Bar Tournaments to Drive Bar Traffic

Bar Tournaments to Drive Bar Traffic

Bar Tournaments to Drive Bar Traffic 617 360 GAD Vending

COVID is brutal on getting consistent foot traffic. Taking aside the new protocols, here’s ideas (some new – some reinforcing) to better repeat traffic in your bar, restaurant or barcade.


Trivia made easy with AMI digital music systems. The digital game master has lots of great games to choose from. Run on every screen in the house for easy social distancing.

AMI also helps you by running contests on to users. This encourages app usage for both gaming and music playing. You, as the owner, has lots of options what to charge for and what’s free.


Want to turn your slowest night into your busiest? Looking to attracting a competitive audience? Near a gym and want to capture the post-workout crowd? How about a tournament?

Darts are a good one to start with. The G3-Fire can be connected to the internet to create a league with even a few people to start. The G3-Fire is a brilliant red to brighten even the darkest corner.

Billiards – what more can we say? Pool is a favorite with lots of variations to tournament, team or individual play.

Golden Tee also has internet leagues, contests and other built in games. Or work to create your own league. The new Golden Tee PGA is just shipping now, so this is a brand new game for the Golden Tee fan.

Pinball games are getting in the action by adding new internet capabilities. You can run a tournament. Join Stern Army. But always, and we mean always, keep the high scores on the game!

Tournaments should have some type of prize. Check with your local jurisdiction as to what you can and can not award!

Tournament Play Control

If you aren’t using some of the preset internet leagues, try an app like Match Play to control your tournament. Players can enter their score, with you controlling the official approval. You choose the games from head-to-head, round robin, elimination, best score, ladder brackets…. This allows you to run tournaments over time. Change the type of tournament to entertain your audience. And – extend the contest so everyone who wants can participate.

If you want a simple, manual bracket game – try printing a large format bracket. Or use chalkboard paint on a wall and draw or paint a bracket.


Think ahead to make the game approachable. Everyone likes to participate and win!

  • Grand “Prize”
  • Best Fan Club
  • Make it a team sport
  • Announce winners across your TV screens with AMI Ad Manager
  • Consolation prizes are always a hit – worse ball, best flipper, etc.
  • Prizes can be money, trophies, medals, gift cards, bar swag (free advertising!), or other prizes

Don’t Drag It Out – But Maybe You Can

Pay attention to how long your tournament will last. You don’t want people to get too bored and leave. Or a tournament you can’t finish within last call.

Think about your tournament running over multiple evenings or on a particular week day. Invite players back for a “best of” tournament – along with drink/food specials.

Run a triathlon of games. Every Tuesday is a different game that accumulates points. Darts, Pinball, Golden Tee, etc. Players have 4 weeks to complete each station to their best score.

Start Your Own Pinball Tournament

Interested? Looking for more resources?

  1. Professional and Amateur Pinball Association ( guidelines.
  2. Stern Army
  3. International Flipper Pinball Association
  4. Bullshooter Dart League Downloadable Ads

Call GAD Vending office closest to you or our Omaha office at (402) 553-2812. Our staff has extensive knowledge in tournament resources

*The suggestions in this article are general. Make sure you check your local NE, SD, KS, MO or IO laws about gaming, awards and tournament rules before you choose the tournament type and rules that work for you. GAD Knows and Sells Games, Pinball, Pool and Arcade.