Ultimately, the more prepared sports bars are going into the Super Bowl weekend, the more streamlined operations will be.

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, sports bars are about to experience the annual frenzy that comes along with it—one that we at Midland know all too well. Being based in Kansas City, Missouri, home of the Chiefs, looking to win back-to-back, we’ve experienced the hype NFL playoffs bring to communities, and to the sports bars within. To ensure viewing parties are a positive experience for everyone—from patrons to BOH and FOH staff—it’s important that sports bars get ready to tackle the big day, so they don’t end up being the anti-hero of the Super Bowl weekend.

Ensure reliable communication systems are in place to streamline operations:

There’s no question sports bars are naturally fast-paced environments, and major events like the Super Bowl only exacerbate the challenges that staff face on the day-to-day. To prepare for bigger moments like this, sports bars should ensure that reliable communication systems are in place to achieve operational efficiency and to keep the customer experience great.

There are plenty of low-tech solutions that sports bars can implement to stay streamlined, including two-way radios. Easy to use and deploy with no special training needed, sports bars can outfit their entire staff with business radios to create a strong, reliable network of communication that keeps BOH and FOH connected to deliver a consistent customer experience. With sports bars often being crowded, service can easily get overwhelmed, causing cellphones or WiFi based communication tools to be unreliable. Not to mention, bad weather or remote locations can also be a variable for poor service, making two-way radios a great option to ensure communication doesn’t get interrupted on game day and customers stay happy watching the big game.

Prepare staff for emergencies and take appropriate safety precautions:

Anything can happen anywhere, any time—especially in hectic environments—making it crucial for sports bars to prepare for the worst. It could be a fight that breaks out between overly passionate fans, or a patron having an allergic or negative reaction to food or alcohol. No matter the case, it’s imperative that staff be well equipped to handle the situation.

One of the first steps sports bars can take to empower their staff to react appropriately, confidently, and effectively in an emergency is to provide training on a proactive and regular basis. Sports bars should also double check that their building is stocked up with first aid and emergency kits, accessible throughout each room, to prioritize safety ahead of the Super Bowl. To further amplify emergency preparedness without requiring any additional training, two-way radios are a great way to ensure important memos get heard while minimizing response times with push to talk technology.

Communicating effectively during an emergency is key. In addition to having the right communication tools, sports bars should organize a point person, establish safe spaces and evacuation routes, and identify team leaders so staff are ready to help de-escalate situations and minimize risk.  

Mentally prepare and ultimately—have fun:

Throughout the day, staff shouldn’t be asking themselves, “Is it over now?” It’s important to remember that Super Bowl fans are going to their beloved sports bars to have a good time, and staff should feel free to enjoy themselves as well. Sports bars should have a team huddle ahead of the big day to make sure all staff feel mentally prepared and excited to get to work.

Ultimately, the more prepared sports bars are going into the Super Bowl weekend, the more streamlined operations will be—creating a more positive experience for everyone, evermore.

Kevin Lane is the chief marketing officer of Midland.

Expert Takes, Feature, Marketing & Promotions