In business, you’re always striving for better. Well, with a little forethought into sales, organisation and negotiation, your venue’s success can skyrocket. Let Cluboid show you how to up your management game in 6 easy steps.

How to Run a Better Nightclub or Bar

Nightclub management is like spinning plates. You have to oversee inventory, wages, recruitment, training, staff, customers… the list can at times, feel completely endless. Just as you’ve managed to get one plate spinning again, another one begins to wobble.

Coordinating front of house, back office, the bar, the kitchen - not to mention every single individual that works within them - can become quite overwhelming. It’s even harder to keep all of your plates spinning when you can’t watch them all at once. Although, thanks to modern advances, people no longer need to physically be together to stay connected so with clever use of technology and a dash of know-how, you can make sure you’re running a tight ship. Here are 6 Cluboid tips to run a better and more successful bar or nightclub…

How to run a better nightclub or bar 1

1. Get inventive with sales

For best results, try to think of every sales transaction as if it were on a scale of best to worst case scenario. In the centre of the scale you have ‘delivering the customer exactly what they asked for’. Worst case scenario is that they change their mind and no sale is made whatsoever, whereas the best case scenario is that you give the customer what they asked for, plus you encouraged them to spend out for a little something extra. Consider:

Upselling: Encouraging guests to spring for a pricier brand or item, based on what they have already told you they are looking for. Cross-selling: Asking guests if they have considered buying an item that goes with/ is complementary to something they have already bought. Pre-sales: Pushing for guests to purchase an item before or especially for an event. This includes the sale of tickets/wristbands and is likely solidify their attendance to your event.

2. Consolidate all of your boring admin into one place

Designers no longer use pen and paper: they use Photoshop. Writers use wordpress. More and more roles are being made easier with technological aid. It’s just what is done these days: a software is engineered to facilitate a job and then nobody looks back. Well, now specialist nightclub and bar software is taking over. Industry specific software has been designed to funnel all of your important data into one channel, which can then be accessed by you, your bar staff, door staff, promotions staff- anyone you please. With restricted access features, you can ensure only you have administrative access and your staff see only what you want them to. Your dashboard screen then tells you everything you need to know about your business growth, bookings, guestlists, and other important business stats. It’s a lot easier to determine what’s working, and what’s not when you’re having it all presented to you in digestible graph form. It’ll also mean that your future decisions are based on legitimate sales trends and are therefore much more reliable.

3. Integrate your management software with your website

This means that whenever someone goes to book a table or bottle service at your venue, they’re inputting data directly into your system. Names, emails, everything. This then puts it all straight into your software, completely eliminating the middleman. It’s like having your very own robot concierge. Using phone lines or email to take bookings is a recipe for disaster. This is when you’re likely to see table clashes, double bookings, last minute cancellations that haven’t been seen by staff and so on. Not only could that lead to a great deal of customer disappointment and probably a fairly scathing online review, if a ‘reserved’ table could’ve gone elsewhere but didn’t, you’re looking at a sizable loss to earnings. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to spend time constantly refreshing your inbox before an event in case someone has cancelled or decided to double their party. Reservation features on management software show you exactly which tables are booked, and which are available on an interactive floorplan of your venue, and will notify you if anything changes along the way. Smart right?

4. Offer a data driven customer experience

Tailor-making your events based on your audience will set your venue apart from others, and accelerate your sales figures. When your software is linked with your POS, every transaction is swept for data. It’ll tell you exactly which events are most popular, what people are drinking, and even which of your servers make the most sales. Knowing this kind of information is invaluable and can really up the level of customer service offered. It also means that data is linked to an individual, and you can personalise your customer interaction because of it. That is exactly the kind of service that will keep customers returning to your venue week after week. Monitoring data this way is an efficient way of making each guest feel their business is valued.

5. Keep tabs on your employees for optimum productivity

Management software can also provide individual staff logins, and where there are logins, there is accountability. If someone hasn’t made a sale in over an hour, but another has made 50+, guess which one has been slacking? This kind of intel can help you best negotiate rotas by showing your most effective staffing combinations and who is actually worth their salt. It will show you exactly who is getting inventive with their sales and making the most from it, meaning you know who to commend and who needs to be told to pull their socks up. The same can be applied to your promotions team, showing you exactly how many guests each promoter has managed to bring in. When it’s time to let someone go, this kind of information can prove very useful for documentation of their low rates of productivity.

6. Team up with a ticketing platform that lets you have your say

No one likes to feel out of control, especially not with regards to business. You invest a lot of time and effort into the running of your venue and therefore you should make an attempt to only collaborate with those who will meet you in the middle. Online ticket-resellers can be somewhat stubborn in how they want to do things, and are a little reluctant to let you manage your own ticket pages, view your sales numbers before/after events etc. Negotiate with ticket sites to determine which ones will let you have complete access to all data and are also compatible with apps so your street team can sell tickets on the move. You also want to make sure that the ticket platforms you choose doesn’t provide customers with links to competitors or other ticketing websites by way of ads- that’s one way to see a rapid sales decline.

It’s far easier to make those all important business decisions when you have all your information laid out in front of you, and those decisions get made a whole lot faster when specialist software does the legwork on your behalf. Why make life more difficult than it needs to be by trying to go it alone? That’s like watching your family enjoy their breakfast while you sit in the corner, sweating as you churn your own butter. Just because ‘that’s how it’s always been done’ doesn’t make it the best way. The same can be said about management. A little help can make all the difference to the efficiency of your business, and those plates that concerned you before? They’re now practically self-spinning. Management achievement unlocked.

About the Author

Indiana West is a regular writer at Cluboid focused on helping large and small businesses achieve better bookings and reservations.

You can read more posts by Indiana on our blog.

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