Category : Bar Promotions

Bar Novelties Increase the Fun Factor

Incorporating Bar Novelty Items for a Bigger WOW Factor

If you’re running bar events and promotions (like every bar should be), don’t overlook the use of bar novelties to increase customer participation, engagement, enjoyment and the overall fun factor. In a previous post about how to ensure your events are successful, we talked about making sure everyone who comes out to your bar event has a good time – even if it’s only a handful of people!  A great way to do this is by having bar novelties on hand to incorporate into the event itself or to use as giveaways or prizes.

Jello Shot Injectors – Jello syringes or jello shot injectors are a great way to bring some tasty fun into your club or bar promotion.  Because jello shooters are generally made with less than 1.5oz of alcohol in each 1.5oz syringe, the profit margins are higher than on regular shooters – and they are way more fun for the customers.  The syringes are also reusable so you can run them through the dishwasher and use them night after night.

Jello Injector Accessories – If you plan on incorporating jello injectors into your bar promotion, make sure you pick up a jello shot syringe display rack otherwise things start to get messy.

Glow Sticks / Glow Bracelets / Glow in the Dark Necklaces – bar novelties - glow braceletsEveryone loves glow in the dark stuff!  Use glow sticks, bracelets or necklaces for events such as a Stoplight Party where everyone who comes in gets a green, yellow or red glow in the dark necklace glow stick or glow in the dark bracelet.

Beer Pong Frozen Rack – bar novelties beer pong gameBeer pong is an iconic drinking game that is known throughout colleges around the world.  Some states / countries are a little more strict than others when it comes to playing drinking games in a bar.  If the law is on your side, beer pong games can be a big draw and competitions keep people in your bar for longer.

These beer pong racks are freezable so you can keep your beer chilled while you’re playing!

Shooter Paddles / Paddle Shots bar novelties paddle shot boardShooter Paddles or Paddle Shotz Boards are 60 inch boards with holes for shot glasses spaced 10″ apart.  It’s a fun way for a group of people to do shots together.  You can hang these shooter paddles on your bars’ walls and they would essentially advertise themselves.  Use these as a special bar promo during big bar events or add this to the menu and keep the shots going out year round!

Alcohol Shotgun bar novelties - alcohol shotgunAlcohol and guns.  In normal circumstances we’d never recommend the two be combined.  Unless we’re talking about the alcohol shotgun!  This cool little bar novelty item holds 1.5oz of your favourite liquor.  Give it to your cocktail waitresses during bar events as a novel way for customers to take shots.

Russian Roulette Revolver bar novelties - russian roulette shooter revolverFrom alcohol shotguns straight into alcohol filled six shooters.  These Russian Roulette Revolvers take the whole death thing out of the game.  When tables order shots in your bar, have the server bring them over these Russian Roulette Revolvers along with their shots. There’s one shot in the chamber, who’s it going to be?

Plastic Penis Shooter Cups bar novelties - penis shot glassesThese plastic penis shooter cups aren’t for everyone but they’re perfect for certain types of events like bachelorette parties (and as gag shots for the most manly of men).

Spin the Shot bar novelties - spin the shot– Remember Spin the Bottle?  Well this is the grown-up version.  Spin the Shot is a cool little drinking game or drinking apparatus that turns taking shots into a spin-the-bottle type game.  Use this little shot spinning game as a warm up drinking game before the main event during your next bar promotion.


Bar Event Novelty Items for Giveaways

During every bar event or bar promotion, you should always have items to give away to the people who attend your event.  These giveaway items need to be cool and memorable so that your guests remember your event and your bar the next time they’re deciding where in town to go. You don’t have to buy all the items for your giveaways – talk to your liquor, beer and wine reps to see what you can get from them in the way of sponsorship items.

Candoms Beer Can Chillers – bar novelties - candoms beer chillerEveryone loves to keep their beer cold – but no one likes to lug around those foam can coolers.  Here’s the solution – a can cooler that rolls up over the can and then rolls back into a (condom looking) ring that you can easily carry in your pocket.

Flask Ties – bar novelties tie flaskThis is one cool bar gift!  These flask ties hold up to 8oz of booze and are available in different colors and styles.  They are clip on ties so you don’t have to worry about need to know how to tie a tie.

bar novelties - big bobber

Big Bobber Floating Cooler – Both cool and useful, the big bobber floating cooler comes in super handy in the pool, at the beach or on the lake.  This beauty holds up to 12 ice cold cans of your favourite beverage.

