The hospitality industry is one that is continuously buzzing. Restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars are invested in on a daily basis and this is no surprise! With high quality produce, innovation and attention to detail the focus of all operators in the industry, it’s going from strength to strength. It’s no wonder that you’ve found yourself at this article when you are searching for how to find success with your new venture!
As with restaurants, opening a bar is a risky business. You have to be meticulous in your choice of location, because what if there are not enough punters interested in the wine on tap you have to offer? What if you set up a swanky, high-class bar in an area where the lowly pint is the tipple of choice? You have to be careful with your choice of offering: do you want to be a high-class space for business people to flock to at the end of the day? Do you want to instead have somewhere cheap and cheerful that is perfect for a Friday night? There are questions that you need to be able to answer in your business plan, and if you are currently an experienced bartender, then the transition to bar owner should be a path to which you are familiar. The issue? Most people who want to open up their own bar hesitate due to the fickle nature of the industry. Self-employment in the hospitality industry is very much sink or swim and if you are in doubt about your abilities, you should take some time to consider whether you can cope with the idea that your failure or success is entirely on your shoulders.
Before you go buying in the giant ribbon and the novelty scissors, you have to be aware of the fact at this business is tough. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot be a success with your bar and what you can offer. It’s important to know what lies ahead when you embark on such a venture, and we’ve got it laid out for you here.
Rent – The Bar Is High
Premises for a new bar are not always easy to come by, especially if you have a budget for your yearly rent that is optimistic for the location that you want to be in. The evolution of the license trade has meant that premises prices have shot up in popular locations. The economy has strengthened massively in recent years, helping those property lease costs fly through the roof. You have to consider high rents when you want to open your own bar. When you choose your bar type, you need to place it accordingly. You wouldn’t have a high-end wine bar or cocktail bar on the outskirts of a town that never gets a regular trade. Equally, you need to place your bar somewhere you can afford the rent. Finding that balance isn’t easy and requires a lot of research. You need to find premises that will draw a clientele in the week as well as the weekend. While the weekend will be the time where you pay the bills, you’ll make your profit during the week and therefore you need to have a lot to offer.
Theme – Shake Them Up
Have you ever considered that the type of premises that you find could have a direct link to the theme of your new bar? Exposed brick and dusty concrete may not look like much, but once you jazz it up as a Blues bar or a speakeasy that Fat Sam would be jealous of, those bricks come in handy! When you go shopping for your new premises, look at how you could reflect your theme within it. A bright and modern space would have minimalist furniture and a look to match. A smaller, more intimate setting would benefit from chic and chintz. It’s all in the way the space is interpreted, and it’s this that will attract your clientele. Your concept can be built around the premises, so get creative.
Money – It’s All About That Cha-Ching
A successful bar owner is one that sticks to budgets in the strictest possible way. Cashflow for a new bar is very important and it’s not just the licensing and the rent that you have to think about. The livelihoods of your staff depend on you and you cannot get swept away by the funky décor or the luxury items before you’ve paid the help. Room in the budget at the end of the week can help you furnish the way that you want, but once you have all the bills paid and your profit is worked out you can do whatever you want. Carefully market the locals when you are deciding on where to place your new bar and get their input. People love to feel listened to and they will be your bread and butter.
Open All Hours
For the first six months of trade, expect to work as many hours as you possibly can. Success will be based on whether you have the dedication that a tough industry like hospitality needs you to have. The more you work, the more you can understand your customers and make a name for yourself with local businesses. Collaborate with businesses around you and be the type of business owner that lowers their wage percentage to pour profits into establishing your bar. Adapting comes with learning what the customers want, and if you put yourself into your bar for as many hours as you can manage, you will be able to get a good grip on a competitive industry.
Take the time to learn as much as you can about what goes into opening a bar, and you can ensure that yours is the swankiest joint in town. Success isn’t just measured by cash flow, but by loyalty from customers so be prepared to go with the flow and be the bar that sticks out from the crowd.