This post is for all those pub managers who would love to fill their pubs on that quiet night of the week with lovely local patrons.

Many of you know the value of a pub quiz, comedy night, improv evening, board games in the corner, open mic night etc. Pub quizzes rank high on the list of what patrons want with the British public keen to congregate with their mates to test their intellect and general knowledge over a pint or quality glass of wine. Some may even show up early for dinner instead of going home first.

How do you fill your pub?

You must take action. Pub quiz participants do not magically show up!

We have learned over our thirteen years in the pub quiz business that there are key elements needed to attract and retain a loyal clientele week after week. When pub managers really hear us and implement these nine practices they report success.

Advertise in the pub

Oddly this seems to be a practice which some managers ignore! We know this works as your regular customers and even better the ones who just popped in for their first visit will see you have a pub quiz running weekly.

  • Place posters in the loos, on the doors, walls and wherever they will fit in nicely with your decor.
  • Use part of your chalk board to highlight the quiz night, time & prizes on offer.
  • That sandwich board you have on the pavement is more powerful than you know! Post the pub quiz details there too.

Get your staff talking about the quiz night

Your staff are one of your most powerful tools for advertising anything you have going on in the pub.

They interact with customers every time that customer orders a drink, food or asks them for assistance. The staff are not only there to serve but to build your pub community. Teach them all about great, interactive customer service. Remember the impact of eye contact, a simple smile, a “Hey, welcome back, how are you?”. Within their conversations they can add, “Are you coming to our pub quiz next week?”. They can also add any food or drink specials happening on the night. We feel that customers and staff are part of the whole community!

Give great prizes

Let’s face it. People want to win a pub quiz! Prizes are more important than you know.

These are some of the options we have seen work very well:

  • cash
  • bar voucher
  • bottle of wine
  • free drinks as a bonus round prize

Offer deals on food

Food specials are a fabulous idea as your teams may be coming straight from work. This will add that extra layer of comfort as they participate in the quiz. And hey, there are now known health benefits to lingering around a table over a meal!

Take table bookings for teams

Needing to book a table creates a little buzz around the quiz night. We have some teams who have a standing booking at their local pub as they know they return each week. For those new teams get your staff chatting with them about the need to book a table so they can make a decision ahead of time to attend.

Shout about it all week on social media

As you already know, social media is huge! Would you believe some pubs still do not use social media at all or to it’s full potential. If your pub group head office wants you to do this yourself, appoint a staff member who is keen to oversee your social media accounts. Some key factors for this are:

  • Post regularly on your chosen social media channels
  • Use photos and videos (stats show video is going to be the top engaging media in coming years) – Try pre-recorded and live on facebook, instagram & periscope.
  • Celebrate winning pub quiz teams in a post with their photo (get their permission first of course!)

Hire an engaging quiz host

In recent feedback from regulars at a pub we have been running a quiz at for eleven years they said these are the qualities they love in our founder and pub quiz host extraordinaire Jez Worsnip:

  • Reliable
  • Very funny
  • Fair yet firm
  • Structured
  • Circulates the room to visit every team during the quiz – Interactive
  • On time
  • Approachable

Keep the quiz to two hours

Keep your quiz to two hours. People start losing their focus beyond this, especially on a week night after work.

Include it in your newsletter

Your newsletter is another opportunity to get in front of your community. Those who are not on social media or visiting the pub regularly may read your newsletter. Include invitations to the pub quiz and any offers you have on that week or month.

Be organised!

This speaks for itself…Have your questions, answer sheets, microphone, bonus round props/materials and anything you else you need ready half an hour before you start the quiz. Start on time, taking money for the quiz before the kick off time and keep your materials tidy in an easily accessible area.

We know these practices work! Take action today and start building an amazing pub community through your quiz night.

The Quiz Team