Dos and Donts in Opening a Bar

Facts Every Alcohol Distributor Should Know: Do’s and Dont’s in Opening A Bar

When you are sitting in a bar while drinking your problems away, do you ever get the idea of opening your own bar? Does it ever come to mind that you can still drink and earn money at the same time? That would be a dream come true, wouldn’t it? As fun as it sounds, it is not going to be easy. You will experience challenges almost every day – difficulties such as restocking fresh new drinks with the help of your alcohol distributor and throwing out rowdy customers will definitely come in the picture. However, it will be worth it because you will be having one of the greatest experiences of your life.


The Bar Business

The Bar Business

Bars are one of the most thriving businesses in the world not because they are unique or high-class, but because 9 out of 10 people enjoy a drink or two from time to time. They are a staple for most countries and can be a booming business if handled correctly. The first thing to consider is the right alcohol distributor. Without a competent alcohol distributor, you will be faced with overwhelming problems that can possibly endanger your business.

If you are passionate about opening your own bar, then you must be prepared to do anything that is necessary – from the grand opening to its consistent maintenance and improvement. This can be tricky because of the multiple factors you need to think about. For this reason, we have compiled some of the do’s and don’ts that you have to keep in mind when opening a bar.


What Things Should You Do when Running a Bar?

What Things Should You Do when Running a Bar?

Running a bar is serious business, no matter what other people seem to think about it. In order to be successful in this endeavor, you must consider doing the following:


Your Research

The first thing to do is research on everything related to your bar; study the demographic of the place and situate your bar where the legal-aged drinkers are. Look into who the owners or operators of thriving bars are and find out what you can do to make your bar standout from the rest. For example, in the Philippines, liquor is a huge part of their culture, this could be a determinant of the success of your bar. You can conduct proper research through hard-work and dedication or you can hire someone to do the research for you but it’ll cost you some money.


Gain Knowledge

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the second leading cause of failure in the bar business is the lack of knowledge. Thus, the first thing you want to do is research on everything related to your bar – figure out what type of bar you want to open, study its demand and crowd, and strategically situate your bar where the most ideal visitors go.  For example, a Philippine wines and spirits bar would do better in a business district than near a college campus.

You also want to look into who the owners or operators of thriving bars are and learn from them. Why are they doing well? Why aren’t they doing well? How can you improve both when you put up your bar? For example, in the Philippines, liquor is a huge part of their culture which makes it a main determinant of your bar’s success. You can conduct proper research through hard work and dedication or hire a professional to help you.


Choose a Name That Speaks

A lot of first-time bar owners are tempted to name their bar after themselves or their dream name like “Gail’s Winery”. While such a name will warm your heart, it doesn’t speak to customers and inform them of what kind of experience they will get from drinking at your bar. A name such as “The Cask” will let customers know that your bar specializes in draft beers. This is a much better approach to naming your bar since it also markets it.

Think about what experience you want for your bar. Do you want it to be a place for single people to mingle in? Is a high energy sports bar your vision for it? The name plays an essential role in attracting new customers and giving them an idea of the experience you offer.

Always remember that all bars have the same drinks, but not the same experience.


Get a Liquor License ASAP

One of the biggest barriers you can encounter when you have decided to open your own bar is getting a liquor license. Though a hefty amount of money is also needed in this aspect, your main problem will probably be the time. It is possible that your local government will take up to 1 year to process a liquor license so it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible. Additionally, most communities only hand out a limited number of licenses in an area. If ever you run out of licenses, then they only issue new ones if the population increases. Given these complications, others opt to purchase out a bar instead along with their license. You may want to consider this option as well.


Make Friends

When you know who your competitors are, instead of ignoring them, try to befriend them. Having an example to follow or a friend in the industry will ultimately help you in managing your bar. If ever you encounter a problem with your bar, then there’s a 99% chance that they already experienced something similar and can possibly help you in solving it.


Choose Wisely

Your bar’s location is one of the most important aspects you have to consider. Make sure that it is a busy neighborhood or a city with well-mannered people since you will be spending most of your time with them.  In addition, choosing your employees will be hard. However, once you have found the right people, they will make your life easier by knowing what to do and when to do them. Having reliable employees can give you your much-needed days-off and family time.


Create Events That Boost

It is true that you will experience dead days in a week, especially every Mondays and Tuesdays. This is why you should find ways to boost visitors on these days. Offering promos such as “Half-off Mondays”, “Tequila Tuesdays”, or a simple boosting solution well-timed happy hour are some of the great ideas to do this. While the attendance may still not be as high as the weekend, it will draw a different crowd on dead days that could possibly be the game changer you need to achieve success in your business. Just be sure to do the proper planning, budgeting, and execution because this is a trial and error method.


What Things Should You Never Do when Running a Bar?
What Things Should You Never Do when Running a Bar?

If there are things that you should do when running a bar, then there are also a number of them that you should never even consider. Find them out below.