Hanging Shot Glass – bar novelties - hanging shot glassesHanging shot glasses are pretty much just a plastic shot glass with a piece of string run through it so that you can hang it around your neck and have a shot glass ready and waiting.

These are great for bachelor parties, birthdays, anniversaries etc – anything where there’s bound to be a lot of shots going down.

bar novelties - how drunk glass coaster set

How Drunk Glass Coaster Set – This humorous little bar novelty item makes for a great door gift.  These glass coasters contain funny definitions of just how drunk you are.  6 coasters in all: Sober, Tipsy, Plastered, Drunk, Wasted and Hungover.

Remember that you want your event to stand out in people’s minds.  There is a lot of choice these days for where people can go and spend their money. Give people a reason to come out to your bar events and make sure they have a blast while they’re there.

St Patricks Day Activities

St Patricks Day Activities
to Bring Em In and Keep Em There This St Paddy’s Day


St Patricks Day activities are essential no matter what type of St Paddy’s Day party you’re planning.  If you want your bar to be in on the Paddy’s Day crowd, you’ll need to do more than just add a couple drops of green food coloring to your beer.

Below is a St Patricks Day poster for an event I ran a couple years back.  Take a good look at the poster to get ideas for not just St Patricks Day drink recipes but also food and entertainment specials.

st patricks day activities

As you can see from the St Paddy’s Day poster, in addition to food and drink specials, we had lots for people to do as well.  Since the party usually gets started during the afternoon on St. Patricks Day, you’ll need to make sure that there is enough entertainment to keep your patrons from straying elsewhere.

One of the things you can do to get people through your doors is to reward them for coming.  Here are a couple of ways you can do this:

  1. Trade in your Ticket for a Free Jello Shot – since we were using smaller versions of the poster as handouts and tickets for the event (it was free to get in), we wanted people to hold on to the ticket so that they could compare what we had happening at our place to whatever else was going on in the city (knowing, of course, that you’re putting on the best St Patty’s Day event in town), leading up to P-day.
  2. Wear Green for a free Jello Shot – whether it’s a shooter, cocktail, mixed drink or appetizer, give something away to patrons who get into the festive spirit and wear green to your event.  These are the people you want at your bar so give them a reason to dress up and reward them for it.


Ok, now that you have people through your doors, let’s look at some St Patricks Day activities you can incorporate into your St Patty’s Day events.


  • Irish Music – One of the first things your patrons are going to notice about your St Patricks Day event is the music.  It’s an Irish holiday so make sure you have Irish tunes playing.  Make sure you stick to the more upbeat, drinking song type music.
  • Face Painting – We’re not talking about unicorns and ice cream cones here.  Have one of your bar staff paint shamrocks on people’s faces.  If you have someone artistic on staff, you can have get a little more creative.  Since face painting crayons aren’t very expensive, you can even take this a step further and put a green face paint crayon on every other table so that your customers could draw on their friends’ faces.
  • Create a Limerick – This adds a nice break in the middle of what will turn out to be a very long night.  Throughout the day as people come and go, have them submit a Limerick about St Patricks Day.  Print out the definition of a Limerick on a piece of paper with blank lines for the Limerick itself and hand them out to people as they come in.  Guests can make up their own Limerick and later in the evening you can read the best ones out to the crowd and choose a winner based on applause.
  • Balloon Drop – Since I had worked out a deal with a travel agency in advance, I was able to get free tickets to Las Vegas as the main giveaway for the event.  To make the giveaway more entertaining, we decided to do a balloon drop where people had to burst balloons and find out which ones contained prizes (simply pieces of paper stating what the prize is).  Prizes consisted of free drinks, appetizers, “skip the line” passes for Fri/Sat nights, beer gear etc.
  • Jello Syringes – Although jello shots and jello syringes may seem more like St Patricks Day drinks rather than St Patty’s Day activities, the reality is that doing jello shots IS entertainment and therefore qualifies as an activity – especially doing jello shot syringes.Jello shots are cheaper than regular shots and a lot more fun for your guests to do.  But you do have to prepare them in advance.  Make sure you check out how to make jello shots and for a tasty green jello shot recipe, take a look at the Liquid Marijuana jello shot recipe at the bottom of the page.



