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

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 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 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 to learn more.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

One Easy Trick to Increase your Bar or Restaurant’s Valentine’s Day Revenue

Hate it or love it, Valentine’s Day is a big deal. In fact, it’s one of the most profitable times of year for restaurants and bars: it’s the second most popular day of the year—after Mother’s Day—for people to dine out, and consumers spend an average of $3.5 Billion towards a night out on Valentine’s Day.

Most bars and restaurants can expect to see an increase in sales on Valentine’s Day without much work, however there’s one little detail that can take your revenue to the next level and make you fall in love with your bottom line this February (and beyond).

The magic is in your music.

We know what you’re thinking, “Play romantic songs on Valentine’s day…that’s kind of obvious. What’s so secret about that? And how does playing MUSIC make you money?”

But stick around, there’s so much more to it.

Your bar or restaurant’s 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. 

The key is to be strategic with every aspect of your bar or restaurant’s background music. From the genre to the volume and tempo, to the time of day or origin; every detail impacts your brand, consumer behaviour and bottom line.

Your first step to creating an effective Valentine’s Day playlist is to make sure you’re matching your genre to your audience. For example, if your bar or restaurant mainly attracts singles who are there to dance, you’re better off to skip the down-tempo romantic tracks and opt for a more upbeat playlist.

But what about the volume? If you’re a restaurant that’s got a lineup out the door and your goal is to turn tables over quickly, then your best bet is to turn up the volume and make sure your tempo is quick-paced. However, if you’re a chill wine bar that banks on guests staying for longer periods of time and enjoying many fine beverages, you’re better off to keep the music quieter and softer. This is where some of those slow jams come in handy.

Do you have a specific menu item you’d like to push? Consider the origin of music to help boost sales. Looking to promote the jerk chicken? Try a little reggae and watch the orders come in!

Of course, there are the popular Valentine’s Day theme parties that also require special consideration, and in this case your music might deviate from your bar or restaurant’s usual tone. Looking for some off-the-beaten-path music ideas for your unique Valentine’s Day? Check out these playlist ideas from our signature music video programs.

Planning your bar or restaurant’s Valentine’s Day music can be time consuming, so we’ve done some of the work already for our controlPLAY subscribers. Every year our incredible music mixology team puts together a special Valentine’s Day Mix that’s live and ready to go on the first day of February.

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 to learn more.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Last Minute Plays to Help Your Pub Score a Revenue Touchdown on Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is just days away. How are you feeling?

Are you behind on planning or promoting your pub’s Super Bowl event and are worried about a revenue fumble this weekend?

OR are you prepared and confident that your sports bar will dominate the revenue field—but could use a little good luck charm for that extra push?

Let’s have a time-out to huddle and share a few last minute tricks that will hike your sports bar’s revenue this weekend.

Most of these plays can be implemented as late as game-day itself to give your bar a boost. Here’s the game plan:

For some football fans it’s all about the atmosphere: great music, friends and fun. The ambience of your pub directly impacts your Super Bowl success and your guest experience.

The easiest way to create the perfect Super Bowl vibe in your sports bar is by lining up a champion playlist. On game-day, play upbeat tracks and music videos that pump-up your guests.

A fun and energized vibe will encourage guests to stick around for the game and increase the chance that fans will come back and bring their friends next time.

Offering game-day specials is a great way to enhance your pub’s Super Bowl vibe, increase food and beverage purchases and encourage your customers to come back.

Don’t have anything new to offer? Not to worry, a special Super Bowl price on a favorite appetizer or drink is all you need.

Just because you haven’t done any pre-promotion doesn’t mean you can’t start NOW. All it takes is a click of a button.

Super Bowl fans have already started to share their excitement on social media. This is a great opportunity to engage with your customers and promote your pub’s specials and
entertainment in real time.

Try incorporating #SuperBowl and #local hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to let local Football fans know your sports pub is celebrating.

If you’re a controlPLAY subscriber, use your FREE myJAM app to engage your guests and instantly increase your social media marketing reach before and after the game

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.

Maybe the simplest, quickest and easiest thing you can do to build a buzz on game-day is turn your television volume wayyyy up! Big sound is a key ingredient to Super Bowl success!

It seems simple, but you’d be surprised how often this trick is overlooked.

Don’t be caught offside on game-day: check out our FREE After the Game Guide to learn the secrets to maximizing your bar’s game-day revenue.

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 to learn more.

Friday, 20 January 2017

The magic mix for your restaurant’s background music

When you opened your bar or restaurant you had a vision, an image, a story you wanted to tell, a feeling you wanted to create.

Admit it: it’s about more than just making a buck.

You’ve invested a lot of money—and emotional capital—into bringing that vision to life. You put a lot of thought, time and money into your menu and your d├ęcor.

But what about your sound?

Your background music can be one of the most powerful elements to evoking a positive emotional connection from your customer to your brand, and is arguably the most crucial component to your bar or restaurant’s atmosphere.

Your music is the secret weapon to creating high fives, good times, igniting a flame, and encouraging genuine connection—all factors that contribute to your bottom line. It’s actually kind of incredible the impact your background music can have on your customer experience and your revenue.

However, building your own playlist is like playing roulette with your brand. Make a misstep and your music can actually end up hurting your bottom line—and the image of your brand.

Think about your music like you think about your drinks.

Yes, believe it or not, your playlist has a lot in common with your drinks menu:

  • You wouldn’t serve drinks without a liquor license—music licensing for bars and restaurants is just as important. Not only can it be time consuming to try to curate your own playlists, but it can send you down a rabbit hole of red tape, fines and bad publicity—you don’t have time for that.
  • Playing a random list of songs is the musical equivalent of serving your wine, beer and mixed drinks through a fountain pop dispenser. It’s fast and easy, but completely misses the point. You have a bartender—a mixologist—for a reason: quality control, presentation and serving your guests an experience. The same should be true for your playlist.
  • Like bartending, cultivating the perfect background music for your bar or restaurant is both a science and an art. 
o   In the World of Bartending:

A mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining elixirs and creating extraordinary cocktails, ultimately creating well-balanced experiences.

o   In the World of Playlists:

 A mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining genres, energy and vibes to create extraordinary playlists, ultimately creating well-balanced experiences.


Besides taking the stress out of your bar and restaurant music licensing, controlPLAY’s playlist mixologists are the best of the bunch:

- Adam Melrose is our Chief Playlist Officer
- Chris McEwin is our Sr. Playlist Mixologist
- Andrew Moss is our Playlist Mixologist
- Lee Murphy is our New Content Acquisition

Our team at controlPLAY lives for music and innovation. We believe in the power of the playlist and music’s ability to bring people together, create high-fives, foster good times and build lasting memories.

See for yourself what a difference controlPLAY can make for your bar or restaurant’s brand, bottom line and customer experience—and how easy it can be: try our free demo today.