How to Open a Bar: Your Step-By-Step Guide

The average price to open a bar is anywhere between $100,000 to $550,000 depending on the location. Learning this answer to the question, “how much does it cost to open a bar?” is enough to put most people off doing it.

Yet, for many, it is their lifelong dream to run their own bar business. And they never fulfill their dream because opening a bar seems overwhelming, complicated, and expensive.

But opening a bar does not have to be that difficult. This is a straightforward, simple guide on how to open up a bar, so you know exactly what you need to do.

Step 1: Create a Concept

Figuring out how to open a wine bar will be a different process from opening a brewpub. So, the first thing you need to do is decide what type of bar you want to open.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kind of drinks will the bar serve?
  • How would you describe the bar in one sentence?
  • Will the bar serve food and/or nibbles as well?

Once you have a concept, think of a unique name. Snap up the handles on social media, so someone does not take them before you!

Step 2: Write a Business Plan

Before you open a bar or start any business, you need a business plan. It is vital when applying for investments. Here are some of the details you should include in your bar business plan:

  • Concept description
  • Mission statement
  • Values and intentions
  • Target market
  • Market research
  • Competition assessment
  • Financial assessment and projections

A plan will help you set realistic business goals and keep investors happy.

Step 3: Organize the Finances and Legalese

You might know how much to open a bar on average, but you need to know the exact cost of opening your dream bar.

As well as renting or buying a property, you also need to factor in the staff, decor, insurance, and other ad hoc costs.

You also need to sort out any legal aspects like setting up your business as an LLC or corporation. All bars need a liquor license, and it is best to start that application ASAP to avoid delays in opening your bar.

Step 4: Find a Location and Renovate

Next, scout a good location. You may already have an idea of the neighborhood but make sure you choose a place that suits your bar’s concept and target market.

After you have organized the location, you will need a strong and memorable design. Hire a designer or interior decorator if you need creative help.

Step 5: Buy Supplies and Hire Staff

The very last thing you need to organize is your bar supply and inventory. This includes glasses and extras like straws and napkins, as well as the drinks you will serve.

You will also need to advertise and hire bar staff with experience unless you want to work 24/7 and run the bar on your own, of course!

You’re Ready To Open a Bar

Now you know how to open a bar, you are ready to do it! As long as you do your market research before you open a bar and work hard, there is every chance it will thrive. Browse our website for tons more food and drink-related articles packed with helpful tips!