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"Here at Titty Twister we're slashing pussy in half."

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aribidi, May 11, 2011.

  1. Chirpy

    Chirpy
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    No. Seriously, no.

    I was managing a bar that did this "to get more bodies in there" and it was a disaster. We had more problems, more fights, more cops called during this period than any other time in the bar's history. Ironically, it had the exact opposite effect to get people in there because all the cheap amateur drunks would show up, driving out the people who would actually spend real money. Once they got rid of the gimmick, sales actually went up and now it's one of the best bars in my area.

    As for ideas: we had 3-2-1 happy hour ($3 well drinks, $2 imports, $1 off drafts) that became pretty successful as well as half priced wine night.

    I'd also second Fawkes's idea...In my state, you can't have a competition in a bar that includes any kind of alcohol but in surrounding states, beer pong tourneys pack them in.
     
  2. PewPewPow

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    This, and dollar tequila shots before ten on Tuesdays.

    Or just take the easy way out and become a strip club.
     
  3. Nitwit

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    Stock a wide variety of beer from around the world. Get a mug engraving/labeling pen/set and sell them their own personal drinking mug to design as they please. Keep a notebook of which beers they drink and award prizes to them as they reach personal milestones. At 180 different "Beers from Around the World", they get some sort of a grand prize. I think it was a leather jacket at the bar I drank at. When they aren't there, hang the mugs on the wall.

    In school, there was a bar that ran "Drink and Drown" on Thursday nights. $10 dollar cover, nickle drinks.
     
  4. Trakiel

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    A local place I go to is like this, they have one of the biggest wide-ranging collections of beer on tap and in bottles that I've seen. I've been curious to try some of their foreign bottled beer but I always wonder how long those bottles have been sitting around waiting for someone to order them. Would it be rude of me to ask how long they've had a particular bottle of beer before ordering?
     
  5. magz

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    The first thought I had after reading that was, "I know that guy is from Minnesota."

    While normally that would be a good suggestion, I don't think it would really fly in a college bar. One of the bars I frequent runs a pretty successful meat raffle, but the average patron is a middle aged worker class type, not a 21 year old looking to get their drink on. Something like bargo may work, but that's dependent on what the state gambling laws are in the OP's state.

    Do you run any kind of happy hours? 2-for-1 beers, cheap pitchers, etc. are nice if you want to go out but are on a budget.
     
  6. Frebis

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    It is important to keep in mind that some beers get better with age (Imperial Stouts and Sours).

    Others don't (IPAs).

    It's never a bad thing to ask because of the reasons above. I have some vintages in my cellar that are three years old. One day I will open them. Supposedly distributors are supposed to take any beer that is past it's freshness date. I don't know if that happens or not. If the bar staff is knowledgeable they should know when you need to drink the beer by, and if the beer is past its prime. If they don't know anything about the beer they serve I would sure as fuck never drink it.
     
  7. heideman

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    So what have we learned? No spelling bee's, and keep cover charges for guys.
     
  8. lust4life

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    Beer and liquor distributors are usually very agreeable to hosting some kind of event if they get to promote one of their brands. An ad campaign on a radio station targeting your demographic can be done for relatively short money (depending on the city) and you can negotiate a "live remote" at the bar into the contract (you can also see if one of your beer distributors is willing to co-op the radio buy with his brand--especially if he's got a new a product to push).

    Of course, there's also midget-tossing.
     
  9. PeruvianSoup

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    Remember to appeal to your target demographic. Also, remember the significance of certain nights over others. Throwing a trivia night on the weekend is doomed to disaster because college kids are looking to get plastered. Not answer more questions about things they may or may not know. So, set it up on a Tuesday when they're looking for more casual things to do.

    Theme nights were incredibly popular at my college. Still are, in fact. 90's nights, 80's nights and Country nights really drew in the girls on weekdays, which in turn brought the guys out. You know what failed? A Tapas bar. So keep that in mind.
     
  10. The Dread Pirate

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    I'm pretty close to the target demographic, so I'll open my mouth on this one.

    The most packed bar near my school was a Buffalo Wild Wings-type place. Why? Because they had a college-kid targeted special every night of the week. Along with the usual flatscreen TVs and hot waitresses, these were the specials that got almost every over-21 college kid in the door:

    Monday - half price burgers from 3pm-7pm
    Tuesday - $1 domestic bottles from 3pm-9pm
    Wednesday - all you can eat wings for $11.99 (their biggest night)
    Thursday - $1 domestic bottles from 3pm-9pm (2nd biggest night)
    Friday - some sort of lame discount on mixed drinks. I never went on Fridays.

