How to Hold Trivia Night at Your Bar

how to hold trivia night at your bar

Offering an excellent selection of craft beer, wine, and cocktails is sometimes only half the battle when running a bar.  Keeping your customers entertained is also essential to maintaining a healthy revenue.  While there are obvious choices, like music, or a live band, holding interactive activities can also do the trick.  Hosting a trivia night is an inexpensive way to ensure a returning customer base, and to drive sales on slower nights of the week.

As easy as this sounds, there is a method to the madness.  The following are some key points to make your trivia night a smooth success.


Although this activity doesn’t require much in the planning department, there are a few things to consider when you go about holding these events.  First and foremost is the emcee.  There are four possible options to hosting your trivia night:

  • Hiring a professional: This is the best way to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, but it is also the most costly.  You should weigh the amount of labor it would take to generate the weekly questions, versus how much you would be paying a pro.
  • Assigning a staff member:  This is the cheaper option, and may work better for your bar if you have a popular bartender, or staff member that drives in a lot of revenue.  Just know, this will take them away from their other duties, and questions will still need to be generated.
  • Using an electronic system: Although cheaper than employing anyone to emcee, this may take away from the sense of community you are trying to create in your bar.  However, the questions are already loaded into the system, saving you time, and possibly labor from your staff.
  • Creating a sign-up: A fun way to hold trivia night, is by allowing your customers to sign up and emcee.  Not only is this the completely free option, it is the most interactive.  Just know, you are relying solely on the customer to show up to do so, thus making it the riskiest option of all.


As with any event, it’s success relies on how much you get the word out there.  TapHunter is a program that frees up more time for you to plan your event, while helping you executive the marketing effectively.  Once you have determined your trivia night, TapHunter will allow you to send out a social media blast all in one easy step.  You can also promote the event on the footer of your menus, printed straight from their dashboard.

Although social media is generally the way to go these days, don’t forget about the old fashioned ways as well.  After all, there’s no such thing as too much promotion.  Consider a sign out front.  If your bar is located near local businesses, print flyers and distribute them to the offices in the area.


Once you have the ball rolling, make sure to keep people interested.  There are several ways to do so.  Holding an ongoing tournament will ensure people who are in the running, will be coming back the following week.  Having a small prize, like a gift certificate or t-shirts is one incentive to make sure people keep competing.

Hold silly tie-breakers.  Some bars have been known to hold a karaoke contest, or dance-off.  As long as you stay community minded, everyone should have fun and keep coming back for more.  Which not only leads to a family-like atmosphere, but increased profitability for your bar.