Want to open your own bar but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you already have a place in mind or even come up with a name, but you are not sure which concept to choose – for example, open a craft bar or a wine bar? Or maybe you know the concept, have saved some money, and now you want to understand how much it will cost to open it?
Opening a bar requires great organisational skills and planning talent. By following our checklist, you will cover all the necessary basics and can avoid many pitfalls.
1. Work for a while in a bar
Before opening a bar, it is advisable to work for some time in public catering and gain experience. It doesn’t have to be something like a beautiful dream about your business that you draw in your head during the routine work of a pet sales manager. Try on the shoes of a bartender – see what the bar is made of, what processes are going on in it, what critical pain points need attention.
2. Choosing a bar concept and creating a brand
Choosing a unique concept and building a brand is the most fun part of the bar opening process. The concept reflects the most generalised vision of the bar. Whereas the brand is more specific and includes finding the personality and mission of your business.
Every detail in a bar should work to support your brand, from the type of service to the interior design and ambience. The best question you could ask yourself is how would you like people to feel when they accidentally walk into your bar?
3. Choosing a name for the bar
In the thrilling moment of choosing a name for a bar, you may feel like you are on the verge of something new and exciting, that your dream is about to come true. But, being in this euphoria, how to choose the right name? First of all, take it as an axiom that the name for the bar should be memorable, expressing the brand and of course unique. Especially if you plan to open not one bar, but a whole franchise.
4. Drawing up a business plan for the bar
This is the very moment when you need to sit down and crystallise your general ideas about the bar in concrete actions and numbers. Having a well-thought-out business plan for the bar will be of great help when contacting investors or applying for a loan from the bank. It is also a great way to calculate possible scenarios for the development of a bar, think over several marketing strategies depending on the financial results.
5. Bar Funding Sources
After drawing up a financial plan, you will have a better idea of the amount of investment required to open a bar. Count all the items of expenses associated with the launch of the bar (bringing it into operation). Then add your variable costs to that amount, including kitchen, alcohol, payroll, utilities, and rent. With these figures in hand, you can easily calculate the annual budget and predict how much it will cost to extend the existence of a bar for any period.
6. Obtaining permits and licenses
Obtaining all the necessary licenses can be the most tedious step, but it is vital because, without it, your bar will not be able to open its doors. It will never be superfluous to enlist the support of a professional lawyer in this matter, who guarantees your complete protection in the legal field. The number of permits you will need and the total fees will vary by region.
7. Bar design project development
Before contacting the designer, draw a bar in your head and mentally walk through it. Imagine yourself in the place of visitors, bartenders, cleaners, dishwashers, and try to understand how each of these people can freely fulfil their assigned role in the bar. The area behind the bar should have enough space for display cases with alcohol, refrigerators and bottle holders. Think about the visual details like a bar runner mat, carpet, glasses – everything is important and can improve your business success.
Now that you are familiar with all the steps required to open a bar, you can start making your dream a reality. Planning every aspect of the bar ahead of time will give you the confidence you need when it officially opens.