Whether you manage a bar or a nightclub, managing a successful bar requires more than just keeping the customers happy. It’s important to make sure your bar is well-stocked and offers tasty drinks. It would be best if you also created events that excite potential customers. Although managing a bar can be challenging, 8 steps will help you make money from your business.
8 Steps to Successfully Run a Bar
Keep your bar stocked:
Maintaining a bar full is more than just stocking it with beer, wine, and liquor. It is important to track what alcohol your customers drink and which alcohol they use most often. This will help you adjust your orders to avoid spending as much on less-popular alcohol and keep your bar full of popular items.
The Essential Items Every Bar Should Have-
Your bar or nightclub should have more than just liquor and beer. Here are some things you should have in your bar.
- Bar napkins
- Straws and stirrers
- Mixing glasses
- Cocktail shakers and strainers
- Liquor pourers
- Cocktail mixes
To reduce overpouring, measure your liquor
Although it may seem insignificant, a bar that pours too much alcohol can lead to a loss of thousands of dollars.
There are many ways to measure your pouring and reduce waste in your bar. These are just a few ways your bar can reduce waste and overpouring.
- Measure the pourers. Measured liquor pourers allow you to estimate portions and prevent spillage.
- Teach bartenders how to use jiggers when creating cocktails. This helps prevent overpouring and ensures consistent drinks for your customers.
- Select the right glassware to reduce liquor costs. The bottom of heavy-base glasses is thicker than standard glassware. This allows you to use less liquid to fill them, leading to savings in the long term.
These bar management tips will reduce waste and help to ensure consistency. This is crucial for customers returning to your bar and keeping them happy.
Make Signature Cocktails
Customers may be tempted to order the same drinks as others, such as rum and coke or Tom Collins. However, creating unique drinks gives you an edge over other bars. You can also price your craft cocktails higher than the traditional drinks, which will increase your profit margin.
It would be best to consider the tastes of your target audience when creating new recipes or cocktails. If you are near a college and your customers are in their twenties, you will want to create strong cocktails using liquors such as vodka, rum, or tequila. Bars with older customers might want to use premium liquors such as whiskey or Bourbon in their recipes.
It’s important to stay on top of the latest drink trends so that you can offer your customers something different, such as fruity or spiced vodka infusions. You can spice up your cocktails with unique garnishes, such as fruit kabobs or daiquiris.
Host happy hour and other events
Hosting happy hours can be a great way for customers to come in at low prices. The customers will be enticed by your excellent service and delicious cocktails to continue their stay after happy hour. It would be best if you offered discounts on items with a high-profit margin, group specials, and snacks to maximize your profits.
Hosting events is another way to attract customers to your business. You can host events once in a while or regularly. This is a great way for your bar to attract customers and help them succeed. You can hold many types of events, depending on the theme and clientele. These are some of the most popular:
- Speed dating
- Arcade or gaming nights
- Sports parties or tailgating
- Open mic nights
- Participating at a bar crawl
Your weekly events can be scheduled to target certain demographics such as post-work business people, weekend brunch-goers, and sports fans prior, during, or afterwards a big sporting event. It would help if you advertised your happy hour specials via social media, outdoor signs, posters, and in your front-of-house space.
The Right Bartenders
Bar industry turnover is high, which means that a lot of money is wasted on training new staff. This can be prevented by setting strict standards for hiring and establishing a rigorous training program that eliminates any unsuitable candidates early on.
Incentives are a great way for bar managers to retain top employees. Not all incentives need to be monetary. Many employees are motivated by the possibility of promotion or new skills. If you have a dishwasher, who is hardworking but also wants to learn bartending skills, then reward them with some training and allow them to bartend in slow periods.
It is important to keep your employees happy by creating a safe environment where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns. Employees will leave if they feel heard by their bosses or owners. You can also learn more about your employees by having a dialogue with them. This will help you to keep them happy while working hard.
To upsell, train your wait staff and bartenders.
Your bar can increase profits by training staff to upsell customers. Your bartenders and waitstaff may suggest that customers order a high-value item or add it to their orders. Your business and employees will benefit from upselling because larger checks equal bigger tips.
Upselling is all about making it personal. Instead of suggesting a more expensive option to your customers, tell your bartender that it is their favourite drink or a new delicious special. Your customers will be more inclined to purchase the more expensive option if you frame the sale as a suggestion.
Also, make sure your food menu is visible to patrons. While they might initially come to your bar with only drinks in their minds, the appetizer menu might look more appealing after a few rounds. You can also increase sales by providing food and drink pairings based on common flavours or contrasts.
Your staff should be educated about the best pairings of food and drinks. What beers pair well with appetizers? What wines go well with desserts? Giving knowledgeable recommendations will be more helpful than being a sales pitch. Finally, make sure staff are trained to spot undecided customers. A simple “Can you suggest one of our specials?” can help a customer who has looked at the menu for a long time. This can be a great way to persuade them.
Invest in a POS System
A POS (electronic Point of Sale) system is essential to any bar’s success. It organizes orders and tracks transactions. This order and receipt system ensures smooth communication between waitresses, bartenders, and chefs to keep track of customers’ tabs even on the busiest nights. Bar owners and managers can also see how employees break down sales. POS stations cost between $2,000 and $5,000, so do your research to find the best system for you before buying one.
Take liability seriously
The service of alcohol is risky. When managing a bar, you should train your staff to deal with alcohol-related safety issues. This is not only for customers who have had too much but also to protect your bar against fines, imprisonment, loss of liquor license, higher insurance costs, or even the possibility of losing your business.
You can face criminal penalties if your establishment serves alcohol to minors or intoxicated patrons. In addition, you could also be sued in civil court for any damages caused by the person who leaves your bar. To cut costs, many smaller establishments do not have liquor liability coverage.