Are Your Draft Beer Promotions Well Planned?

Ever have seemingly good bar promotions go bad? A blog post on The Score about a free beer giveaway may be a little dated, but it's still one of our favorites and provides a valuable lesson on being careful what you wish for. This particular bar promotion idea was to offer a free minute of beer for each day the National Football League lock continued. For example at 30 days, customers could enjoy 30 minutes of free beer (Note: The 2011 NFL lockout ended up lasting 130 days.). And while any bar owner will agree that effective promotions are critical to driving traffic and sales, these ideas need to be thought out.

It's critically important to follow your local serving regulations as they relate to the amount being served as well as any pricing restrictions (i.e. buy one, get one free). But while the rules do have to be followed, there's nothing wrong with getting creative when developing your promotions. In the NFL lockout example, perhaps offering free beer to an event that didn't have a definitive ending was a bit risky. On the other hand, it was certainly a unique way to utilize a current event to try to recoup some of the business being lost due to the lockout.

Marketing ideas for restaurants are everywhere, but it's important to find bar promotions that work for your clientele. Good promotions focus on the customer, but also needs to make your money! offers some tips on successful promotions, and here is a critical one…

Budget first, then spend Any promotion needs a return on investment, Work out whether you want your return in cold hard cash on the night of the promotion or whether you will run at a loss to gain exposure, build awareness and collect contact details. Whatever your reason (and either is fine…it's your business!), write down your goal and the cost associated with achieving it. Then price each aspect of the promotion from staffing, equipment, free drinks etc. If it all makes sense and the figures add up, create a system to track each of these parts of the pie as the promotion so that you don't run over budget.

Take some time and plan your promotions so they work. It will be time well spent.


The Beer Tubes Guys