Wednesday, 6 September 2017

5 Easy Ways Sports Bars Can Maximize Football Season

This week marks the official start of football season! There’s no better time than now to take your sports bar’s entertainment to the next level.

Don’t fumble through the season. Check out these five easy tips to hike your revenue this fall:

  1. Create the Vibe

    Of course, the sport is the most important part of game-day, but for some fans it’s all about the atmosphere: great tunes, food, friends and fun. The ambience of your sports bar directly impacts the tone of the game.

    Make sure you start strong by playing upbeat tracks and music videos that pump-up your guests, and showing relevant and engaging content on your screens. An energized and fun vibe will encourage guests to stick around for the game and increase the chances that fans will come back and bring their friends for the next game.

  2. Offer Specials

    Offering game-day specials is a great way to enhance your pub’s vibe, increase food and beverage purchases and encourage your customers to come back for more. For example, during the game consider offering a discounted beverage to get guests in the door; an after the game appetizer deal could be just the thing to entice guests to stick around.

  3. Arrange Post-Game and Pre-Game Entertainment

    One of the best ways to increase your pub’s game-day revenue is by expanding your celebrations beyond game-time. Pre-and post-game entertainment, contests and specials start the fun early and keep it going long after the game to maximize your guest experience and increase their average spending.

  4. Engage and Promote Your Events on Social Media

    Your football fans will undoubtedly share their excitement about the game on social media. This is a great opportunity to engage with your customers and promote your specials and entertainment. Some ways to incorporate social media into your promotion plan are:

    • Post your game plans on social networking sites leading up to the game
    • Incorporate popular football-related hashtags to help target your posts on Twitter and Instagram
    • Create a hashtag that includes your sports bar’s name and host a Twitter contest for your guests during the game
    • Use Control Play’s FREE myJAM app to engage your guests and increase your social media marketing reach before and after the game

  5. Leverage Your TVs With Digital Signage

    Your televisions are your sports bar’s best friend on game-day. But your TV’s can do a lot more to support your bottom line than just play sports. To get the most out of your televisions on game-day:

    1. Place many TVs in visible places
    2. Opt for larger screens whenever possible
    3. Turn the volume way up! Big sound is a key ingredient to game-day success
    4. Incorporate digital signage to share targeted messages for your pub. For example, during commercials use your TV to promote your own specials and events

For more tips on how your bar or restaurant can make the most out of football season, check out our FREE After the Game guide.

Control Play is the only music, music video and digital signage service provider created just for bars and restaurants. For more information, send us a note at

Monday, 28 August 2017

Central Social Hall Creates a Delicious Social Experience

Ever since his inauguration into the hospitality industry at the age of 13, Jesse Kupina had a passion for food, entertainment and guest experience, “I’ve always had the dream of owning my own place.”

Fast forward to today, and he has realized that dream. In 2009, Jesse joined forces with his business partner, Jerry Rota, to create Two12 Social Co. – a hospitality enterprise that owns two of the most popular food and entertainment establishments in Alberta, Canada. 

One of which is Central Social Hall, where premium casual dining meets the best of pub-style socializing. Central Social Hall slightly shifts its vibe through its dayparts: attracting couples, young families with kids, and groups of friends for weekend brunch; enticing urban professionals throughout the week; and on Friday and Saturday nights the atmosphere kicks into high gear with a little bit of dancing.

“We wanted to offer people great service and the freshest quality ingredients—everything on our menu is made in house,” explains Kupina, “but we wanted to offer an experience—more than just a place to eat—so we combined that great menu and service with a hip atmosphere that encourages socialization.”

A key element to creating Central Social Hall’s prefect vibe is its music—and making sure the music and entertainment complements the daypart. “Creating a social experience is so important, it’s ingrained in everything we do: it’s in our name, it’s a theme in our menu—even our servers are encouraged to promote shareable items—so it’s vital that it’s also reflected in our music; the music and playlists we choose help create that atmosphere.”

Through working with Control Play’s team and services, Central Social Hall has been able to create a signature sound to achieve just that, “Since we’ve made the switch from our old music provider, our music and atmosphere is noticeably better,” says Kupina, “The variety of music we get, and the ease of working with the Control Play system are awesome. It’ s really allowed us to achieve and articulate the music program we want and execute different dayparts without a flaw.”

