Food & Drinks

How to Manage a Bar: 6 Tips to Ensure It Runs  Successfully

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If you’re a bar owner, your challenge isn’t just to keep your bar busy. When you open a bar, you also need to make sure you have delicious food and drink available for customers, and events are well organized to attract the attention of potential repeat customers. 

Even though managing a bar isn’t easy, we’ll cover a few steps you can apply to make your bar run successfully and generate profit!

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Make Sure Your Bar Supplies Are Always Enough

Always having enough supplies means more than just making sure the fridge is stocked with beer, alcohol, or wine. You should also keep track of what types of drinks customers often order and what types of alcohol are used most often. This will help you to define your goods and supplies order, thus you can save more money by not purchasing less favorite alcohol in a large order, and making sure your bar is stocked with the most popular one. 

Other important things needed by bars are not only the alcohol or drinks, but you also have to make sure the following items are available in your bar:

  • Straws and stirrers
  • Glass
  • Glass for mixing
  • Cocktail shakers and filters
  • Liquor pourers
  • Cocktail mixes
  • Garnishes

Measure the Amount of Alcohol to Avoid Pouring Too Much 

If you pour too much alcohol into the glass too many times, you could lose hundreds of dollars in the long run. Fortunately, there are various ways to measure the amount of alcohol you need to pour so you don’t waste alcohol by overfilling. Here is what you can do to avoid this.

Using a gauge

Pour the alcohol into a measuring cup so you can estimate portions and prevent alcohol from spilling and wasting.

Use jiggers when making cocktails

By using jiggers, the cocktail will not be spilled and the customer will experience a drink that has a consistent volume every time.

Use the right glass

Using the right glass can also help reduce the risk of alcohol spilling and going to waste. Use a glass with a thick bottom so you don’t have to add too much liquid to fill it completely. This will save time and costs!

These tips won’t only help you reduce the amount of alcohol wasted at your bar, but will also make your customers happy because you always serve the same volume of drinks every time.

Create a Signature Cocktail

Many customers prefer to order popular drinks such as beer, rum, and coke. But, it never hurts to create unique drinks that will set your bar apart from the rest! Moreover, if you have your own drink, you can charge it at a higher price than regular drinks. Thus, your signature cocktail can also be the way for you to increase profits.  

When creating a new drink, you should consider your target demographic and their tastes first.  For example, if you open a bar in an area near a college and have a large clientele in their 20s, you may be interested in creating spirits, such as rum, vodka, and tequila. 

However, if your bar is always filled with regular customers, they may prefer drinks with whiskey or bourbon. 

Events and Happy Hours

The happy hour program is the ultimate way to attract new customers to your bar, because they will be able to enjoy drinks at low prices. 

During happy hour, you should serve customers with delicious drinks and great service. Thus, even after the happy hour is overdue, they won’t mind staying longer and paying for the full-price food and drink menu. 

Another option to attract the attention of customers is to host events. The events that you organize can be regular programs or a one-time thing. There are several types of events you can choose from, depending on the clientele and theme of your bar.  Here is a selection of notable events:

  • Karaoke
  • Arcade or game nights
  • Tailgating or sports parties
  • Open mic nights

You can schedule weekly events with specific times to target certain demographics, such as targeting office people, weekend brunch customers, or sports fans.  Don’t forget to promote your happy hour and events on social media, outdoor signs, and posters in front of your bar.

Hire the Right Employees

The bar industry has a very high employee turnover rate. This means you will waste a lot of time and money training new employees if you can’t retain them. You can avoid this by adopting strict standards when recruiting and running employee training programs. To ensure you can retain employees that you have acquired, you should provide them with bonuses, lucrative shifts, and pay raises from time to time. 

But sometimes these are also not enough to retain your employees. This is because there are employees who can be more motivated if you give them a promotion or provide them with an opportunity to learn a new skill set. 

Other things that can make your employees happy is to make sure the work atmosphere at your bar is comfortable and warm, thus they will be able to share their ideas and feelings easily.  

Create a Safe Restaurant

Opening a bar is a risky business. Thus, the employees you hire must be instructed to handle alcohol with caution. Safety for customers shall be held at highest regard. Because if not, you and your bar might face certain issues like fines, jail time, loss of your license, and other negative outcomes. 

You can even face legal action if your bar unintentionally poisons people with its drink. Keep in mind also that food poison can not only happen due to alcohol mixing. Food and beverage-borne illness also play a great role in getting people sick or hospitalized. To ensure that this does not happen, you should make sure of the cleanliness of your bar. Keep all surfaces, especially where you mix the drink, safe from any bacteria or viruses is very important. 

Keep in mind that you didn’t start this business to breach the law or poison your customers. You enter the field in order to earn a living and make people happy. To keep risks out of the drinks you serve, keep your clients safe, and keep them coming back to your bar, you definitely should implement sanitation policies and procedures behind your bar.

Thus it is very important to have a bar cleaning checklist on your hand. Thus you can train your in-house cleaner and even bartender to clean it regularly. 

Indeed, establishing and running a bar can be very competitive. It can also be very difficult to ensure that you earn profit from it. However, if you take a more active role to manage your business, it is not that hard to achieve success!

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