Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A Playlist for Mother’s Day: 10 Songs for Mom

Mothers’ Day is the most profitable day of the year for restaurants, with U.S. consumers spending more than $21 Billion on celebrations—and it’s no surprise that going out for a meal is one of the most popular ways North Americans celebrate mom.

A playlist is a great way to set the scene and help your patrons honor the women who gave us life. From rappers to country crooners, and soulful songstress’ to rock and rollers, there’s an anthem for mom in every genre. Here are ten tracks to add to your restaurant’s playlist to help make this Mother’s Day extra special:

Madness – Our House
This 80’s classic pays homage to the hard working mother, with the lyrics recalling a childhood where mom kept order in the family, among other happy memories of days gone by.

Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely
The Motown legend penned this song in the mid-70's about the birth of his daughter, and the woman who brought her into this world.

Miranda Lambert – Mama’s Broken Heart
Sometimes mom doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Miranda Lambert’s country-rock song about mom basically telling her to “walk it off” is one that everyone can relate to.

Taylor Swift – The Best Day
Before Taylor was shaking it off, she performed this song about fond childhood memories with her mom. The video includes home movie footage of the Swifts, featuring Taylor spending “the best day” with mommy.

Carrie Underwood – Mama’s Song
Carrie Underwood penned this track about cutting the apron strings and telling mommy dearest not to worry, that everything’s going to work out just fine.

Spice Girls – Mama
A classic look at the mother-daughter relationship: teenage adolescence and rebellion giving way to the realization that mom was right all along. This song may be from the late 90s, but the theme certainly hasn’t gone out of style.

Boyz II Men – A Song for Mama
A love song to mothers everywhere, as the Boyz credit their mothers as the “driving force” behind them, thanking mom for everything she’s done. 

Backstreet Boys – The Perfect Fan
The Backstreet Boys know that the one fan who will always cheer for you is good ol’ mom. 

2 Pac – Dear Mama
An adult Tupac Shakur looks back on his childhood and stands in awe of how his mother managed to do it all. 

Danzig – Mother
The Misfits founder performed this alternative look at moms, warning them to not let their children “walk my way.” A 90’s classic for that rockin’ mom in your life.

From all of us at Control Play, thank you to all the mamas out there;

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Is your bar or restaurant ready for Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo can be an especially profitable holiday for bars and restaurants, but before you plan your celebrations, it’s important to understand the history of this Mexican holiday.

It’s a common misconception that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s equivalent of “Independence Day.” In fact, Cinco de Mayo (which means “Five of May”) really marks the the Mexican army’s unexpected victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The battle—which was the very last invasion of a country in the Americas by a European military force—became a symbolic moment in the resistance of Mexico against French occupation. The victory delivered a much-needed sense of unity and national pride to the country’s people at a time when Mexico was experiencing political division and economic hardship. 

Some of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations are held in the United States, Canada—and even Australia.  The key to executing a successful theme event is to celebrate traditional Mexican culture through cuisine, art, beverages and music (especially music!).

Like we do for many occasions, Control Play celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a playlist—available for both music and music video subscribers. Enjoy!

Need a little help planning your theme event?

Never fear—we got you! Check out our free theme night guide for step-by-step instructions to planning a legendary theme event in your bar or restaurant. 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sports TV Rates Are Increasing for Bars and Restaurants in Canada

If you’re an owner or operator of a bar or restaurant in Canada, you’ve probably heard rumours that the rates for cable sports channels are going up.

Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the rumours are true: as of May 1, 2017, Rogers and Bell are raising their rates, and any business that holds a liquor license will have to pay more to show Sportsnet, RDS and TSN in their establishment.

So, what does that mean for your bar or restaurant?

You’re going to be paying more, but how much depends on the number of seats in your restaurant or bar. According to a recent article in the Toronto Star, the rate increases are expected to be significant, ranging from as low as $10 per month to as high as $400 per month.

To find out what kind of increase your bar or restaurant is looking at, your best bet is to contact your cable provider. Bell customers can also visit this website for more information.

What can you do about it?

You could cancel your sports channels. But chances are that’s not an option, especially if you’re a sports bar or pub.

You could do nothing and just swallow the extra cost, or make some cuts to cover it, but those extra dollars add up fast.

You could increase your prices, but passing the costs down to your customer could hurt your business.

If none of those options appeal to you, we have a solution that could actually help you make money and boost your brand.

It’s simple: increase your game-day sales. Game-day can be one of the most profitable events for your bar or restaurant, and there are steps you can take to maximize your revenue.

The key is to get more people in your seats before and after the game—learn the tips and tricks to make it happen in our free After the Game guide. You might find that a few tweaks or a new approach will help you boost your sales enough to cover the sports channel cost increases…and then some.

controlPLAY Guide - After the Game

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Four Easy Ways to Increase your Bar or Restaurant’s Revenue this Spring

Spring fever is upon us, and there’s no better time to examine your bar or restaurant’s music and entertainment strategy. 

In fact, spring is one of the most profitable times of the year for sports pubs, taverns, bars and restaurants, and there are several reasons why. Check out these four opportunities to boost your revenue, along with the resources to help you make this season your best yet: 

1. Tourism
Springtime kicks off the tourism season. If your bar or restaurant is close to hotels, or in a location that welcomes tourists, you’re in a great position to bump-up your springtime sales.  
Give your bar or restaurant an edge over the competition by building a buzz through hosting a theme night. You can find everything you need to know to easily execute a successful theme night in this free step-by-step guide.
2. Sports, Sports, Sports
From season openers to playoffs, spring is a golden time for sports bars to hit a revenue home-run. It’s easier than you think; boosting your game-day profits can be as simple as tweaking your music and in-house signage to encourage sport-lovers to stick around after the game. Here’s how. 
3. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
It’s no surprise that Mother’s Day is the #1 most profitable day of the year for restaurants, with Father’s Day coming in at #3. Establishing the right atmosphere is crucial to your bottom line success and making the most of these potentially lucrative holidays.  
Did you know that your music has the power to increase your sales, guide customers’ menu choices, control wait times and build brand loyalty? Building an effective playlist is both a science and an art—and it can be time-consuming. So that’s why we’ve done the work for you; controlPLAY’s music mixology team can help you curate the perfect playlist for any audience or occasion. Check out some of our exclusive signature programs here. 
4. Easter
Believe it or not, the Easter weekend is the 5th most profitable time of year for restaurants. Be it for brunch or bevvies, your digital signage and infotainment can help your establishment offer something extra to delight your guests while promoting your specials or events.  
In fact, when used as part of your regular communication strategy, digital signage can significantly increase your monthly revenue. It doesn’t have to be complicated or a lot of extra work; check out this guide to leveraging digital signage to boost your sales. 

Questions? We’d love to hear from you. Contact the controlPLAY team at info@controlplay.com for more information about how your background music and digital signage can boost your bar or restaurant’s revenue by $1000/month.

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.


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.