    The other really awesome thing they had was a "Bomb List" of about 15 or 20 different bomb-type drinks. Bombs were $2.50 each all day, every day. They were made with the cheapest liquor imaginable, but you could get seriously fucked up for under $30 if you came in and just had bombs.

    Also, they'd almost always have some sort of promotional girls running around with free swag and drink samples on Wednesday and Thursday nights. They'd also have contests, door prizes, and raffles to win stupid promotional shit - all of which drew in an INSANE number of kids. I remember buying like 20 $1 raffle tickets to win the big plastic Captain Morgan statue they had up front.

    Edit:

    Another really popular bar for college kids was McFadden's in Washington, DC. Almost everyone went there on Friday and Saturday nights. To get kids in the door, they have you sign up on a sheet with your email and birthday. Once a week, they draw a certain number of names off the email list and give them an open bar for the night (as long as they use the little green winner's cup). Any of their friends who say the winner's name at the door get a bracelet for $2 well drinks all night. You also get this automatically on your birthday.

    The idea is genius and I actually used it as an example in one of my econ papers. What usually happens is the person who won the free open bar gets really motivated to go out that night (it's a free night out for them). They get on Facebook, create a group, and put together a drinking trip. The bar simply eats the cost of one person's drinks in exchange for the person bringing out a huge ass group of people. The members of the group are motivated to come because they get $2 well drinks all night. It's not uncommon for a winner to bring 10-30 people out on a given night. The other awesome part is that when you go out in a large group, usually someone else in the group wins for the next week. Of course, you'll end up going there again and the cycle repeats. I must have gone out for happy hour groups a dozen times this year already.
     
  11. Poopourri

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    The bar I worked at for years and years was always packed, regardless of the night, who was in town, over break, etc. This was for a couple reasons, most of which are easily repeatable no matter what cliques frequent your bar or its location. I'm sure some of you guys are going to get pissed off, and whine about the reasons behind certain things, but...hey, don't kill the messenger. Only mentioning what works and why it works.

    1. Have an all you can drink night. We did it twice a week, Wednesday from 10-12am and Friday 6-8pm. Everyone is charged a cover, $7 and they receive ONE cup which was used to order well liquor drinks. If you drank beer the bartender would exchange your cup for a beer cup and it was always a beer that was about to be out of rotation or we needed keg space (ie: Coors Banquet, MGD, etc).

    Our bar's official capacity was a little over 100 people (ie: we would run it at about 130-140 on busy nights), and we always staffed the AYCD with two security guys (who were responsible for selling bands/cups/keeping track of money) and only one bartender. One bartender can't do too much damage unless he's running the plank like Carl Lewis, so you pack the place, everyone thinks they're getting a great deal ("But dude...it's ALL YOU CAN DRINK") and there's not as big of a dent into your liquor inventory as you would think. As soon as AYCD is over, the rest of the bar staff comes on and it's business as usual.

    2. Have a couple constant specials. We always had $1 single/$2double wells before midnight, every night of the week (makes AYCD look pretty stupid, but...few people pack into happy hour for JUST the booze, so we got away with it), $1 drafts of the shittiest beers (Natural Light, Keystone, Miller, etc). After midnight, prices doubled ($2/$4). Still pretty cheap, and everyone is already drunk.

    3. We ran something called Two Dollar Tuesdays. As soon as we opened (8pm) it was a $2 cover to get into the bar, but pretty much anything you wanted was $2. Pitcher of Coors Light? Two bucks. Jack and coke (single)? Two bucks. Shots of Jager? Two bucks. The only things you couldn't get for that price were pitchers of a handful of beers (Dogfish, Guinness, Sam Adams, etc), which was indicated to the customers.

    4. Guys follow girls, and girls go where they're comfortable and/or liked. Any time there were girls who sparked up a friendship/hookup with a staff member, we milked it. Sorority girls are your friends. Even when they're being idiots and you want to thump in their forehead, they're your friends. All it takes is one group of girls having a good time in your place, maybe getting a couple comped drinks, and now they drag all their friends there. Starts a lineage, where it's just naturally assumed that "Bar X" is where they're supposed to go, because that's where their big/grand-big/etc went. Lame as hell, but their daddy's credit cards aren't.

