by krghospitality

4 Ways a Bar & Grill Can Win Back Guests

By Doug Radkey – 07/24/2017

Over the past couple of years, we have collectively seen the ‘bar & grill’ segment on a continuous decline. Nearly every market across Canada and the US is over-saturated with the traditional bar & grill concept and most have become complacent in their own operations; offering similar menus and guest experiences while not adapting to industry changes.

Furthermore, this segment has been losing to other fast casuals and specialty eateries (plus food halls); ones that specifically target millennial demographics. The bar & grill however, has an opportunity to regain customer share in this cut-throat industry.

When targeting the millennial demographic, it’s imperative to plan around the fact that this group will pay more to go to a venue that offers premium food, high-quality beer & cocktails, and that cater to social engagements (ie unique experiences).

Here are 4 quick ways (#BarHacks) that the traditional ‘bar & grill’ can win back customers, starting today!


Traditional burgers, wings, nachos, and beer can no longer be the norm to ‘attract’ guests to a bar & grill. Concepts that are driving innovation within both the kitchen and the bar, are the ones currently leading this segment. Fresh ingredients, hand-crafted drinks, cocktail pairings, unique plating, and innovative (or at least) new takes on traditional bar-fare, need to be considered during your next engineered menu.

Trend Management

Trends come and go, but bar owners must adapt to local market changes and demands. This is not only in food & beverage offerings, but overall guest experiences. What trends are driving guest energy, guest spending, and guest duration? Find the need in your hyper-local area and simply adapt it to your concept!

Back-Bar Strategies

When is the last time you took a careful look behind your bar? Realizing the necessary return on your alcohol investment is also partially a question of cost control. Create a niche in your bar & grill by re-focusing and minimizing the beverage menu offerings to develop signature, fun, social, and targeted drink menus your guests will want; ultimately reducing the dust on your bottles and wasted overhead.


The bar & grill segment most definitely survives off of alcohol consumption, but many bar owners have been left behind and have not adapted to the off-premise dining option that many demographics are now seeking, leading to a loss in revenue opportunity. With the right menu mix, margins, promotions, and even online ordering methods, a bar & grill can attract and take part in this revenue generating platform without necessarily reducing overall on-premise revenue.

The adage ‘innovate or die trying’ is evident in today’s bar & grill. What will you do to stand out and remain relevent? Start here with these ‘bar hacks’.