take pics while you down your shots. Order a few rounds so that you can catch your friends finally letting loose.
While You're Dancing
After a few drinks, there’s always somebody that’s willing to do the worm in your crew. Head out to the dance floor and take some videos of you dancing with your friends. You can even start a drunken dance battle to see who’s the master.
While the Group Is All Together
If you haven’t had many opportunities to take pics for the ‘gram tonight, make sure that you do it while the group is still all together. Later in the night, people will start going their own separate ways and you may not get a chance later to snap any pics of your whole crew.
So demand that everybody get together for another photo before it’s too late. Ideally you’ll want to do this before everybody gets up from the table or starts heading for the door so that it looks natural and not staged.
Follow these tips and you’ll look like you had the best night out ever (even if you didn’t)!
Regardless of what your favorite team is, watching sports online at home gets boring.
If you're looking for an excuse to get out of the house, here's why it's more fun to watch sports at the bar instead of online.
The game always comes first, but having a cold craft brew should be second on your list. While you can probably pick up something from the store on your way home, there's nothing better than drinking a craft beer from the tap in the perfect cold glass.
The other benefit to going to the bar is that you can also try some new varieties that you probably can’t find in the store.
Die Hard Fans
All of the die hard sports fans are down at the bar where they can be with the other members of their tribe. If you go hard, you need to be there too. Stop half-assing it by staying in the house and get to the bar and help your team win. You’ll even get to show off your latest team gear.
See the Game From Every Angle
Good sports bars put a lot of effort into making sure that you can enjoy the game no matter where you sit or stand. If you're interesting in making sure that you catch every play, you'll need more than one screen to do it. Plus, there's a bartender to make you a drink so that you don't have to miss anything when you're ready for another round.
Meet People Who Root for the Underdogs
Are you tired of your friends bullying you because you’re the one person that roots for a team that just can’t seem to break that losing streak? If you watch games at home, you’ll only continue to feel left out. By watching the game at the bar, you’ll find other Pistons fans that still have hope just like you. Don’t abandon your team. Get some new friends instead!
You might make the best nachos at 7-Eleven but you could be enjoying some crispy fish and chips or bacon burger sliders if you go to the bar instead. Unless you’re cooking up something great at home, watching the game online usually means that you’ll be eating a bag of greasy chips and wiping your hand on your pants. Go with your taste buds and get to the bar!
Game Day Specials
If your argument for staying home is because you don’t want to spend money, you’re in luck because most sports bars offer game day specials. That means you’ll get to enjoy food and drinks at a discount. So you’ll get to watch your favorite sports, with fans of your favorite team, and save money!
Now that you don't have any more excuses, it's time to stop being a hermit at home and find an awesome sports bar tonight. You'll be glad you did.
It’s 5 p.m. and you’re not ready to give up on having fun tonight. However, you’re not sure if you’ll head out because you’re starting to get comfortable on the couch. That’s why we’re here to give you some instant motivation.
Before you start getting ready to leave, make sure to read these 5 reasons why you should go to the bar tonight.
1. Get Some Action
Let’s face it. The bar is probably one of the easiest places to meet people fast. If you’re looking for some action, the bar is almost always the best place to do it. Whether you want a hookup or just some attention from other people to remind yourself that ‘you still got it,’ hurry up and get to the bar. Your ego will thank you later.
2. Be a Good Friend
Your friend has been feeling down lately and could really use a pick-me-up. Whether the issue is a bad breakup or family issues, you can be a good friend by taking them to the bar tonight. If you just get up and go to the bar tonight, they’ll be sure to return the favor when you need a friend to buy you a few rounds.
3. You (Really) Want to Party
Come on, you know you really want to party. But you also don’t want to mess up your house. Fortunately, there’s a place that exists that will let you get your drink on without you having to wash a single dish. It’s called the bar and it’s calling your name tonight.
Soon you could be listening to your favorite songs and enjoying a tasty drink if you get ready to leave now!
4. Social Media Is Getting Boring
You were planning to stay in tonight and just look at Facebook until you saw that your friends haven’t made updates in a few hours. You’ve also run out of memes to laugh at and videos to watch.
You’re bored with social media right now. There’s nothing left for you there if you don’t leave your house. So text those friends that you haven’t heard from and tell them to meet you in 1 hour at your favorite dive bar.
5. You're Already Procrastinating
You have some stuff that you need to do for work or school but right not it's just not getting done. Instead of flipping TV channels pretending like you’re going to get to work right after you finish this episode, it's time to face the truth.
You're not getting any work done tonight, period. So instead of missing out on happy hour and meeting someone hot at the bar, get up and get dressed right now. Head to the bar and turn this night around. You can take care of whatever you were supposed to do tomorrow.
You really don't need anything complicated to knock people's socks off. Here are a few awesome and easy ways to impress your friends at the bar.
These tips work great with anyone, even with that girl or guy that you just met that you’re hoping might become more than a friend to you soon!
Order a Whiskey
Ordering a whiskey, neat, makes you look insanely cool no matter who you are. You're friends will instantly think that you've stepped up your game. It may even make them rethink their own drink choices.
