Virtual Event Ideas for Bars and Restaurants

The bar and restaurant industry has been drastically affected by COVID-19. With many F&B businesses entirely or partially closed to the public, brands must be creative in how they re-structure their offerings, market themselves, and interact with guests. Technology has played a huge role in this shift.

 

According to John Taffer, industry expert and host of Bar Rescue, the hardest reality to face about the future of foodservice is that the solution will be technology, not people. “It’s not about chefs or cooks. It’s about technology,” he says. “Technology is sterile, human beings are not, and these are all things that are massively going to change our industry.”

 

Technology has allowed businesses to connect with fans in innovative ways. Many bars have already found unique methods of reaching and engaging remotely with their customers. Here are three examples of interactive virtual events.

 

  1. Virtual Trivia

San Diego county’s Kilowatt Brewing has been hosting virtual trivia every Wednesday. People are invited to join solo or as a team  through Zoom. It’s free to play and allows fans the opportunity to  connect both to the brand and other beer lovers. It’s interactive and easy to participate.

Players are encouraged to swing by their local Kilowatt Brewing tap room and grab a bottle, crowler, or growler before the trivia contest begins. They can show their Kilowatt beer during the game for bonus points.

 

 

 

 

  1. Film Screening and Q&A

Another San Diego-based brewery, Stone Brewing, is nowthe ninth-largest craft brewer in the U.S. and operates brewing facilities on both coasts. Founder Greg Koch, who has been nicknamed “Beer Jesus,” has a new documentary about his ambitious project to be the first American craft-brewery to build, own, and operate a craft brewery in Europe.

 

The Beer Jesus from America can be streamed online, and Stone Brewery is leveraging it to connect with fans. On Friday, May 8th, the brewery held a live broadcast on YouTube. Greg was joined by director Matt Sweetwood to provide commentary on the film and answer questions. This was a great way to both promote the film as well as connect with fans in an intimate way.

 

 

  1. Virtual Tastings

Orange County-based OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar is an upscale wine and craft beer shop with three OC locations. They’ve held virtual tastings that have been a huge hit. The first two sold-out events featured Violet Grgich of Grgich Hill Estates. The shop offered a virtual pack of three wines that were reviewed during the tasting, and included food-pairing recommendations as well. They also did another tasting this past weekend with Justin Wines, and marketed it as the perfect treat for mom for Mother’s Day. What’s also great about this strategy is that they encourage people to sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on events. That way, even when the business can re-open as normal, they’ll have new audience members to whom they can market.

What do all of these businesses have in common, besides using technology to connect virtually? They’re all on TapHunter. Nearly 5,000 bars, restaurants, and local businesses agree that TapHunter is the perfect solution for connecting with customers. Bar managers can add new menu items from their phones and promote offers to over 500K food and beverage fanatics in seconds. Click here to join free for 60 days.

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