What You Must Know Before Opening a Bar

What You Must Know Before Opening a Bar

Several movies or TV shows try to show what it’s like to own a bar. They have one thing in common: they never show you how difficult it can be to put up such an establishment. In this article, we discuss the things you should consider before you open a bar.

Original or Franchise?

The first question to answer is whether you want to put up a bar based on your original idea or get a franchise from a known bar or pub. Remember that either choice has its advantages and disadvantages.

If you choose to put up an original bar, the responsibility for everything rests on your shoulders. You’ll have the creative freedom and all the wiggle room to decide on everything, like the color of your napkins or the people you hire. You won’t have to answer to anyone, nor will you have to pay anyone any franchise fees or give up a share of your profits. The drawback to owning an original bar is you’ll have to do all the heavy lifting in marketing and operations.

Franchising has its benefits, like the support of your franchise, access to financing, and an established reputation and customer following. But, the price you pay might be steep. Usually, the franchise fees and profit-sharing may leave you with much less money at the end of each month than you hoped. Weigh the pros and cons, then choose.

Get a Lawyer and an Accountant

Whichever route of ownership you decide to take, get a good lawyer and a good accountant to handle the finer details. Get the best you can find so that you can fully trust them. A good lawyer will advise you on liquor licenses. The best lawyer can get you a good deal with a franchise or even your lease. A good accountant will balance your books, but the best accountant will help you find ways to maximize profits and stay in business.

Both of them can assist you with the ins and outs of financing options. They can advise you on what to offer in your bar. That is because some states require licenses for specific things, such as pool tables, DJs, and sidewalk chalkboards.

Your Concept Matters

business owner in front of her restaurantThe concept of your bar will decide many aspects of your bar. Will it be a neighborhood bar catering to a regular crowd? Will it be a sports bar that draws sports fans from all over? How about a specialty bar that serves only one type of liquor, like rum, vodka, or gin? ;

Will you go the Tiki bar route and serve tropical cocktails that use exotic ingredients like desiccated coconut or mango puree? Think of your concept well. Consider the cost and difficulty of the procurement of your equipment and product ingredients. Knowing your bar idea will influence several factors, like the design of your bar or the food and drink you offer. You’ll consider the suppliers you’ll need, such as craft beer suppliers and mango puree manufacturers.

Location Isn’t as Important

Many bar owners say location is key to your success, but it’s not uncommon for themed bars to always be crowded. Never mind that it’s in a hidden alley or a basement without any signs. Depending on how good you are at marketing your bar, the location may not be as significant a factor for your success. A bar in a specific area won’t always guarantee success. Before you decide on your site, consider your budget. It would be wasteful to put all your money into renting a good location and have little or nothing left to invest for proper equipment and decor.

There are a few businesses as challenging and complex as a liquor bar. Putting up a successful bar requires a lot of planning and thinking things through. Don’t be afraid to ask other bar owners; you’ll be surprised how open they’ll be to share their experience in the business. Opening your bar and earning decent money from it is possible, as long as you plan and finance it well from the start.

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