    5. Merchandise. Price is dictated by demand. If you have shirts hanging on the wall constantly, and you see people wearing them all the time, there's nothing special about them. We never really had shirts for sale, because we were lazy, and when we finally made a batch I put up a sign that said "Limited Edition, when we're sold out we're sold out!" and they were gone in four days. Wait a couple of months, make 100 more, boom...gone. Do special ones for graduation, alumni, etc. Every fall, we make a shirt for the corresponding home game that makes fun of the other team in an especially crude and offensive fashion. Have a contest and pick someone's design, they get a free shirt, and interest is usually high.

    6. Have a drinking club. Not a bunch of fat pricks who get hammered every week, but different clubs that people can be inducted into when they reach a drinking accomplishment.

    -The Globetrotter: 30 beers from 30 different countries (not that hard to get, most distributors will carry enough to make it worthwhile) that have to be completed in 60 days. As soon as they finish, free shirt signifying such.
    -Cantina Club: drink four drinks from each type of tequila (anejo, resposado, gold, silver) and four different beers, in 30 days, and boom...free Cantina Club tshirt.
    -High Society Club: Try all the bourbons, whiskeys, scotches, etc in 30 days.They can drink it mixed, straight, shots, etc. Free shirt.

    Pretty soon people will start to get competitive and it becomes a big thing. Fraternities have unofficial records, random drunks swear they did the Cantina Club in one day, etc.

    7. From time to time we would let people roll dice to decide their tab. If they spent at least $30 and we knew them, they would roll two dies, one at a time. One and six? $16. Three and a two? $32. Occasionally people would roll double sixes, but we almost never made them pay. Usually it would mean bigger tips for the bar staff as the customer would walk out feeling like he got lucky.

    I've got tons more, but this should be a good start.
     
  12. scootah

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    Bars are aiming for one of three kinds of music - shit to get people on the dance floor, live music, or background noise while people talk. Pick one - nail that shit down. Have a DJ who is actually good if you want people to dance. Have live music that is actually good if you're going in that direction. Or have the music volume so people can actually fucking talk.

    Then decide if you're going to be cheap or swanky. If you're going to be cheap, be cheap. Understand that you're trying for a volume market. You need to move a shitload of people through and get them drunk to make money. If you're cheap, as long as you're sanitary and not actively uncomfortable - people will show up. If you're not cheap - then you need to be nice enough to convince people to show up and pay for the privilledge. It's easier to be cheap, but it's more profitable to be swanky if you get it right.

    If you want to go for a theme, you could do a lot worse than ripping off - Mana Bar's model. They charge $15 for a cocktail and $8 for a beer, and pack their place the fuck out 4 nights a week and have enough turn over every week night to remain profitable. They're geeky as fuck - but in a town with a lot of students and IT types - they make a fucking killing. They encourage cos play, they have awesome graffiti in the bathrooms, the entire place is a giant nerd joke full of gaming paraphenalia, and they have a bunch of console game stations that you can play for free if you're drinking. Their model is all about getting people in the door by being awesome and hillarious - and then pulling money out of them in drinks. An amazing number of nerds have girlfriends now - and those girls will demand a shitload of drinks in exchange for going somewhere like Mana bar. It's making the owners a shitload of money - and it's actually a pretty fun place to hang out. They run weeknight themes around the whole nerd thing - new game launch nights, gaming and comic book themed trivia, cosplay contests, etc. They fold in a bunch of social networking stuff as well - if you're the current four square mayor, you get discounts on your drinks and prizes and shit for facebook friends or people who sign up for events online - lots of stuff to encourage customers to advertise for them. Geeks are a nice niche to capture - a lot of nerds make a lot of money and already waste it on crap - convincing them to waste it on your crap can be tricky - but fuck there's money in it.
     
  13. Nitwit

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    That oughta be worth an extra hundred thousand or so in revenue and a whole shit ton of fun.

    Reading that made me want to buy a bar.

    Maybe I'll just get drunk and dream instead.
     
