Restaurant Promotion Idea #5. Do Little Tournaments

Promote your Bar with Tournaments



We had a lounge in the hotel where I worked, that was not doing too well. We hired a band during festive holidays but people still didn’t come. Furthermore the salary of the band was eating into my profits. I noticed that customers preferred watching live football matches on the big screen than listening to the band. So I stopped the band, invested in some dartboards, bought another big screen TV and converted the whole bar into a sports bar. Business was great on weekends when the hotel was full and there were live matches. Now I needed a way to get in business on the weekdays. I found out that there were quite a number of avid darters in our area. So I organized on a bi monthly basis small dart tournaments. Below are the steps I took.

How I organised a Dart Tournament

Step #1. Decide What Prizes you Want to put up for Your Tournament
Brainstorm and decide what you want offer. Do a little research with the dart community in your area. Make sure the prizes are enticing to the darters. As for me prize money is always the favorite. But make sure the prize money doesn’t eat up your profit. What we did was collect registration fees and uses it for the prize money. How we did it was to divide the collection, where the winner got 50% of the collection. The second place got 25% and the third got 10%. So if the collection was $400, the winner got $200, second got $100 and the third got $40. And the balance 15% goes back to cover whatever miscellaneous expenses you spend. By doing this you don’t have to fork out a lot of money. You can also get sponsors from your suppliers.

Step #2. Tournament Promotional Materials

Now we come to promoting your tournaments. There are numerous ways. If you are using banners, make the design suits the location where you will put it up. Example if placed at the side of the road it should be short and simple, people driving will have little time to read it. Try not to use fancy fonts. As for us it was only five lines with the prize money on the side. We also created posters to put up in offices bulletin boards.

Step #3. Collect Names and Entry Fees
Start early by collecting names. With this you will be able to plan how many dart boards you need to have. You can also foresee how many days you need to run the competition. Create a form where the participants can fill in their details. Later you keep the address in the form for your mailing list.

Step #4-Organize your Tournament Bracket
After you got your marketing activities going. Now its time to choose your tournament bracket. We chose the round robin preliminaries with the best of three. To us Round Robin was the best cause every player gets a chance to play and you might sell more drinks due to it takes a long time to finish the game. Put all the names in a hat or bucket and pull them out randomly to decide who will compete against whom first. But if there is too much players than you need to split in two to three groups and play for two or three days. Order of play can either be decided by each throwing a dart at the center of the bull, the nearest being the player to throw first, or by a toss of a coin. We chose the nearest to bull.

The Outcome
Our first dart competition was a success, we received 25 participants. After deducting everything we broke even. The plus point is we managed to get additional orders of beverages and also free advertisement that we have a sports bar in our hotel. So we intend to do this tournament every two months.

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