Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A Halloween Theme Night Hack that BOOsts your Bar or Restaurant’s Bottom Line


It’s almost here, my pretties. It’s the scariest night of the year; the night when all of the Mummies and Deaddies rise from the grave to consume perilous potions, terrifying treats and deadly desserts. It’s almost HALLOWEEN.

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls and ghosts, it’s also a great time for bars and restaurants to BOOst their revenue.

HOW? By hosting a Halloween theme night.  

Now don’t be afraid. Halloween doesn’t have to mean menacing monsters, crazy crowds or wild witches; it can be anything from a simple splash of spook to a full-on fright-fest. When customized to fit your bar or restaurant’s vibe, a Halloween theme night can help you attract new customers, engage with your regulars and increase your revenue.

How do you get started?
Check out our step-by-step guide to planning a Halloween theme night (if you dare!):

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Five Ways Hosting a Theme Night Benefits your Bar or Restaurant

Your bar or restaurant’s atmosphere plays an important role in your day-to-day success. Patrons seek out venues that fit their mood and complement the occasion. Getting the music, setting and vibe just right can be the difference between a returning customer or a one-time visitor.  It’s important that your establishment maintains a consistent experience and atmosphere every time.

But what if you want to shake things up a bit?

Theme nights are a great way to attract new customers, build loyalty and engage with your regulars, boost your revenue and power-up your promotions. Hosting a theme night doesn’t mean cramming your bar or restaurant full of party crazy maniacs (unless that’s your goal); theme nights can benefit a variety of environments and range everywhere from a sophisticated soiree to a rough n’ tumble buckin’ bronco shindig.

Still not sure if a theme night is right for your bar or restaurant? Here are five ways hosting a theme night can benefit your establishment:

1- It can help boost your social media game

Theme nights can provide great material for social media and help you to build followers, engage with your networks and join in new conversations.

Encourage your guests to post their photos from theme night and tag your establishment, you can then comment or share their photos with your network.

You can expand your typical social media reach with a theme by using related hashtags in your event promotions. For example, if you’re hosting a Game of Thrones season finale party, use #GameofThrones to join fans’ conversations and connect with people who share an interest. Not only will you be promoting your event, but reaching a group of people who you might not have had the chance to meet.

2 - It can connect you to other businesses in the community

Hosting a theme night provides an opportunity for your bar or restaurant to reach out to get to know and potentially partner with other businesses in your area. Even if it doesn’t directly result in a partnership this time around, new contacts can mean new customers or partners in the future.

3 - It can help you reach new audiences

Hosting a theme night can help you reach new crowds that may not otherwise have visited your establishment. For example, if you’re hosting an Olympics theme party, you might attract new guests who are interested in watching the Olympics, but have never visited your bar or restaurant before. Their interest in your theme night could be the one thing that gets them through the door.

4 - Helps you increase revenue

Hosting a theme night can help boost your revenue. By bringing in more visitors, tapping into new crows, enhancing your marketing outreach and providing the opportunity to promote specials and upcoming events on-site, you’re sure to notice a bump to your bottom line.

5 - Helps you retain customers and attract new ones

People like to have fun! If your theme night appeals to your target clientele and is a success, new customers will come back and bring friends.

Check out our step-by-step guide to planning a successful and fun theme night in your establishment.


Friday, 7 October 2016

The Dark Side of Using Music Apps for your Bar or Restaurant’s Background Music

If you walk into a bar or restaurant and don’t hear music, what do you think? You’re probably going to assume the establishment is closed. The ambience is just as crucial to the customer experience as the food and service—and the music is one of the most important factors in achieving the perfect vibe.

Playing music in your bar or restaurant is unavoidable. Today access to music is easier than ever, with a click of a button or a tap of your finger you can have a playlist running and tunes pumping within seconds. Sounds easy, right?

Using online streaming apps or making do-it-yourself playlists may seem like the easier and cheaper options, but what are you really risking when you use an app or play unlicensed music in your establishment?

Think twice before you plug in your iPod or download that free music app—what seems like a simple solution and money saving measure may end up giving you twice the headaches, hurting your brand and costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Learn what you’re risking by using “free” music; it may not be as simple as you think.


What’s more annoying or time-consuming than computer glitches, viruses and system crashes? Not only can a slow or stalled computer system slow down your service, it can seriously impact your records and cost big bucks to fix.

