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BARtalk | Sept 2016


The Plan:

There is a right time and a wrong time to be planning, but honestly, not making a plan is still one of the biggest reasons for high failure rates in the modern hospitality business – right through the industry – from cafes, bars and restaurants.

Thinking about the later part of this year in terms of your 90 day plans is important, but even more important is looking into 2017, to ensure that you have a plan for success and that you are looking at the key spots.

As a business developer myself, I learned the power of short-term and long-term planning from the old days I spent in a multi-unit environment in the Canterbury area in New Zealand.

I would spend huge days and nights at the keyboard, researching forward event’s – festivals, trends and even weather patterns to help our sports bars and restaurants with snow skiing, rugby, netball, 7s rugby, American football, basketball etc, as well as local events – is was a handful!

As a team we spent hours creating 90 day & 7 day marketing plans, working around the four seasons and major sports programs. We would hold formal staff manager meetings every week to review the running program’s results and get feedback on upcoming planned programs.

Especially the really big venues like Iconic Bar, Mad Cow and The Holy Grail that held over 1000 guests – I drove events and promotions like “a dog chasing a rabbit”. We really needed to back then – 10 to 12 years ago party bars needed huge guest turnover to keep them full.

In today’s market where I’m more food focused I still promote the wheels off my bus but I do it in a very different way.

I just opened a new business a couple of months ago and wanted to try a marketing experiment with this site to prove a theory on digital power.

We logoed our brand on 500 polo shirts to sell at a great price. From opening day, there was a nice display of the shirts on mannequins, with printed sales material. I asked staff to sell them at the table and over the first 7 weeks we had sold just 3 shirts!

During those weeks I asked the sales team many times “how are your shirt sales?”. Most said “well… they are a bit hard to sell!”

Now keep in mind these polo shirts are a very high quality and at $10.00 are well below cost – and the business is full to capacity every day so there are plenty of potential buyers.

So then… 8 days ago I loaded digital advertising for these shirts on my Orange Door Music Video system. I told no staff – in fact I said nothing at all about the sales to date to anyone in the business and didn’t tell anyone that it was playing on the system. As of 3pm today we have sold 62 shirts – last Saturday one guest even asked the staff to hunt down a collection of sizes for his complete table.

Developing a plan and building a marketing program to get the very best out of your business is a goal many talk about but only a small segment of the market have the discipline to follow through and make it a reality – yes it takes work but it’s so worth it!

The power of our 4 walls digital marketing is incredible – but even more important is the link from the power of the video message.

When I launch my own ventures I almost think of nothing else before my digital marketing plan gets written and that’s normally right after the first menu gets written. In today’s bar business your DMP should be well thought out and well driven – so are you getting it?


Charity begins right here!

Building balanced teams is a tough job, but your goals must be to have a team that makes your guest welcome and completely looked after.


Building great community connection in-house and in your digital footprint makes great things happen. Never underestimate the power of connection of your brand. Some of the really successful connections:

  • Charity Trivia shows – these fully hosted events can earn thousands of dollars in a single night for any charity close to your heart. Cancer research and kids cancer are two very special charity’s to myself and these are really well supported
  • Marketing to sports clubs “who need money” can give you hundreds of choices and that connects you to your customers and creates guests in your properties.


The Ultimate Pub Trivia Host Competition

Loads of things run through your mind when you need a new host for a pub trivia site but someone with the gift can guide our guests through a fun night and fill bars across the globe.

Cool questions like “Which invention did James Murray Spangler patent in 1907 using an electric fan, a box and one of his wife’s pillow cases?”—team’s answers can be anything from the whoopee cushion to the right answer –“the hoover”!

The right host will get that Whoopee Cushion answer to read out during answer time that’s when the job is the most fun.”

Orange Door Pub Trivia Host With the Most! Competition – just send in your photo of your trivia host and a small piece of video of him or her in action and we will choose one each month for a very special prize pack.

So come on and get your favorite host in to win!

Until next time, keep the questions coming and have a great profitable month.



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