Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas



The team at controlPLAY is getting excited because next week is one of our favorite times of the year: the Nightclub & Bar Conference and Trade Show.

The fact that it’s in Las Vegas doesn’t hurt, but the real reason we love this show is because, over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting thousands of interesting, inspiring and just-plain-awesome restaurant and bar professionals.

Not only is it a lot of fun getting to know others in the industry, but it’s led to successful business partnerships—like the one we have with our friends at Dave & Busters.

If you haven’t already heard of Dave & Busters, their story is pretty interesting. Dave and Buster are real guys. Back in the 1970’s they ran two separate businesses down the road from one and other: Buster ran a restaurant and Dave ran a games and entertainment center for adults. They saw an opportunity when they noticed that their clientele often travelled back-and-forth between their two businesses. They got together, combined their businesses and opened the first “Dave & Busters” in 1982. Fast forward to today, and there are now more than 90 locations across North America.

It was at a little over five years ago that the controlPLAY team first connected with Dave & Busters at the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas.

“We were fortunate enough to meet some of Dave & Busters’ executive management on a very busy trade show floor,” recalls controlPLAY President Jim Juniper, “The result of the conversation was an invitation to present controlPLAY as a music and music video solution for their locations throughout North America.”

Following the event, controlPLAY’s playlist team began their research to create the perfect Dave & Busters soundtrack. First, the team consulted with Dave & Busters marketing group to understand all of the elements of brand.

“Creating a strategic sound for a brand is both a science and an art,” explains controlPLAY Chief Playlist Officer Adam Melrose, “Our templated approach to playlists combined with our content library targeted to the restaurant—where the bar is the hub of the business—was a perfect fit for Dave & Busters music and music video strategy.”

We’re proud to say that we’ve now been working together with Dave & Busters for more than FIVE years—it all started at the Nightclub and Bar Show in Las Vegas, and that’s one of the reasons we look forward to it every year.

Are you going to be there? We’d love to meet you!
This year, our team will be at booth #1045. We’ll have free tools, information and one-on-one support to show you how your music can save you time and money, increase your revenue by $1000/month and create a memorable and energized experience for your guests.

Can’t make it to the show?
We’ll miss you, but our team at controlPLAY is always available to help you reach your business goals. Send us a note at info@controlplay.com and let’s talk.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

It's Not Madness, It's Opportunity


We could fill this post with subtly veiled references to a hugely popular basketball tournament that occurs this time of year and we can't legally name.

IT'S MADNESS.

But we're talking about strategies that can be applied to just about any event: how to get customers to stay (and spend) after the game. Or NASCAR race. Or Olympic figure skating. Whatever your crowd is into, you want them to stick around, have another round, and keep the energy up.

Using strategic music and video is a great way to subtly encourage your guests to extend their stay. Having specific post-game promotions replacing commercials throughout the game is a great way to take advantage of the event as focal point. Be it subtle or bold, investing the time to create a post-event plan is well worth the effort.

Thankfully, controlPLAY happens to be really, really good at this. We can use your existing video setup. Build an exquisitely accurate profile of your customers and serve up playlists and video tailor-made to keep the party going, so you can keep the profit flowing.

Download this PDF for detailed, practical tips:
After the Game guide
controlPLAY Guide - After the Game

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Five Easy St. Patrick’s Day Tips for Bars and Restaurants



You don’t need to rely on the luck of the Irish to make St. Patrick’s Day profitable for your bar or restaurant.


It’s no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is the fourth most popular drinking day of the year in the U.S. (after New Year’s Eve, Christmas and the Fourth of July). But there’s more to this day than beer and shenanigans.


St. Patrick’s Day can also be one of the most profitable days for bars and restaurants:
• More than 50 per cent of Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
• One of the most popular ways for people to recognize the holiday is to celebrate with a night out at a bar or restaurant
• The average American will spend a little more than $35 on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

That’s a lot of potential “green” to be made.

So how can your bar or restaurant cash-in and find your pot of gold at the end of the St. Patrick’s Day rainbow?

