sports bar with friends

What Makes a Great Pool Room or Sports Bar

The Service

Naturally, customer service should be an important aspect of your business. Your ability to connect with new and existing customers should go beyond their point of purchase. It is always a good idea for starters to make everyone feel welcome when they enter your place of business. A consistent positive impression can go a long way to making repeat business with both new and existing customers.

Trying to engage in a conversation with everyone at the bar might not be such a good idea because there is always someone who’s going to feel left out. Instead, try to encourage conversations among existing customers. That way, they can entertain themselves.

Most of the time, when a tip is given, it’s usually for the quality of service received. The server who watches my glass to make sure it never goes dry and remembers exactly what my order was without me having to explain it again is a plus in my book. To top that off if he or she notices that I do not like a particular drink or food and immediately enquires about it, well from my point of view that server along with his company deserves a gold star.

A Clean Rest

Believe it or not, one of the most important rooms in a bar or pool room is the restroom. Clean and regularly maintained toilets can make or break the credibility of a business, especially if they serve food.

The Food

Good food and drinks go hand in hand when you’re out on the spot having a few with friends. Serving food is probably one of the most important and appealing aspects of a good bar or club. It’s no secret that some people who drink also like to eat. When the craving comes on, however, they shouldn’t necessarily have to leave their established niche at the bar just to go find food somewhere else. With that being said, serving accessible foods within your sports bar or pool room is key to the growth of your business.

Unless your club is set up to accommodate café style dining, try sticking to the traditional path of finger foods. As a rule of thumb, bars should serve bar food and not three-course meals. Some all-time favorites to consider are wings, pizza, quesadillas, burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, etc. A bar that has a good food menu will always keep customers coming back consistently.

The Booze

There are hundreds of pool-playing drinking fanatics in New York City so if you plan on serving alcohol in your establishment, make sure you offer a wide variety. In most cases, beers should be served in proper glassware as opposed to just the bottle. Wines should be served by the glass, and it’s always a good idea to suggest complementary foods to go with it. Having a menu that displays choices offered can also be a plus, and to put your club over the top, having a staff that’s knowledgeable of the options being offered will make your business stand out.

No full bar is complete without a few good spirits. Like beer and wine, a wide variety is essential. You don’t need to stock up on only the best brands. It is suggested that great sports bars usually carry a broad list of good selections to casually accommodate most or all of their customers.


A sports bar or pool room can generate income in many ways, but one that’s usually overlooked is via pool tables. Simply renting a table is not enough to make a significant difference, however, when you couple table time with other specials and discounts you can increase profits dramatically. Consider combining food and drinks with table time. Groups are always looking to save when they come into your establishment, so if they can get a 2 or 3 for one deal that’s a no-brainer, chances are they’ll go for it more than 50% of the time.

Just like everything else, customers want to have a variety of choices, and the more you offer, the more appealing your club will become. Some recommendations include specials for weekdays, specials for weekends, specials for groups, specials that are combined with food and drinks, etc. Currently, in New York City, the average pool table rental rates are $8 to $12 per hour for snooker and $6 to $10 per hour for regular pool. If managed correctly, a mere ten pool tables can produce as much as $200,000 per year in business revenues.


It’s every owner’s dream to have their club packed every day of the week. Though that may seem somewhat farfetched, in reality, some things can be done to make such a vision possible. Everything we’ve mentioned above in regards to managing a club and the financial benefits that go along with it has a huge pre-requisite known as marketing. Having the best location, product, or service means nothing unless you can get consistent customers. Unfortunately, the only way to accomplish that is through hard work from strategic marketing. For those of you who already own a bar or club and think there are shortcuts to making it successful, you’re in the wrong line of business. The bottom line is, if you want to generate profits from your business consistently, you’ll need to start off by hiring a good marketing consultant or by teaming up with an organization that offers those services.

Related Articles