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5 Key Ingredients of a Great Pub Quiz

Pub games have provided fun and interactivity in British pubs for hundreds of years, with the traditional pub quiz growing to become some venues’ main attraction.

Pub landlords can capitalise on this popularity by holding their own quiz nights to draw in new customers, increase sales and engage with their regulars. But in order to run these successfully, landlords should be sure to include a few key things:

1. A Great Quizmaster
If you’re not excited about your pub quiz, your customers won’t be either. No-one wants to be led by an unenthusiastic host who isn’t engaging players, so it’s important to be openly welcoming and helpful to your customers at all times. Top UK pub retailer and brewer Greene King asked over 1000 regular pub quiz goers what the most annoying thing about a pub quiz is, to which 26% answered, “Quizmasters that don’t speak clearly or mispronounce things”. This suggests the importance of a confident and clearly-spoken quizmaster. Show your customers that you’re glad to be there, and make it a night that they’ll tell their friends about - for the right reasons!

2. A Good Set of Questions
A standard pub quiz takes place over approximately 2 hours, and will usually consist of 8-10 rounds of 10 questions. It’s important to make sure that these questions are high-quality and take into consideration your audience. You should consider the age, occupations and interests of your audience, and if your pub tends to bring in a wide range of ages and backgrounds, ensure that you have a good variety of topics included.

Similarly, there should be a range in the difficulty of questions. While most players enjoy a challenge and the competitive element of a pub quiz, if customers are left feeling baffled by too many difficult questions, it could lead to boredom and a sense of alienation. There should be just the right amount of relatively easy and difficult questions included to ensure that every team is able to gain a decent enough score, without making the top-scoring teams feel unchallenged.

3. A Visible Scoreboard
Being able to keep an eye on your team’s and competitors’ progress is all part of the fun of a good pub quiz. Scores should be counted after each round and displayed on a public scoreboard, allowing players to see how they’re doing and who their biggest competition is. If you plan to run regular quiz nights, you can use this as a leaderboard to accumulate scores and make announcements such as highest scores per round and new team introductions. This can increase the level of customer engagement, keep players interested, and even heighten the sense of adrenaline throughout a quiz, leading to an overall more enjoyable experience.

4. A Half-time Break
It’s a good idea to include at least one short break during a quiz, to allow players to refuel and reboot. Without this, customers might start to lose interest or could miss out if they feel the need to nip off mid-round. A half-time break will be the time that teammates get in their next round of drinks or may order in some bar snacks to keep them going, so think ahead and ensure that you have a couple of extra staff members behind the bar to assist for this busier period.

5. A Decent Prize
Players need something to compete for (besides that all-important glory) and ending your pub quiz with a short prize-giving to the winning team is a way to ensure that you end on a high. While it should be kept modest and in line with the amicable tone of a pub quiz, you should have a prize lined up to make it worth playing for. In this instance, a bottle of your cheapest wine won’t do. Your customers should feel valued and rewarded for taking part - especially if you charge an entry fee. A dinner voucher for each winning team member, for example, would be much more appropriate. These customers are then encouraged to experience more of your venue, providing you opportunities to get to know them better, build a positive relationship and make additional sales from their visit.

Organising and running a regular pub quiz can be taxing and time-consuming. If you’re looking for a way to implement this into your business but perhaps feel that you are too busy or don’t have the knowledge at this time, Startle Quiz could be the solution.

Registered venues have access to our online quizzes that can be run in their location at any time, with the ability for teams to simultaneously compete nationwide. All of our questions have been professionally-created by the best in the business and, covering a range of topics, are suitable for adults of all shapes and sizes!

Learn more about Startle Quiz and how it works over on the product page.