To speak to its growing success, recently Two12 Social Co. has opened a second location for Central Social Hall in St. Albert, Alberta.

“I love creating an experience for a guest, whether it’s an event or a food experience…I love that we’ve created a space for people to do that,” says Kupina, “The best thing about what I do is creating memorable experiences. To see people enjoying themselves—that type of stuff—I find a lot of happiness in seeing that.”  

When asked what advice he has for other aspiring bar or restaurant owners, Kupina shared his wisdom, “This is certainly not a business where you can just set-it and forget-it. You’re only as good as your last customer’s experience, so you’ve got to be innovative and keep things current—create crave items and an atmosphere that people can’t get anywhere else.”

To learn more about Two12 Social Co., visit +

To learn more about music, music video and digital signage for bars and restaurants, visit

Friday, 18 August 2017

Music for the Solar Eclipse: Playlist is Available on August 20

On August 21, 2017, the Great American Solar Eclipse will cast its shadow and darken the skies across much of the U.S.A, and serve up a spectacular sight for observers all over North America.

What better way to take in this big event at your bar or restaurant than with the perfect solar eclipse background music?

“Dark Side of the Tune” is a new playlist created by our music experts just for the event, and will be available in your player on August 20 in the Seasonal playlists section.

The playlist is 2 hours and 15 minutes of sun and moon-themed music, such as “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John, “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, and of course, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. 

Click here to learn more about our Signature Programs.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Our Special Gift to Celebrate Canada 150

July 1, 2017, marks Canada’s 150th birthday, and Canadians from coast-to-cost-to-coast will be flocking to their favourite watering holes to toast their home and native land.

Poutine, Canadian beer and being polite are a some of the more well-known symbols of Canadian life, but if you dive a little deeper, you’ll find that one of Canada’s greatest contributions is music. Some of the world’s most memorable and influential music was created by talented Canadians.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Control Play’s music mixology team has hand-picked a timeless playlist of Canada’s favourite tracks, musicians and videos—sure to create the perfect Canada Day vibe in your bar or restaurant. The playlist is available NOW to all subscribers, and can be found in your player.

Not a subscriber? Control Play has a special limited-time promotion in honour of Canada 150: from now until July 10, 2017, new subscribers will receive 25% off of our Music Video and Digital Signage package, and 25% off our all-new HD Video Players.


From all of us at Control Play: Happy 150, Canada!  

Our Special Gift to Celebrate Independence Day

This Fourth of July, Americans all across the country will celebrate the land of the free and home of the brave at their favorite bars and restaurants.

Independence Day is a time to celebrate what it means to be an American—all things big and small. And that includes the incredible contributions the USA has made to the music industry. Americans are some of the most well-known musicians, and have made a tremendous impact on the world through their musical influence. American musicians have created the soundtracks for everything from our businesses to our most memorable life events.

In celebration of Independence Day, Control Play’s music mixology team has hand-picked a timeless playlist of America’s most patriotic tracks, musicians and videos—sure to create the perfect Fourth of July vibe in your bar or restaurant. The playlist is available NOW to all subscribers, and can be found in your player.

Not a subscriber? Control Play has a special limited-time promotion in honor of Independence Day: from now until July 10, 2017, new subscribers will receive 25% off of our Music-Video and Digital Signage package, and 25% off of our all-new HD Video Players. 

From all of us at Control Play: Happy Independence Day, America

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Father’s Day 2017: How to Crush Your Competition and Boost Your Bar or Restaurant’s Bottom Line

This Sunday is anticipated to be a record-breaking Father’s Day, with American consumers expected to treat dad to more than $15.5 Billion in celebrations and gifts—and one of the most popular ways to celebrate is to dine out.

So how can you help your bar or restaurant stand out as a destination of choice and boost your bottom line this Father’s Day?

It’s all about going the extra mile and offering something special for your patrons. Drink and menu specials are a great place to start, but it’s pretty likely that your competitors will have something similar planned. Focus your attention on opportunities to personalize your customer experience, and don’t overlook the small details to leave a lasting impression this year.

