Blogs & Inspiration
Maximise Midweek Moments
Discover top tips and expert advice on how to increase your bar's takings during the quiet midweek period.
Author: Katie Rouse, Operator at the award-winning Couch bar
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Keeping the momentum going in your bar after the weekend and drawing in guests during weekdays is often a challenge. From cosy grub offerings and introducing food, to casual cocktail recipes and promos, award-winning Bar Operator, Katie Rouse from Couch, Birmingham gives the lowdown on how to attract the midweek crowds.
Couch is an independent cocktail bar in the heart of Stirchley, Birmingham, and was voted 12th in the Top 50 UK Cocktail Bars.
BUCKING THE TREND
Recent times have been tough on the bar industry, but these challenges have also created lots of fresh opportunities to help bring joy to your customers and keep your bar buzzing either side of the weekend.
“We have found our guests to be more mindful with where and how they spend their money.” explains Katie.
Discover how Couch has tackled these challenges to successfully overcome the drop in customer numbers, by keeping menus fresh, creating great collaborations, and tapping into the dinner crowd.
Plus, Katie shares winning cocktail recipes to draw in more midweek guests.
“It’s about shaping a bar that gets our customers excited to leave the house and a more interesting way to socialise than just coming out for a drink. It’s important for all bars to do this and it’s a big part of who we are as a neighbourhood bar.”
1. KEEP MENUS FRESH WITH PROMOS
Rotating menus gives your guests the chance to try something new more often, whilst also tapping into the money-saving crowd.
At Couch, Katie introduced a ‘Golden Hour’ menu.
“For this, we selected three drinks that are rotated weekly and offered at a reduced price. This menu runs exclusively from 5-7pm, Tuesday to Friday. It helped us bring in an after-work crowd and the pre-dinner crowd, on top of the guests who are being more money-conscious.
“This took a little while to get off the ground, but between word of mouth, social media and adjusting our service to include the promotion in our welcome, it has been a very useful weapon in our arsenal, and we have recently begun to reap the benefits of it.”
2. CREATING POWERFUL COLLABORATIONS
Events can really pay off with your local crowd and bring some excitement to your bar. Katie has focused on three key areas in terms of events: collaborations, takeovers and working with local businesses.
“We’ve found that implementing these has been hugely rewarding, both financially and communally.
“Takeovers have given us the opportunity to network and nurture relationships with other bars across other cities. Doing this gives our locals something new to experience from the comfort of their own neighbourhood.
“For example, Panda & Sons, a highly accoladed bar based in Edinburgh, came down to Birmingham in the summer with three menu drinks that we then developed alongside them to give our guests an entirely unique experience.”
3. TAPPING INTO THE DINNER CROWD
It’s no secret that good food can entice your guests and keep their seats warm for longer. Even if your bar doesn’t have a kitchen, tapping into local chefs and restaurants can help you introduce a food offering to your evening crowd with special menus to go with it.
“Without a kitchen, we tend to attract the pre and post-dinner crowd. Bringing in chefs and restaurant pop-ups has allowed us to introduce an evening food offering with special menus to go alongside it. This has provided more unique and memorable experiences for our guests, like our recent Sunday Dishoom pop ups which were a huge success. We’re also exploring providing filling bar snack options with our neighbouring restaurant, Rabbit”, says Katie.
EASY RECIPES FOR MIDWEEK SUCCESS
Looking to add a few crowd pleasers to your own cocktail menu? Katie shares a couple of her guest’s favourites from Couch’s ‘Golden Hour’ selection.
COUCH ESPRESSO MARTINI
The Couch Espresso Martini is a real midweek winner, giving guests a sumptuous twist on the classic espresso martini using dark chocolate liqueur and Italian Amaro for some added depth and richness.
COUCH PIMMS CUP
To keep guests coming back on those lazy summer evenings, the Couch Pimms cup is a twist on the popular classic with cool cucumber and delicious fresh strawberries.
- Customer spending habits have changed and they’re now more mindful of where their money goes.
- Promotions and menu rotation can help keep your menu fresh and exciting for customers whilst helping your bottom line.
- Food offerings in any shape or form can help attract a crowd you may be missing out on.
- Working with local business or restaurants lets you create more of a buzz around events and get them promoted more efficiently.