1) Look Dirty. Make sure whoever tends bar wears well worn clothing; better yet the same clothes they wore the day before. Preferably their clothes should have stains or grease spots. If soiled clothing is not available, then any clothing with rips or tears will work just as well. Shabbily dressed bartenders really help bars and taverns lose sales.
2) Bitch, Bitch, Bitch. Whenever possible, the bar staff should bitch in front of customers. Any subject is good, but the best topics seem to be spouses, taxes, local law enforcement, religion and any state or federal politician. Customers who have to listen to a bar staff bitch drink less and reduce their stay in a bar, thus sales go down significantly.
3) Over Serve Customers. It’s hilarious to watch customers get over served. It’s fun watching someone mumble incoherently and sway back and forth in a bar stool; however, the real thrill is watching someone who is over served head for the restroom or walk out the door as no one knows for sure if they will stumble or fall. Yeah, once people know a bar over serves its customers, it reassures them the bar staff will over serve them as well and again sales will decrease.
4) Tolerate Obnoxious Customers. Allow small groups (men or women – it makes no difference) to be obnoxious and rude. Permit them to frequently and loudly drop the F bomb. It is so charming to hear a group of people in a bar talk about this F-ng thing and that F-ng thing and all the F-ng things wrong in the F‑up world and all the things F-ng up their lives. Yeap, tolerating rude and obnoxious customers is a great way to run off customers and lose sales.
5) Loud Juke Boxes and TVs. Blaring juke boxes and deafening TV volumes are two favorite ways small bars and local taverns can lose sales. There’s nothing better than sipping on a drink and watching the few people who wanted the volume cranked up wiggle on the floor or yell out songs off key; it’s almost as exciting as listening to a couple of loud mouths at the end of the bar shout and curse at the TV during a sporting event when the TV is turned all the way up.
6) Garbage and Trash. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but garbage and trash should always be visible if a bar wants to lose money. Good examples are empty beer bottles on game tops, rubbish and dust in the window sills, and trash building up under the pool table. Other great techniques are never clean under the bar’s foot rail or dust items on the bar’s shelving. Customers love seeing filth under the foot rail and dust building on the ceiling fan blades. To really limit profits, it is important that a bar seldom pick up trash outside. Customers are always impressed when they see beer cans and trash blowing around in front of a bar or in the parking lot. Finally, seldom wipe down the bar counter or table tops when customers leave. New arrivals love the surprise of laying their forearms or hands down on a tacky surface. It makes them lose their thirst and appetite and want to leave quickly; thus sales go down quickly.
7) Repulsive Restrooms. Only scrub the sinks, wipe down the mirrors, brush out the lavatories and empty the trash receptacles in restrooms once a month. If a bar attracts characters who like to write or carve graffiti, it is important the walls and stalls only be repainted or repaired every two or three years. Offensive and disgusting graffiti should be left up for years so others can enjoy it. Another great idea to accelerate a loss in sales is to have broken paper towel dispensers and out-of-order hand dryers. Nothing beats entering a foul, graffiti-marred restroom and not being able to dry your hands when you leave.
Well, there you have it, Eba G.’s Seven Guaranteed Ways to Lose Money with Your Small Bar or Local Tavern©. If you have been in business for a while, you may have tried a few of these strategies and know how well they work. Do you have any comments or any other suggestions on how a small bar or local tavern can lose money? If so, please share them with me. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether your goal is to increase you profitability or lower your sales with your small bar or local tavern, Eba G. is here to help.