Ways for Bar Owners to Give Back During the Holidays

ways for bar owners

During the holidays, one way to maximize your sales and attract a larger customer base is to have a charitable spirit. Whether you choose to volunteer with your staff, or hold an event in your bar, it’s not only a great way to celebrate the season, but it demonstrates that your company cares.

There are several ways a bar owner can give back to the community.  The following are a few ideas to get started:

Hold a Food Drive
Get in contact with your local food bank and ask them the rules about collecting canned goods.  Advertise your food drive, and make sure you have receptacles in plain site for people to donate.

TapHunter is a program that will allow you to print a header and footer on your menus to inform all of your customers of the drive.  They can also assist you with promoting the charity on their app and your Twitter handle, with great ease.  As long as you’re advertising, the drive should go swimmingly.

Encourage people to bring in a canned or nonperishable item in exchange for a free drink, or some other discount, such as 50% off or $1 drinks.  Set a goal for goods and update your progress to incite even more motivation.

Sponsor a Charity Night
Choose a charity of your choice (Toys for Tots, Make a Wish, or a local charity) and select a night or two during the month to donate a portion of your sales to that program.  If you can, a local charity is much more likely to draw in more customers, as people flock to support their community.

Make sure you market which date you are choosing to do this, and when it’s over, update your customers on the total amount raised.


Host a Charity Dinner or Fundraising Event
Whether you choose to host an invite-only private dinner for charity, or a larger public event, this is yet another way a bar owner can give back during the season.  Many bars who have had success during a fundraising event, will usually have an all-you-can-eat buffet, which people can buy tickets to.  This type of event, of course, needs a strong kitchen and staff to back it, so make sure you have all the necessary resources. Be a community partner and host an event like Beer for Books or some other benevolent event for a local nonprofit. You’ll gain or maintain cred as a good neighbor and attract new clients who are willing to raise a glass for a good cause.

Volunteer Your Time
You don’t necessarily need to close your doors, in order to give back to charity.  Ask a few of your staff to volunteer to work with you at a local food bank for a dinner or two.  You can sweeten the pot by rewarding your staff with a free meal and drinks.  No matter what, this is an active approach to not only live in the spirit of the season, but show the community you are committed to local change for the better.

If you need to close early, make sure you inform your customers in advance, and feel free to tell them why.  Everyone will appreciate the gesture, and many will remember your charitable nature when hunting for a tap next time.

Hold a Holiday Raffle
Make up a few showy and pricey raffle baskets, and display them somewhere in your establishment.  The best idea is to stick to themes with your baskets, to give incentive to a wider audience.  For example: if you have 5 baskets, consider these categories: Spa, Sporty, Chef, Gardening, Crafty.

You can also choose one big-ticket item, like a game system, bike, or T.V.  Whatever your budget would allow.

As long as you are appealing to a wide audience, or to a demographic that suits your bar, you should have great success with holding a holiday raffle.  Make sure you promote your raffle, and the date you intend to announce winners.  Perhaps holding an event that night, would be a great idea to draw in even more revenue.