That's Entertainment! by mzo16564


									                       That's Entertainment!                      by Carrie Powell-Davidson

              nder the B, “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones.     Entertaining Guests 101
              BINGO!                                                             1. Do the basics well first - “We sell good food and alcohol at a good
             Bingo? Yes, Bingo. Music Bingo. That’s what entertains guests at    price point with great service.” Don Taylor calls this his “simple formula”
     the Hop and Vine Pub in Burnaby. Manager Don Taylor explains how            and if that isn’t right, he doesn’t waste money anywhere else until it is.
     standard bingo cards are used but instead of numbers, hit songs and the     2. Understand why we entertain - The reasons to provide guests with
     bands that made them famous are under the letters. He says his guests       entertainment may vary from pub to pub, but basically, people go to a
     love it, and he’s even looking into creating Canuck bingo. “Under the       pub to have fun. If they are not having fun, they go home or to another
     O, Canucks Win The Stanley Cup!”                                            bar. Give them some fun and they stay. Make it really fun and they will
     Creating your own games or any activity to entertain guests is not so       come back, hopefully with more friends. Another bonus is that if people
     far fetched. Take a great idea and tweak it to fit your establishment. As   are involved in an interactive activity (dancing, for example) they are
     a fun way to test my bartending students’ knowledge, I created a game       less likely to exhibit signs of intoxication. This impresses the inspectors
     called “Drink Trivia”. It was a lot more fun than the standard written      and that’s fun too.
     exam. However, before spending any time or money filling up the activity    3. Research successful activities - Talk to your guests and find out what
     calendar, there are a few factors to consider:                              they like to do. Your staff is another great resource. This could be tied

      P u b l i c a n /S P R i n G   2008
in with a staff incentive program
if you pay for them to go out to
other bars and report back their
findings. Networking at hospitality
conventions, trade shows, and
even chamber meetings can net
some ideas. The Internet is full of
businesses that make it their business
to research entertainment. Check
out,, and locally, The
American Mixologist Newsletter may
also have some ideas. Just like hiring
bands, when you check out a few
providers, the rest will find you. Of
course, industry publications such as
the one you’re reading are always
full of the latest trends. Perhaps the
most fun way to find fun is to get out
there yourself and have some fun!
4. Be consistent and persistent -
Giving up too soon is the #1
killer of entertaining ideas. Many
operators try out a new activity
and if it’s not successful right away                that has paid off is the installation of 16 LCD   popular too, Paddy says that it’s their scenery
they cancel it. Guests need to know they can         and plasma high definition TVs, making the        that is the main entertainment. “We’re located
rely on your program and that takes about            Hop and Vine a great place to watch a sporting    on the Fraser River and floatplanes are landing
8 weeks minimum. For every 10 new ideas,             event.                                            and taking off right in front of us.”
there may be only 1 that works, and you just         The Flying Beaver Pub on Richmond’s riverfront    Television is a great generator of ideas. Watch
may be surprised what it is that clicks with your    gets its name from the seaplanes that fly in      the trendy programs and then brainstorm with
patrons.                                             and out of its front yard all day. Seven years    your staff to determine how they might work
                                                     ago, they tried the game “Name That Tune”         in your pub.
                                                     and it proved so popular that it now occupies
A Few Ideas to Entertain                                                                               So, You Think You Can Dance? - Contract
                                                     the Saturday evening time slot. “It’s the most    with a local dance school to come in and offer
With a reputation as being leading edge when it      fun you’ll have in a bar,” says manager           lessons, do demos or judge. Pair up patrons
comes to promotional ideas, the Hop and Vine         Paddy Gallagher, Teams compete for prizes         with local celebrities.
has a few success stories up their beer sleeve.      by identifying the artists and their songs in a
They recently married 50-inch TV screens with        variety of ways. The Flying Beaver livens up      America’s Got Talent - Substitute the name of
Wii games. Four people can golf, box or play         its weekends by bringing in DJs for Friday and    your pub for the word “America” and invite folks
tennis at one time and it’s free. Taylor says this   Sunday nights. While the pay-per-view Canucks     to compete for the Talented Tippler Award.
has gone over really well. Another investment        games coupled with great food specials are        Partner up with local businesses and offer some

     great prize incentives. Maybe challenge other          what you already do and twisting it around a                      need some entertainment. Besides you never
     pubs in the community to hold their own talent         bit? Karaoke can now become “Don’t Forget                         know, you could be promoting the next Bryan
     competition and then have your winner go up            The Lyrics.” Saturday afternoon jams can                          Adams or Diana Krall.
     against their winner. By having the patrons be         be turned into “So, You Wanna be a Rock                           Olympics, pub-style - With the Olympics just
     a part of the judging process, your competitors        Star”. Invite musicians, the young and the                        around the corner, why not offer up your own
     will fill the bar. To ensure participation, it might   established to share the stage and learn from                     version? With such exciting events as “Sumo
     be a good idea to have your talent sign up and         each other. This has worked well in Nanaimo                       Wrestling”, “Dress Your Partner With Boxing
     pay a small fee. Offer these proceeds to charity       as the musicians spent the afternoon learning                     Gloves On” or “Tricycle Races”, your guests
     and earn some free advertising.                        from another and then put on a performance                        become the entertainment.
     Game shows - These have made a comeback
                                                            in the evening. Some new bands were formed,
                                                            giving the area more entertaining options. And                    Golf, anyone? - How about a progressive golf
     and some of them might work in a pub                                                                                     tourney? You set up the first seven holes at
     atmosphere. The Dating Game, Family Feud,              speaking of live entertainment, opening up
                                                            your stage as a performance venue for music                       neighbouring pubs, and yours has the 8th and
     and Wheel of Fortune have formats that are                                                                               9th. This way, after a tough day on the course,
     entertaining and feasible.                             students is an affordable option that supports
                                                            your community image. Sure, students are                          you get to be the final shot.
     Karaoke and jam sessions - How about taking            poor, but they need a place to play and you                       Now, that’s entertainment!

