6 Fun Bar Games & Contests

Quiz night announcement poster design web banner background. Vector illustration.

Hosting bar contests is a great bar promotion. Not only does it get more people through your doors, it gives them something fun to do. This means they’re having a good time, and that usually leads to more drink and food sales for you. Most bar contests are all about getting people to do silly things, but that’s what makes it so much fun. Here are six bar contest ideas that people still find fun and enjoyable. Give them a try at your bar, pub, or tavern and see how your customers and their friends respond.

Hula Hoop Contest

This is a fun bar contest, and we recommend you introduce it a bit later into the evening. That way, most of your customers will be willing to give it a try. It’s rather simple: two or more people face off against each other to see who can keep the hula hoop going the longest. Be sure to have fun prizes for the winners to make it worth everyone’s while to play. This is a classic bar contest that costs very little to do, yet usually provides a good time for everyone at your bar.

Trivia Night

Have you considered investing in an electronic trivia game for bars and pubs?  If not, you might want to consider it.  These games are wildly popular at bars.  Trivia enthusiasts bring their friends to help increase their chances of winning.  This, in turn, increases the number of people in your bar.  Shop around online for a trivia game and tablets and start hosting a “quiz night” at your bar.  This investment that typically pays for itself many times over.

Bar Games

Games such as cornhole, beer pong, and flip cup are huge draws for bars.  Just make sure to offer plenty of prizes, and do everything you can to promote the events so people know about them.  Here’s another bar Olympics tip: There might be a cornhole league in your hometown.  It would be much easier to partner with them to host games at your bar.  They already have the equipment, which saves you money.  These leagues also have a built-in following, which helps make you money.

Eating Contests

Drinking contests could create a liability for bar owners. You can end up with overly-intoxicated customers who might start trouble, pass out, or get sick. It’s easier and safer for you to host an eating contest at your bar or pub. You get all the fun without the headaches that come from too much drinking.

Here are three of the most popular eating contests to host at your bar, pub, or tavern:

  1. Hot Dog Eating Contest: It doesn’t get any easier than boiling some hot dogs, slapping them in buns, and challenging people to see who can eat the most.
  2. Banana Eating Contest: It’s just like a hot dog eating contest but it’s with bananas. To make it more challenging, you can have teams and place limits on how contestants can use their hands.
  3. Watermelon Eating Contest: Granted, this gets a little messy, but that’s half the fun. You can hold the contest for individuals, or have teams where one person feeds the other and vice versa.

When hosting any contest, be sure to offer exciting prizes to the winners.  The chance to win something brings out the competitive nature in most people.  They’ll try their hardest to win, which adds to the fun and excitement.  Remember to look into contest rules in your state.  Also, check into the liability of hosting these events with your insurance provider.  It’s always best to play it safe.

Bonus Tip: DIRECTV for Your Bar, Pub, or Tavern

DIRECTV is a great addition to any bar, and it ties in to the bar contest theme. Sporting events is one of the most popular uses of DIRECTV in bars and pubs. This satellite TV service tends to attract more clients, especially on game nights.  This gives you plenty of options for fun bar contests. For example, you could give away appetizer samples tied in with betting squares.  Once they get a small taste of your delicious bar food, they’re likely to order more.

Is DIRECTV something you’d like for your bar or pub? As an AT&T Preferred Dealer, Signal Connect is your best bet for satellite TV. We’re here to help bar owners like you bring DIRECTV to your clients. There are a few steps to getting a commercial DIRECTV account. Our reps will help you choose the best viewing package, satellite equipment, and more. If you have questions, or would like to set up an installation, give us a call at 888-233-7563.

Pick the Best Bar Contests for You

These bar contest ideas let everyone have more fun at your bar.  The question is, when do you host these events?  Some bar owners introduce these contests on busy nights to build up a following.  Then, they shift them over to slower times. Others kick off bar contests on slow nights to increase their customer count. How you approach this is up to you. The most important thing is that you use at least some of these bar contest ideas. Doing some type of popular bar promotions is always better than doing nothing at all.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.