When people are looking for a quiet evening at an elegant restaurant, they typically don’t go to a sports bar. Just the same, when a group of friends want to watch a football or baseball game over a couple beers, the don’t head to the nicest restaurant in town. Knowing your audience and the simple ways to cater to them will go a long way in increasing your customer base.
Five Ways to Create a Successful Restaurant for Sports Fans
1. TVs. Lots of Them, Too.
If a sports bar or restaurant has no place to watch the night’s game, obviously no one is going to come. Having multiple, large screen televisions strategically placed throughout the restaurant will give all patrons a good view of whatever game is on. If two or three games are sharing the same time slot, make sure you have at least two TVs for each game. Having abundance and variety in the sports programming you offer will not go unnoticed by patrons.
2. Have an Extensive Beer List
Having the regular standbys and cheap beer is always a good idea, but offering a wide variety of other beers, both on tap and in a bottle or can, will be appreciated by customers. Depending of the size of the town your restaurant is in, there may not be many places where people can get a unique beer. Make your restaurant that place for them.
3. Have Cheap & Delicious Food Options
A good-sized menu of finger foods and small plates that are easy for sharing will be a big hit with sports fans. Most people who come to enjoy a game at a bar or restaurant come in a group. Small bites like hot wings, quesadillas, chips and mini burgers are popular and easy to share amongst a group of friends. Offering a platter option that has a little bit of everything for a reasonable price is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
4. Have Specials That Target Game Night Patrons
In addition to having great beer and food options, make sure your restaurant is advertising specials that will make these drinks and bites even more appealing on game night. Having one or two beer and food specials per night will give patrons something to look forward to besides the game. They will be more likely to come back in the future knowing they can socialize with friends and also get a great deal on drinks and food.
5. Have a Staff That Can Tolerate Noise
Sports games, whether it’s baseball, football, basketball or hockey, usually draw in a fair share of loud customers. Make sure you have employed a tolerant staff that is capable of handling loud and sometimes rowdy crowds. The last thing a customer wants when they are enjoying a night with friends is a waiter or waitress who is rude because they cannot handle the noise sports game generate.
On the other hand, guests don’t like to go to restaurants where the staff cannot control a wild patron. Make sure your staff knows what to do if things get out of hand, and make sure they can handle to day-to-day craziness.
These tips will go a long way in improving the look and feel of your sports bar or restaurant. Creating a warm, welcoming and safe environment where people know they can go to enjoy a game along with food a drinks will keep them coming back again and again.
Amy Gorczowski is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including restaurants in Las Vegas. She writes for Restaurants.com, a leading restaurant directory of top dining locations.