6 essentials for opening your own bar

“We should open a bar!” Every business started with a thought, a dream, or something along those lines. It’s a daunting challenge and you mightn’t know where to begin. And that’s why we made this list.

1: Decide on your ‘type’

Look at the trends in the bars and cafes around your neighbourhood, or at least the ones in your area. These guys are your competition. How do they style their space? What beers and beer systems do they use? How much are the items on their menu?

There’s too many different types of bars to list here, but some of the most common are:

  • ‘High end’ establishments with craft brews (Brisbane Brewing Co)
  • Australian pub (Normanby Hotel)
  • Bars based on a certain country’s culture (Deathproof)
  • Music (Doo-Bop Jazz Bar)

2: Finding good real-estate

You want an amazing location, but can you afford the rent?

Mrs Brown’s Bar in Newstead can afford its rent

3: Get your lisence

You can’t run a restaurant, bar, or much else without one. Your business will undergo inspections to make sure everything’s up to code, as well. You’ll need some legal help if you have questions about the licensing.

4: Get your systems in order

Beer systems, post-mix, bookkeeping, everything. You can’t run a business without the right tools. When you purchase a beer system, normally you’ll pay upfront fees and be required to use brews from a ‘set list’. Ice and Beverage Solutions does neither. You have the option to rent or buy without extra fees. On top of that, you have the freedom to source your own kegs. You can really make your business stand out by serving drinks you know your customers want, and what’s popular at the time. Getting your accounting systems in order is just as important. You’ll need a bookkeeper for the day-to-day who can also act as a tax agent to file BAS documents. Your accountant will act as your strategist. This way you can pay rent, salaries, and any other overheads without much trouble.

5: Hire staff

You’ll need a 2IC, a few full time or part-time staff, and some casuals. You bar might start off with only a few employees and you’ll hire more as business picks up.

Your staff must have RSA certificates and make a mean cocktail. The chefs will need the right hospitality certifications as well. Make sure the bar staff know how to swap out the empty kegs and post-mix boxes.

6: Promote!

If you’re adept at tech stuff or know someone who can help you, make sure you set up your website a few months before the business opens as well as any social pages.

A month or so before opening, start teasing your audience and build a presence. What are your points of difference that sets you apart? Craft beer? Gastropub fare? Promote them until you drop, and don’t forget to dish out excellent service! It keeps the customers coming back!

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