Although this next point, staff involvement, is not a St Patricks Day activity per se, it’s of the utmost importance that your staff are on board with the promotion.

There’s nothing worse than getting dressed up for St Patty’s Day and getting to the bar only to find out that, not only are you the only guest that’s dressed up but none of the bar staff are in costume either.

Much of the success of your event has to do with how committed the venue and staff are to the event.  Make sure your staff all wear green and are pushing the event weeks prior.


St Patricks Day comes but once a year.  But when it does, watch out! It can be one of the busiest days of the year for many bars, pubs and clubs.  Make sure that you’re prepared, have enough stock and your staff knows the food and drink specials as well as what the entertainment is for the day.


If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you stop by our St Patricks Day drinks recipes page.


If you know of any other great St Patricks Day activities, please share them with our readers by leaving a comment below.

St Patricks Day Drinks

Looking for Some Cool St Patricks Day Drinks Recipes?


If you’re going to throw a St Patrick’s Day party this year, you’re going to need some St Patricks Day drinks for the occasion.
st patricks day drinks
What is St Patricks Day?  It’s an Irish cultural and religious holiday celebrated around the world each year on March 17.  St Patty’s Day celebrations commonly include parades, copious amounts of liquor and food as well as the wearing of shamrocks and other green attire.

Since St Patricks Day is an Irish holiday, the drinks you serve for your Paddy’s Day party must either be Irish or green.


Let’s start with what’s already from Ireland:


  • Guinness
  • Harp
  • Smithwicks



  • Magners



  • Bushmills
  • Jamesons
  • Tullamore Dew



  • Irish Cream
  • Irish Mist


Now we’ll move into the St Patricks Day drinks recipes – Irish bomb shot, specialty Irish coffee and a variety of Irish shooters…


St Patricks Day Specialty Coffee – Irish Coffeest patricks day drinks

  • ¾ oz Irish Cream
  • ¾ oz Irish Whiskey
  • packet of sugar (or tsp brown sugar)
  • whipped / heavy cream
  • coffee

Rim a specialty coffee glass with sugar and then add the Irish cream and whiskey to the glass with the rest of the packet of sugar.  Fill to about a finger length from the rim and top with whipped cream (in a circular, building motion if from a can). Garnish with a cherry.


St Patricks Day Bomb Drink – Irish Car Bomb

  • ½ glass Guinness
  • ½ oz Irish cream
  • ½ oz Irish whiskey

Pour the Irish cream and whiskey into a shot glass.  Drop the shot glass into the (settled) glass of Guinness.  Chug.


St Patricks Day Shooters


  • ½ oz melon liqueur
  • ¼ oz Irish whiskey
  • ¼ oz Irish cream

Shake on ice and strain into shot glass.
Nutty Irishman

  • ½ oz Irish cream liqueur
  • ½ oz Frangelico


Irish Frogirish frog shooter

  • ½ oz melon liqueur
  • ½ oz Irish cream

Pour the melon liqueur into the shot glass and layer the Irish cream on top.
*This shooter tastes best if both the liqueurs are chilled


Irish Flag

  • ⅓ oz green Crème de Menthe
  • ⅓ oz Irish cream
  • ⅓ oz Grand Marnier

Pour the crème de menthe into a shot glass and then layer the Irish cream on top and then the Grand Marnier gets layered on top of the Irish cream (creating 3 separate layers representing the green, white and orange of the Irish flag).


There you have it – all the St Patricks Day drinks you’ll need to make this year’s St Paddy’s Day party the best one ever!


Common specials to run on St Patty’s Day at your bar are discounted prices on all Irish products as well as adding some of the above shooters to the evening’s drink menu.  Other than that, go ahead and get creative.  If you own / run a martini or lounge bar, get out the melon liqueur and green creme de menthe and start creating some green martinis and cocktails.


VIDEO: St Patricks Day Jokes

If you’ve got an awesome St Patricks Day drink recipe that you’d like to share, please add it to the comments below.

