‘How to increase bar sales?’ is a question that should always be on a pub owner or bar manager’s mind, even when sales are healthy - there’s always more you can do, like ensuring you protect those delicate bar margins so that increased sales actually translate to healthy profit.
Not every bar operator knows this, but a lot of folks now search for places to drink (and eat) directly in Google Maps. Which is why it’s essential you create and maintain a Google My Business listing.
We’ll get into that. First, it’s important to differentiate between two different types of pubs and bars.
‘Customer Loyalty’ Bars vs ‘Constant Footfall’ Bars
Establishing a healthy flock of regulars is the holy grail for any bar in pursuit of steady profit. Not all pubs and bars can realistically aim for this.
What if your bar is in an airport?
Or tourist spots, relying on through-flow of new customers?
Bars that depend on regular custom from a core audience have to work much harder on:
- Establishing word-of-mouth marketing
- Maintaining a culture and atmosphere locals identify with
- Employing teams capable of driving that culture
Bars that get by on constant footfall of new faces rely more on:
- Drinks product diversity and promotions
- Front-of-house salesmanship & up-selling
- Table service, communication and technology
Whether you're running a local pub, a cocktail bar or an airport fly-by watering hole where travellers take a pre-flight pit stop, your Google My Business listing can be an important contributor to getting thirsty customers through the door to increase bar sales.
Increasing Bar Sales with Your ‘Google My Business’ Listing
You may not know - both locals and tourists search for local pubs, bars and restaurants on Google Maps, instead of the usual Google search.
To get found by those people searching Google Maps for places to drink, you must have a Google My Business listing, and it needs to shine, like Brewdog’s.
You can see Brewdog’s Google My Business listing on the right with 4.4 / 5 star rating.
“Do I already have a Google My Business listing?”
Go into Google Maps and search your business name and location.
If you have one, it will appear with:
- A cover image (of your business) & photo gallery
- Business description
- Opening hours
If you do see your Google My Business listing, what does it say about you? Do you have negative reviews you didn’t know about? What’s your Google star rating?
Optimising Your Pub & Bar Google My Business listing for visibility In Google Maps
Your Google My Business listing appears both in Google Maps, and in the right-hand side of the normal search results search your business name and location.
How can your Google My Business listing help increase bar sales? Part of the magic is the Google star rating.
Google Business Star Rating
Your Google My Business star rating is crucial to having your pub or bar appear in Google Maps as much as possible when people in the local area are searching for somewhere to have a drink.
When they do search, they'll add a star filter to the search results, to see venues with certain star ratings.
If your star rating is 3.5, for example, your pub or bar won’t appear in Google Maps searches where people use the start filter to show only pubs and bars with 4 star ratings or higher.
Keeping a good Google My Business star rating
Having a healthy Google My Business star rating means getting good reviews added to your Google My Business listing—that takes time and good service people remember.
To get you started, ask friends, family and known customers to log into their Google account. Then send them this link and they’ll be able to get you started with some Google business reviews that will start pushing up your Google star rating.
Once your star rating in Google is above 4 stars, make sure to keep it there by consistently requesting reviews from happy customers, and replying constructively and politely to critical reviews that bring down your star rating.
3 Other Tactics for Increasing Bar Sales
Whether or not you optimise your Google My Business listing and Google star rating to have your pub or bar found by more people locally in Google maps, there are a few essential tactics you must implement to increase bar sales.
Tactic 1: Abandon pen & paper
Make no mistake, we know you’ve probably run a pub or bar for years with pen-and-paper or spreadsheets. We’re not here to tell you you’ve done it wrong. We are here to tell you switching to digital can both win you back time, and increase profit margins.
How? By making your bar inventory management and business data-capture smarter. For example, your Growyze dashboard shows you at-a-glance pub and bar profitability metrics that would usually take ages to calculate by hand.
Growyze does all those things with a few taps of your phone.
Tactic 2: Find a way to make waste management as quick, easy and satisfying as pouring a pint
Keeping on top of bar waste is tricky.
Guess work, over-pouring, wet or lost scraps of paper with wastage notes that don’t actually get recorded—all take a bite out of bar profit margin.
Effective waste management is about developing solid habits of actually doing it and doing it consistently, no matter who’s on shift? With the growyze app, your entire bar team can whip out their phones and tap the screen to record waste between pouring drinks and serving customers.
Inject a little technology into waste management with the growyze app, and you’ll see your waste management habits start to help increase bar sales.
Tactic 3: Promote supplier responsibility & transparency
Increasing bar sales is something that also depends on the efficiency of business partnerships—suppliers play a role too.
Imagine, for example, suppliers that consistently deliver the wrong items, or forget to deliver others. That screws up your bar finances and eats into bar profit margins.
How can you ensure supplier relationships stay productive and transparent?
By implementing a way of ensuring fewer or no supplier mistakes are made. growyze lets you quickly update orders on your phone with things you’ve missed, without picking up the phone.
On growyze you’ll even get an alert to your phone if your supplier deliveries don’t match your order. So nothing will slip the radar - your inventory and sales figures will stay accurate, so you can stand a better chance of increasing bar profits.