The following five tips will help you get well on your way to St. Patrick’s Day success, without unnecessary stress:


1. Consider your audience
Your first step to creating the perfect St. Patrick’s Day celebration is to plan an event that aligns with your clientele—make sure the tone of your theme night matches your daily brand and the vibe your guests seek when they visit your bar or restaurant. For example, if your bar or restaurant mainly attracts singles who are there to dance, you’ll want to make sure your music and energy is up-tempo and sets the scene for good times, high fives and dance moves.

2. Don’t underestimate the power of your music
Your music is one of the most crucial elements to setting the right tone and vibe for your St. Patrick’s Day event. In fact, music has the power to enhance the taste of your food or drinks, guide consumers’ menu choices, control your table turn-over and wait times, influence your customer experience, build guest loyalty and even boost your marketing efforts.

There’s a science behind creating an effective and strategic playlist; planning your bar or restaurant’s St. Patrick’s Day music can be time consuming, so we’ve done some of the work already for our controlPLAY subscribers. Every year our professional music mixology team produces a special St. Patrick’s Day Mix that’s live and ready to go.

3. Think beyond the drink
While St. Patrick’s Day is known for green beer, there are still plenty of opportunities for family establishments to participate in the fun, or for bars to offer something beyond the drink menu. Try to think of ways to expand the celebration through your menu (Irish stew or green milkshakes, anyone?) or activities for kids (could be as simple as themed colouring sheets, green pancakes or St. Patrick’s Day stickers).

4. Go the extra mile for your guests
If your guests are drinkers, there’s no better way to show you care than to help them get home safely and easily—and St. Patrick’s Day is a great occasion to set it up. Partnering with a transportation company or designated driving program to help people get home safely can relieve stress for your guests and help them to relax and enjoy the evening—and helps you stand out over your competition.

5. Make it premium
Your specials don’t have to be a discount item or cheap beer. Your guests are more likely to try something fun when they’re feeling festive, so why not use the opportunity to create some premium theme drinks or menu specials, such as a top-shelf St. Patrick’s Day green martini?



For more music tips and step-by-step instructions on how to plan the ultimate theme day in your bar or restaurant any day of the year, download our FREE Theme Night Guide.


controlPLAY is the number one music, music video and digital signage service provider for bars and restaurants. Our exclusive software and exceptional customer service save you time, money and can even increase your revenue—most of our customers see an average increase of $1000 per month. Visit controlplay.com to learn more.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

One Easy Trick to Increase your Bar or Restaurant’s Valentine’s Day Revenue



Hate it or love it, Valentine’s Day is a big deal. In fact, it’s one of the most profitable times of year for restaurants and bars: it’s the second most popular day of the year—after Mother’s Day—for people to dine out, and consumers spend an average of $3.5 Billion towards a night out on Valentine’s Day.

Most bars and restaurants can expect to see an increase in sales on Valentine’s Day without much work, however there’s one little detail that can take your revenue to the next level and make you fall in love with your bottom line this February (and beyond).

The magic is in your music.

We know what you’re thinking, “Play romantic songs on Valentine’s day…that’s kind of obvious. What’s so secret about that? And how does playing MUSIC make you money?”

But stick around, there’s so much more to it.

Your bar or restaurant’s music has the power to enhance the taste of your food or drinks, guide consumers’ menu choices, control your table turn-over and wait times, influence your customer experience, build guest loyalty and even boost your marketing efforts. 

The key is to be strategic with every aspect of your bar or restaurant’s background music. From the genre to the volume and tempo, to the time of day or origin; every detail impacts your brand, consumer behaviour and bottom line.

Your first step to creating an effective Valentine’s Day playlist is to make sure you’re matching your genre to your audience. For example, if your bar or restaurant mainly attracts singles who are there to dance, you’re better off to skip the down-tempo romantic tracks and opt for a more upbeat playlist.

But what about the volume? If you’re a restaurant that’s got a lineup out the door and your goal is to turn tables over quickly, then your best bet is to turn up the volume and make sure your tempo is quick-paced. However, if you’re a chill wine bar that banks on guests staying for longer periods of time and enjoying many fine beverages, you’re better off to keep the music quieter and softer. This is where some of those slow jams come in handy.

