Understanding when your bar's optimal hours are allows you to staff more efficiently, cut down on labor costs, and capitalize on the most crowded times of the day.
There are a few steps in identifying when these ebbs and flows are, so let's go through them.
1. Identify Customers
Even if you’ve been operating your establishment for some time, it’s good to take a step back and see some of the basics—one of those being your guests. Who’s coming to your bar—college kids? 30-somethings? Sports fans? Blue collar workers? Nailing down these details informs your decisions about your bar's optimal hours.
Check general demographics of your area, observe who comes in and take a look at alcohol trends and what’s being consumed the most. Maybe through this process you realize you’re not just a college bar after all and are more of a general sports bar. Maybe you find out you’re more of a specialty bar than a lounge, etc. Whatever the case, you’ll get a much better understanding of what you need to do to cater to the right group after doing a full-on assessment of your current trends.
2. Check Out The Competition
Take a look at the bars in your area—maybe even some of your direct competitors—and see what hours they’re open. If you’re closing early and they’re raking in the dough after, it might be time to make an adjustment.
It’ll take a bit of planning and some fine tuning, but checking on how other restaurants are providing their guest experience can help focus your efforts a little more. Conversely, if everyone is doing the exact same thing, maybe it’s time for you to switch it up and test out something totally unique.
3. Consider Days Of The Week
What days are you open and what days are you closed? Could you be closed on a different day that isn’t performing well during the week? Do you need to add a day to accommodate for the large numbers of people? When you take a deeper look at how each day of the week is performing in regards to sales goals, you can hone in more on what your optimal hours are and capitalize on them.
4. Pay Attention To Dayparts
A daypart is a specific segment of the day and what happens during those hours. The three most common dayparts are breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some bars might only hit one daypart, others might hit two. Regardless, pay attention to each to gain a deeper understanding of when you have the most guests. If it’s both, note that too!
5. Take Advantage Of These Times
Once you have a better understanding of what times are the most popular, take advantage of it! Drive more customers in during those hours and provide specials and promotions.
And in your off hours? Do the same! Drive guests in to close the gap between your popular and not-so-popular hours.
Want to keep guests around longer? An easy way is to make sure the music you play is specifically geared toward the type of customers you have and the day part they’re coming in. Doing so ensures guests stay longer and spend more. Rather than just generic playlists, however, using custom, curated playlists made for the specific guests and dayparts of your bar ensures your guests are captivated and more immersed in the experience you're providing.
Want to harness the power of the playlist? Learn more about how Control Play can enhance your guest experience!