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. 


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Giving Really is the Best Part



Continuing the tradition of helping our community

Think of a time when you felt truly alive, purposeful and fulfilled. Chances are, you can connect those feelings to an act of selflessness—a time you did something to benefit others.

Most of us are fortunate enough to enjoy the holidays as a season of celebration and plenty—come January there are a lot of us who can even see the evidence of these celebrations when we step on the scale or try to squeeze into our skinny jeans (I know I do…).

But some don’t get to experience the holidays that way. Many families struggle just to enjoy a meal, and some children spend Christmas Eve feeling hungry.

In fact, more than 40% of food bank clients in our community are children.

That breaks our hearts.

And it just won’t do.

We know it’s our responsibility to support those who need a helping hand over the holidays. To us, kindness, love and helping others are what the season is really all about. This is why every year we are proud to support the Business Cares Food Drive.

This season we’ve been collecting canned goods, diapers, formula and baby food, where we keep under the office Christmas tree until delivery day on Dec. 21. Last year we donated more than 800 pounds of goods, and this year our staff have been challenged to beat that record. In addition, 787 Networks will donate $2,000 worth of groceries to the food bank.

Helping others feels good, it makes our world a better place, it builds a stronger team and it’s easy.

We're grateful for our subscribers and incredible team who consistently contribute to our success—they make it possible for us to be part of Business Cares and to make a meaningful difference for families in our community.

Please join us in making the holidays happy for everyone, and consider supporting those who could use a little extra help.

From our controlPLAY family to yours, have a warm and happy holiday!



Friday, 16 December 2016

The Sounds of the Season: Jazzy Crooners or Popstar Sensations?


How to build the perfect holiday playlist for your bar or restaurant

Have you ever noticed that some businesses start playing holiday music well before most of us have taken down our Halloween decorations? There’s more to a holiday playlist than just getting into the holly jolly spirit—spreading a little holiday cheer helps to inspire holiday spending, which means a jump-start on seasonal sales.  

In addition to rolling out holiday playlists early, more businesses are favouring modern pop remixes over the holiday classics to cater to younger generations. 

So does this mean that bars and restaurants should jump on the bandwagon and start playing modern holiday pop songs during the first week of November?
MAYBE.
Before you go swapping out your cocktail crooner holiday classics for modern remixes, make sure it’s the right fit for your bar or restaurant. Studies show that the tempo, genre and style of music played in your establishment impacts how your clients perceive your brand and their experience, and can directly impact your bottom line. 

For example, when played in the right kind of establishment, classical music can help increase the amount a consumer will spend. However, this only works for fine dining or bars or restaurants with an upscale vibe—if classical music doesn’t match the brand, it can backfire and actually produce the opposite effect. 

IN SHORT: your holiday genre selection is just as important as your everyday playlist. Any old holiday song won’t do. And just because it’s the trendy or popular choice, doesn’t mean it’s right for your bar or restaurant.

In addition to what kind of music you play, WHEN you queue up your Christmas tunes also makes a big impact on your bar or restaurant’s holiday vibe—and your staff’s patience. There are advantages to starting early; however, some polls suggest that consumers in the USA aren’t ready to get into the holiday spirit until after Thanksgiving. 

A balanced approach to incorporating your holiday sound is the key to success. The best way to extend the life of your holiday mix while maintaining your bar or restaurant’s unique brand identity is to take what we at controlPLAY call the Progressive Hybrid approach.

The Progressive Hybrid approach blends a mix of holiday songs that match your current sound and vibe with your existing playlists. Various holiday tracks are carefully selected to maintain the energy and sound of your brand. The ratio of holiday songs in your playlist increase as it gets closer to the holiday.

Sounds complicated?
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE!
With controlPLAY, executing your Progressive Hybrid holiday playlist is a simple click. Getting started is easy, free and there are no strings attached. Contact Jesse Martin one of our solution specialists today.




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. 




Monday, 5 December 2016

New Years Eve Day

Create an all-day celebration with your music, music video and digital signage system. 

Why limit the New Years Eve countdown to ten seconds? With controlPLAY, your twelve-hour countdown can automatically start at noon! Countdown’s can also start at 6:00 PM or 8:00 PM.

Every half hour, your screens will light up with a notification of how long until the New Year.
At 11pm, the frequency increases, right up to controlPLAY signature New Year’s Eve ten second countdown with Auld Lang Syne and a megamix of party hits to turn the party up.

Your screens will come to life with fireworks and you can add your own Video Text messages to create your branded experience.

Be sure to utilize our New Years Eve Infotainment to let your customers know you are the New Year Eve Celebration Headquarters!
Click here to Opt-In

or please contact us if you would like our Subscriber Success Manager help you create your custom New Year Party!







Monday, 21 November 2016

Ten Reasons to Support Local Bars and Restaurants


Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Friday, November 25 marks Black Friday—the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping frenzy. While many of us scour the sales racks or take our hunt online searching for the perfect gifts, it’s important to keep one thing top of mind: how is your purchase impacting your community?

How and where we spend our money shapes everything around us: from the type and variety of products that are available to us to the economic strength of our cities, towns and neighborhoods. A good bargain feels great—but what does it really cost us?

There are so many great reasons to support our local shops and businesses, and that includes the bars and restaurants that bring the fun and flavor to our communities. Our local eateries and watering holes are the places we build our memories, celebrate life’s milestones and gather with our loved ones for that special night out.

You can never replace the memories you made with your friends at your pub or coffee shop. When you’re away, one of the first things you’ll miss is the Thai soup or crispy fries from your favorite restaurant back home—you won’t be able to find anything like it anywhere else.

Our local pubs and restaurants are more than just places to eat and drink.

We can help support our local businesses this season by participating in Shop Local Saturday on Saturday, November 26. All you have to do is shop at the unique businesses that make your community special—and that includes dining or socializing at your favorite local hotspot.

Besides being a great excuse to enjoy a day or evening out, there are many great reasons to shop and dine local:

  1. You don't have to travel
  2. One of the best parts about supporting your local businesses? They're LOCAL! That means less time you’ll have to spend travelling and more time to enjoy the things you love.

  3. You won't find it anywhere else
  4. Local businesses offer unique and one-of-a-kind products and services. You’ll never find another café that makes chai lattes like your local coffee shop.

  5. You'll create jobs
  6. Small businesses are responsible for most of the new jobs created in the USA. By supporting your local shops, pubs and businesses you're helping to bring new jobs that will directly benefit your neighbors—or maybe even you!

  7. You'll find a bargain
  8. Local businesses typically offer products of a higher quality and are often open to price matching or bartering.

  9. You'll benefit from the investment
  10. The money you spend at your local business goes back into your community. A thriving local economy can even lead to lower taxes, which means more money in your pockets.

  11. You'll get better customer service
  12. A lot of local businesses are run by family and friends with a deep and personal connection to their products and services. This often means you’ll get superior customer service from business operators that will go above and beyond for their customers.

  13. You'll increase your choices
  14. It's simple: the more that you buy close to home, the more that will become available to you close to home.

  15. You'll help the environment
  16. Locally grown and raised food and goods don’t have to travel as far to make it to the consumer. Which means fewer emissions from shipping and a smaller impact on the environment.

  17. You'll feel good about it
  18. What's not to feel good about? You’re supporting your community, helping the environment and saving money

  19. You'll get to know your neighbors
  20. There's a reason Cheers was such a popular television show; there's nothing like walking into a shop or pub where everybody knows your name.
Spread the Word
You can help encourage members of your community to shop local by downloading our FREE sharable graphic and posting to your social media sites.

controlPLAY salutes the local businesses that make our communities vibrant. Support your neighborhood and shop small on Saturday, November 26.
To learn more about how controlPLAY can help you boost your bar or restaurant’s bottom line by $1000/month, visit controlplay.com or drop us a line at info@controlplay.com




Thursday, 17 November 2016

Ten Thankful Songs: The Power of Thanksgiving Music for Bars and Restaurants



Thanksgiving is a holiday like no other; it’s the time to appreciate the things we sometimes take for granted as we go about our everyday lives.

Taking a moment to pause and reflect on the good in our lives helps to relieve stress, reconnect with loved ones and just be better people. As many of us sit down to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with our family and friends, there is likely to be one important—yet understated—element that sets the tone and encourages connection like nothing else: music.

Music is a universal language that connects people from all walks of life. No matter who you are or what your story, there is a song out there that will stir up your emotions or bring back memories.

Music unites us.

So what easier way to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving in your bar or restaurant than through your playlist? Playing music that connects your clientele with the sentiments of the season helps to extend the warmth of Thanksgiving to your establishment—enhancing your customers’ experience and stirring positive emotions that build loyalty to your brand.

Creating a Thanksgiving playlist doesn’t mean your music has to be sappy or that you have to sacrifice your brand identity. The best thing about music is the diversity in communicating an emotion and sending a message; there are options in every genre that achieve a Thanksgiving feel.

To inspire some ideas, check out our list of 10 Thankful Songs to add to your background music this Thanksgiving:


At controlPLAY, we have so many incredible things to be grateful for: our outstanding staff who bring their A-game to the table every day to innovate, invent and deliver the best products and services. Their enthusiasm and creativity inspire us and we’re thankful for our amazing team.

We’re thankful for our customers. We love sharing music with others and helping bars and restaurants enhance their businesses; we’re grateful that we get to do what we love every day, and meet some great people while we do it.

On behalf of everyone at controlPLAY, have a happy and heartfelt Thanksgiving!

For free and easy tips on how music can boost your brand and help increase your revenue, visit www.controlplay.com



Tuesday, 25 October 2016

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


Muah-ha-ha

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.






PLANNING A THEME NIGHT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE EXHAUSTING.
Check out our step-by-step guide to planning a successful and fun theme night in your establishment.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE 



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.

MALWARE

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.

LACK OF CONTROL

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.

YOU COULD BE SUED

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.
LET US SHOW YOU HOW.
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 entrée. 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

Friday, 19 August 2016

There’s something in the air: how a little common scents improves business and inspires employees



At controlPLAY we understand that atmosphere is everything and that our employees can only be as innovative and inspired as our environment allows. After all, we’re in the business of creating the perfect ambiance for other companies, so it only makes sense to start in our own back yard.

Every day we strive to eliminate the creativity crushing staleness of a traditional office-setting, and establish our headquarters as a place that ignites the imagination, encourages inventive thinking and stimulates our employees. After all, happy people are the most productive people.

I’ve been thinking about our next investment into enhancing our workplace environment, and I’m intrigued by aromatherapy for business; often known as ambient scenting or scentscaping. I’ve always admired how Westin Hotels has successfully used this technique to create a significant brand emotion; their proprietary White Tea scent was specifically developed as part of their Welcome program to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere for their guests. Scent is proven to evoke certain emotions and memories—this is reconfirmed whenever I set foot in a Westin property, their signature scent instantly feels familiar.

I started wondering if aromatherapy could benefit our employees and productivity. So I started to do a little research, and—as I anticipated— there’s definitely a benefit to scent-scaping:


  1. Smell is the strongest of the senses and is best able to influence brain activity.
  2. Essential oils help improve job performance as well as health. Employees are less likely to take sick time.




But not just any scent will do. There’s a science to it, and specific aromas are more effective at producing different outcomes. For example:

Lemon promotes concentration and has a calming and clarifying effect. Lemon can be used to help relieve cold and coughs and to support the immune system.

Lavender has calming properties that help control emotional stress. Lavender has a soothing effect on nerves and can help reduce feeling of stress. 
Jasmine is used to calm nerves and is most commonly used as an anti-depressant because it promotes a feeling of confidence, optimism and revitalized energy.
Rosemary improves memory retention and stimulating properties that fight physical exhaustion, headaches and mental fatigue.
Cinnamon can help fight mental fatigue and improve concentration and focus.
Peppermint is an energy booster; it invigorates the mind, promotes concentration and stimulates clear thinking.  

We met with Essential Oil Consultant & doTERRA Wellness Advocate Mindy Menard to determine how to incorporate aromatherapy into our office environment. Mindy commented, “Getting started with Essential Oils is one of the easiest ways to significantly shift the energy, boost employee morale and productivity in every area of your company.”

She has created the following plan for our sales and development work spaces

Start the day with the uplifting and awaking aroma of Peppermint and Wild-Orange.  Peppermint is a great oil to wake up the senses to and put a little “pep” in your step while Wild Orange provides a purifying & a comforting effect.

After lunch, a blend of coriander, basil, melissa, and peppermint in the diffuser to help improve concentration and stay on task.

I’m excited about this next step to enhancing our creative culture at controlPLAY. We’ll let you know the results!



