How To Open a Bar: 4 Key Steps

This article provides tips on how to open a bar.

When opening a new bar business, careful planning will go a long way to ensuring the success of the venture. Pay specific attention when choosing your location, differentiating your bar from competitors, securing your liquor license, and building relationships with liquor vendors.

Scouting the Right Location

Before your bar has established its regulars customers, you will need to benefit from foot traffic and street visibility. Picking a location that is convenient to the workplaces of your intended customers may be more important than one that is convenient to their homes. To scout out a location try counting passersby over the course of a sample weekday and weekend to project how many you will be able to entice to come in for a drink once you’ve opened.

Differentiating Your Bar Business

If you are looking at a neighborhood that is perfect for a new bar, chances are that other bars will already be nearby. This is not a problem, but offers a challenge for you to show investors in your business plan how you will set your bar apart. This is the creation of your brand image and can be done through the bar’s name, the services you offer, the bar’s environment and decor, and your pricing strategy. However, first you have to be clear on what the competitor bars do and what they stand for. Only then can you see where opportunity exists to be different.

Securing and Keeping Your Liquor License

Securing your liquor license is paramount to your success. The liquor license is granted by the state’s liquor authority and allows you to purchase liquor at distributor’s wholesale prices and sell it for consumption. The ability to be granted a liquor license will be based, in part, on your history and business credentials. Your ability to keep the liquor license without running into trouble depends on being a good neighbor to the businesses and residents nearby. Plan for how you will ensure that noise won’t get out of hand and parties don’t spill on to the streets. Complaints from neighbors could lead to your license being revoked or not renewed.

Liquor Vendors

Even before you have your liquor license in hand, begin to learn about the liquor distributors that serve the local area. You may find that, for any given liquor brand, there is one specific distributor you have to purchase it from. Determine what brands you are certain you will need and look at those distributors’ catalogs first. Distributors will assign a sales representative to visit your office or bar to go over choices and help with the legwork of finding specific liquors and deals. If you can limit your offering to brands sold by a handful of distributors you will be saving the administrative time of ordering from many sources and paying separate bills, as well as building deeper relationships with the vendors you have chosen.

The first step to opening a bar is to develop your bar business plan. Growthink provides products and services to help you develop a professional business plan and turn your dream into reality.


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How To Open a Bar: 4 Key Steps
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