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BARtalk | May 2016



Well, I hope a ton of you are using the prime time clock (see last month’s All The Juice) for both frames and advertising. This month I have had so many incoming questions that I wanted to go through a few.

Q: Hello Tony. I’ve seen bars using video ads on the Orange Door systems that show all the many features of their properties. Their guests seem to like it and watch it but what I want to know is how does that make money?

A: First, building brand awareness with video advertising, does it work? YES it does build brand power. These ads use the screens throughout the venue to their full potential, but does that turn to money? The honest answer is NO they don’t affect direct sales but they do work to create brand awareness, and that’s the purpose of brand building.

If you really want to make money from video ads on the Orange Door system, start with some product targets. Increase sales of one product with a simple video of chocolate pouring over a dessert – yes that will sell! So will video of basting rotisserie birds or rolled roasting beef, it also offers more information about the care and level of preparation.

Q: Hi Tony. I look forward to your monthly Bar Talk. We are based in the Colorado area and working on building up a strong craft bar brand and in the future we want to build a document to franchise. How do we get the right photos and videos for the presentation of the brand to others?

A: That’s a great question and one I get a lot. To increase the brand story by using video or images you need to focus on getting images of real guests in the reaction moment. As Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue teaches, the moment of reaction is easy to find, food arriving at a table, a huge platter delivered to a table of hungry patrons or the first bite of food or sip of beverage – all reaction moments. These reaction moments can’t be acted well or made up either. If they are real they are powerful reactions by locals and that is what sells brands. Real people cheering at a sports game or winning your weekly trivia show are powerful reaction moments which can ring like dollars signs on a register. Imagine the power of that in your franchise presentation!

Q: Hi Tony. I’ve been speaking to one of your support people and they were talking about the difference between frames and ads and the prime time clock. Can you break it down for me?

A: Great I really love this question.

Frames are designed to challenge, to ask for business and to inform. By using prompts like “have you tried… ?”, “have you heard about… ? or “did you know… ?” you can make up great challenges such as “when was the last time you had a great mojito? or “have you tried a craft beer cocktail yet?”.

Then these frames should be programed in conjunction with your prime time clock to get them lined up and match the catch. For example dessert from 7.45pm to 9pm so that your best chance of a sale is met.

Advertising should run between songs or on separate screens. Let’s start with between songs where we need deals, offers, combos, time stamped and relevant which are programed to build sales at the right time. For example beer ads at noon will not make big sales, where a great brunch deal or my marinated steak sandwich will.

Permanent advertising screens should be completely different. If you want people to keep watching you will need to add movement. Having a ticker on screen is one great way. News and sport or Facebook and Twitter feeds all help to keep eyes locked into your marketing. Comedy is another effective way to use permanent marketing screens with jokes, funny images and video all helping to keep these screens relevant to your guest.

Q: Hi Tony. One of my big issues is the new generation. When we are interviewing for new team members a new prospect will almost always start with the list of what they can and can’t do, like can’t work Wednesday or Thursday nights or cannot work every weekend… How do you deal with that? It drives me nuts!

A: Great question, and this is a very regular one. First and foremost I agree that the millennial generation can be quite challenging. It’s important to speak first and always ASK questions such as;

  1. Will we be your full time job? Can you take on the pressure of a full time job?
  2. If we are your full time job can you commit to making our business and our guests your number one priority?
  3. If you are part time can you offer us a consistent number of days with great timekeeping?
  4. What are your other work and family commitments?

Now remember these questions DO NOT have to be in person, this could well be in the pre-interview form given to all prospects.

Another thing to remember is that the new generation do like flexibility. Having a flexible approach with consistent, guaranteed staff members can work. It’s about rewarding great staff with options and not giving these options to inconsistent team members.

Q: Hi Tony. This is a tough ask but we have a large bar that has been in operation for many years. We are slowly losing market share until now we are faced with a tough choice. Is the property still a viable business? We are not losing tons, but are not making any real money and have not for a couple of years now. Help!

A: Hello please reach out on my email and tell me more, but your business seems to not be relevant to the market and when that happens and you can’t afford to change… it’s probably time to get out!

Q: Here it goes RTB – How do you find decent staff that are hungry for hours when you have an aging population?

A: Wow, I knew this question would come in at some stage. It’s all about being relevant to staff as much as it’s about being relevant to guests – if your brand is current and popular people want to be around it. Another key point is to be consistent with all staff dealings. The new generation hate inconsistency in being dealt with, so being as flexible as you can, and also understanding you must be flexible, will suit the modern millennial.



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