is an acceptable
Start writing a post

is an acceptable

is an acceptable

is an acceptable

Bar business plans are key to securing financing for your bar. Both lenders and investors use the plan to decide whether your bar is an acceptable financial risk. Even if you are not seeking funding, your business plan will serve as a guide as you start and/or grow your bar.

What to Include in Your Bar Business Plan

A bar business plan provides a snapshot of your bar at the current moment and defines your bar's projected future over the next five years. Clearly stated goals, expected challenges, and the ways you will overcome those challenges to reach your goals form the backbone of your business plan. As a living document, your plan will grow and change as your bar develops over time.

You should include the following sections in your bar business plan:

Executive Summary

As the introductory section to your plan, the executive summary is usually the last element to be written. Investors and lenders focus on the first page of the executive summary before deciding whether to read on, so lay out the most critical elements right away. Describe your bar in simple, concise terms. Provide a summary of your market analysis and proof that the market can support another bar. Also describe what makes your bar uniquely qualified to succeed. For example, will you be the only sports bar, or can you attract a unique customer segment?

Company Analysis

his section focuses on your bar as it exists today. Describe the bar's founding, legal status, and current business stage, as well as any accomplishments your bar has made to date. Expand upon the unique qualifications you mentioned in the executive summary. If you have a signature drink, or an existing customer base, explain those elements here.

In recognizing your standing within the local market, one of the first steps in opening a bar is to decide what type of establishment you'd like to run. Here are a few examples of the types of bars you might run:

Neighborhood Bar: These kinds of bars are typically small and cozy haunts visited by locals on a weekday/weekend for some drinks. They often have a very home-like atmosphere.

Beer Bar/Brewery: A brewery, as the name suggests, offers a huge selection of beers, including their own house draft beer and a selection of bottled beers.

Specialty Bar: This kind of a bar typically has a theme, for instance a martini bar. This bar will essentially serve different kinds of martinis, along with martini-based mixes and cocktails.

Sports Bar: These bars usually have a bigger food menu with options like sandwiches, burgers, pizza, wings, fries and other snacks. They host sports screenings regularly to keep the crowds entertained.

Industry Analysis

The industry analysis looks at your market and how your bar can compete in it. The market is the particular niche into which your bar fits, rather than the bar industry overall. For example, a sports bar has a different market than a neighborhood bar.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis breaks down your specific target market into demographics and clearly explains how you will fulfill their needs. Here are example customer segments for a bar: beer/wine/whiskey connoisseurs, professionals, college students, people who like to socialize. These are just wide categories, and require further research and subdivision for accurate targeting. Depending on the type of bar you decide to open, there might be a niche audience for your business too.

How do your target customers make their purchasing decisions? Do they shop on price, quality, premium service, or something else? How will your bar meet those specific customers' unique needs?

Industry factors such as 'no drinking and driving' and an evolving health conscious population may also affect segmentation.

Competitive Analysis

Your competitors are divided into two categories. Direct competitors serve the same target market for the same need. Indirect competitors differ from you in either target market or specific need. For example, another bar around the corner would be a direct competitor while a liquor stores is an indirect competitor.

In your business plan , detail direct competitors individually, focusing on what makes your bar different. Group your indirect competitors together and mention them as a whole.

There are multiple ways to differentiate your bar from competition. For one, you could decide to open a specialty bar and focus on certain types of drinks (e.g, wine, gin, beer, whiskey, etc.). Service also makes a huge difference in attracting crowds; offering something unique like an 'unlimited refills night' or being generous with free bar nibbles could help you build a loyal customer base. You could also consider hosting entertainment nights with live music, stand-up comedy, karaoke etc. to keep the audience entertained.

Stocking an exclusive collection of alcohol from around the world is also one way to stand out in the market.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, marketing plans are based on the four P's: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. In the bar industry, your primary focus will be promotions. Promotions is how you will lure customers to spend money with you. Customer retention, or how you will convince purchasers to return, is also an important part of marketing.

Marketing is critical when it comes to new restaurants and bars. You can't expect to start a bar and suddenly see a pool of customers walking in. Some amount of paid advertising in newspapers, radio and/or online will be necessary to spread the word initially. Or having customers come in to give them a sample of your offerings. Ultimately, you would need to leverage the power of social media like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to connect with new and existing customers. As part of your marketing strategy, you could also run contests and host special nights to attract more customers.

Management Team

The management team section highlights the skills needed to build and maintain a successful bar. Provide biographies of your key management team members, focusing on the specific educational background or hands-on experiences that prove their ability to run a business. If your management team has weaknesses in these areas, a strong advisory board can help. Be sure to clearly explain what the board members will do to directly improve the company's growth.

It is difficult for a bar to be a success in the absence of a good staff. You need to hire excellent bartenders who know their craft. They need to be creative, excited and motivated about coming to work each day and making and serving superior drinks to your customers. When hiring, consider both the personality and skill of the potential bartenders and how they fit into your vision. Remember bartenders will ultimately become one of they key representatives of your bar.

Financial Plan

Potential investors and lenders spend the majority of their time analyzing the financial plan, yet many entrepreneurs have little or no idea how to create it. You financial plan must provide a breakdown of all potential revenue streams (most often sales of drinks, food and/or cover charges), including their relative importance and when they will be implemented, along with projections for outside funding. You must also summarize both past and projected Income Statements, Cash Flow Statements, and Balance Sheets, and the assumptions you make must be reasonable and easy to verify through a competition analysis. A solid exit strategy (if you eventually plan to sell your bar) might be helpful to show to equity investors.

Other Considerations

When opening a bar, you need to be informed about the current alcohol trends, the local laws of serving alcohol, and lifestyle trends (read about them in magazines and newspapers). If opening a bar from scratch seems like a daunting ask (with your experience), then consider taking a franchise, which will get you associated with a bigger and more experienced organisation and help avoid some key mistakes. Or find a retired bar owner that may be interested in helping you.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments