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.