Jim Juniper
787 Networks - Home of controlPLAY
President/Co-Founder

Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you.
Contact me at jim.juniper@787networks.com or check out our careers page for more info about working at controlPLAY.


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Social media for bars and restaurants: five easy Facebook tips to build a community and enhance your brand


We know you've heard it a thousand times: social media can make or break your business.

Running a restaurant or bar is time consuming; unless you have a fully devoted marketing team, social media promotion can seem daunting. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube... where do you even start? And how do you promote your restaurant or bar? Is it worth it?

The good news is that it's a myth that you need to be everywhere all the time to see results from your social media efforts. It's better to choose one platform and do it well than spread yourself thin and communicate halfheartedly. 

But which social platform should you choose?

There are pros and cons to every social networking site; however it's hard to ignore the networking and communication powers of Facebook.

Why?


Facebook is currently the most popular social media site-with more than 1 billion users worldwide. Facebook provides your restaurant or bar an online space to engage with a captive audience, promote your business, build brand loyalty and receive valuable feedback from your patrons; think of it as an interactive brochure.

So now you have a Facebook page. What's next? How do you use it promote your business and engage your followers?

Here are five easy tips to creating effective Facebook content for your bar or restaurant:
  1. Be genuine and consistent

    You've invested a lot of time and money into cultivating your restaurant or bar's perfect vibe. It's one of the best parts of your brand and what your patrons seek when they visit your establishment. That vibe should be extended onto your Facebook page. Make sure the language and branding visible in your restaurant is also reflected on your Facebook page-keep things consistent.

    Your Facebook page is your greatest connection to customers beyond the walls of your business-it either enforces their image of you or changes it

  2. Provide value

    Nothing's going to get you unfollowed faster than spamming others' newsfeeds. Think of self-promoting posts as the commercials to your content; if your posts come across like a sales pitch, you're going to lose engagement.

    A good rule of thumb is to follow the 3:1 posting ratio-share three value-add posts for every self-promoting post.

    What does that mean?

    Well, every time you post something to promote your business, make sure to share at least three other posts that are interesting, helpful, interactive or funny-something that gives your audience a reason to follow you.

    Examples of value-add posts might be:

    • A recipe
    • Share a post from one of your followers
    • Something funny that's related to your content
    • An entertaining YouTube video that's related to your content
    • An exclusive deal: FACEBOOK DEAL OF THE WEEK: Free upsize to a large pop. The password is "fizzy"

    Promotional posts are only effective when your audience is engaged.

  3. Interact

    Social media etiquette follows the same rules as basic human interaction: it's typically considered rude to dominate a conversation by only talking about you.

    It's called social media because it's meant to be SOCIAL. You won't get much out of a conversation if you don't participate. Make sure you frequently interact with your followers.

    For example:

    • Respond to comments whenever possible
    • Like or comment on others' posts
    • Share positive posts and pictures taken at your restaurant or bar
    • Answer questions asked on your page
    • Address complaints or concerns; show you care about your customers and value their business

    Don't be afraid to initiate the conversation-there's nothing more engaging than showing an interest in someone else.

  4. Ask questions

    People love to share their opinions-especially on the internet!

    Asking questions is a win-win: you engage your customers and receive valuable feedback about your business. When your clients feel included in your decisions they feel loyal to your brand.

    For example:

    • Want to know which band you should hire to play next weekend? Create a poll.
    • Need ideas for a new cocktail? Ask for help.
    • Thinking of adding or removing a menu item? Ask for feedback.

    Asking questions is also a great way to start conversations that help you to interact (tip #3) with your followers.

  5. Include a call to action

    So maybe you've mastered creating the perfect post and building an exceptional Facebook community. Now what? How do you convert that community into actual business?

    Simple: include a call to action. Let your followers know what you want them to do; sometimes all you have to do is ask.

    For example:

    • The best wings in town are on for half price today. Don't believe us? Come in for lunch and see for yourself!
    • Here's a great article we found on how to grill the perfect steak. Share with the griller in your family.

    Suggesting a clear and concise call to action engages your customers, and also helps you measure and track the effectiveness of your post.

    Building an engaging Facebook community helps to build buzz about your bar or restaurant, attract and maintain customers, and enhance your brand. It doesn't have to take up all of your time. Just hop online, follow our tips and start building your tribe.

Join the controlPLAY Facebook community to learn more about how to elevate your bar or restaurant's brand.