Tips on getting a bar up and running

When looking to launch your very own bar, you’ll have to take some preliminary actions if you’d like to be as successful as possible. This involves tasks like doing market research, exploring themes and niches for your bar, and creating a budget to work around.

Do your market research

Arguably the most important step. Doing proper research can set your bar up for success from the start, ensuring that you are always working towards pleasing your clientele and building a unique space for your business. Some things to consider:


Where are you looking to set up your bar? Is it near a populated area? Is there a ton of competition? What sort of community will form around your club? Your choice of location will also greatly affect your budget, which we’ll get into a little later. Each of these factors can help determine the overall performance before you get started.


Decide if you want to serve food at your establishment, or just keep it to drinks and appetizers. Do you want regular or high-end food and drink? Serving meals means you’ll have to hire chefs and spend extra on ingredients, but patrons may be likely to stay longer and pay more.


Are you looking to build a dive bar experience or a lavish, high-end club? This would determine the type of alcohol you stock, the food you’d cook, and the furniture and decorations you’d use. This would be the best area to consider a niche to develop.


Pool tables, slots, and darts? What about dancing and a DJ? Loud and hectic or relaxed and intimate? No bar can have both, and capitalizing on one will bring in a specific type of crowd. Keep in mind that live music will require you to spend extra on artists, though it may bring in a more dedicated and satisfied crowd.

Exploring concepts

A huge benefit from building your own bar is the opportunity to be creative with your branding. Choosing a specific theme that stands out and builds a memorable experience for customers is incredibly fun and fulfilling, though it can be stressful if you can’t settle on an idea.

To start your planning, you can go around your community and see what you like and dislike about other bars. Also, you’re going to want to talk to customers in the area and see what they want out of an establishment. If you feel one way about an idea, but your customers feel another, you need to cater to them first.

Researching upcoming trends is another fantastic idea. Of course, you’ll want your industries respective staples on the menu, but having a varying selection of drinks and themes based on what’s popular will keep people interested and coming back.

Cost considerations and budgeting

Of course, starting your own business is never cheap. You may find a great location for your bar, but if the cost is higher than you can afford, you’ll have to find a compromise. Not to mention you’ll need a business license, permits to sell alcohol, and you’ll have annual fees to maintain. These vary by state, and knowing what you’re getting into ahead of time will help save you a ton of stress.

Start-up costs will greatly vary depending on building size, themes, menu selection, and more. Equipment, set-up, and furniture also come into effect. It all depends on the sort of crowd you’d like to attract. There will be some unexpected charges. Maybe you need a photocopier quote for flyers, or to hire a freelancer for logo design. It can add-up, but one needs to spend money to make money. Big-spenders will want a high-class place to hang out in, and vice versa.


Regardless of industry, building a business is no easy task. There are a wide variety of aspects to consider, like themes, budgeting, value, location, and more. Proper budgeting is necessary, otherwise all sorts of hidden fees will sneak up on you. It may seem stressful at first, but with the right planning, building and managing your own bar can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience.

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