/Sports Bar Management

Why Sports Bars Need OTT Sports Programming to be the Best

There are a lot of sports bars in the US, so sticking out as being different and the best can be pretty challenging. Most often, operators look toward doing something crazy or fancy with their beer and food menus. And often this is can create a fantastic little niche for many locations. But there are more and more bars out there with a beer list the length of War and Peace. And frankly, if you’re a tried & true sports bar, your guests are coming to your location for one reason beyond all others – to watch sports. So, it would stand to reason that you’d want to give your guests the best possible viewing experience. Be it from the best TV screens, personal audio, a fantasy sports-friendly atmosphere, etc. But sports bar operators would also be wise to create [...]

How Sports Bars Can Market International Soccer Tournaments

Once every four years the world comes together to celebrate the Beautiful Game with the biggest international soccer tournament. Soccer fans, long suffering in the United States, can now watch the entire tournament on ESPN and have been able to for several iterations. This year’s event is being held in Russia and is sure to be one of the world’s most watched sporting events. This means it’s popular and easily available. So, sports bar operators better have some solid marketing ready to give guests a reason to check out the games at your joint. That leads us, inexorably, here to discuss the best ways restaurants and bars are celebrating the world championship of soccer (could I sound any more American with that description?). But, in fact, that’s exactly one of the ways you can leverage the tournament, by using good [...]

It’s Not the NFL’s Fault

When the founder of Papa John’s decided to blame the NFL for his sagging sales, he was met with some pretty heavy hits from other pizza players in the market. Both Domino’s and Pizza Hut (arch-enemies, BTW) came out in response to dispute the claim. Now we have another food service put blame on the NFL and the league’s declining ratings for sales woes -- Sanderson Farms, Inc. The chicken wing company’s CEO made claims that their long run of high wing prices has ended because of waning interest in the league. A little examination of this claim sure makes it hard to take seriously. Let’s start with some facts. Full-service restaurants have been seeing significant traffic declines for the past 24 months. This has been the case as wing prices have been elevated to new heights. This is a [...]

By |2017-12-18T15:35:48+00:00December 18th, 2017|Sports Bar Management, Sports Bar Marketing|0 Comments

Sports Bars Aren’t Dead, But They May Be On Life Support

If bad news comes in waves, then our industry -- and specifically the sports themed segment -- is getting rolled over by one mother of an ocean storm. For the past year, we have covered story after story lamenting the sales declines, the cannibalization of full-service by fast casual, and the enormous staffing challenges that face all operators in the current economy. This decline has been particularly hard on sports-themed operators as we have seen several high profile bankruptcies and worse-than-market sales reporting from some of our biggest players. What does all this mean for the future of the “sports bar” and is there anything you can do about it? Who’s to blame? The sales performance of full-service restaurant operators has been declining steadily for the past 18 months or so. In general, the entire segment is experiencing a shift [...]

By |2017-09-28T11:00:27+00:00September 28th, 2017|Guest Management, Sports Bar Management|0 Comments

Sports Bars: Are You Carrying Your NFL Fans’ Favorite Beer?

Few things go better together than NFL games and a few cold beers. And we're sure your sports bar is carrying a sweet selection for your guests to choose from, but are you carrying their favorites? Fortunately for sports bars, Nielsen and BARTRENDr has done the dirty work for you and went through 2015 data of NFL fans favorite beers and hard spirits. The fine folks at VinePair made a sweet infographic, showing NFL fans favorite beers by team. Infographic: Favorite Beers of NFL Team's Fans Some stand out points: Bud Light is a fan favorite for about a third of the league. New England shows no love to hometown brewery Sam Adams, opting for Budweiser instead. Pittsburgh & Chicago love their Guinness. Arizona, New York/New Jersey & San Fran enjoy Blue Moon. Buffalo stands as the lone Miller Light town. [...]

By |2017-09-12T12:12:49+00:00September 12th, 2017|Sports Bar Management, Sports Bar Marketing|0 Comments

Is Your Restaurant Ready for Football Season Kickoff?

Register for a play-by-play to maximize revenue during the upcoming season. By Hot Schedules, content parter for this year's Football Marketing Bootcamp It’s that time of the year again! If you’re a diehard football fan, then you know your weekends revolve around the big game. And if you’re a restaurant owner or manager, then you definitely know that you and your team need to be ready for the rush on game day. The seasonal influx of football fans at your business can be a blessing, but if you aren’t prepared, it can also be a curse. With that in mind, here’s what you need to be thinking about before kickoff: How busy is your restaurant going to be? Is your inventory stocked? What specials are you offering? Is your staff prepared? If you’re like us, you’ve been counting down the days for football [...]

