What Are the Best Tips for Opening a Bar?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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There are many tips for opening a bar that may save an owner a great deal of problems and lost monies. Tips regarding purchasing insurance policies, forming stock ordering policies and developing employee hiring strategies are just a few that can be useful when opening a bar. As with any business, the successful opening of a bar typically depends on location. A few tips in recognizing the proper location are the number of prospective clients that are in the area not only at prime operational times, but at off-time hours as well. The demographics of businesses and homes as well as the pass-by numbers of commuters are all key indicators of potential customers.

It is best to first develop a concept before opening a bar, as well as develop a business and financial plan. To develop the concept, it is important to determine the type of drinks, music and food the bar will feature. Checking out the competition is always advised before locking in a location. It is also important to apply for building and liquor licenses or permits, as required.


With drunk driving laws and penalties ever-increasing, the best tip for opening a bar is to have a very good insurance policy in place to protect the establishment and owner against potential lawsuits. Fights, accidents and even deaths related to excessive drinking can all be levied against the owner of a bar or drinking establishment that over-serves alcohol to its patrons. While this type of incident can never be planned for, it must always be guarded against when opening a bar. This type of insurance is above and beyond the typical property insurance that offers protection from damages by flood, fire or theft.

Along similar lines, another tip is to hire reputable employees who will be able to recognize when a customer has had enough to drink and will not be quiet about telling him or her so. Legal responsibilities when opening a bar extend to all employees as well, so a bar should not employ anyone who could conceivably become a liability. All potential employees should be interviewed about recognizing when a customer should be cut off. It is also wise to hire only those employees who will not drink or consume alcoholic beverages while working.

Prospective bar owners should survey customers and order stock according to what the patrons want. In order for a bar to sell stock, it must have stock to sell, so proper ordering and ordering in the correct quantities is essential for any new bar that wishes to remain in business. Accordingly, when planning on opening a bar, proper location and visibility from nearby roadways should be considered and weighed. Passerby are just as important as residential customers and must be duly considered when opening a bar.


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