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.