While beer, wine, and spirits will never go out of style, some creative bar drink menu ideas can boost your bottom line and spark conversations amongst your fans. Expanding your venue’s offerings can be a great way to reinvigorate your revenue streams and increase foot traffic now that live events are returning. New and unusual food and drink products are a consistent trend, so the more creative your offerings are, the more likely your guests will talk them up on social media. That alone can be a major factor in getting people through the door.

What makes a successful music venue? If you’re looking for small music venue ideas, check out these suggestions to expand your bar’s offerings while continuing to promote your venue and events online.

Food trucks: Win-win partnerships for popular shows

Food truck partnerships are a great option for venues looking to try a more collaborative concept. You might not have considered serving food before, perhaps because your venue doesn’t have a kitchen, or because you don’t want to deal with the hassle and initial outlays of food service. But with food trucks abound, even in small urban areas, punters will love the chance to grab a quick bite before, during, or after the show.

Partnering with a local food truck brand is an easy win, especially for sold-out shows where a decent crowd is guaranteed to make it worth their time. As a bonus, many popular food trucks have large, dedicated followings on Facebook and Instagram. These trucks usually announce pop-up locations on their social media channels, so partnering with them is one way to expand your venue’s reach.

Mixologists: Expert drink makers to offer a personalised experience

A great bartender is skilled in serving drinks and making sure guests have a good time. A mixologist, on the other hand, is a specialist with a passion for the history and ingredients behind the drink itself. They can offer innovative bar ideas and design extraordinary signature cocktails. Mixologists can also serve as entertainers by performing bar theatrics and creating a bespoke experience for your attendees. They can help you with cocktail drink menu ideas and fun drink specials for the bar, and many will bring their own social media following with them, further building your community.

Shrubs: Handmade, non-alcoholic fruit syrups for craft cocktails and soft drinks

Shrubs are hand-crafted vinegar syrups, infused with fruits or herbs. They’re a unique bar idea, as they introduce upmarket, non-alcoholic options to your bar offerings. Shrubs are a little different from your usual cocktail mixers because they’re made from a vinegar base; they’re also non-alcoholic and make an excellent base for hand-crafted sweet and sour soft drinks. Shrubs are commercially available, but crafty and creative bar staff are inclined to infuse their own. That also means they’re great revenue drivers – handmade products sell for premium prices.

Natural wine: Funky, hip, organic wine that appeals to younger demographics

A more modern idea for small music venues is serving natural wine. Natural wine is produced from organically grown grapes, with no intervention or added chemicals used during the fermentation process. We know that many Aussies love a good glass of wine, and the natural wine trend has been no exception. Music lovers and show-goers will surely be keen to sample your new wines, even if they aren’t yet familiar with the trend.

The natural wine market is small, but growing rapidly – rest assured that if you’re the first in your neighbourhood to offer drink specials like this one in the bar, your venue will be a talking point.

Kombucha: The non-alcoholic, tangy beverage for all ages

Kombucha – fermented black or green tea, often flavoured with fruit – can be served flat or bubbly. It’s spearheaded by health-conscious individuals as a drink to support healthy gut bacteria but continues to grab the attention of the general population too. Kombucha can be served on tap or in bottles, and unlike beer, it’s legal to serve to customers of all ages, at any hour (as long as its alcohol content never rises above 0.5%). Nightclubs take note: serve kombucha to thirsty clubbers even after alcohol sales are closed.

Yerba mate: Natural, caffeinated cocktail mixer and alternative to energy drinks

Yerba mate is a beverage made from the dried leaves and twigs of a certain species of holly plant and it’s traditionally brewed into an earthy-tasting tea.

Lately, it’s gaining ground as a natural, highly caffeinated alternative to an energy drink. It’s available as a tea or powder and several soft-drink brands also brew it as a sparkling beverage. It’s attracting social media attention as an ingredient in cocktails and mixed soft drinks, too. Mate-based soft drinks are a popular drink with punters to get that extra bit of energy for dancing without the high sugar content of other energy drinks.

Bottled cocktails: A premium drink experience minus the effort

Have you thought about turning your signature drinks into bottled offerings for attendees to take home? This is classic upselling and premixed cocktails, bottled or canned, can add serious swagger to your unique and growing liquor menu ideas. If you’re livestreaming your music event, why not include a ticket option with a couple of your signature bottled cocktails to help bring your bar’s feeling to viewers at home?

Want more innovative small music venue ideas?

Up your game with modern, creative cocktails, standout non-alcoholic options, and a food truck to satisfy every hungry attendee and make your events memorable for all. Take these small music venue ideas, make them your own, and create something special that will ensure your events are the talk of the town and social media.

Find out more about how we can help creatively promote your small music venue, while saving time and effort for you and your business.