Join In on Trivia Night
If you are a trivia buff, a bar night out is the perfect time to show off your skills. Form a team with your friends and help lead the team to victory. You'll not only impress your friends, but you might even win an awesome prize or some cash!
Learn Some Pool Tricks
It's always satisfying to have some tricks up your sleeve? Pool is a great sport to play with friends. Even if you’re a beginner you can still show off a little. Use these tricks to help distract your friends while you play.
You can also do some gag shots to trick your friends into buying you a drink. Either way, you'll have a great time and and improve your pool skills at the same time.
Choose Some Bars for a Bar Hop
Instead of just letting your friends go to the closest bars around, why not choose some trendy bars for you guys to check out as a group? Chances are that your picks will have better cocktails and a much more exciting crowd.
You’ll also look like an awesome friend for planning things and finding places that you know that they would love.
Do a Bar Trick
Do you know how to tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue? Can you get an olive into a martini without touching it (Hint: swirl the olive in an upside down wine glass and then drop it into the martini glass)?
If you want to become the guy or girl that everyone wants to go to the bar with, bar tricks are the best way to impress your friends. However, make sure you know what you're doing so that you don't break anything or set the place ablaze!
Learn How to Take Awesome Selfies
Now that you know how to impress your friends at the bar, it’s time to document the entire night. Take some awesome selfies to post to Instagram to let everyone know what a great time you’ve had.
From fun pics to selfies that make you look your best, knowing how to take selfies better than anyone will definitely help you to impress your friends at the bar.
So you’re a creature of habit when it comes to drinking at the bar. Wouldn’t you be surprised to know that your drink of choice actually says a lot about your personality?
Here are some fun insights that you should know about.
Beer and a Shot
If you regularly order a beer and a shot, hats off to you! This means that you're someone who probably can be trusted. It also shows that you like to have a good time and you're probably really good at making friends and talking to strangers.
If you order champagne it usually means that you're a really fun friend that loves to celebrate. It also means that you want your friends to have a good time too, even if it's just Tuesday night at the bar.
Champagne drinkers love to celebrate life’s little victories.
Cider shows that you're responsible and you probably don't want to drink too much. It probably also means that you're not really into beer or drinking at all for that matter.
Gin and Tonic
Ordering a gin and tonic means that you're a no-nonsense kind of person. After all, why would you want anything like fruits coming between you and your booze?
People probably know that you love to drink but since you're so polite about the whole matter they don't even notice when you're on your third or fourth drink.
Long Island Iced Tea
If you love to drink Long Island Iced Teas, you pretty much don't give a shit about what you're drinking tonight, as long as it's strong.
It also means that you're probably not afraid of going to jail or fighting the next person that looks at you the wrong way.
Mojitos are for people who love to get the party started. While you might be considered kind of a jerk for making things difficult for the bartender with all of those mint leaves and muddling, it's still a drink that doesn't give away your status as either an amateur or experienced drinker.
It also shows that you're probably ready to get out there on the dance floor. So drink up and then show off your expert salsa moves.
Taking tequila shots means one of two things. First, that things have gone so wrong tonight that you no longer care. Or second, that you have a ton of friends and someone else is buying them for you.
Tequila shots as your drink of choice also show that you love to dance.
If you love to drink wine, you probably spend a lot of time drinking it alone. Fortunately, drinking wine in public looks classy so no one will ever know about your personal woes. It also says that you might be a bit of a foodie since you enjoy a drink that goes well with a meal.
Whether you're addicted to social media or planning to become a social media celebrity, you can't hang out just anywhere. In fact, every time you go out, you're probably looking for an opportunity to add more followers and take new selfies.
Fortunately, there are plenty of bars that are happy to cater to your needs. Here are 3 types of bars that are perfect for social media addicts that you’re sure to love.
If you’re goal is to get more followers to help you become a social media superstar, a college bar is the place to go to. At a college bar, everyone is likely to be glued to their phones just like you. So you definitely won’t feel left out.
There will also be a ton of new people for you to connect with to add to your growing list of followers. Chat with others around you and see how many people you can add to your Instagram account before the night is over.
You’ve been working out non-stop for the past six months on your awesome beach bod. Now is the time to show it off by going to the beach bar. Be sure to go to a sexy beach and find a hot group of girls or guys to pose with for your selfies.
Beach bars are also great for showing off your drinking talents. Order some shooters or a crazy tiki drink and take videos of yourself drinking it. Make sure that you keep your sunglasses on at all times for extra flattering pics.
If want to show off your new team jersey, the sports bar is an awesome place to take selfies. Now only will you have a great time, you'll also get to show what a dedicated fan you are to all of your followers on social media.
However, a sports bar isn't just for watching the game. It's also a great for looking super popular when you take selfies with all of your friends in a crowded bar. On the other hand, even if you have no interest in the game itself, you can still gain likes online by attending whatever game or match people have been dying to watch for weeks.
Make your followers super jealous by making sure that you have the best seats in the house. Don’t forget to take some vertical videos every time your team scores to show how crazy the crowd is.
All of these bars make for a great night out. In addition, someone just might recognize you from YouTube and want to take a selfie with you. How awesome is that?