Ah, regulars, the cult-favorite, coveted term for those who frequent your business on a regular basis. Obviously, you want your business to be so good that people just can’t help but want to come back. So what exactly transforms a person from a casual visitor into a regular?
These days, you’ll constantly hear people discuss the things and places they love in terms of the “aesthetic” or another term you may recognize: “vibes”. Essentially it all boils down to the atmosphere of a place. Is your bar warm and cozy, cool and hip? Whatever it is, it’s important to know this and consequently market this as your brand.
You want people to immediately relate to your vibe, even from a distance such as on social media. Once you know what you’re going for and what your brand it, you’ll want to make sure that every aspect of a patron’s experience in your bar ties back to that. For instance, you don’t want to say you have cool and hip aesthetic and then not reflect that in your social or physical presence. A cool and hip bar will have its own hashtag or even Snapchat filter, while a warm and cozy bar will feature warm lighting and not-too-loud music.
Having a unique signature menu item that sets you apart from competitors adds to the overall experience and will give people something special to come back for. Maybe you sell fishbowls of alcohol or collectibles as part of a drink that patrons can keep, whether that be the glass itself or a plastic fish to commemorate the fishbowl.
Maybe you have a signature food item that you can offer a discount on on special nights. If your specialty is potatoes, put a fun twist on your tots by creating “themed” flavors that fit the season or perhaps match a themed Trivia Night.
Modern day members of society are all about being entertained. Thanks to YouTube, Candy Crush, and other portable means of entertainment, we’ve become spoiled to being entertained at all times. Give your patrons an entertaining experience that they can’t get on their phones. For example, a Trivia Night encourages people to eat, drink, and be social, all while being entertained with top-notch trivia. The friendly camaraderie between teams in person is something they won’t find on any app.
Although it may sound like a cheesy ploy from a 90s sitcom, knowing your clientele down to names and preferences is essential in making them feel like what you’re giving to them is exclusive and special compared to other bars. Although it may take a little bit more brain power with all the faces you see on a daily basis, remembering a repeat customer’s name, drink preferences, or even life details can establish a friendly connection that builds trust and ultimately inspires people to return to your bar.
There are several factors that go into making your bar memorable enough to keep people coming back. It all begins with identifying your brand’s personality and building a quality experience off of it that people can’t help but want more of.