For example, try creating a custom playlist; it could be a simple as songs performed by dads, to your own father’s favourites—or you could take it one step further by taking song requests from guests who are dads. Advertise by posting on your social sites, creating simple table-toppers, menu inserts, or create a funny chalkboard message to grab the attention of passers-by. It’s a simple way to inspire conversation with your guests, provide a little entertainment and share something different.

Another simple way to go the extra mile for your guests on Father’s Day is to personalize the experience with your screens. Update scrolling messages with the names of dads who visit your establishment, invite your staff and regulars to include photos of their dads in a sideshow, or queue up photos and custom messages for guests who make reservations in advance. The Brightside Tavern is a great example of how to leverage your entertainment system to engage your guests and build customer loyalty.  

Don’t have the time but still want to create a great vibe? No worries, we can help. Control Play can create custom playlists and manage your entertainment for you. For most special occasions, we create ready-to-go playlists—and you can find our Father’s Day mix available in your player now.

For more information, drop us a line at or call 1-866-896-3470

And from all of us at Control Play to all of the dads out there: HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Everyone’s a Regular at Brightside Tavern

There’s more to running a successful bar or restaurant than great food and drinks; it’s more important than ever to offer your clients that little something extra to keep them coming back.

Tommy Parisi has mastered the art of the little something extra. Known to many as “Tommy 2 Scoops” from his earlier days of running a gelato shop, Tommy’s up-tempo and people-loving personality is perfectly translated into the vibe he creates for his clientele at Brightside Tavern, located in Jersey City, NY.

Brightside Tavern owner, Tommy Parisi
Tommy purchased the 100-year old building with the vision of turning it into “the place” for all kinds of people. Four years later the building was transformed into the Brightside Tavern, complete with a 70-foot addition that maintains the look of the original brick, an underground kitchen, party rooms with high ceilings, and a large rectangular bar with two oversized TV screens at each end. “It’s kind of Cheers-like,” describes Tommy. “It’s very comfortable.”

From gospel meetings to drag shows, and a menu that satisfies all kinds of cravings, there truly is something for everyone at Brightside Tavern. Tommy prides himself on creating a warm, inviting and friendly experience, “We do a lot of things to make people feel comfortable,” he says, “probably eighty per cent of my guests know me or my staff.”

One of the ways Tommy and his staff create a friendly vibe is by using the screens, music and entertainment system to celebrate and engage with their guests.

For example, if you’re ever visiting the Brightside Tavern, ask them to tell you the story about “Tommy at the Apollo.”

18 years ago Tommy Parisi was a guest on Showtime at the Apollo, where he performed his rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Since then, Tommy has been affectionately known around Jersey City as “the guy who sang on Showtime at the Apollo.”

Over the years, Tommy’s learned that his guests love hearing the story so much, that he loaded the video footage of his performance into his Control Play music video player—now guests can request the song and he can queue up the video whenever he tells the story to a new visitor.

“It’s become kind of a running joke around here,” laughs Tommy. “The staff hear the song and say, ‘Ahhh not Tommy again!’ The guests love it, they’re in on the joke and they feel right at home.”

Parisi and his staff also love to announce birthdays, special events and recognize customer milestones. “We just had a family come in to celebrate a graduation,” Tommy starts, “we got talking, and then before you know it, they hand me a flash drive and we start showing the graduation photos on one of our TV screens. A lot of people come in for one meal, but feel so at home, they hang out for a while—and often times they end up staying for another course.”

Tommy credits the flexibility and control he has over his music and entertainment as a big reason he’s able to provide a personalized guest experience, “If we have a group come in for an event and then all of sudden they feel like having a dance party, we change up the music and have a dance party,” says Tommy. “I really enjoying seeing people have a good time. I love creating that vibe.”

It’s that homey, friendly, something for everyone type of atmosphere that makes Brightside tavern appeal to a wide range of patrons, from kids to 90 year-olds.

“You know how everyone has their ‘place?’ I love creating that. There’s nothing I love more than hearing that Brightside Tavern is someone’s ‘place.’”

To learn more about the Brightside Tavern, visit
To learn more about Control Play’s music, music video and digital signage services, visit