Don’t Open a Bar without Thinking of These Things First

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Lots of people love the idea of opening a bar. After all, who wouldn’t want their own private playground? But running a bar is much more work than play. It’s a business just like any other, and you have profits and customers to worry about over having fun. But if you enjoy the idea of opening a bar as a company that you can be in charge of, instead of just somewhere you can let loose, it can be a fulfilling business to have. However, just like any other business, it’s a lot of hard work, and you could be spending a lot more time behind the scenes than behind the bar. But if you think it could be for you, think about these essential elements before you start.


An essential part of opening a bar is having somewhere to run it from. Although you’ll need financing for many things, your mortgage or rent is going to be one of your biggest expenses. The first thing you should think about is location. If you’re out of the way, you’re unlikely to experience a lot of customers coming to find you. You need to pick somewhere where there’s a demand for drinks and entertainment, and perhaps snacks and other food. The property will need to be suitable to set up as a bar, so you can maintain hygiene standards, mix drinks and perhaps sell food.


Your bar will need a license to sell alcohol to make sure that you’re complying with the law. You should also check any other requirements in your locality, such as any training that bar staff are expected to have. A liquor license can be extremely expensive in some places, so you should check how much you’ll have to pay before making any significant moves. Some areas restrict the type of business or location where liquor licenses are permissible. Once you have done all the paperwork, you’ll need to keep every license up to date, for your neighborhood, city, state and federal laws.


Of course, you can’t run a bar without the correct equipment and a range of drinks on offer. You will need to calculate all of this in your expenses, from the startup costs to the regular stock that you will need to reorder. If you’re not sure what you need to stock a bar, take a look at for some ideas. You’ll need not just drinks and glasses, but everything from cleaning supplies to staff uniforms too.


It’s very difficult to run a bar on your own. You could try, but you probably wouldn’t last very long. You’ll need some staff members to help out, including people to serve drinks and food and clean. You might hire bar staff who perform a range of tasks. Make sure they receive training, even if they have experience in tending bar already. You want to ensure that they work in line with your business’s values and policies.

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