We Told You So! Internet Streaming is Important

Don’t Blow it with Guests by Not Showing Streaming Sports You have probably heard someone say, “I hate to say, I told you so!” right before they say, “I told you so!” That’s a little how I felt on Sunday when I receive a flurry of calls from subscribers expressing their dismay and disappointment that we had neglected to list the Barcelona vs. Eibar, La Liga Espana soccer match. Just one problem…that match was exclusively on Live Stream and not available on broadcast TV. Therefore let me just say, “I told you so!” We have been screaming from the rooftops for years about the value and importance of streaming live sporting events and only those of you that listened were able to deliver the game your guests wanted on demand. The cost of accomplishing this feat was an inexpensive netbook or other internet enabled [...]

Your Restaurant’s New Marketing Motto — Smiles Don’t Lie

By Rob Cressy, Founder, Cress Media Smiles don’t lie. It’s been a hallmark phrase for the way that I run my business, create marketing, and interact with my customers. And it should be for you too. What it means is if someone is smiling, they are probably having a good time. It is then my job to make sure that people are always smiling and having a good experience with my brand, and the groups that I work with. A good example of Smiles Don’t Lie I created an event series called the Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration. We brought together 20 sports bars and restaurants serving bacon-inspired creations with 25 craft breweries, Nerf games, pop-a-shot, and a DJ bumping hip-hop jams. Plus everyone in attendance was rocking jerseys. Over 700 people attended it, and while it was going on, I captured photos and videos [...]

By |2017-08-21T12:10:07+00:00March 29th, 2017|Sports Bar Management, Sports Bar Marketing|0 Comments

Wings, Beer & March Madness… a Match Made in Sports Bars

Sponsored by Frank's King of Wings If there is any staple in the sports-themed segment of our industry, it’s the happy marriage between wings, beer, and sports. Consider this: Have you ever been to a sports bar that didn’t carry chicken wings? Sure, plenty of them don’t have pizza or barbecue, but I would be shocked if the number of sports bars that don’t serve chicken wings broke into the double digits. This got me thinking, we don’t pay proper attention to this incredibly popular (and profitable) menu item with its significant contribution to the triumvirate that is wings, beer, and sports. It’s time for that to change. We wanted to give you some ideas about how to couple wings with beer & sports, starting with the upcoming NCAA Basketball tournament. With 68 teams qualifying, March Madness literally engages the entire country [...]

By |2018-02-21T13:49:04+00:00January 20th, 2017|Sports Bar Management, Sports Bar Marketing|0 Comments

What it Takes to be the Sports Bar of the Future

A major national sports-themed operator did a guest survey several years ago and found the number one reason guests visit their establishments is to watch sports. Shocking, huh? It stands to reason that if guests are expressing their desire to enjoy great content at your place, you should deliver it in the most efficient and highest quality ways possible. But there’s a rub. What defines a great sports-watching experience has changed dramatically over the past few years. Guests want to view games on-demand, check their own fantasy results, see a wider variety of content, and expect you to keep them informed about what they can see at your place. This is why, we have identified four areas that you can address right now to ensure your sports bar remains a great place to watch games well into the future. Update Your AV Systems [...]

By |2017-08-23T09:30:20+00:00December 8th, 2016|Sports Bar Management, Sports Bar Technology|0 Comments

8 Things Every Sports Bar Must Have to Win

Whether you have 10 or 100 TVs in your restaurant, understanding the elements that create a great sports bar experience requires organization, planning, and review. Here are eight things every sports bar must have. Follow them and you will grow. Ignore them and your guests will eventually look elsewhere for the service standards. #1 The Latest Technology The restaurant industry truly led the pervasion of HD TV. Since the 2000s, the technology has taken several leaps forward. Unfortunately, many sports-themed operators are still employing technology solutions from the 1970s. Your goal should be to make your average sports fan fantasize about having your A/V system in their home. With today’s matrix systems, content can be deployed to any and all TVs using a tablet or mobile phone to control all elements of the A/V. What’s even more apparent is that guests expect us to [...]

By |2017-08-23T10:27:15+00:00November 11th, 2016|Sports Bar Management, Sports Bar Technology|0 Comments

The Madness of March Madness

WOOHOO! March Madness is just two weeks away. Every year, we get emails asking for the schedule in advance and every year we have to remind people, except for Thursday and Friday of the first weekend, it doesn’t matter what time, but who is playing that drives the traffic. That being said the link below will take you to last year’s schedule, so you can see what the likely time schedules will look like. All times are Eastern.   Last year's bracket will give you a rough idea on scheduling Hype vs. reality While I love the atmosphere the tournament creates, it’s much more hype than reality. Starting with Play-In games on Tue/Wed Mar 16-17 the hype begins, but the games are between 16th and 11th seeds, and they typically don’t drive traffic as much as they are a passing interest for guests. [...]

By |2017-08-23T11:21:18+00:00March 1st, 2016|Sports Bar Management|0 Comments