Setting Up A Bar: How To Streamline The Process

When opening a bar, the potential for success can be astronomical, but it is crucial to ensure that you prepare properly to give yourself the best chance of success. Opening a bar is the dream for many Americans, and you will see the resulting bars in various cities across the country. However, not all of these will be successful. 

You should make a solid business plan and ensure that you have the time, energy and money to invest in the venture. There are many moving parts that will go into making your bar a success, so it is crucial that you think things through and make the wisest possible choices.  

Here are some of the best ways you can streamline the process of opening a bar and find success.  

Decide On A Concept Or Theme 

Every bar needs its own concept or theme. Once you have decided on this, it will make it easier to choose the right décor, drinks and furnishings for your bar. It is a good idea to conduct some market research in the location you are planning to open your bar to ensure there is demand for the type of bar experience you will be providing. For instance, if you plan to open an Irish bar, it is best not to open it in an area that already has several other Irish bars.  

Obtain The Proper Licenses 

As a bar, you will likely be serving alcohol – unless, of course, you want to capitalize on the growing popularity of sober bars. If your bar is the traditional type, you must understand the regulations in your state on how, when and who to serve alcohol.  

The process for obtaining a liquor license will vary from state to state, but you can usually get one by reaching out to your local government body and applying for a license. It is essential to do this step early, as a liquor license can take some time to be approved. Bear in mind also that you will have to pay for your liquor license, and the cost of these can run into the thousands of dollars.  

Find The Best Insurance 

Insurance is a wise choice for any business. You should carefully consider the types of insurance available for bars and other establishments that serve food or drinks. You will need to ensure that some of your costs are covered should the worst happen, for instance, if injuries occur in your bar or supplies become spoiled.  

It is best to choose an insurance policy for your bar that is specifically designed and aimed towards bars and bar owners. While it is important to be cost-effective, you should also choose the insurance that offers the best level of cover possible.  

Choose The Right Premises 

The right premises is crucial for the success of a bar. You will need to be in an area that has a lot of foot and vehicular traffic so that your bar will get plenty of visibility. It is also crucial to select an area that is frequented by your target demographic.  

For instance, if you plan to open a sports bar, it is best to be close to a local sports stadium, as this will ensure you have plenty of foot traffic from people keen to visit sports bars. It is also best to avoid areas already over-saturated with bars and clubs unless you have a particularly unique or unusual concept to attract business.  

Consider The Cost 

Naturally, there will be expenses associated with opening your own bar. You should carefully consider whether you can afford the often significant outgoings. It is not guaranteed that you will be successful, and many new bars will not see a return on their investment for the first months or even years.  

Financing a bar can be a huge investment. You will need to consider if you have the funds available yourself and whether you should look for investors or consider business loans.  

Hire The Right People 

No bar is complete without the right people staffing it. You will need bartenders and servers who are experienced and competent in their jobs. This is particularly important if you plan to open a specialist bar such as a gin or wine bar, as your staff will need to have the expertise to recommend drinks and mixers to your customers.

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