There is a lot to love about running a bar – but it certainly isn’t an easy job. With plenty of competition and margins that can be painfully small, you need to make smart moves if you are going to wind up turning a profit month after month. Let’s take a moment to walk through eight tips that just might help you turn your bar into a success story.
This is really where it starts for bars that are serious about making money. If you allow your bartenders to just ‘eyeball’ it, they are likely going to pour drinks on the strong side more often than not. Such a practice will lead to wasted liquor inventory control and you’ll struggle to keep up. Measuring pours is the best way to track inventory and run your bar like a business.
You’d like to be busy every night, but that isn’t necessarily going to be the case. So, how do you make up for those inevitable slow nights? Having special events from time to time is a great way to make a big splash. Pick certain dates on the calendar or coordinate your promotions with local events and become part of the community.
Your bartenders are the face of your business. Without a talented team leading the charge, it will be very hard to earn repeat business. Not only do you want to have bartenders who can pour great drinks and have an engaging personality, but you also want to find ones that will stick around for a while, so you can avoid training costs.
If possible, try to create your own unique drinks that can help you stand out from the crowd. Even if only one of your drinks becomes popular, that may be enough to get people talking and spread the word about your location. Also, custom cocktails usually provide a larger margin than other drinks.
This is one of the key rules to obey when running a bar. Inventory management is one of your biggest challenges, and you want to pay close attention to your stock to make sure you don’t run out of popular items on a busy night.
You need to respect the laws that govern serving alcohol in your establishment, both to stay out of trouble and also out of respect for your patrons.
How are you going to track all the sales you make on a busy weekend night? The best option is with a quality POS system that has been specifically designed for bars and restaurants. This will be a significant upfront investment, but it is one that pays for itself many times over in the long run.
Once you determine what items on the menu offer the largest profit margins, have your staff get into the habit of suggesting these as add-ons to an order. This technique isn’t limited to just drinks, either – upselling food to go along with the customer’s drink order is a powerful method.