Visual merchandising is a key strategy for attracting customers and increasing sales in any type of business, and bars are no exception. With increased competition in the restaurant and beverage industry, it is essential for bars to adopt innovative strategies to attract and engage customers. In this article, we will explore visual merchandising techniques that bars can use to create an engaging experience for customers and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Here is how Portioli Academy can help you develop visual merchandising techniques for your bar and create an engaging experience for customers.

Creating a distinct visual identity

A key aspect of visual merchandising for bars is to create a distinctive visual identity that fits the theme or concept of the venue. This can be accomplished using consistent graphics, colours, lighting, and decorations. For example, if the bar has a retro feel, use vintage design elements in addition, colours evocative of the past to create a unique experience for customers.

Eye-catching windows

Bar window displays play a crucial role in visual merchandising. Ensure that window displays are always curated and eye-catching to capture the attention. Strategically place products such as fine liquor bottles, well-decorated cocktails, and elegant glasses to arouse interest in potential customers and invite them inside.

Strategic Lighting

Lighting is also critical in creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere within the bar. Use soft, warm lighting to create an intimate ambiance in seated areas, while use brighter, more colourful lights in areas of the bar where cocktails are prepared to draw attention to the preparation of drinks.

Focal Points

Creating focal points in the bar can help guide customers’ attention to specific products or promotions. For example, placing a pyramid-shaped tower of glasses or a display of bottles with artistic labels at a central point in the bar to attract customers’ attention and encourage them to try new drinks. In addition, incorporating interactive elements into visual merchandising can increase customer engagement. For example, create a dedicated cocktail-making area where customers can participate in mixology workshops or try making their own drinks under the guidance of an experienced bartender.

Strategic product placement is essential to guide customers’ purchasing decisions. Place popular products or those being promoted at eye level so that they are easy to spot, perhaps using shelving or tiered displays to organize bottles in an orderly and visible manner.

Create Thematic Events

Organizing periodically thematic events can be an excellent visual merchandising strategy to attract new customers and maintain the interest of the regular ones. For example, an event with a “Happy Hour Gatsby” theme might feature vintage cocktails and 1920s-style clothing to create a unique and engaging atmosphere.


Visual marketing, such as the use of photos and videos on social media and the bar’s website, can help promote the experience offered and attract new customers. Sharing images of colourful and well-decorated cocktails or of organized theme nights can spark interest in potential customers and invite them to visit the bar.

Visual merchandising is a powerful tool for attracting and engaging customers within a bar.  By integrating innovative strategies into the bar’s overall marketing, it will be possible to gain a competitive advantage in the food and beverage industry and create a memorable experience for customers.

By integrating these visual merchandising techniques into your bar’s offerings through the online Portioli Academy (coming soon), you can gain a competitive advantage in the restaurant and beverage industry, creating a memorable experience for customers and growing personally and professionally as a merchant or Coffee Lover.