How to Open a Bar and Not Screw It Up

You want to open a bar, but you know there is some work involved. You can see how competitive the market is, so you want to do your best to ensure your bar doesn’t fail. The following guide will give you the best chances of doing this right.

Opening the Bar


You want to learn how to open a bar successfully, and the reality is that it’s no different from opening any other business. You have to secure a loan, create a winning business plan, and you have to be passionate. The problem is figuring out how your bar will stand out from the rest.

There is no reason to sugarcoat that opening a bar is risky because the competition has built its base of customers. Even more than that, the people that visit bars usually stick to the bars they’re used to. Getting loyal customers to switch to you is pretty difficult.

The following are some things to keep in mind:

Be Different

You must figure out what makes your bar unique. Some do this by offering lower prices than other bars while others do it by offering stand up comedy or a drink that can only be purchased at your location. Find that special something, survey it, and market it because that’ll be your draw.

Specializing It

The next thing you want to do is narrow down your competition. This means you should choose what kind of bar you are going to be. Choose something that aligns with who you are, like if you are into health, then consider a juice bar where you’ll be able to serve healthy drinks and food. If you love cigars, then consider a cigar bar. If you like several things, then maybe a neighborhood pub is what you should aim for.

How to Avoid Screwing Up

The next thing you have to worry about is messing up. Businesses fail for several reasons. The good thing is you are starting this business with an advantage; you know what other businesses have done wrong and can learn from their mistakes. The following are some pitfalls of opening up a bar:

Location Mistake

Choosing the wrong location is one of the most fatal mistakes you can make. This doesn’t mean you won’t find businesses that chose the wrong location and found a way to be successful, but your chances are decreased. What you want to pay attention to is the demographics and the overall culture around your location.

Understanding these two things can help you see if you’ve found a location that is looking for a bar like yours or not. Other things to consider about your location is whether or not it is going to be observing the laws or local zoning regulations. If you haven’t found out if your potential location meets zoning laws or is ADA compliant, then make sure you find all of this out, or you might end up dealing with major setbacks.

Wrong Partners

Another mistake some folks make when opening up a bar is they partner up with the wrong person. Yes, you are starting a bar and you’ve wanted to do this for a long time. You’ve probably made believers out of your friends, family members, and maybe even your spouse.

Bringing one of these individuals into your dream probably sounds like a good idea, but consider everything before you choose someone close to you as a partner. What is going to happen if your business does not make it? Some relationships can be broken because of a business decision or disagreement. If you believe that your relationship will be safe, then go ahead and do it but do so with eyes wide open.

Poor Operations

Some bar owners make the mistake of not paying attention to efficiency when designing their bars. You don’t want to make that mistake because a bar needs to be up and running quite quickly.

Any good bartender will tell you that having an efficient bar design makes their job much better. You want to ensure that everything happens seamlessly even when things get busy.

These are just some things you want to pay attention to so that you don’t fail. Another thing to do is to make sure your employee packages are good because there is a bartender shortage in some areas of the country. If you want to keep good workers, then make sure you offer perks no other business offers. Be sure to stick to your budget, especially at the beginning when you are trying to open up your bar.

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