     Forms of Gambling Allowed in BC Pubs and Bars
     by Derek Sturko

     According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Sean’s Pub in Athlone,         GPEB can issue licences for sports pools to
     Ireland is the oldest pub in Europe. It claims to be the oldest in the world    eligible charitable or religious organizations
     and is currently waiting for a Guinness ruling to decide that raging debate.    that want to raise funds for charitable
     Nevertheless, it has been verified that Sean’s has been around for more         purposes at approved fairs and exhibitions
     than 1,100 years. That’s quite a chunk of history!                              (sites include pubs and bars).
     Similarly, the oldest forms of gambling are also the subject of heated          But the province can only conduct and manage, or authorize, a sports
     discussion amongst gaming trivia intellectuals. It is commonly acknowledged     pool based upon the outcome of a series of sporting events such as a
     that bone tossing - the predecessor of dice - was used by ancient Chinese       series of games in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sports pool betting based on
     and Egyptians for thousands of years as a way to gamble and predict future      a single sporting or athletic event is prohibited and the province and its
     events. Canadian First Nations also had a gambling bone game (Slahal)           agent cannot conduct and manage, or authorize, a sports pool involving
     that elders say has been around for thousands of years.                         a single game sporting event.
     Of course, over history, our creative human nature soon put these two           Finally, the first new licensed gaming option in 10 years - Poker! Over the
     ancient forms of entertainment together. Forms of gambling (i.e. cards,         years, the branch has had an increasing number of groups asking for a chance
     dice games, and sports wagering) were often conducted in taverns and            to conduct poker. Manitoba and Saskatchewan currently license charities to
     public houses. As a matter of fact, they were an accepted, and often            conduct poker. Ontario and Alberta are considering the option.
     desirable, place to engage in games of chance.                                  Last year, to test the waters, GPEB conducted a successful poker pilot
     So what is the issue now with pubs, bars and gambling? Gambling in BC           project. The result is that, as of November 2007, charities may apply for
     is regulated by both Canada’s Criminal Code and BC’s Gaming Control             a Class B licence to conduct limited poker events in BC. All net proceeds
     Act (along with its regulations, rules, directives, terms and conditions, and   must be used to benefit local communities within BC and poker events may
     policies). The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) in the Ministry      be conducted in pubs, bars and other venues. Other conditions also ensure
     of Public Safety and Solicitor General regulates all gaming in BC.              that all events are conducted in a way that protects the public interest.
     In general, gambling is specifically prohibited in Canada and this includes     After all, in the words of the Solicitor General, the Honourable John Les,
     pubs and bars. The exceptions to this prohibition are gambling conducted        “BC has no intention of becoming another Las Vegas.”
     and managed by the province, gambling or horse racing activities                Inquires regarding the conduct and management of events should be
     conducted and managed under a licence issued by the province (through           directed to the Branch Licensing and Grants Division at 250 387-5311 or
     GPEB), limited forms of gaming to benefit charitable organizations, and For application forms, guidelines, standard
     private bets between individuals who are not in the business of betting.        procedures for licensed poker events and other gaming information, visit
     Certain types of gaming events can be conducted in pubs and bars, in            the branch website at
     partnership with charity, when authorized by GPEB. Examples are off-track       Role of the Liquor Control & Licensing Branch Within the broad guide-
     betting, charity ticket raffles, bingo events, sports pools, and poker. Also    lines set by the Province, the Liquor Control & Licensing Branch (LCLB)
     allowed is the sale of authorized BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) products        determines what specific forms of gaming are permitted in BC’s pubs and
     such as Pacific Hold’em and Keno.                                               bars. Conditions set by LCLB on gaming in liquor establishments may
     What about sport pool betting? The Criminal Code prohibits sports               be found in the “Liquor Primary Licence Terms and Conditions: A Guide
     pools unless they are conducted and managed by the province or its              for Liquor Licensees in British Columbia” at
     agent (BCLC Sports Action Pools for football, hockey and basketball)            publications/index_pubs.htm.
     or an eligible charitable or non-profit organization licensed by GPEB.
                                                                                     Derek Sturko is Assistant Deputy Minister at the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch in the Ministry of Public Safety
     Profitable organizations including pubs and bars cannot secure a licence
                                                                                     and Solicitor General.
     to conduct gaming activities.

      P u b l i c a n /S P R i n G   2008

To top