April 11

Your Essential Mini Guide to How to Open a Bar

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As a social person and entrepreneur at heart, the idea of opening a bar may have always appealed to you, whether it’s the laid-back atmosphere of a sports bar or just the social aspect and liveliness of hanging out with different people, which is part of this industry.

Opening a bar can be pretty exciting, but you’ll also have to answer numerous questions and deal with many problems along the way. Whether you have expertise in the field or not, the complexity of this business can sometimes be tricky, after all, especially when it comes to starting the bar and serving the first customers.

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That’s because there are so many things that a person needs to take into consideration before opening a bar, such as local laws and regulations, applying for licenses, hiring process, creating an appropriate business plan, and marketing your future establishment.

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All in all, you need to be prepared if you want to make the dream of owning your bar become a reality, and the purpose of this guide is to give you precisely what you need as a startup: a detailed insight into the process of making your dream come true and opening the bar you’ve always wanted.

Make a Business Plan

A business plan is a document that outlines your goals and strategies for achieving your goals, or in this case, opening your bar. So, having a specialized bar business plan is essential to kickstart your operation. After all, you need to know and write down your target market, the estimated expenses, and the sales that you expect, among other things, to help you determine whether or not the business will be profitable.

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Here are some steps to help you build your bar business plan:

  • Write down what kind of food or drinks you want to serve and at what cost per unit.
  • Write down the number of employees needed for each position, such as bartenders, waiters, managers, hostesses, and more, and make sure to include the duties of each employee and pay scale.
  • Determine how much money will be needed upfront for supplies, equipment, and licenses required for running a bar or restaurant. Include any fees that can’t be avoided, such as application fees.
  • Choose a catchy name for your bar, which will appear on all your advertising, on all of your menus, on the sign outside your business, and it will be used by people when they talk about your bar.
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Get Licensed and Decide on the Right Location

Once you have your bar business plan completed, the next thing you need to do is find out what licenses and permits you need and how much they cost. Usually, your state, county, city, and other governing bodies will have this information somewhere on their websites, so it’s worth checking out multiple sources just to make sure that the information is the same.

For instance, a full liquor license alone can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per year in some areas, so you might want to think about all of your expenses before applying for a liquor license because you will also have other fees such as yearly or bi-yearly renewal fees as well as application fees for each permit that you are required by law to have to operate your bar.

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Additionally, don’t forget to research any potential property owners that you might be leasing from or purchasing from. For example, you will want to know if they own any warehouses or tenants near you because they might disagree with unwanted noise from the bar if your bar is too close to them.

Hire Knowledgeable Staff Members

A knowledgeable staff member will help you not only make money at your establishment but also gain a loyal clientele that wants to come back again and again because of how much they enjoy themselves when they’re there.

One of the most important things that knowledgeable staff members can do for you is upselling drinks, which means that if someone comes into your bar and orders a standard drink, they will try to improve sales by recommending trending or featured drinks, or other beverages and food items and increase profits.

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For that reason, staff members should have fantastic communication skills, friendly personalities, a sense of humor, knowledge about all your services and products and most importantly, they should have confidence.

Final Thoughts

That being said, there is still a lot to consider before taking the plunge, so do your research thoroughly and carefully when it comes to running a bar. However, in the end, what separates a highly-acclaimed bar from the one that’s just good is hard work and passion, so if you take something you love and make it your career, chances are it will lead to a successful venture.

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