Forget Your Inventory

Your inventory is the backbone of your business. This includes the different kinds of alcohol you offer from whiskey to beer. If handled incorrectly, then, you will be losing a lot more than you are earning. Make sure to note down all the changes in your inventory so that you have a record of it for future reference. Moreover, make sure your staff is using the standard amount in every recipe and mixture to avoid any unexplained disappearances from your inventory. In short, keep an updated log and record for everything in your inventory.


Be Unaware of Liabilities

By running a bar, you are selling products that intoxicate people which could lead to rowdy or even a dangerous behavior. There are certain responsibilities that you, as a bar owner, must know to avoid the law forcing you to close down. These responsibilities are:



Ignore Your Staff

One of the main things that can make or break your business is the quality of your customer service. This is directly proportional to the way you handle your employees. An employee that is unhappy with the management will perform sub-par when compared to a satisfied employee; the latter will enjoy interacting and satisfying the customers. Often, people come to a bar not because of the drinks, but because of the friendly and comfortable service. For this reason, you should make sure that your staff is happy and properly trained.

If you are looking to hire a manager or a whole management team, then take a few months or even a year to personally train them. Teach them everything they need to know to run the bar for you. One of the most important lessons you can teach your prospect team is how to keep the employees happy. You don’t want a management team that will shrug off the problems of the staff.


Ignore Your Family

When running a new bar, the first years could be rough for you and your family. As mentioned above, you will need to properly train your service and management teams that could take a few months up to a year. However, it will take you just as long or even longer to train yourself with the skills needed to run the bar since you will be personally managing the bar and stay there from opening to closing for the first years. The regular work hours of a bar are from 7:00 PM to 4:00 AM. With this kind of schedule, you will barely see your family. This is why you need to make sure that you give yourself the proper day off and always make time for vacations or family bonding on Sundays to ensure that they do not feel neglected.


Spread Your Resources Too Thin

Most bars fail because of one reason: misuse of resources. A few examples of these are starting your bar business with insufficient capital, buying the wrong materials or ingredients, or overpaying for the items that you need. When starting your business, make sure that you have the sufficient capital, backup capital, and a high proficiency in budgeting.


Mismatch Your Entertainment and Clientele

Based on the type and the theme of your bar, you are going to attract a certain type of clientele. These people will have their preferences when it comes to entertainment based on their personalities as a person and expectations from the bar.  A winery could make their ambiance perfect with some jazz music playing in the background while rock groups and stand-up comics could excite college students in a bar near their campus.

Additionally, adding games such as a pool table or an arcade can give your clientele a good way to entertain themselves while generating extra income for your bar.


Stick to a Formula

If you do your research and it pays off with a steady and sustainable income, then good for you. However, you should never relax when this happens. It is indeed a reality that bars become mediocre when they don’t spice things up from time to time – people will eventually get bored of your bar. This is why you should always seek to improve everything when you can – from your promotion, your service, your equipment, your visuals, and other amenities you need in order to take your bar to the next level. By doing this, you keep your current clients excited and potential customers curious.

Switching up an element or two in your theme could also attract different cliques. It is this mix of new, old, and different clients that will keep your bar up and be running for a long period of time. Just remember to always strive to be fresh.


Just Be a Bar

It is already established that the competition of bars in the Philippines is tight and you have to stand out in terms of name, theme, and service in order to survive. However, you don’t want to just survive – you want to succeed. In order to do this, you must think outside of the box and not limit your bar to just being a bar.

You can turn it into a multi-purpose venue to be rented out for private events. The rent people pay to hold high school reunions, wedding receptions, and business socials can earn you an extra mile of cash.

Moreover, you can make the bar into a coffee shop or restaurant during the day to make it into a round-the-clock money making machine.


Have a Basic Menu

Since small bars are turning up left and right, bar food staples such as sisig and wings are becoming normal even in shady drinking places. When people go to your highly planned and decorated bar, they will expect the food to be of the same quality. This can either be in the recipes, the presentation, or both. Not doing this risks will ultimately lead to losing potentially high-paying clientele.


What is the role of alcohol distributors?

What is the role of alcohol distributors?

Admittedly, bar owners are incapable of running their business on their own. They would have to rely on some people to keep things working smoothly. One of their trusted partners in running their bar would be the alcohol distributors.

Alcohol distributors act as a sort of middle man between the retail stores and the producers of alcohol. The producers – brewers, winemakers, distillers and importers – will sell their products to the distributors. In turn, the distributors then sell these products to the retailers (e.g. bar owners).

Such a system is implemented by governments so that they can regulate the alcohol industry in their countries. It also allowed them to impose tax on alcohol producers. Thanks to these regulations, the alcohol industry cannot be monopolized by a single person for they can only partake one role (maker, distributor, or seller).


Why Should You Choose Alcoline as Your Alcohol Distributor?

Alcoline has been in the Philippine alcohol industry as a distributor for 20 years. You can trust us to support you however we can in order to make your bar a success story. Furthermore, you can be assured that our alcohol products will have the highest of qualities, meaning you can proudly present them to your customers, who will sure to be begging for more.

Furthermore, Alcoline can provide you the best service in terms of affordability, being on time with deliveries, and diverse product variety. What else could you ask for? If you are ready for this awesome partnership, the contact use through or you can go to this page.

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