How Live Screening Events Improve Customer Engagement and Increase Restaurant Sales

Looking for effective ways to uplift the reputation of your restaurant in the eyes of your customers is the pivotal interest for all restaurant owners. The Restaurant industry on various occasions tries to find out innovative ways and strategies to market their restaurant that would attract more customers that in turn will bolster the overall profit of the restaurant. Cultivating innovative marketing plans to retain and attract new customers need to be weaved on a daily basis, and live screening is one of the strategies that you as a restaurant owner can very effectively use, that will bolster your overall profit, retain your existing customers and attract new ones as well.

The use of this strategy has been seen previously as well. For example, last year bars and restaurants were open all night as American watched the outcome of the race for White House. In another instance, a number of restaurants/bars hosted the live screening of Football Finals Euro 2016 in June, last year. Restaurants reported a 40 percent increase in their footfall during the hosting of such events.

Anything interesting from live football batches to preparation videos of unique dishes from your restaurant kitchen can be broadcasted on screens in real-time, screening live concerts or TV shows, can be effectively used to catch the eyes of the ever-inquisitive customers.

Benefits of Live Screening at your Restaurants
  • Screening live events can give your restaurant’s brand an excellent point of differentiation in the market. They attract customers to your venue and encourages them to do advance bookings before events.
  • Live screening creates a sense of urgency; it can be employed effectively to inform your customers about “limited-time offers” and “real-time news & debates.”
  • It offers rich content that’s engaging and fun to watch.
  • It provides a unique opportunity to offer personalized delicacies along with irresistible deals for tempting right customers at the right time.
Prepare Your Restaurant for the Live Screening

Here are a number of ways you can prepare to host live screenings at your restaurant. Owners and managers need to have all the pieces of the puzzle together in order to for the event to be a success. 

Acquiring the Right Licenses

The first thing to do before hosting a live screening event at your restaurant is to ensure that you have all the legal licenses required. For example, if you want to play any type of music at the restaurant, you’ll need a Music license to avoid copyright infringements. This includes live music as well as music from a CD or streaming service. The fines for playing copyrighted music without a license can range from $750 to $30,000.

You would have to apply for the Music License at The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) or Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) directly on their websites, or get a licensed music solution that pays these fees on your behalf.  The cost of these licenses depends on various factors. For example, the rates for restaurants, nightclubs, and bars depending on whether the music is live or recorded, whether it’s audio only or audio visual, the number of nights per week music is offered, whether admission is charged and several other factors. For background music, it can cost between $250 and $500.

Do not forget that each of your licenses will need to be renewed, so mark on a calendar when each expires so you can make sure and stay compliant, keeping your business on the safe side of the law.

Buying Quality Equipment

Be sure you arrange the instruments consisting of LCD Panels and Projectors, which are required to screen live events, from credible sources. You must first conduct a survey what are the best instruments and from where you can get them at an affordable price. A research before buying the product is a must! Depending on your budget you can find LCD panels starting from $200. Similarly, you can also find wide-ranging varieties of projectors.

Training Staff

Training your staff and preparing them is crucial to the success of such events. Since live screenings are all about real-time, your staff should be well-equipped at handling the instruments to avoid any lags during the live stream.

During live-screening of high-adrenaline events, customers can get rowdy and disruptive. Train your staff to tackle such instances. Ensure that your bartender is on the lookout for customers who appear to be too drunk, and doesn’t serve them again. Hire bouncers for such events, if you don’t have one already.

Maintaining an Event Calendar

Like any other marketing strategy, you should plan the events well in-advance to avoid last-minute hassles. You, as a restaurant owner, must maintain an event calendar where you can list the plans of all the upcoming events so that all your staffs are aware of it and this will ensure that no internal confusions are created. In addition to this, such a calendar will help you plan for the events well in advance; you can well in advance start advertising and marketing for these events.

 Targeting the Right Audience

A restaurant must target the right type of audience for the right type of events. You must know what type of audience you must target for matches, for movies, jazz shows or other such events. You can use your CRM database to target the right audience for such events. For instance, the customers who dine at your restaurant frequently during the hosting of sports matches are likely to visit again if you are hosting a live screening of the championships. You should also consider the timing of the event to target customers. If it is on a weekday and during work-hours, the probability of office-going adults automatically dwindles.

Marketing it Right

There is hardly a point of screening live events if you are not marketing them well. Unless people are aware of your plans hosting such events will lead to unnecessary expenditure. There are various strategies that you can employ to market your live screening events, they are: 

Social Media Marketing–You can very well use the most used platform in today’s day to advertise and promote your events. Reaching out to potential customers is just a click away these days, and thanks to the social media platforms, namely, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter. The first thing you need to do is to create an event on your Facebook page and invite your customers to it. Facebook provides you the ability to target customers based on their geography and interests, and you can use this feature to target your customers better.  For example, if you are hosting a live screening of a cricket match, you can target the people who have liked cricket-themed pages, are aged 18-45. Similarly, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are also powerful mediums to make your customers aware of the events happening at your restaurant.

The power of ‘Hashtags’ cannot be overlooked. Today, all trending events have a ‘hashtag’ associated with them that trend on social Mmdia. You can effectively use these hashtags to promote your own event and associate your own creative hashtags.

Special Offers and Discounts–Another very strategic way of attracting customers for the live screening events at your restaurant is by providing lucrative offers on those special days to your customers. For example, while screening matches at your restaurant you can also conduct lucky draw contest amongst your customers, and whoever wins would get a 50 percent discount. You can come up with creative additions to the menu and offers special drinks at a discounted rate to attract customers.

Pamphlets and Display Boards–In spite of this being one of the oldest and conventional ways of marketing, it is still widely used. You can distribute the pamphlets in various ways, either you can keep a staff outside the restaurant who would distribute these pamphlets to the people passing by, or you can publish these events in newspaper and magazines to reach the maximum people concerned. Other than these you can also hand over these pamphlets to the customers, who after having a happy meal leave your restaurant with an intention of coming back on the day of the event.

SMS and Email Marketing–You can make the best use of your CRM database by sending promotional SMS and emails to your customers about the event. SMSs have typically a high opening rate and are the most popular channels of promotions. Send out the SMS and emails at least a week before the screening. Ensure that the text copy of the SMS is short, catchy, and has clear Call-to-Action that directs the customer to reserve their tables.

Screening live events seems like a challenging thing to do, but once you get the hang of it, it can turn out to be one of the most effective ways of attracting new customers and retaining loyal ones.