How to Start a Bar/Tavern


From a personal perspective, you need to ask yourself if you’re really the type of person who wants to own and run a bar. Of course, you don’t have to run it if you own it, but you’d better make sure you have a team of good, trustworthy managers working for you if you plan to be “hands off.” In the beginning, you will probably have to be greatly involved no matter whether or not you plan to be an active owner. If you’re the kind of person who would rather deal with paperwork or sit in an office where you don’t have to talk to people, this business is not for you. You will need to be out there talking to people and shaking hands. Getting to know your patrons, even if it’s just to say “Hi” can go a long way for your customer service.

Another thing you should consider is the time commitment and time of day. If you’re an early riser, you might not enjoy having to work until 3 or 4 a.m. at your bar. If you have a family, you need to discuss how owning a bar will affect them and your personal situation. Many times you will have to be at your bar from the time you wake up–say, around 10 or 11 a.m.–to the time you go to sleep–say, around 4 or 5 a.m. As you can see, this could take its toll on your family life. Eventually, you’ll probably be able to have a saner schedule, once your managers and staff are well-trained, but it may take six months to a year to reach that point. If this could cause problems for you or your family, you may want to reconsider the idea of owning a bar.

From a business standpoint, however, a bar can provide an excellent return on investment. The federal government receives a large portion of its tax revenues from the sale of alcohol, and it’s not much for risky ventures (well, maybe sometimes, but it doesn’t mean to be).

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