Running a successful bar

No matter whether you already own a bar or are considering setting one up, everyone needs to know how to maximise profits and how to be as successful as possible. Here are some handy tips:

  1. Have a well-stocked bar

This goes much further than simply filling up the cooler and ordering enough beer and wine. You also need to be tracking what your customers are drinking and what you’re going through much quicker than other items. This enables you to be smart with your ordering, spending less and ending up with less wastage. Be smart with your inventory and ordering. For Post Mix Suppliers, visit

Here are some other items that you’ll want to regularly check:




Cocktail shakers

Cocktail mixes


  1. Design signature cocktails

To make your bar stand out from the competition, a menu of signature cocktails is a great selling point. You’ll want to continue with the favourite traditional cocktails but add some unique drinks only found at your bar to give you a competitive edge. Making your own craft cocktails enables you to charge more thus increasing your profit margin too.

When designing signature cocktails, consider who your demographic is and what their tastes might be. A younger crowd will most likely desire cocktails with a vodka, tequila or rum base, whilst an older clientele will prefer fine whiskey or bourbon.

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  1. Events & Promotions

A great way to attract business on typically slow times of the week or day is to host a happy hour. Lowering your prices for a specified time will draw in customers who might not have otherwise visited. Wow them with your customer service and great cocktails and they’ll be happy to stay past happy hour and pay full price.

Events are another useful way to bring in custom. Whether they are a one-off or become a regular feature of the week, they are an effective way of growing a repeat customer base. It is this base that will help your bar to succeed. Some examples of events include:


Speed dating

Game nights


Comedy nights

  1. Hire the right staff

One of your greatest assets is your staff but they have to be as motivated as you to make the bar succeed. Traditionally, the service industry suffers from high turnover of staff, resulting in money lost through wasted training. Try to avoid this in your bar by maintaining high standards in recruitment and a training regime that might weed out anyone who doesn’t want to be there.

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Once you establish a strong team, you need to keep them happy to retain them. Think about incentives, a fair distribution of preferred shifts, pay raises, new skills courses or staff development and promotions. Staff want to feel valued, want to learn new skills to further their experience and like to feel they have a future with a business. If you can create this kind of working environment, then your staff will be more loyal and likely to stick with you.

Author: Kei Taylor

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