For Jon Taffer, host of the popular Spike TV show ‘Bar Rescue’ and author of ‘Raise the Bar’, a Super Bowl party is meant for something much more than just chips and beer whether you’re at a friend’s house or a bar.
“A Super Bowl party should be something that’s equivalent to going to a great suite at the game,” he told For The Win. “It should have the energy of being at the stadium.”
Easier said than done? Not really. A few tips from Taffer for those looking to be the perfect party host or perfect bar party finder:
For the party host:
While Taffer suggests that hosts “create a bar atmosphere” at their homes, his idea may make it more fun than the local bar. His go-to party drink centerpiece is something he refers to as a smorgesboard. “I create a nice table with six to eight kinds of juices and eight to ten vodkas, whiskey, even a can of whip cream and during the course of the game people will really have fun mixing their own drinks.
“It’s fun when a guy comes to your house to watch the Super Bowl and this guy is a guy who only drinks beer and all of a sudden he’s mixing cocktails, he’s making one for his wife, it’s just a really good experience.”
For the bar manager:
Up your food game. “One of the best ways to achieve a really powerful super bowl is through a buffet, your staff can focus on selling drinks and beverages that are profitable and you can put out really great food and let people go crazy with the buffet.” On the East Coast, he recommends shellfish item and for the West Coast, Mexican food. “Do something special, not wing dings and meatballs,” he said.
Get into the game. “Buy an airhorn compression horn,” he suggests. “Use it when there’s touchdowns, fumbles, to raise the crowd’s energy,” he said. And get your staff into the game as well. “When a touchdown is scored make the staff automatically scream and yell rant and rave. Even if they don’t know what a third down is, act like they do. You have to raise the energy, you have to make it fun.”
Keep the party going. “People are going to leave (at the end of the game). Can you do something at the end of the game to get them to stay an extra hour?” One suggestion: A memorabilia auction. “I can buy an autographed football for a few hundred dollars and I get them to stay an hour longer to win that football,” he said.
Divide the house. “I would suggest that you put half of the staff in one jersey and half in another jersey. Make some of the tables red if that’s the team color and some of the tables green if that’s the team color.”
Make sure people can hear the commercials: Sure during regular football games, no one is watching. But for many that’s an event in itself. “Make sure they’re loud enough so people can enjoy and hear them,” he said. “And at the end you can do a contest what was your favorite commercial.”
And don’t run out of beer: “In a sports bar environment, 52% of people who order beer will order premium light beer (Coors, Bud light, etc). Don’t forget to involve those products — make sure you have a lot of premium draft light beer around. Make sure you have a good promotion in place if you can.” And most importantly? “Make sure you have it. “They’re not wine connoisseurs. They’re sports fans.”
Written by: NINA MANDELL for USA Today Sports