Getting drinks is fun. Games are fun. As bar owners and regulars, we know this. And when you put drinking and games together?
Yup, you guessed it, more fun than either activity by itself. Bar regulars can attest to this —beer is good, but beer and games are even better. Bonding with friends over a quality drink and some organized fun is a recipe for a good time. So, does your bar currently make games available to customers?
If yes, play on, players. If no, consider doubling your customers’ fun: Check out our recommended list of games to keep at your bar. Some are affordable, some are pricier, and some are longer term investment games. And believe me when I say, add games to your bar experience and watch your customers stay in your bar longer and leave with wider smiles.
Here are our top game picks for your bar, and some of our favorite local bars that have them. What spots in your community have your favorite bar games? Leave a comment and let us know!
CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY – At the affordable price of $25 you can purchase Cards Against Humanity and likely see your ROI in less than one hour of drink sales. Additionally, you need at least 3 friends in the mix to play C.A.H. Your customers may group up, and order drinks in groups, too. The game is a roaring good time, fusing together obscene, outrageous ideas. Be warned, Cards Against Humanity is not for the faint of heart, but neither are your heavy stout/IPA drinking regulars . . . . Get this game for your bar, and watch your customers’ faces go from laughing uncontrollably to wrinkling up with disgust, to filling with shock and awe—no single emotion sticks for longer than one round in this game. And for a still fun, but more polite game variation, Apples to Apples is an excellent choice, too. Visit Bottlecraft in San Diego for a brew, and a round of either game.
RING GAME – The ring game is considered pricier only because it will require some light manual labor in addition to some of your cash. Hit up your nearest local hardware store and grab the materials listed on the website we linked for you here. A little bit of elbow grease and your time will result in an entertaining game for your challenge-loving guests. This game requires a bar space with the structure, and room, to support it. You’ll need a tall wooden base that you can screw a hole in. If you find yourself in the San Diego area with an itch to play the ring game, check out The Deck at Moonshine Flatts.
Priciest: (Consider these games investments with a measurable ROI)
Shuffleboard – Shuffleboard is more expensive, but it’s also really, really fun. It instigates friendly competition, laying the foundation for bets, which gives rise to drink orders. It’s likely to pay off overtime as your customers purchase drinks while playing. Knotty Barrel in San Diego has a shuffleboard which customers use frequently, and the online reviews can attest to the fun: Multiple customers’ reviews include the shuffleboard as a highlight of their experience.
Arcade Game Machine – Price-wise, arcade games are on par with the cost of a quality shuffleboard. Fun-wise and ROI-wise, these games bring in quarters upon quarters that translate into dollars upon dollars at your establishment for a long time to come. A true testament to the timeless popularity of arcade games at a bar is San Diego’s Coin-Op Game Room, which brings in crowds on weekdays and boasts lines for their machines on the weekends.
If you already have one of these games, you’re a step ahead. Take it one level further and host game nights for your customers. You’ll get to know them and they’ll get to know you, over a pint, cocktail, or two. There are various online and mobile platforms you can use to structure game night:. Post the details of your game night through an Events page on Facebook. Use the TapHunter dashboard to create an event for your bar that pushes out to TapHunter app users. And now you can easily set up your game nights as recurring events on these platforms, notifying subscribers effortlessly.
If you don’t have any of these games yet, consider experimenting with the most affordable option to see its impact on your bar’s foot traffic and beverage sales. Not only will the level of fun increase in your bar, but your drink sales will too!