Last Updated on Dec 18, 2019 by James W

There’s a high level of romanticism behind the idea of opening a bar. Many young people fantasize about owning a great bar that people love, that can basically become a playground which makes money. But there’s a lot to opening a bar, and keeping it open, that needs to be taken into account before even considering investing time and money. Make sure you’ve properly thought through all of the following before taking the next step to opening your own bar.

Get You’re A-Team Together

Opening and running a bar is a lot of hard work, and finding the right staff can be a real challenge. The hospitality industry is notorious for the fluidity of staff members – people don’t generally stay in one place for too long. So, to find and retain quality staff, you have to be sure to look after your employees.

The reality is that your bar staff are the real people running the show – they are who the customers meet and interact with and they are who really hold your branding in the palms of their hands. A good manager will keep bar staff working well as a team while not going overboard with hours and wage percentages, but as the owner you will need to stay on top of presentation and employee satisfaction. Keep your staff happy and they will be more inclined to treat your customers well.

Get the Right Equipment

A bar needs character, it needs a design concept that encompasses the whole business from the logo and name, to the interior and exterior design, staff uniforms, and bar supplies. With each aspect of your design concept, there is a need for uniformity and care in choosing the right design and product. Quality bar equipment and supplies make your staff’s job easier, and make the bar look more professional and stylish.

Design Concept

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You might have a name, or an idea that you are in love with, which has prompted the idea of opening a bar in the first place. Whatever that seed is – you need to develop it into a fully-fledged design concept.

Decide what type of bar you want to open. What will the opening hours be? What is your dream location? Are you wanting a small, cosy environment, a sports bar, specialty bar, or a bustling, noisy bar with a dance floor? You need to consider everything and create a design concept that has a strong sense of uniformity and belonging. What you don’t want is a mish-mash of a bunch of good ideas. Decide on once concept and build everything around that.


When considering your design concept, you need to find possible locations. If it comes down to a decision between a great location that perhaps isn’t quite big enough for your concept, then maybe it’s worth altering your concept. A good location is always going to be more beneficial than a great design concept. The coolest bar in the world would still struggle to perform well financially if it was stuck in the middle of nowhere.

What’s In a Name?

Naming your bar is perhaps the biggest decision you have to make. It is the initial and perhaps more powerful marketing tool you have. What you name your bar tells everyone what type of bar you are starting. Are you aiming for a name that people will associate with class or with a good time? Is it a date venue or a catch up with mates venue? These questions should be able to be answered just by the name of your bar. Word-of-mouth advertising is the best kind of marketing for a bar, so you want a good word/s to put into people’s mouths.

Owning a bar might seem like the dream job, and it has the potential to be, just don’t let the fairy tale blind you from the amount of hard work it takes and the structure and planning needed to open a successful bar. Cheers!

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