  14. Nettie

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    Since I'm near a town that has a public college, private college, and two community colleges, yeah, college idiots everywhere. Most of the ideas thrown around = for people who are doing something besides just going out to drink just because they can. That being said, almost *every* bar around here has the following. Keep in mind, in IL it's illegal to have a "happy hour" on drink specials. If it's on special, it's on special ALL DAY. You can run food specials for limited hours, but not booze.

    Discounted drinks, different every day. So Monday night might be $2 Bud Light, Tuesday night, $2.50 Miller Lite 16 oz. cans, Wed night, all well drinks $2, Thursday night, $3 bombs, etc.. NEVER run drink specials on Friday/Saturday. That's when you throw in a food special (if they have food). $3 cheeseburger, $4 nachos, etc. They're going to drink anyway, so get 'em there early, and have entertainment* to keep 'em there.

    To get the kiddies going there, make your Sundays awesome. Have a lunch special that is free or super cheap, like a roaster full of chili, taco bar, something like that, from 12-2 (bars here can't open until noon on Sunday). Then a bloody mary special, because they'll come in just for the food to get rid of their hangover, and sure, I can't drink a beer, but I'll have a bloody mary. This is a lot of places "bucket" day. Five beers in a bucket (buckets usually supplied by the distributors) for $10-11. Once they get in the habit of coming in for free/cheap food on Sundays, it will become their hangout during the week. "Hey, I was at Titty Twister on Sunday, and on Mondays, they have $2 Bud Lights, let's hit that place again!"

    *Live music and/or karaoke on Friday/Saturday night. Dart leagues, pool leagues, etc., during the week and/or Sundays.

    College kids aren't looking for class, really. They're looking for cheap, they're looking for fun, they're looking for somewhere they can act stupid (I think, at least). Bartenders who either have a hell of a personality, or are hot. If you get too complicated, they'll go elsewhere.
     
  15. ghettoastronaut

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    A waiter in a restaurant / pub that specializes in a massive selection of beer once greeted me with "Friends, can I get you intoxicated?" I've been back multiple times, and not just because of the great beer.
     
  16. Frank

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    Close the thread and make this post a "how to run a bar" sticky, this isn't going to be topped.

    A local (to my parents') Chinese place will always ask me when I come in "You come to get drunk? Where your mother?" every-time I come in, their food is sub par at best but I won't go anywhere else.
     
  17. Revengeofthenerds

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    I live near a bar that does what they call a "power hour." Every day, 8-9, dollar you-call-its. They never have enough bartenders (good for them) and the place is always packed.

    I think their combination of not having a large parking lot, and not being near any other bars, is what keeps people from just showing up with a DD. By the time power hour is over, everyone's too drunk to go anywhere else so they stick around. I hear around close there's a line of cabs waiting, but I've never made it till close.
     
  18. walt

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    Why not combine the two ? I'd pay to see this. Not that, uh, I'm into golden showers or anything... honest.

    Seriously, just have good bartenders. I go to the places where the bartender pays attention to the customer, not just the tips. When I go somewhere and feel like I have to blow someone to get a drink, I do not return.
     
  19. Crown Royal

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    Does your bar need some "cooling-up"? What's your remedy? The Velvet Rope at the front door, of course.

    There's nothing more attractive on earth than the velvet rope. It means "This place is BETTER than you, asshole. Our doorman has a clipboard and headset!"

    The problem is, once you get inside, past the magical velvet rope, there's a VIP room where only the even COOLER people can get in. Any loser can get in the bar, but in here your a SOMEBODY.

    However, you'll soon realize that any shit-eating rat can get in a VIP room. That's why you have to get in the Champagne Club Room, where only the coolest can get in. This is when you know you've arrived.

    However, after that, there's a room so cool only one guy can get in. Only Jack Nicholson is allowed in that room.

    FOCUS: A cool interior is the way to go. For bars, it has to be contemporary without looking ridiculous once Father Time gets grasp on it. A perfect trifecta of cool, classic and contemporary is the Blue Bar at the Berkely in Knightbridge (London), England. This place is fucking prime:
    [​IMG]

    ...and like I posted before, the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station NY. Possibly the best bar in the USA:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Aribidi

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    Thanks for all your suggestions so far. Some of those sound really golden. While some of them might only appeal to me (I love the idea of a meatraffle, and I'm a spelling-enthusiast, but I don't think those things will catch on in here).

    But if I'm correct, it seems that most of the ideas involve a kind of happy hour/booze discounts. Are there any other things beside that that make you come back to a certain bar?