While people may cite a bar’s drinks, bites, or entertainment as the reason it’s their favorite, there’s often something more intangible at play. Avid patrons will often point out a bar’s atmosphere as a huge perk. It may not be easy for bar-goers to determine exactly what that atmosphere is; however, as an owner, there are concrete ways to create a welcoming environment. Here’s how to improve your bar’s atmosphere and keep patrons coming back again and again.
Focus on the lighting
Nothing can kill a vibe quite like bad lighting. Bars are a place to unwind and have fun, and harsh, fluorescent lights will only make people that much more ready to get out of there. Depending on the vibe of your bar, try to strike a balance between light and dark. Cozy, intimate spaces will benefit from warm, subtle lighting, while spaces for party-goers could use some funky touches of neon light. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s in tandem with your bar’s aesthetic—not working against it.
Music is a must
A simple way to improve your bar’s atmosphere is to choose your music wisely. It’s an understatement to say that music is integral to someone’s experience, as playlists vary wildly from bar to bar. A hip brewpub would benefit from some indie music, but a club needs something that will get people up and dancing. Choose it wisely and note how people respond to it. Not every song will be a hit, and you can feel out what your patrons are really loving and go forward with that in the future.
No one wants uncomfortable seating
Does your bar have a more comfortable, intimate vibe? Vinyl booths are a great option, as they will look sleek while still providing patrons a chance to relax and unwind. Easy to clean and a perfect fixture in any bar, vinyl upholstery material is the way to go; the statistics themselves reinforce this. According to the Vinyl Institute, it is the “second largest-selling plastic in the world.” Stools are also a must but don’t go for the cheapest, least comfortable option. If patrons are squirming in their seats, they aren’t going to stay long. Vinyl allows you to create seating that is both comfortable and stylish.
Make the most of your décor
With the advent of Instagram, designing a stunning interior is more important than ever. People want to snap pictures and share them widely, so curate décor that will create a jaw-dropping image. Whether you go minimal with strategic pops of color or a kitschy and retro theme, pick a design scheme and run with it. Artful touches such as interesting artwork or sculptures, a photogenic mural, or clever signage will take you to the next level.
It’s all about creating an atmosphere that people will want to return to time and time again. Through subtle touches, comfortable environments, and intentional choices, your bar’s ambiance can soar to new heights.