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Industry Updates

Create an Entertaining Vibe at Your Restaurant: 7 Easy Ideas

Written by
Guest Author

Is your restaurant serving delicious food with a side of good times? If not, focus on cultivating an entertaining vibe at your venue. You’ll improve guest satisfaction, see more repeat business, and even increase check averages – by up to 21 percent according to an NTN independent Arbitron study. From a tabletop arcade to a DIY photo booth, here are 7 easy ideas to raise your fun factor.

1. Sounds Fun! Give Your Playlist a Tune Up

This is an easy one. Load your playlist with mid-to-fast tempo songs in a major key as studies show that upbeat songs spark happiness in listeners. Not only can the right tunes create a lively atmosphere, you could see 8 bottom line benefits – like faster table turn and increased drink sales by up to 40 percent.

2. Today’s Arcade is Tableside: Meet the Tabletop Arcade

Here’s another simple way to up your entertainment factor. Bring in tabletop arcade restaurant tablets. You’ll put on-demand fun at every guest’s fingertips. Traditional arcades use valuable space and pull guests away from tables. But a tabletop arcade keeps guests where you want them – in their seats, ready to order more.

With a tabletop arcade company like Buzztime, guest can play the hottest digital games: racecar competitions, word finds, games for kids and challenging trivia for adults. In fact, an independent Arbitron study revealed that the 10 million registered Buzztime players spend an average of 21% more per table check.  

Buzztime games are updated regularly because their tabletop arcade connects to a large gaming network. Guests can even join nationally scheduled trivia games 7 days a week, 15 hours a day using tabletop arcade tablets. compete with others across the nation – or across your restaurant. Guests return to see what’s new in the tabletop arcade, attempt to beat their previous score, and aim for a spot on the Buzztime leaderboard.

3. Theme Nights are Entertaining for All

Need an instant boost of fun? Host a theme night. Everyone loves an excuse to dress up – especially adults. In fact, Halloween 2017 saw a record number of adults wearing costumes (48 percent of Americans). Give them an excuse to get in costume with easy theme night ideas:

  • By the Decade Each week, count down the decades and invite customers to rock clothes from that era. Create a playlist to match. You could even have a few drink or appetizer specials based on that decade’s prices.
  • Watch Party Have a commercial license to show trending cable shows like the Walking Dead or Grey’s Anatomy? Put the show on your TVs and treat guests to $1 off drinks all night if they come in costume.  
  • Instant Holiday Pick from one of the thousands of offbeat holidays. Invite guests to wear pirate garb and well, talk like a pirate on Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th). Or, celebrate Prohibition Ends Day (December 5th) and ask guests to come in Great Gatsby style outfits to enjoy moonshine specials.

4. DIY Photo Booth: Picture a Great Time

With 77 percent of American adults on Facebook, you’ve got an opportunity to ensure pictures of your restaurant’s super-fun vibe hit their newsfeed. Encourage guests to snap and share pics by setting up a DIY photo booth.

No need to spring for a 5-figure photo booth – create your own! No actual booth needed. Purchase an 8’ x 8’ backdrop with your logo for around $200-$300 (known as a “step and repeat” banner, you see these behind stars on the red carpet). Set out fun props like boas and giant sunglasses. Don’t forget the selfie stick! If you’re a sports bar? Try pom-poms, footballs, and jerseys. Create a hashtag for your venue and tell guests to share their pics.

5. Midweek Fun with Live Trivia Night

Weeknight trivia competitions are trending. Big time. It’s easy to get in on the action. The same tabletop tablets that give guests access to tabletop arcade games? Guests can use those tabletop tablets to join in a live trivia event, hosted by your restaurant. No need to use an expensive outside trivia host. Bond with guests by hosting the event yourself – you’re provided with everything you need.

6. Classes and Workshops: Instruct Guests to Have Fun

Learning is fun. At least, when it happens in a restaurant or bar! Paint and Sip nights and Plant Nites are popular with artsy crowds across the nation. Here’s how it works: you bring in a host who instructs your guests in painting a masterpiece or planting a terrarium. Customers sip your drinks, and eat your food while they work.

Make the instructional trend your own! Teach guests what you want them to do in your restaurant bar:

  • Dance: You could bring in a ballroom or hip hop dance instructor to help guests learn new moves
  • Play: Ask your best dart player to teach newbies how to throw down.
  • Game: Use tabletop arcade tablets to host a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament with automatic scoring to keep the casino action going. Invite a local poker player in to teach guests how to play.  
  • Make: Host a weekly mixology classes. Your bartender can show off her skills – and show the crowd how to make classic bar drinks.

7. “Game-ify” Ordering and Specials

Back to those tabletop arcade tablets! When you bring them in, you get instant access to a system that turns your TVs into digital signage you can customize using free templates. Turn your ordinary food and drink specials into one big game! Use signage to post a trivia question about your restaurant – one that guests wouldn’t know by Googling. Then, if guests can answer it correctly they can get $3 off an appetizer or $1 off a drink. Digital signage: just one more reason to bring in the fun of a tabletop arcade…

Has this list inspired you to serve up more fun to your guests? Providing entertainment for guests doesn’t have to be a hassle. With tabletop arcade tablets, theme night ideas, and a rockin’ playlist, you’re all set to see happier guests – and a healthier bottom line.  

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