A recent example of how free music apps can put your system at risk is the malware infestation issue with Spotify’s free music streaming service. Spotify users noticed that infected ads were being pushed out when the service was used on laptops, causing browsers to automatically open malicious websites.

Your computer system touches every aspect of your business: your marketing programs, record keeping and accounting, orders, inventory, etc. Are you willing to put it at risk for free music?

If you add in the costs associated with potential system slowdowns, crashes and repairs, using a “free” service can wind up hitting your bottom line harder than paying for a secure system.


When planned with purpose, your background music and playlists can enhance your atmosphere and create a unique ambience that helps elevate your brand. Guests will return expecting your signature vibe and experience; a consistent sound is imperative to creating a consistent experience.

While some free apps offer ready-made themed playlists, unless you spend the time to review each song list you risk playing a song that may contain offensive lyrics or contrast your brand. Additionally, there is usually little wiggle room to remove individual tracks from pre-packaged playlists. You’ll likely have to spend the time building your own list from scratch.

In many “do it yourself” music scenarios, the playlist is at the mercy of your staff and can change according to who is working that day. It’s great to have happy and engaged staff; however, a system that doesn’t set perimeters can result in a sound that doesn’t suit your brand or provide a consistent experience, especially if your establishment has multiple locations.

While free music apps and playlists sound like a quick and easy solution, you risk spending hours building appropriate playlists and surrender your control over your brand consistency.


Plan and simple: playing music without a license in your bar or restaurant is a copyright violation and you could be sued.

Think it won’t happen to you? Think again. Copyright infringement lawsuits usually don’t end favorably for the accused—and you could be looking at anywhere from $750 to $150,000 PER violation; a much higher cost than investing in a secure and licensed music service.

So if you’re currently streaming “free” music, or thinking about it, it’s time to examine what it’s really worth and what you’re willing to risk.

The good news is that there are affordable solutions out there that can ease your worries and help you avoid all of these risks—and the best part is you can actually SAVE money, time and add around $1000/month of extra revenue to your bottom line.
Contact controlPLAY to learn more and test out your free demo.

Drop us a line at info@controlplay.com
or give us a shout at 1-866-896-3470.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Secret to Success: Perfecting your Vibe

How does controlPLAY consistently provide the number one music, music video and digital signage service for bars and restaurants?

Easy! Our incredible staff.

Close your eyes and imagine your perfect work environment.

OK now, let’s keep it within reason—we’d all love to work from the beach while sipping margaritas…

Chances are most of us dream of working for a company that encourages us to be creative and rewards innovation—we want to go home every day and feel invigorated that we accomplished something worthwhile. We want to work with colleagues that appreciate hard work, but also know when to let loose and have fun.

At controlPLAY, we know that our success depends on the dedication of our employees. Every day we strive to create an inviting, enriching and supportive environment that inspires staff. When our colleagues are happy, it trickles down into the customer service they provide.

Just like the vibe at your bar or restaurant is important to your guest experience, the vibe in our office plays a crucial role in delivering a great product.

To check out career opportunities at controlPLAY, click here

Check us out for yourself!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

controlPLAY’s secret to increasing productivity and innovation: LUNCHTIME!

Planning your lunch during the week can be a pain.

You can save money and take the time to pack a lunch from home, but it has to stay fresh or re-heat well. Or you can leave the office for takeout or a sit-down meal at a restaurant, but the cost can add up quickly. And none of this includes the lost time from having to figure out what you’re going to do each day when lunchtime rolls around.

Let’s not forget the energy factor, either. Years ago, I heard Denis Waitley—the renowned motivational speaker and author of The Psychology of Winning—ask a group, “Are you fueling or feeding your body?”

That always stuck with me. I believe that if you want to get the most out of your time, you need to fuel your body—not just feed it. Think of it this way: you’re going to be at work for eight hours a day. Why not make those hours as effective as possible, both for yourself and for your career?

At controlPLAY, one of our core values is promoting a positive work/life balance, and we’re committed to making that an important part of our culture. As part of this commitment, every day we offer all team members an assortment of healthy snacks and beverages, such as smoothies, granola and energy bars, fruit, yogurt, nuts and oatmeal.

