If you like drinking, and would want to start a business, then opening a bar would be a perfect solution for you. It’s a win-win situation: you can drink all you want while earning money at the same time.
However, since it is a business, there are also a lot of things that you should consider in opening a bar. It would be a total waste of money if you end up closing up your bar after a few months just things didn’t turn out well. Just like opening any kind of business, setting up and opening a bar needs planning, research and a lot of foresight.
Here are some of the things that you should have before the grand opening of your bar.
1. Business Plan
Every business needs to be well-planned, and as a business owner, you should also be able to react fast when things do not go as planned. Nonetheless, the business plan would help you go on with your business, and attract investors as well (if you are looking for partners and investors).
Upon preparing your business plan, you should already have a concept of the kind of bar that you want to have. Would you be targeting young students or older, more established professionals? Will your bar be hip and fun, or are you gearing towards a posh and classy place? Having an idea of what your bar would look like can help you choose a location and the kind of décor and interiors that would go with your bar.
It is expected that people who go to the bar get drunk, and although it would be good for your business, you should also be prepared to “take care” of your drunk customers.
The first thing that you should think of upon planning your bar is to get a permit or a license. Some cities in Australia would give you a hard time in getting a permit, so you better check with your local government before looking for a location. For those setting up a bar in Sydney, check out the Business Development Coordinator in the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, while those in Perth should read this first before applying for a permit.
Looking for bouncers and security personnel may be a bit tricky. Don’t be fooled into thinking that hiring big burly men would be enough. Make sure that your bouncers also have firm yet reasonable personality, so they wouldn’t be the ones starting a fight if the crowd gets a little out of hand.
3. Payment System
The main goal in starting a business is to earn money, and to do so, you have to have an excellent payment system. Decide beforehand if you would be implementing a “pay as you order” policy, or if you would rather list down everything that the customer ordered before giving them the bill. Both systems have its pros and cons, and visiting different bars may help you decide which one you prefer.
Also, having a superb point-of-sale system would be essential in your bar. As most bars would have minimal lighting, choose a POS that is user-friendly, so your staff can have enough time for customers as he or she receives payments. This company has some good info on the subject to start with.
Hiring some people for your bar may be difficult, and to make things easier, you should first be sure of the services you would offer in your bar before hiring people. Would you be serving food? Would you be brewing your own beer or mixing your own drinks? If you’re planning to serve food, will you be serving Asian, European or local dishes? If you make a list of things that you’ll ask your staff to do, then you can easily find the right kind of people for the job. Also, choose people who are flexible and efficient, the type of people who can do different tasks easily.
5. Food and Drinks
Once you have hired the right kind of people to work for you, then you can decide on what kind of cuisine to specialize in and what kind of drinks to serve. If your chef specializes in Asian cuisine, try to make new and interesting Asian-inspired snacks and food that would make your customers ask for more. It would also be better if your bartender can make a unique mix that can be considered as your bar’s signature drink. By doing so, you can have a steady clientele, those who would go to your bar for your special spicy fried chicken wings or your unique mind-boggling drink. Don’t let your bar be just one of those bars that people go to when other places are full. Aim for a bar that people would go to because they love it in there.
Once you have completed all these requirements, then you’re ready to open your own bar business.