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Old 07-13-2007, 12:11 PM
 
472 posts, read 1,647,955 times
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I’m looking into opening a small neighborhood bar but have no experience. What is the first thing I should know?
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Living in Paradise
5,702 posts, read 22,732,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dube665 View Post
I’m looking into opening a small neighborhood bar but have no experience. What is the first thing I should know?
First do you have a positive cash flow?

# Research your target market
# Find the perfect location
# Hire a knowledgeable staff
# Navigate the red tape that accompanies serving alcohol and food
# Understand the logistics of inventory and equipping your bar
# Compete with other bars and nightlife venues
# Keep your clients entertained--and get them to make more purchases--once they're in your bar

Can you afford to make no money in the first 3 months?

Owning your own bar or club can mean long hours, meticulous attention to detail, giving up vacations and weekends, and sometimes dealing with unruly customers. But if you have a clear vision, do your homework, and learn the ins and outs of the business, it can also translate into a rewarding and financially successful enterprise. If you're friendly, outgoing, like people and have good business sense, you're already well on your way.


Analyze the competition: establish a risk standard

Check the type of clients in the area to include age group: target client

Research location and cost: utilities, rent, upgrades

Is this a sport bar? or a traditional bar?
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:25 AM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,296 posts, read 13,753,187 times
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Have you ever worked in one? I would do that first, it's fun but not easy.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:07 AM
 
1,239 posts, read 1,768,838 times
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Sunrico90 and Rapture make good points.

But, an important one to remember is Insurance costs...

Look at this carefully. Especially with what is going on today with DUI's and accidents.

I worked as a bartender in a small pub - You can survive just on the bar crowd - But, there will be a danger with this (You don't want them drinking too much).

You must have food or entertainment.

I have a buddy that just went through hell with his place. After 20 years of work, a woman had a car accident (who he did not even serve, but it was the last place she remembered) - And, she pointed the finger at his bar. Needless to say, after a year of court battles, he won - But, he got out of the business.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:05 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 5,151,634 times
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I would suggest working in a bar first as well.

You need to hire a good staff that you can trust. Then once you think you've found that staff...Don't trust them. I would suggest you set up a video camera system on the bar and tape it all during business hours, have it connected to your home so you can spot check. Your staff needs to be friendly too, and willing to talk and listen to their customers. you want both good looking and good personalities together.

You need to serve salty snacks at the bar, it will increase your liquor sales.
music is good too, but if its too loud you may loose your target customer, so keep that in mind.

Also consider a cover charge during a happy hour selling $1 or $2 drinks. You can reduce your liquor sales taxes that way.

Some companies will send out a van and girls to promote their brand, that will bring in alot of people if you advertise it correctly. Hit the local businesses, especially white collar, and offer rates for parties.

There are companies that specialize in bar and tavern insurance, you will need liquor legal liability, premises liability, property and loss of business income. Usually its on a package policy.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:11 AM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 959,068 times
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I would think the first thing you need to know is most lose money. And it can be a lot of money. The general recommendation I hear from irl friends who really own a place is "don't".
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,124 posts, read 25,858,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuke View Post
I would think the first thing you need to know is most lose money. And it can be a lot of money. The general recommendation I hear from irl friends who really own a place is "don't".

Been there, done that..my advice DON'T
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
145 posts, read 489,774 times
Reputation: 182
I had tended bar during my twenties. A bar can be a lot of fun but it is like owning a dairy. Cows gotta be milked daily and bar owners have to visit with the customers daily and keep an eye on their investment. It is a lifestyle that can be very demanding.
I worked in a bar that was the main place for many people to begin their Friday and Saturday nights out and to have a nightcap at the end of the evening. For all of the other week days, and the hours in between the weekend partying crowd, we had regulars. Some people think of the bar as a living room away from home and come for a couple cocktails and the company. These people are your mainstays and you can develop some really enriching friendships. You learn when these people are 'on-a-roll' (drinking too much) and watch out for them, pour them light and make sure they get home. These are also the people who back you up when a jerk comes in. They don't appreciate the drama or care about the cause, divorce or some personal upset, when strangers come in to raise h*ll. Regular customers will help you 'keep house' when this happens. The biggest detriment to owning a bar is that eventually everyone you know drinks too much! You have cook-offs, softball games, etc. to reinforce the friendships and to acknowledge and thank the regulars. Eventually you know more about these people than you do of some family members. You'll also become the parent figure for many, the decision maker for some and the referee for all. Lastly for a bar to become popular and successful the owner should be on a stool nightly right beside the drinking public. The owner has to be social and not outwardly judgmental. If the owner isn't there the regulars will ask for them and can get resentful thinking that you're willing to take their money but not withstand their company. Like anything if you do it well, you'll enjoy it. Good Luck to you.
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