How to Open Up a Bar: 5 Essential Tips For Prospective Bartenders


Have you always dreamed of having your own bar?

TV shows such as Cheers have certainly made the venture seem enjoyable. You get to hang out with your friends, meet interesting people, and maybe even become a mixologist extraordinaire.

It’s enough to leave you wondering how to open up a bar right now!

Read on to learn more.

The Reality of Opening a Bar

Of course, owning a bar is not easy. In fact, it can be downright demanding.

You’ll work long hours that include weekends. Forget about taking any vacations for a while. Expect to deal with difficult health inspectors and even more difficult customers at times.

Nevertheless, if you do the research, put in the hours, can navigate the ups and downs, and have a steady and clear vision, you could just reap the tremendous financial rewards.

It all starts by following these five essential tips.

  1. Choose Your Bar Type

There’s a wide array of different sorts of bars and each one is going to present unique challenges. For example, if you’re wondering how to open a wine bar, you will have different requirements than should you choose to open a brewpub.

There’s no simple answer to the question, how much does it cost to open a bar? Expenses will vary wildly. A high-end club with a full liquor license and entertainment will cost considerably more to open than a beer bar which may need only to obtain a fixed-price license and, of course, a great beer line cleaning kit.

  1. Scope out the Perfect Location

Your perfect location depends on your target market, so it’s essential you know what your clientele looks like.

Will you require foot traffic, or would you fare better away from a neighborhood setting? Do you want a cavernous space, or something more intimate?

Finally, is there any construction in the area? Will there be soon?

  1. Get a Point of Sale (POS) System

There’s no excuse for long wait times and slow service anymore. With a robust POS system, you won’t be hindered by antiquated payment systems that are impossibly slow in processing.

Be sure your system is integrated with a payments processor and use hardware that can take ANY form of payment. This includes cash.

  1. Place a Premium on Customer Service

Customer service can make or break a bar.

Take the time to properly train your employees and be clear about what is expected of them. A satisfied customer is not only more likely to return, but he or she may also post a positive review of your bar.

  1. Take Time to Pick a Name

You can name your bar whatever you want.

Keep in mind that the name you choose will be the first impression you make on your customers. While Tom’s Tavern might have a nice ring, your customers are more likely to connect with something like Cork (for a wine bar) or 4th and Main (an actual location).

The Importance of Knowing How to Open Up a Bar 

It would be great if there were a manual on how to open up a bar that would guarantee success. But business just doesn’t work that way.

If you follow the above five tips though, you’ll have a solid foundation from which you can grow your bar.

In the meantime, check out our business blog for more great tips.

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