A Beginners Guide To Starting A Bar

Starting a bar is no child play, especially when there are several other establishments out there and you are relatively new to this field.

That said, naturally, you will face a lot of challenges and confusion about many things when you are just starting out. Therefore, through this guide, you will be assisted with a list of primary things that need to be done when you are planning to start a bar.

Let’s dive right in!

  1. Concept and Brand 

The very first step of setting up a new bar is to creatively come up with a concept and the kind of bar you wish to run. As for your brand, it should be slightly more defined and should clearly state the mission and identity of your business.

However, every detail of your bar should not only speak of your brand and identity but also your service style and the overall ambience of the place.

One way to smoothly do this is by ordering custom beer mats that speak of your brand and maintain the aesthetic of your bar. While at it though, one thing you need to keep in mind is your concept. For instance, if your bar is filled with comfortable booths and a jukebox of classic hits, ensure your brand resonates with the same and is in sync with a similar kind of demography in your location.

  1. Name of the Bar 

Choosing a name can feel like a dream coming to reality, a concept coming to life from your mind. Needless to say, this step might feel overwhelming at first but that shouldn’t stop you from picking the right name.

While at it, make sure you are choosing a name that’s catchy; something that reflects your brand and an image of your pub that you desire to show.

Remember, this name will be used for PR events and go on various marketing strategies, promotional offers, hoardings, menu cards and more, so it only makes sense that you choose the name wisely.

Once you land on a unique name for your pub, make sure you should trademark it. Trademarking will not allow other businesses to use your name and this will be especially helpful if you’re opening your business in a high-density area with several other bars.

  1. Secure Fundings for Your Business

Funding is an integral part of any business and once you do a financial projection, you’ll have a better understanding of the costs you will need to make your pub dream come true.

To begin, start with making a list of all the startup costs required to give a push to your business. Then, add in the costs of daily operations (for instance, costs of alcohol), daily salaries to be given to your employees, costs involved for other inventories, utilities and rent.

Once you have this information, you can calculatively visualise and forecast your budget for one year and arrange for the same accordingly.

Now that you have a definitive number, you can start applying for loans. Once your business sets off and starts running smoothly, you can repay this loan from the profits that it makes.

  1. Obtain Permits and Licenses 

After securing funding for your business and selecting a location that is appropriate in every way (in terms of target audience, visibility and accessibility, health and zoning and nearby competitions), you ought to look for permits and licenses for your bar.

For starters, you will need an Employee Identification Number (ENI), as that’s what allows you to officially hire staff for your business.

The second and the most important one is to get a liquor license – without it, you cannot sell liquor legally. Not only does it allow you to sell alcohol legally, but it also determines the type of alcohol and days on which you can sell. Remember, the process can get a bit lengthy so you should start a bit early to obtain this license.

Then there are more such permits like foodservice license, sign and music permit, dumpster placement permits etc.

To avoid future hindrances and get these things sorted on time, make sure you have a thorough understanding of licenses (especially the ones you’ll need) before the inauguration day of your pub.

In A Nutshell…

After you have established the basics such as the name of the bar, trademarking your brand, the funding required for it and obtaining permits and licenses, you are ready to start the base of your business.

From this point, you have to work on finding a liquor provider and designer for your space, various bar equipment and supplies, hiring the right staff, advertising and finally, hosting a soft event to introduce your pub to your customers.

While you’re at it, make sure to get the timings right because a delay in any one of the steps can hold you back for days and push your dream further for it to become a reality!

Andrew Mcaffrey
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