In addition to snacks, we keep our team with a daily catered lunch program that includes our (staff favorite) salad bar, soup of the day and hot entrĂ©e. We also enjoy mixing it up every so often—for example, how can you say no to lunch from an on-site food truck? And we look forward to special occasions (for St. Patrick’s Day, shepherd’s pie and Irish biscuits are on the menu!).

When I tell people that controlPLAY offers these nutritional perks to all of our team members, many can’t believe that it’s part of what we do. Frankly, I can’t believe that everyone doesn’t do it. An in-house lunch program helps keep our team happy, healthy and focused on their work. We believe that bringing people to together is the key to developing a collaborative company culture.

Contact me at jim.juniper@787networks.com if you’d like more information on our lunch program, or check out our Careers page at www.787networks.com/careers if you’d like to read more about our culture or current opportunities. (Better yet—come by and visit us on Tuesday! The curried chicken with rice rocks.)

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Score a Revenue Touchdown this Football Season: How Digital Signage and an Online Jukebox Takes Your Bar or Restaurant into the End Zone

For many of us the end of summer is a bummer. But for football fans, the first week of September is what they’ve been waiting for all year: time to gear-up and pull on their jerseys to start cheering on their favorite team. However, this time of year isn’t just for football fans; it’s a golden opportunity to boost your sports pub’s revenue by setting the right vibe, creating targeted digital signage and leveraging the magic of an online jukebox.

The 97th NFL season kicks off on September 8, when the Carolina Panthers visit the Denver Broncos in their home stadium. Is your sports pub ready for the kickoff? If you make the right play you can ensure that your pub is the local football hot spot and the next best thing to the stadium—and increase your monthly revenue by $1000/month!

Don’t fumble through the season. Time for a huddle to learn controlPLAY’s five easy tips to hike your pub’s revenue this fall:

  1. Create the vibe

  2. 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 pub 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.

  3. Game time specials

  4. 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 example, during the game you might consider offering a discounted beverage to encourage guests to come for the game, and after the game you could promote an appetizer deal to entice guests to stick around.

  5. Arrange post-game and pre-game entertainment

  6. One of the best ways to increase your pub’s game day revenue is by stretching the celebration out beyond just the duration of the game. 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.

  7. Make it social

  8. 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 pub’s name and host a Twitter contest for your guests during the game
    • Use controlPLAY’s FREE myJAM app to engage your guests and increase your social media marketing reach before and after the game

  9. Leverage your television with digital signage

  10. 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. 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 wayyyy 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

Why not save yourself some time and money? Handoff your entertainment to contolPLAY and score a revenue touchdown for your pub this season. 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.

controlPLAY Guide - After the Game

controlPLAY 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 info@controlplay.com

Monday, 22 August 2016

A Modern Twist on an Old Jive; How the Online Jukebox Brings New Life—and Business—to Restaurants and Bars

Times may have changed, but the love for our favorite songs hasn’t. The jukebox is an old idea, but when reinvented with a modern twist, the online jukebox could be the key to energizing your establishment.

So what do we mean by an online jukebox?

We’re talking about myJAM—the app from controlPLAY that lets guests use their smartphones to request their favorite songs from your restaurant or bar’s custom-created playlist.

Pretty cool, right?

myJAM does more than just add to the fun; it also promotes your brand through social media recommendations—one of the most effective ways to share your message!

How does it work?

Customers download the myJAM app to their smartphones where they can choose songs from a customized music library with tens of thousands of options that are updated daily to keep your playlists fresh and relevant.

Through the app customers can like, request and share music with their friends on social media—helping to promote your brand by linking to your bar or restaurant and letting their contacts that they’re having a great time at your establishment.

Just 25 myJAM shares can lead to more than 6,250 social media impressions.

But where does the music come from?

controlPLAY gets your guests’ toes tapping or their heart beating—whatever your desired vibe—with a customized music library and playlist tailored just for your restaurant or bar. Our music databases are updated daily, so you’ll never get bored of the same old tunes…and the latest hits will always be ready for your guests’ requests!

myJAM puts the fun in the palm of your customers’ hands, while giving your establishment a hand with marketing and saving you money: fewer than 15 paid jams per day can give you your music solution for FREE.

Watch the video to learn more about how myJAM will energize your business.

For more information contact us at info@controlplay.com