Pub Quiz Night

 How to Run a Pub Quiz Night to Increase Profits and Customer Loyalty

You’ve probably already been to a pub trivia or pub quiz night somewhere before. And you may have even thought about running a weekly bar trivia night at your own bar. But then you started researching and gathering all the questions and answer sheets, writing the rules, finding the prizes and then it hit you….you’ll have to do all that work each and every week. And the more popular it gets, the more work for you.

And then you decided not to host a pub quiz night.

While that’s mostly true – running a weekly pub trivia night does take quite a bit of time to organize – there’s no denying the success that these nights have.

Team events always seem to have more success than single events. Maybe its the competition factor, maybe its that everyone’s counting on you to show up or maybe its because of the camaraderie it produces. Whatever the reason, pub trivia nights turn quiet nights into profitable nights.

If you’d like to increase revenues on one of your slower nights but don’t know how to run one, we teach you how to go about it on our Bar Trivia Night page.

And if you’re too busy to (or just don’t want to) do the research each and every week to organize your own bar trivia night, you can purchase everything you need for less than $25 / week from a company called Pub Quiz Pro

Either way you look at it, bar trivia nights are excellent ways to increase profits on your slower weekday nights.

If you don’t happen to own or manage a bar, mention this idea to your boss. Bosses give the best shifts to the bartenders who are looking out for the establishment first.

How to Become a Club Promoter

How to Become a Club Promoter — Yes, it’s possible! You can get paid to party like a rockstar.  If you’ve ever bartended a wedding or other celebration, you know that it’s a lot of fun – and the money is killer.  Why?  Because people are there to party and have a good time.  It’s the same thing if you become a club promoter – everyone is there to party and you’re the person who made it all happen.

Ok, so there’s the glamour of the club promoting business – where everything is successful and everyone is making money so everyone’s happy.  Of course that’s not always the case.  There are definitely club promoters out there who do all the wrong things and ruin the reputation of legitimate party promoters.  These people, the ones who have zero training and understanding of the business, can actually cost bar / club owners money.

So, onto how you can benefit from party or club promoting. If you have a lot of contacts or regularly go out clubbing where you live, you probably have all you need to start promoting specific parties and events at various pubs and clubs around town.

There is no way we can tell you everything you need to know to get started but there is an information package out there that explains everything in detail.  Remember, this IS a viable business but does require work.

If you’re interested in learning more, go here or click the image below to find all the info you need to learn how to become a club promoter and start getting paid to party.

become a club promoter

7 Bar Game Ideas for your Bar Event

7 Bar Games to Bring Some Life to Your Bar Party

Bar games – because it’s not just about getting people through your doors; it’s also about entertaining them while they’re there.  You wouldn’t want to bore your guests after you worked so hard to get them through the door would you?   Bar games are a great way to keep guests entertained while they’re attending an event at your bar.  The important part about choosing which bar game to incorporate into your event is how the game fits with the theme of the event you’re running as well as with the attending audience.  Ok, here we go, 7 bar games you can play at your bar, pub or club that are guaranteed to bring some laughs and entertainment to the night.


Bar Game #1 – The Dating Game

It doesn’t matter if the “couples” are total strangers, friends or long-term lovers.  Split players off into couples and have one person from each couple leave the area / room.  The players who remain are asked some pre-planned questions about their new partner / spouse.  The object is for them to answer in the same way they think their partner would answer.  Matching answers are given a point and the next time the roles are reversed. Bar Games: The Dating Game

Bar Game #2 – Kangaroo

Just another of the hundreds of bar games you can play with a balloon.  Have players line up at the staring line with a balloon securely pressed between their knees.  At the yell of Go!, hop down the course towards the finish line making sure not to lose the balloon.  If you do, go back and fetch it and then start back where you dropped it.  Burst your balloon and you’re out.  I’m sure you can figure out who the winner is.

Bar Game #3 – Penny Drop

This one is easy to set up and is always a good way to get a couple hundred extra dollars and some more fun out of the night.  There are two ways to do this.  The first is to grab a big glass jar – like the ones that olives come in; fill it up with cold water, put a 2oz shot glass in the bottom of the jar of water and cut a coin-sized slit in the top before screwing it back in place.  Players have to drop a coin through the top slot and try to get it to land in the shot glass.


click me
The other way is to put water in a bucket of some type, place a bigger coin at the bottom of the bucket and try to land a smaller coin on top of the bigger coin.  You choose what the winners win – but make sure it’s legal in your area.

