What really makes a great sports bar in New York? A city that has a love and passion unmatched when it comes to their professional sports. Regardless of what your favorite sport is or which team you follow, it’s important to find a good spot for settling in and watching the game. Nothing says sports more than a quality TV, good beer selection, and good company, right?
Staff Engagement — Your staff is a key component to a sports bar’s success. It’s like the show “Cheers”. You really should know everyone’s name — or at least your regulars — and your staff should be dressed for the game(s) that will be played, your favorite jersey or sports related gear. It’s helpful if your employees are knowledgeable about sports. Hiring locals who are in the sports community could be good employees and are beneficial to your bar. You want your bartenders, waitresses, shot girls to engage with your customers about the games that are on TV. This creates interaction between the staff members and the customers. Good communication means regular customers, which is, of course, good for business.
Creativity — Get creative with your drink and food selections. If you’re in New York, have a sandwich named after an infamous sports player. Then name signature drinks or put them in custom made football, baseball, or basketball fishbowls or glasses. You can organize a baseball card show and trade at your bar or even set up a Fantasy league. Sports related theme parties and contests such as The Ugliest Sports Jersey competition or a Beer Olympics. If your team makes the playoffs make a party out of it with a buffet and open bar for a set price. Many sports stars make appearances to take pictures, sign autographs and engage with the crowd.
Top Notch Management — Everything above is meaningless if you do not have a good system with top notch management in place. A good operating system is composed of inventory, ordering, recipes, consistency, training, scheduling, payroll, legal, accounting, cleanup, and all related other operational tasks. You need to have surveillance and/or a good system for theft and over pouring. Music is important for sports bars as well. Customers, who come to sports bars, do not want to hear hardcore hip hop. Play bar music, or feel out what the audience likes. Depending on your size and budget put in a Jukebox or have a DJ. But make sure to balance the music with the sports commentators. It can be an overkill if everything is blasting.