Owning a bar or restaurant business can be challenging enough as it is without worrying about how to keep customers coming back for more. If you’ve managed to create a safe and engaging place for audiences to flock to when they just need to experience a good time, you’re already a major success. But for those business owners looking to expand, bringing new and inventive ideas to their venues in order to further multiply figures and increase foot traffic, there are a number of unique and cost-effective methods available.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most effective and creative ideas for adding serious entertainment value to your bar or restaurant. See how many options you can try on your own:

1. Add a karaoke room

Bar owners can add significant value to their business, not to mention increasing customer traffic, just by adding a dedicated karaoke room to their venue. A truly unique, yet entirely original concept within the world of eatertainment, karaoke rooms bring people together (literally and figuratively) like no other activity. It encourages friends and strangers alike to truly be themselves and let loose in a judgment-free environment designed for playful competition.

Group of people eating and singing in a karaoke room in The Old Grind Stone
Private karaoke room in The Old Grind Stone, UK

Even if karaoke is already a staple at your bar, a dedicated karaoke area, including private rooms, can significantly drive up business and overall brand awareness, whether you are located in a city or small town.

How? Private rooms can be pre-booked for a certain period. Customers then have the use of that room for a pre-determined amount of time. They can also choose to add drink and food options so that they are entertained for hours. This method ensures that bar owners know ahead of time how busy their businesses will be for the evening and can bring in extra staff to assist, if necessary – keeping payroll costs down, while food and drink transactions soar.

See how much revenue you could generate from a karaoke room here.

Most importantly, by adding a specific area in your bar for karaoke rooms, bar owners are exposing their business and brand to an entirely new customer base. Karaoke fans are very enthusiastic and tend to remain loyal to the same venue if quality is high and prices are reasonable. If you are interested in getting started with a karaoke room you can reach out to our team at Singa.

Group of people singing in costumes at Star Karaoke
Star Karaoke provides costumes in their karaoke rooms

2. Incorporate competitive entertainment

For bars and restaurant businesses that want to participate in the renewed competitive socializing trend, it’s never a bad idea to incorporate elements that encourage interaction among friends and strangers alike.

The best competitive socializing activities involve high-energy games like billiards, shuffleboard, darts, foosball, axe-throwing, ping pong – pretty much any type of interactive effort that includes an element of high or low-stakes competition. Add food and drinks into the mix and bar owners can expect long and lucrative nights of business.

3. Incorporate solo gaming

Three men playing games on old consoles in a bar.

When it comes to gaming, much like karaoke, some people like to do it with others, and some people get just as much of a thrill out of doing it on their own. Your bar can still feature competitive gaming, but you might want to try some solo elements that get customers hooked.

For example, by adding a dedicated arcade area – think traditional consoles, flashing lights, prizes, the whole nine yards – you are creating intrigue among customers who prefer solo play, encouraging them to head over and spend a few rounds on the Pac-Man machine. Once they are mingling with other like-minded soloists, they may connect over drinks and become fast friends thanks to your arcade. As we’ve seen with models like Dave & Busters in North America, unlike traditional standalone arcades, customers will spend more and play for longer if there's great food and amazing drinks nearby.

4. Host a quiz night

Everybody loves a pub quiz! But not only that––trivia nights at just about any bar, no matter the location or the theme, can turn incredible profits on food and drink sales, not to mention a general increase in overall foot traffic.

Bar business owners: just by purchasing a few add-ons, like a new or upgraded sound system with microphone; and hiring a dedicated emcee (or cut costs by filling in yourself), you can turn a modest Tuesday night crowd and transform it into the talk of the neighborhood. Create trivia content out of current, mainstream pop culture, or dig deeper and make the questions unquestionably difficult. Whatever it takes to get your audience involved––and to keep them entertained, and rewarded with prizes, of course––the better.

Music quiz night at Bollbrolyckan
Bollbrolyckan hosts their music quiz nights each week.

Sound appealing? Give it a try: and consider giving your inaugural quiz night a musical theme.

5. Stream live event on the regular

If you are looking to incorporate entertainment ideas into your bar, chances are you’ve already got a television setup in your venue. If not, purchasing one is a low-cost and fruitful investment. If so, you’re already ahead of the game.

Simply turning on the television and luring in customers with the promise of a place to watch a happening event is the basic idea around livestreaming. Even if your bar is incorporating all of the above ideas, there is still the option of hosting regular livestream nights. Whether the draw is a major sports or entertainment event, like the Superbowl, or if you are thinking more niche, like hosting a drag-themed night around a weekly live screening of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” every Friday, the opportunities are endless for tapping into your customers’ likes and dislikes and using that data to determine the best programming schedule to increase revenue.

There you have it! A handful of effective creative tips for increasing sales and traffic at your restaurant or bar business. With these practices in place, you can grow profits and discover a new customer base with minimal effort or spend.