Running a Bar Business: Tactics for a Profitable Bar Snack Menu

Bars have a glamorous reputation in the business industry. Owning your bar can give you a full creative license by offering trendy beverages and snacks. You get to cater to people who celebrate special occasions and holidays, which means more money in your business. However, take note that this profitable industry comes with great competition as well.

Selling standard cocktails, wine, or beer will not boost your bar’s sales. If you want your bar to stand out, you need to run it with an impressive menu. There are several ways to approach this. But adding new drinks, food choices, and snacks would be highly profitable. Whether you’re redesigning your old bar menu or opening your first bar business, these tips can help you create an appealing and profitable menu.

1. Theme the Menu

Social snacking should be fun and creative, and one way to make that impression is by having a themed bar snack menu. You’ll want something that isn’t too overpowering and something that your regulars can snack on while they’re swapping stories. Among the most popular themes for bars is street food.

This concept is perfect for attracting people who want to mix and mingle. That means everything on the menu should be prepared for easy eating and is handheld. Some excellent items for a street food menu include Vietnamese Bahn Mi, Indian Samosa, Mexican Elote, Italian Arancini, and English Pasties. You can also go with an afterschool theme if you want to offer something more familiar. You can include homemade bagel bites, fried mac and cheese, and PB&J sandwiches.

2. Go for Bite Sizes

Speaking of the menu theme, filling it with bite-sized delights is a smart idea. People are more likely to try something new if they don’t have to buy something they can’t finish. Plus, customers are often hesitant to buy in big batches since they cost more. Some of the best bar bite-size options to serve are crispy fried calamari, cauliflower poppers, pull-apart pigs in a blanket, loaded cheese ball bites, mozzarella sticks, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, shrimp tostada bites, and over fried pickles. If you want more gourmet items, you can go with beef Wellington bites, fried ravioli, antipasto bites, and melon prosciutto skewers. Choose bite-sized foods that still match your menu’s theme and customers’ preferences.

people having chips at the bar

3. Pair Beverages with the Food

The bar snacks and food should also go well with any drinks that you serve. So when creating your food menu, always consider the complementing drinks. The usual fare in bars includes various beer choices, which are perfect for heavy food, red meats, and carbs. If you’re serving burgers or spicy food on the menu, wheat beers and light lagers are good choices. For cocktails, they usually go well with quesadillas or nachos. You can serve your goat cheese board with a light cocktail too.

If your bar offers healthy dishes like green grilled cheese, superfood salad, or vegan flatbread, you can also serve fresh juices. Fresh juices and smoothies are usual options for bars focused on serving a healthy menu. Plus, they are not that hard or costly to offer. Of course, you’ll need to invest in a reliable commercial-grade electric juicer for preparing the juices. There are manual juicers too, if you want something easier to clean and maintain. Wine is another excellent addition to your beverage list. Red wines go well with red meat and pasta, while white wines complement poultry and seafood.

4. Highlight Your Best Menu Items

When designing your menu, you need to think of ways to call the customer’s attention to your best offerings. Ideally, you must highlight your special drinks and foods. You can use a different font color to make their names pop next to the other offerings. Alternatively, you can use boxes for unique offerings such as cocktail of the month or bartender’s recommendations. This technique is effective for encouraging new customers to try your best offerings. In addition, make sure that the descriptions and images used in the menu are clear and appealing. Doing so readily informs your customers about what they’re ordering. The more you can sell your profitable menu items, the better it’ll be for your bar’s bottom line.

There are plenty of considerations that come with running a bar, and creating a good menu is one. It’s the perfect tool to attract more customers into coming into your bar and increase your sales. Match your menu with your target market, theme, and bar concept and be as creative and innovative as possible.

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