Why every bar should run weekly competitive tournaments.
Running weekly competitive tournaments is the BEST way to bring in business on an otherwise slow night! A little background on myself, I’ve been running weekly beer pong tournaments in San Diego, CA for over 4 years (636 events and counting!) and have learned a lot along the way!
When I first started I was bringing in anywhere from 8 to 12 teams of players (16-24 people). Which for a bar 16-24 extra people was GREAT, in most cases it more than doubled their Sunday-Wednesday business for the 4-5 hours I was there. After years of trial and error I now bring in anywhere from 25-35 teams (50-70 people) on Sunday and Tuesday nights.
Bar sales have gone from a few hundred dollars from 9pm-close to over $3,000 in some cases.
So, why should you consider adding a beer pong tournament on Monday night (or any game for that matter; shuffleboard, pool, darts, cornhole), I’ll list a couple reasons:
- Increases customer loyalty, customers become regulars on a given night because they enjoy your event. They come back with friends and make it a point to come multiple times a month on a specific day of the week. They always know that bar X runs a pool tournament on Monday, if they are looking for something to do on Monday, you’ll be on the top of that short list.
- Cost is minimal, at my events in San Diego I give out a $100 cash prize, but I suggest starting with giving away a bar tab that is only good next week. This ensures your winners at the very least will be coming back the following week. If you want to have an entry fee (I suggest against it in a future tips and tricks) make sure you pay out 100% of whatever you take in and throw in the bar tabs on top. Breaking down the cost, let’s say you give out $100 cash like I do and you bring in an extra 24 patrons (low end). Each extra patron would have to spend $4.16 for you to break even.
- Extremely easy for a dedicated staff member to run. Using a site like Tournament-Wizard.com makes it incredably easy for any staff member to take sign ups (printable sign in sheets are availible on the website), enter teams, and lastly following the bracket until its conclusion entering winners as you go. I’d suggest having a door man or bar back handle the running of the tournaments, or better yet having a dedicated employee come in on event nights from 9-close to help run the event.
- Fills empty space, no one likes an empty bar. Having a weekly event fills space and makes the bar more attractive to other patrons regardless if they are participating or not.
- Easy to promote, along with the promotion Tournament-Wizard.com provides a simply message on Facebook or Instagram on the day of the event is all you need to remind your customers of your event (I recommend using a photo of last weeks winners).
Concluding, running weekly competitive events is an excellent way to increase revenue and provide a fun environment for your guests. Remember it might take a few weeks to start building momentum, but if you stick with it you wont regret it.