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How to run a festival bar

May 1, 2018

Let’s face it. The festival bar is a key to your success. This is where your audience stream to, buy their drinks and spend their money. Which means that this is where you build your brand and earn your money.

TicketCo’s UK Country Manager David Kenny (formerly with Freemans Event Partners) has ran more festival bars than most of us. He knows what your concerns should be if you are responsible for this vital part of your festival’s success.

Here is his 5 tips for setting up a bar at a festival.

1: Good looking bars

The customers need to be attracted to the bar. A clean and interesting looking bar builds confidence.

2: Friendly, well trained bar professionals

Good staffing management and expert staff are crucial to the success of any bar. Pay for quality whenever possible. Avoid volunteers. Training pre shift is essential.

3: Clear signage

Customers need to know what they’re ordering before they get to the bar. Clear signage allows this thus speeding up serve speed and reducing queues. Remember that the menu should be readable from distance.

4: Queue systems / Disney Lanes

Using queue lanes in the correct manner can lead to an improved customer experience, and stronger bar revenue. Queue lanes also create order, making for a safer environment. Even if there’s a short wait, at least the customers are always moving forward instead of fighting for position to get served. They’re not needed for every event bar, but should be strongly considered on all events over 5000 if you want to maximise the bars performance.

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5: The perfect serve

The perfect serve is crucial. Customers needs to be given a great drink. All drinks need to be served as the alcohol brands intended ‘Perfect Serve’. This means cold beer or lots of ice and garnish with a spirit mixer.

6: Great payment and point of sale solutions

POS or point of sale. Electronic payment systems speed up the serve rate. Avoid using cash to maximise serving speed. Electronic payments also remove all cash handling mistakes and gives instant reporting.

You may also like: TicketCo Cashless – Ticketing with integrated cashless

7: Choosing the right bar provider/partner

Do your research and select a provider with experience. A provider that is already working with well established events/organisations. A provider that helps to maximise on-site spend per head. Don’t be won over by the strongest offer on paper. What’s the point of selecting a provider who’s giving you one/two percent more bar revenue if they’re only capable of of extracting 50% of the spend per head from the customers on-site

Are you planning to run a festival bar?

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