Bar Game #4 – The Pea Suck

Set out three small plates for each team of two – one at either end and one in the middle.  The plate at one end is full of peas and the object is to transfer as many peas from one plate to the middle one and then onto the end plate.  However, you need to transfer them by sucking the pea up to the end of the straw and holding it there while you run over to the next plate, drop it there and have your partner carry on to the end plate.  The team with the most peas transferred wins.

Bar Game #5 – Who’s Line?

Gather a bunch of famous quotes and sayings from over the years – some can be current and others can be famous quotes from over the ages.  The game is to say only a certain portion of the quote / saying and give points to the teams who can come up with the answers.  Give points for getting the missing part of the quote as well as for who said it.  You can even give bonus points if some smarty pants knows the story behind a certain quote.

Bar Game #6 – Mouth to Mouth Obstacle Course

Teams compete against each other to finish a fairly simple obstacle course consisting of some well-placed tables and chairs.  The caveat is that each competitor will be holding a spoon in their mouths upon which will be an egg.  The players have to pass off the eggs to their partners at strategic points throughout the course.  You can, if you’re boring, use a ping pong ball instead.

Bar Game #7 – My Buddy Went Up to the Bar and Ordered

This is a game where everyone is sitting around a table and it’s each player for him/herself.  The first player starts by choosing a letter and the next player begins the round by choosing something that your buddy is able to go up to the bar and order that starts with the letter that the previous player chose.  For example, the first player chooses “M” and the next player in line says “My buddy went up to the bar and ordered a margarita”.  The next person in line repeats that and adds their own: “My buddy went up to the bar and ordered a margarita and a mai-tai”  This continues until someone gets knocked out for making a mistake or not being able to come up with something that makes sense.


We hope you enjoyed these 7 bar games.  If you haven’t already checked out our other bar promotions and bar events pages, makes sure you do as we’ve listed off tons of other bar promos you can put on.



click me

Bar Promotion Ideas That Work

Bar Promotion Ideas That Work

Looking for bar promotion ideas that work?  As opposed to the ones that don’t work that everyone’s always searching for?  Just kidding.

Seriously, we have a lot of pages on this site dedicated to bar promotions and bar events.  This specific post has more to do with providing you a way to find lots of bar promotion ideas that work rather than listing off a bunch.

1.  We don’t need to tell you, Facebook is just massive.  Something you’ve likely overlooked about Facebook however, is the fact that you probably get invited to a slew of different events.  And what you might not be aware of is that you can browse through past events you’ve been invited to for ideas on what you can do for future events.

To do this, click on Events and at the top where you see the previous month, click on that to go back as many months as you want.

What you’re doing is scrolling through to see any bar promotion ideas that you can borrow and better.  Careful not to copy something from within your area however.  You want to do something different and better than anyone else is doing.  Make every event memorable and you’ll keep people talking about it and coming back week after week.

2.  Another way to get bar promotion ideas that work is to use the big G.  Take theme parties or holidays for example.  Simply Google the name of the party (i.e. Toga party, st. Patricks day party etc), click on Images and search through the images to find other bars’ posters and flyers and see what they’ve got going on.

Lets say for example, you’re wondering what kind of specials to run on New Year’s Eve.   Type “new years eve party” into Google and then click “images” and scroll through other bars’ flyers and posters to get ideas for your own bar promotion ideas that work.

We hope we’ve opened your eyes to the wealth of bar promotions that are out there as well as how to find them.

Remember, bar promotion ideas that work are the ones that are planned properly, involve all the staff, are advertised well and are executed without any major problems.



Hosting a Scotch Tasting Party

Hosting a Scotch Tasting Party

Hosting a scotch tasting party at home and learning how to taste scotch is a unique and enjoyable way to get great friends together.   A scotch tasting party is a great party to throw in the winter months – getting friends out of their homes and warmed up together with a selection of great-tasting scotches.

Some things to consider when preparing your home for this party is the temperature and aromas in the room. Scotch should be served at room temperature and any lingering aromas in the house or room will affect the tasting. Turn off air fresheners for the day and don’t use heavily scented cleaning product prior to having people over.