Do you have a specific menu item you’d like to push? Consider the origin of music to help boost sales. Looking to promote the jerk chicken? Try a little reggae and watch the orders come in!

Of course, there are the popular Valentine’s Day theme parties that also require special consideration, and in this case your music might deviate from your bar or restaurant’s usual tone. Looking for some off-the-beaten-path music ideas for your unique Valentine’s Day? Check out these playlist ideas from our signature music video programs.

Planning your bar or restaurant’s Valentine’s Day music can be time consuming, so we’ve done some of the work already for our controlPLAY subscribers. Every year our incredible music mixology team puts together a special Valentine’s Day Mix that’s live and ready to go on the first day of February.



For more music tips and step-by-step instructions on how to plan the ultimate theme day in your bar or restaurant any day of the year, download our FREE Theme Night Guide.


controlPLAY is the number one music, music video and digital signage service provider for bars and restaurants. Our exclusive software and exceptional customer service save you time, money and can even increase your revenue—most of our customers see an average increase of $1000 per month. Visit controlplay.com to learn more.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Last Minute Plays to Help Your Pub Score a Revenue Touchdown on Super Bowl Sunday



Super Bowl Sunday is just days away. How are you feeling?

Are you behind on planning or promoting your pub’s Super Bowl event and are worried about a revenue fumble this weekend?

OR are you prepared and confident that your sports bar will dominate the revenue field—but could use a little good luck charm for that extra push?

Let’s have a time-out to huddle and share a few last minute tricks that will hike your sports bar’s revenue this weekend.

Most of these plays can be implemented as late as game-day itself to give your bar a boost. Here’s the game plan:

- TUNE-UP YOUR TUNES
For some football fans it’s all about the atmosphere: great music, friends and fun. The ambience of your pub directly impacts your Super Bowl success and your guest experience.

The easiest way to create the perfect Super Bowl vibe in your sports bar is by lining up a champion playlist. On game-day, play upbeat tracks and music videos that pump-up your guests.

A fun and energized vibe will encourage guests to stick around for the game and increase the chance that fans will come back and bring their friends next time.

- GAME-TIME SPECIALS
Offering game-day specials is a great way to enhance your pub’s Super Bowl vibe, increase food and beverage purchases and encourage your customers to come back.

Don’t have anything new to offer? Not to worry, a special Super Bowl price on a favorite appetizer or drink is all you need.

- MAKE IT SOCIAL
Just because you haven’t done any pre-promotion doesn’t mean you can’t start NOW. All it takes is a click of a button.

Super Bowl fans have already started to share their excitement on social media. This is a great opportunity to engage with your customers and promote your pub’s specials and
entertainment in real time.

Try incorporating #SuperBowl and #local hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to let local Football fans know your sports pub is celebrating.

If you’re a controlPLAY subscriber, use your FREE myJAM app to engage your guests and instantly increase your social media marketing reach before and after the game


- TURN UP THE VOLUME
Your televisions are your pub’s best friend on game day. But your TV’s can do a lot more to support your bottom line than just play sports.

Maybe the simplest, quickest and easiest thing you can do to build a buzz on game-day is turn your television volume wayyyy up! Big sound is a key ingredient to Super Bowl success!

It seems simple, but you’d be surprised how often this trick is overlooked.


Don’t be caught offside on game-day: check out our FREE After the Game Guide to learn the secrets to maximizing your bar’s game-day revenue.





controlPLAY is the number one music, music video and digital signage service provider for bars and restaurants. Our exclusive software and exceptional customer service save you time, money and can even increase your revenue—most of our customers see an average increase of $1000 per month. Visit controlplay.com to learn more.

Friday, 20 January 2017

The magic mix for your restaurant’s background music

When you opened your bar or restaurant you had a vision, an image, a story you wanted to tell, a feeling you wanted to create.

Admit it: it’s about more than just making a buck.

You’ve invested a lot of money—and emotional capital—into bringing that vision to life. You put a lot of thought, time and money into your menu and your décor.


But what about your sound?

Your background music can be one of the most powerful elements to evoking a positive emotional connection from your customer to your brand, and is arguably the most crucial component to your bar or restaurant’s atmosphere.

