10 Hookah Lounge Hacks and Ideas for Hookah Bar Owners
This is a list of 10 quick fixes, clever solutions and fresh ideas for running your hookah bar more smoothly and more profitably. The tips and tricks are in no particular order, so let's dive in!
1. Paper Towel Grommets
This is kinda ghetto, but if you have run a lounge long enough, you have been there. You know you have grommets somewhere, but you can't find any. The rubber grommets on your hoses are worn out and you need to set up a hookah right now. Grab some paper towel. Tear a small strip. Now wrap the hose and use a paper towel hose grommet...It works every time!
2. Fitting Loose Stems to Glass Bases
The grommet game can be one of the worst parts of the whole hookah business. Sometimes the rubber grommets are too big or too small, and it seems like it's impossible to get the perfect balance of tightness while still being easy to clean and open. We recommend using athletic tape or electrical tape to wrap the bottom of the stem, then cover the tape with the base grommet, so no one will ever know. With just a few layers, you can get that loose grommet to grip perfectly.
3. Shisha Scraps Mix
When you load a bowl, it's almost always assumed that there will be some level of spillage. Don't let that shisha go to waste. Many hookah lounges will have a "house mix" that is all the left over scraps on the shisha table combined into 1 container. The flavor is always unique and morphs over time. Every lounge that does this turns their trash to cash...and since you were gonna toss it anyway, it's 100% profit.
4. Custom Mixes to Sell Slow Flavors
Let' say you have a kilo of Al Zambo banana on the shelf, but no one is ordering banana on the menu. Don't let that kilo hold down your capital! Put it to work by adding a dash of cinnamon and vanilla...BAM!! That boring banana is now a bangin' banana muffin. Put your new mix as a featured flavor or special offer and watch that idle inventory transform into cash.
5. Cleaning hoses with Lemon Juice
Most of the time you can get away with cleaning your hoses by running warm water through them. Maybe if you're feeling frisky, you use a mild soap solution. One trick to really help eliminate lingering shisha flavors is to use lemon juice. Pour some lemon juice in the hose. Cap each end with your thumb. Raise the hose back and forth to run the juice through the hose. After a few reps, rinse the hose and enjoy the freshness. No more flavor ghosting!
6. Cloud and Buzz Boosting Shisha Enhancers
This is a Two-fer; Shisha tobacco enhancers! For a heavier buzz, you can add some Nirvana Shisha Booster. It is a Dokha tobacco with a high nicotine content, specifically designed to give some extra punch to your hookah session. The other additive is Hydro Herbal Shisha. This tobacco free shisha produces insanely thick clouds, so you can add a few extra grams of Hydro to any bowl and you just gotta see this cloud output!
7. Segregating Hoses for Strong Flavors
Double Apple, Rose, and Paan are just a few flavors that seem to linger more than most and can be a real problem when it comes to flavor ghosting. Segregating hoses for hookah sessions like these can be a nice way to keep those overpowering flavors from taking over all of your hoses. Some of these flavors can be so intense, you should dedicate a whole hookah...looking at you, PAAAAAANNN!!
8. Investing in HMD's Saves Money
Heat Management Devices (HMD's) such as the Kaloud Lotus can be a game changer when it comes to your operating costs. They are an upfront investment for your hookah fleet, but these devices will pay some serious dividends. Since the HMD will distribute the heat more evenly, you can maintain many more hookahs with a smaller staff. Plus your coals will last longer, so you save money on charcoals, but even more savings when you can reduce your payroll!
9. Scale for Measuring Shisha
Do you ever wonder how your running out of shisha before you get the full 40-50 servings per kilo. Some of our lounges use a small scale to measure out the tobacco. If you have uniform set ups, you can find the perfect amount to serve and create a system that anyone can duplicate. By doing this, you can also quantify the value of the tobacco on your shelf and project the amount of revenue you should make with every shisha tobacco purchase.
10. Tools for the Job
There are few simple tools and gadgets that can really make it easier to run your lounge, especially when it gets busy and the bowls are starting to back up. The shisha fork is a great tool for preparing hookah bowls and keeps your hands and counter tops cleaner. You are going to save so many paper towels that Mother Earth will thank you. The foil puncher is another inexpensive tool that makes preparing a hookah bowl faster and more uniform. We love the control you get with the Fumari Poker, while other operators prefer the uniformity of the Pharaohs foil puncher. Let's not overlook the Hookah Starter Pro. This is perfect for starting hookahs. It has an intake fan that will suck the air through the hose to speed up the process. Don't serve cold hookahs to your customers, and don't pass out from starting 50 hookahs with your own lung power every night. Get the HSP and let the machines do all the work.