Bars need to constantly look for new ways to make money. The bar industry is one of the most competitive, and if you’re not spending a good amount of time exploring new options, you’re probably going to go under.
Now, I’m a musician, so this article’s going to be a bit biased, but musicians and bars go together like peanut butter and chocolate–deliciously.
Here are a few reasons why every bar should consider hosting an open mic night.
1. A regular supply of new customers. An open mic night brings musicians to your bar, and the first thing you’ll notice is that musicians tend to be good tippers and good regular customers. If your open mic gets successful, you’ll have dozens of musicians showing up to show their talents, and more often than not, they tend to bring a few friends with them.
Musicians also tend to be the “right” type of customers: they usually don’t break things, and they drink fairly responsibly. Now, this isn’t always the case, of course, but any time that you can bring in a steady supply of good customers, you’re doing well by your business.
2. Cheap music booking potential. Most bars book bands or acoustic acts every once in a while, and an open mic night can be a great way to find new acts to play at your bar. You’ll see the best and the worst that your area has to offer. All you’ve got to do is offer a gig to the best.
Musicians booked at open mic nights often expect less pay. After all, they were showing up to your bar and playing for free before you booked them for their own night. Take care of them well, but realize that you probably don’t have to pay professional rates.
3. Worry-free publicity. When your bar begins hosting an open mic, you can get a lot of free advertising from music magazines and websites. Check to see if your town has an arts magazine of some sort, and send them a notice about your open mic. Put flyers up at local music stores. The open mic night gives your bar an opportunity to promote itself for free–and as every bar owner knows, that’s the best kind of promotion.
4. You’re helping local music. Local music needs all the help it can get, and bars that host open mic nights are performing a tremendous service for the community. You’ll make more money and have more fun at your job. For bar owners, an open mic night can be the best night of the week.
Does your bar host an open mic night? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.