Your music is the secret weapon to creating high fives, good times, igniting a flame, and encouraging genuine connection—all factors that contribute to your bottom line. It’s actually kind of incredible the impact your background music can have on your customer experience and your revenue.

However, building your own playlist is like playing roulette with your brand. Make a misstep and your music can actually end up hurting your bottom line—and the image of your brand.

Think about your music like you think about your drinks.

Yes, believe it or not, your playlist has a lot in common with your drinks menu:

  • You wouldn’t serve drinks without a liquor license—music licensing for bars and restaurants is just as important. Not only can it be time consuming to try to curate your own playlists, but it can send you down a rabbit hole of red tape, fines and bad publicity—you don’t have time for that.
  • Playing a random list of songs is the musical equivalent of serving your wine, beer and mixed drinks through a fountain pop dispenser. It’s fast and easy, but completely misses the point. You have a bartender—a mixologist—for a reason: quality control, presentation and serving your guests an experience. The same should be true for your playlist.
  • Like bartending, cultivating the perfect background music for your bar or restaurant is both a science and an art. 
o   In the World of Bartending:

A mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining elixirs and creating extraordinary cocktails, ultimately creating well-balanced experiences.

o   In the World of Playlists:

 A mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining genres, energy and vibes to create extraordinary playlists, ultimately creating well-balanced experiences.




MEET OUR MIXOLOGISTS

Besides taking the stress out of your bar and restaurant music licensing, controlPLAY’s playlist mixologists are the best of the bunch:

- Adam Melrose is our Chief Playlist Officer
- Chris McEwin is our Sr. Playlist Mixologist
- Andrew Moss is our Playlist Mixologist
- Lee Murphy is our New Content Acquisition

Our team at controlPLAY lives for music and innovation. We believe in the power of the playlist and music’s ability to bring people together, create high-fives, foster good times and build lasting memories.


See for yourself what a difference controlPLAY can make for your bar or restaurant’s brand, bottom line and customer experience—and how easy it can be: try our free demo today.


Thursday, 29 December 2016

A Look Back on the Music of 2016

2016 is almost over, but the year’s soundtrack will transcend January 1st and carry on with us as an audio yearbook, stirring up memories and taking us back to relive the moments that moved us January through December.

This year had its ups and downs—especially in the world of music. Sadly, we lost great talents and musical legends with the passing of David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, among other influencers. Each left behind irreplaceable contributions to music, and will live on through their compositions.

2016 was filled with fierce women in music. Female musicians continued to chart new territory and charge forward: Beyoncé started a buzz with her new album Lemonade, released with a provocative one-hour-long HBO film; Taylor swift became the first woman to win a Grammy for Album of the Year two years in a row; and Madonna was recognized as Woman of the Year at Billboard’s Women in Music event, where she opened up in a blunt, raw and emotional speech about the challenges she faced in her career as a female musician. 

One of the more lighthearted highlights of 2016 was musical meme pandemonium—namely the viral meme of Drake that circulated with the release of the artist’s Views album. The meme became so well-known and highly shared that it inspired the creation of a photo generator app that allowed users to create their own mock-album covers by inserting a tiny sitting Drake into photographs.





Many factors influenced the music of this year, most notably the political landscape, social issues, and the evolution of the way people consume and access music. In 2016—more than ever—music was a social experience and connected people from all walks of life through its unique language.

Here is a list of the songs that you loved this year—controlPLAY’s top 10 most requested music videos of 2016:


  1. Work by Rihanna ft. Drake

  2. Uptown Funk! by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

  3. Hotline Bling by Drake

  4. Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots

  5. My House by Flo Rida

  6. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber

  7. Heathens by Twenty One Pilots

  8. Panda by Desiigner

  9. 679 (Remy Boyz) by Fetty Wap

  10. CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! by Justin Timberlake


From the whole team at controlPLAY, Happy New Year! We can’t wait to see what new tunes 2017 will bring.



controlPLAY is the number one music, music video and digital signage service provider for bars and restaurants. Our exclusive software and exceptional customer service save you time, money and can even increase your revenue—most of our customers see an average increase of $1000 per month. Visit controlplay.com to learn more.