Another item to consider are glasses. Serving scotch in rocks glasses is just fine. Although the appropriate style of glass used for tasting scotch are similar to snifters. By using a glass with this shape, it allows the scotch to be swirled and for aromas to gather inside the bowl and it’s perfect for aerating and nosing.

Aerating is simply when you swirl the scotch in your glass to allow oxygen into the spirit. This helps release the aromas. Nosing is when tasters stick their nostrils in their glass to try to identify the contents.


Note: Whisky is one of those words that has different spellings depending on where in the world you are. It’s spelled whisky in Scotland and whiskey – with an ‘e’ in America and Ireland


Choosing the right variety of Scotches to taste:

We suggest selecting five single malts from five different whisky producing regions of Scotland.


Scotch Regions: 
Speyside, Gleniddich, Ardmore and Knockando, Highlands, Lowlands, The Isle of Islay, Cambellton. Each of these renowned regions produce Scotches of different personalities.


Suggestion: To get your guest excited for the tasting party and to also make the party more affordable, have your guest each bring a bottle of their choice. This will not only ensure a nice variety, it will also give your guest the opportunity to get involved.

For part 2 of Hosting a Scotch Tasting Party, be sure to read How to Taste Scotch and download our Scotch Tasting Sheet.




How to Taste Scotch

How to Taste Scotch

This ‘How to Taste Scotch’ page is a continuation from our Hosting a Scotch Tasting Party article.  Once you have everything set up for your scotch tasting event and you have all your supplies and you’ve downloaded and printed copies our our scotch tasting sheet, you’re ready to learn all about how to taste scotch.
As we go through learning how to taste scotch, there will be 2 stages of tasting with 5 levels to complete. The first level will be to explore the scotch neat – meaning no water added and at room temperature. The second level is to explore the scotch diluted – with a little water added (approximately 1-1½ ounces of water).

The water used for diluting the scotch should be free of heavy minerals. Bottled spring water is the best option.


The 5 degrees of scotch tasting is the same for both stages.

Step 1:  Once each guest has been poured a “dram” of scotch (approxiamately 1½ ounces), instruct guests to hold their scotch glasses by the stem. Have everyone hold their glasses up to the light to observe its color. The color of the scotch will reveal what kind of cask it matured in and how long it matured for. They may refer to their scotch tasting sheet to identify the cask.

Step 2:  Have your guests tilt and rotate their glasses to coat the sides of the glass with the scotch and look at the legs. The legs are what we refer to as the liquid that runs back down the side of the glass. How the legs move and the speed at which they run indicates the maturity of the whisky. Slower legs equates to older scotch.

Step 3:  Before tasting the whisky, have your guests nose their scotch to detect the complexities and aromas. During each of these steps, your guests should consult their scotch tasting sheet and write down what they observe.

Step 4:  Now comes the actual tasting. Guests should only take into their mouth enough scotch to coat their tongue. They should then let the scotch sit on their tongue for a minute so they can scrutinize its flavours and texture.  Now instruct your guests to swallow the Scotch and observe and assess its finish. Get your guests to make note of the flavors that linger on their tongue.

Holding the glass by the bowl will warm the scotch up and change the taste and aromas. Tasters may want to try an extra tasting using this method and compare their observations between the two.

Step 5:  Lastly, add a little water to enhance the characteristics of the scotch. Now repeat the steps of observing, smelling, feeling, tasting and assessing the finish.


Now everyone can compare notes from the first neat (no water, no ice) tasting and their second tasting where water was added.


Once each selected scotch has been sampled, serve some desserts and have your guests mingle and share their findings with each other, discussing what they liked best.

Ideas for scotch and food pairing:

Cheeses (soft brie and/or a hard, sharp cheddar)

Flavored Chocolates (cayenne flavored, orange chocolate and/or sea salt chocolate)

Citrus Fruits (oranges and grapefruit) and Orchard Fruits (apples and pears)

Unique flavoured Potato Chips or Pretzels (honey-roasted, worcestershire, mustard)

Appetizer Meats (bacon wrapped chicken, meatballs, ribs or rare-beef on crackers)


We hope you enjoyed How to Taste Scotch and you’re brimming with ideas on hosting a Scotch Tasting Party of your own.  Don’t forget to download and print out enough copies of our Scotch Tasting Sheet for your party.

If you liked the article, please show some bartending love by liking, commenting and sharing.   Cheers!