Sports Bar is a relatively newer and upcoming concept in India.
Currently, there are just over 40 sports bars in the country. This is odd in a country where almost every citizen is interested in some or other kind of sport.
Cricket runs in the veins of a majority of Indians and the newer generation is now adapting to watching and playing gully football and basketball. Yet, the concept of sports bars leaves much to be desired and there is a great entrepreneurial opportunity if you are a food and sports enthusiast!
Various sportspersons have their own sports-themed bars in the country: Elevens by Kapil Dev, One8 Commune by Virat Kohli, Ministry of Crab by Jayawardene Mahila and many others.
What are the essentials for setting up and running a sports bar in India successfully?
Setting Up A Sports Bar
1. Location & Interiors
You can’t open a sports bar in a residential area; it will be a guaranteed failure!
When you open a sports bar, be prepared to have hot-blooded fans screaming and shouting at the top of their lungs, cheering for their favourite team and cursing out their opponents. Hence, it is recommended that you scan the area thoroughly before locking in on the location for setting up your sports bar.
The next important factor in setting up sports bars is the interior. You can’t have subdued, formal interiors in a sports bar. Situations tend to get wild and customers are seldom mindful of their behaviour. Nobody will notice if you spend a great deal on your crockery or fine decor or plush interiors.
Instead, you can keep the tone of the bar a neutral colour and then decorate it according to the theme of the teams playing the matches.
2. Fast Finger Food
Planning a menu for a sports bar should be easy. You can offer a limited number of options that are quick to make and easy to eat without much hassle. Popular food choices in such cafes and bars are burgers, fries, pizza, milkshakes, chicken wings, kebabs etc.
If you are a bar, ensure you have an endless supply of popular beverages. Customers expect a constant flow of energy drinks, beers, sodas and other such drinks.
To maintain a steady flow of customers, ensure you keep up the quality and taste of the food your offer. Since it is a small menu, it should be easy to keep a consistent taste.
3. In-House Games
There might be occasions when there are no good games being played or customers do not want to watch a losing match. There might even be customers who are looking to play games with their friends in the bar. It would be a good investment to have a few games in the house.
You can choose the games in accordance with the taste of your bar. For eg. if you want to make your bar a hotspot for basketball fans, then you can hook a couple of smaller hoops on the walls or have those basketball shooting arcade games in your bar. This can also be a good way to earn some extra money since you can charge the customers per game or per hour.
If you’re short on space, then you can attach a dart board behind the door at the entrance. If space is no problem, then you can have a pool table, foosball or other arcade games.
4. State-of-the-Art Viewing Screen and Speakers
This should be your main place of expenditure. This is what they come to your bar for!
Spend your time carefully planning the placement of the TV and speakers in your restaurant. While setting up your bar, make sure that you plan the seating and the placement of the TV simultaneously.
There should be a good and clear view of the television from every angle for every customer. The picture should be clear and get an HD cable subscription. The volume of the speakers can be regulated as per the number of people present at the sports bar at that point in time.
A good suggestion here would be to have multiple TVs together in the bar. This will be helpful on the days when there is more than one sport being played or if there are multiple matches going on of the same sport.
For example, F1 holds races only on Sunday evenings. T20 cricket matches are also held on Sundays around the same time. So, instead of losing customers because you can play only one of the sports in your bar, get multiple TVs and run a different sport on each.
Running A Sports Bar
1. Knowing The Schedule For The Matches
It would work in your favour if you stay aware of the schedules for various matches happening in the world. You could even pin the schedule of the sports that you will be running in your bar and accept pre-bookings from your customers to reserve their tables.
Another reason why this might be helpful is if you want to customise the decor of your bar according to the playing teams. That would be a great way to draw in customers and stand out from the competition.
2. Enhancing Customer Experience
Customers are really appreciative of the quick service in the restaurant. With technology, you can provide just that and ensure satisfactory service for diners. One way to do that is by investing in Petpooja’s waiter calling device.
The bar/cafe is already crowded and way too loud! Nobody wants to add to the noise by screaming for waiters for service. Nobody wants to leave their chair and get up to look for a waiter every time they want something. This compact waiter-calling device solves both of these major problems by providing three key features – waiter, water and bill on the device that a customer can call upon by just pressing the respective buttons.
Another way to enhance customer experience is by introducing loyalty programs for your customers. This will help in increasing footfall and building your restaurant loyalty along with the added benefit of increased spending by the customers.
You can use loyalty programs to remind your sports fans about the upcoming match and offers at your sports bar to create a sense of association of your sports bar with the sports. The Petpooja POS software also provides its own loyalty program for its onboarded restaurants. The best feature of Petpooja Loyalty is that it’s highly customizable based on your exact needs.
3. Marketing The Right Way
Once your sports bar is set up, it is time to open your doors to sports fanatics! But, how will you ensure that people are aware of your presence?
One way to do this is to keep your launch on a big match day! Spread the word, advertise, distribute fliers, and design creative invites for promoting your restaurant. Your target audience will find you!
Download our recently launched app Tvito which has 50,000+ templates! It provides you with 50,000+ designs for 20+ cuisines and endless content options readily available to promote your restaurant on various platforms. It is quick and user-friendly and you can generate high-quality content right from your phone!
4. Investing In The Right POS
A sports bar gets crazy during rush hours. It gets super chaotic and it becomes very difficult for the managers and servers to manage orders during that time. Moreover, keeping a track of the orders, carrying out the billing process and managing the influx of incoming orders in the kitchen causes a huge headache for the restaurant staff.
With Petpooja POS, all these hassles are eliminated. Along with simplifying your bar management and enabling you to manage your inventory more efficiently, it also helps you with:
- Multi-terminal Billing
- Alcohol Inventory Management
- Happy Hours And Combo Offers
- Customisable Bills
- Track Your Customer Data
- Captain Ordering App
- Reports And Stats
- Waiter Calling System
Good sports bars are still a rarity in a country like India where sports like cricket and football are viewed and ardently followed by a majority of the citizens. If you’re passionate about food and sports and are looking for an opportunity in the field, then opening a sports bar might be an exciting venture for you! However, don’t forget to get all the right licenses for your sports bar to operate smoothly!
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