"Just one more beer!" | 10 Ways to Increase Dwell Time at Your Bar

October 2015


We've all been there. You're at the bar with a few friends, trying to decide if you want to stay for one more or call it quits. Your will power is shaky at best when one of your friends shouts..."Just one more beer!" You give in amost immediatly, but in an effort to not sound too eager.... you still take a deep sigh... and relunctantly agree to stay.

Sometimes it's that easy, but other times, a little effort from the bar itself can go a long way towards keeping guests around for that extra beer. First, let's discuss what one more beer purchased by your customers can do for your bar profits.

Increase dwell time at your bar and increase profits!

The Economics of Beer

Let's say you have 80 people come for your happy hour every Thursday night. They each have two beers. Now we're going to make some general assumptions:

Keg Cost = $180.00

Price per Serving = $7.00

Keg Size = Domestic 1/2 Barrel

Serving Size = 12 oz.

Thanks to the handy Draft Beer Profit Calculator from Eagle Distributing, we come out with the following numbers:

Servings Per Keg = 165.33

Revenue Per Keg = $1,157.31

Profit Per Keg = $977.31

Profit Per Month = $2,931.93

Now that we know all of that information. If we only think about our Thursday Happy Hour Drinkers, of which there are 80, and assume they, on average, start the night with 2 beers. That's about one full keg with a profit of $977. Get them to stay for "one more beer!" and see your profits go up by around $488. Get them to stay for 2 and (you see where I'm going with this) you just finished off 2 kegs from that crowd alone, netting more than $1800 in beer profits in just a few hours.

Of course, there are many variables, but overall, you can see the difference that having one or two more beers can make for your bar. Feel free to calculate your own profit per keg by plugging your information into the calculator linked above!

Increasing Dwell Time at Your Bar

The best way to ensure your patrons drink a few more while they're in your bar? Get them to stay longer! Here are 10 ways to increase dwell time at your bar:

1. Charging Stations: Welcome to 2016. We all have smartphones attached to us like a 3rd limb. One of the most effective ways to get people to stick around? Charge those devices! They can't leave the bar while their phones are plugged into the wall, so make this super easy and advertise that you're able to help keep them connected!

2. TVs: Every bar has at least one tv in it. However, it's what you do with that TV that makes this a little more important. We recently ran a study with Technomic that showed that Customers chose music content on your TV's to be the most engaging type of entertainment over things like sports and news.

3. Music Engagement: You have background music running in your bar, but why not get a little more out of it? Now there are solutions that actually engage your customers with the on-premise music giving you real time data about how your customers are reacting to it.

4. Bar Games: No matter what it is, if it's being played, it's increasing dwell time. Popular games like shuffle board or pool are great ways to keep people around. Lesser known options like having a wall of board games or keeping dice on the bar are great as well. 

5. Incentives: A small incentive can go a long way. Playing a sports game? Tell your patrons there will be a prize given out at the end of the game. Having a happy hour? Offer an incentive that your guests can collect at the end of it!

6. Offer Free Wifi: As much as you don't want people on their phones the entire time, offering free wifi can still be a great way to keep customers engaged especially if you have a mobile app.

7. Live Performance: Live performances are a great way not only to get people in the door, but to keep people around for a few hours. You can have small scale events like comedians or open mic nights or larger scale events like a battle of the bands or improv night.

8. Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs can be great for enticing people to order more. Implement something like a beer club where finishing the entire selection of beers at your venue awards customers with a signature mug and admittance to an exclusive club.

9. Dancing: Host nights for drinks and dancing! Having special themed nights attracts a crowd that is coming to your bar for a reason and is more likely to stay for a long period of time.

10. BOGO: Offer something for free. Buy one get one beers, buy a drink get a free bar snack. People like 'free' and will stay longer if it means getting another free item!


Once you have implemented a few of these ideas, test against your profits from last month and see if there is an improvement! Are your monthly beer profits higher? Are you running out of kegs? Good job! Your guests are officially staying for "one more beer!". 

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Topics: bars

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