Bars and nightclubs often throw theme nights to bring in a new audience, celebrate with regulars or provide an entertaining evening. The Nightlife & Club Industry Association of America says that a bar's success depends largely on how well it can attract new customers and create a loyal clientele. Theme nights are an effective way to market your bar for that purpose.
Celebrate a decade of decadence at your bar or club by throwing an 1980s night. Give out small prizes to encourage people to dress in the style of the 1980s. Your food and drink distributors may be able to donate some prizes. Have your DJ play the hits of the 1980s, or if you don't use a DJ, prepare a playlist ahead of time. Rent or borrow from a library, the DVD collection of a favorite 1980s television program, like the 1980s fashion and police drama, "Miami Vice," and play it on televisions throughout your establishment. A quick trip to a thrift store can net you some great props and furnishings, such as 1980s posters or record albums. Thrift stores are a great place to find your 1980s costumes as well. Get your dance floor going with a break-dance contest and give a gift card to the contestant who draws the best crowd response.
Service Industry Night
A well-established theme night for a bar or restaurant to stage is a weekly service industry night, where employees at other bars and restaurants receive a discount for dropping in. Stage the theme night on a weeknight, which is generally slower than weekend nights for restaurants. Employees in this line of work are also more likely to have weeknights off -- and go out to other establishments to enjoy themselves. Suggestions for discounts might include $2 drafts and well drinks, or $3 you-call-it offerings, where patrons can have a choice of drinks for that price. Invite guest bartenders from other pubs for this night, or use local celebrities. A service industry night can help make your bar or club a destination for others in your business.
Social Media Night
If you have a social media presence for your bar or pub, celebrate your fans and followers through a theme night centered around them. Set a goal for your next milestone of social media fans or followers. Announce that when you hit 5,000 fans or followers on a certain social media platform that you will throw a party to celebrate. Offer a food or drink giveaway to people who use their smartphones to show their server or bartender that they are a fan or follower of your bar. Offer half-price discounts on drinks, or a complimentary appetizer to your bar's social media followers. Ask your beer and liquor distributors to donate items to give away to patrons as door prizes.
A twist on the tradition of ladies' night, spa night allows you to partner with massage, manicure and wellness practitioners, who can offer their services in your pub or club on a given night. The event helps you to market to fans of each business collectively for a night out having drinks -- and getting pampered. Invite area businesses to provide their services for a small fee to your patrons. For instance, ask a massage therapist to offer 15-minute chair massages for $5, or have beauty salons give complimentary makeover advice sessions, in hopes that they can book new clients for a later date at their businesses. Write a drink menu for the night, featuring names for cocktails based on the services that will be offered.
- Photo Credit alexaldo/iStock/Getty Images