How to run a successful bar-restaurant

Bar-restaurants have made a place in the popular culture with a lot of biz around them. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to run a restaurant and all the more of it to run a bar-restaurant. There is more capital investment involved and as glamorous as it sounds, it is one of the most tedious businesses out there with high-risk factors. Running a bar business goes far beyond just fancy drinks and biz around it.

The bar-restaurant business is highly competitive. It takes a lot of thoughtfulness and efforts to build a strong business out of it. As important it is to find an apt location, right types of equipment, and licensing, there are a clear plan and a lot many factors to be considered while hoping to turn it into a successful venture.

Here’s a list of most judicious points to focus on while planning on acing the bar business-

  • Handle consistency and pressure hand in hand
  • Optimise your layout as well as finances
  • Measure your liquor and reduce wastage
  • Keep the bar stocked and music trendy
  • Create signature cocktails and food menu
  • Hire and train the right staff
  • Build relationships with customers
  • Focus on marketing and social media

Handle consistency and pressure hand in hand

Consistency is the key to any business. The bar should be regular and consistent in providing services to customers at any point in time. One shouldn’t keep waiting for weekends to flourish the business. Although weekends are the most profitable days, it’s a smart idea to keep regular promotions, events and offers during weekdays. Weekends can be jam-packed and full of pressure.

One should take liability seriously and operate their bar with a sense of responsibility to

 anyone who comes in. It sometimes gets very tiresome to work in a high pressure while also being consistent. Bar-restaurant business is one of the most profitable ones but also requires extreme care and involvement of the owner as well as the staff, since it also involves following strict laws, maintaining hygiene and assuring safety.

Optimise your layout as well as finances

A functional layout of the space always works wonders in the success of the bar. It is essential to put oneself in the shoes of the customers and plan the spaces in a way that it is helpful for the customers as well as the staff in the overall functioning of the bar-restaurant. It includes the number of seating, circulation space, distinctive areas for dining, bar, and floor area for various activities.

 While planning an effective layout helps in managing the space and crowd, investing in POS software helps in managing the finances carefully. POS Software help in building price and cost strategy, calculating investments and profits, keeping a check on data and records, accounts, employee and inventory management. Overall, POS software is a boon to the bar-restaurant industry.

Measure your liquor and reduce wastage

The most cautious task while running a bar is portion control. Consistent pouring of drinks with equal amounts of alcohol and mixes every time is paramount to produce beneficial results in the long run. It can be achieved by using jiggers, shot glasses, and pour spouts. Over-pouring is bound to affect the overall profits negatively.

Portion control also helps in maintaining consistency, taste and craft of the drinks. The same factors can be applied to the food menu as well. It needs to be portioned so that every item comes out of the kitchen with the same taste and preparation time. Measuring the items also reduces wastage, keeps a check on a stock as well as gives beneficial outcomes.

Keep the bar stocked and music trendy

Managing the inventory is the most crucial factor in a bar. Keeping regular checks at the inventory will help increasing efficiency, and making a better return. It reduces the risk of wastage, spoilage, running out of items and eventually utilising the expenditure effectively. Keeping the bar stocked is not limited to just hoarding various kinds of alcohol, it also requires a track of the most preferred orders by the customers, most commonly used items both for bar and food menu. It helps in optimising expenditure on various items according to need. Importance of good music should never be neglected, especially in places like bars where most people want to have joyful experiences. It subtly plays a role in not just setting up the mood but also affects the time that people spend in the bar or the amount of food and drinks they order.

Create signature cocktails and food menu

It is not necessary to have each and every drink under the sky on the menu. Sometimes, having too many choices distracts potential customers as well as poke a hole in the budget. The more crucial thing is to create a menu that leaves a mark on customers’ minds. Keep innovating items on a weekly or monthly basis, it adds a surprise element to a rather regular menu and makes the customers keep coming back for more. It’s a great idea to add signature drinks that are specific to only your bar since it gives a competitive edge over other bars.

Since diet consciousness is trendy, creating a distinctive menu for people with specific food habits is a good opportunity to target an underserved clientele. The food menu can also be made keeping in mind the target audience. Fewer items on the menu allow to concentrate on the drinks and foods specific to your bar-restaurant concept and also help customers to make quick decisions.

Hire and train the right staff

The staff should be hired on the basis of not only merit but also morale. Staff should realise that their duty is not limited to just having a job and earning money, but also maintain genuine and helpful attitude towards customers. Having a good supporting staff ensures a unique selling point as well as healthy atmosphere of the bar.

It also matters that the staff is familiar with all the items in the menu The staff may include Head Chef, Chef de Partie, Su-chefs, helpers, waiters, bartenders, bouncers, and accountants. The staff may include

Moreover, it is also important to keep the staff happy. Success also means to grow your community and help others succeed as well. The staff needs to be trained so as to meet the requirements of the bar-restaurant, to up-sell and also to tackle negative reviews.

Build relationships with people

Bar’s relationship with customers makes or breaks the business. Behaviour towards customers leaves a permanent mark on them. Get feedback from the customers from time to time, it helps in understanding their taste and latest patterns. Healthy relationships should not be limited to just people coming into the bar. Having productive relationships with surrounding outlets can add great value to the business.

Bar culture is more popular among young adults, so for running a profitable business, it is advisable to keep the millennial clientele in good faith. Host social events and happy hours on various occasions to attract a better client base. Making the customers feel respected, comfortable and safe speaks volumes about the space on moral grounds. It’s a smart idea to remember the names and usual orders of your regular customers so that they would want to visit the bar more often.

Focus on marketing and social media

In the social-media centric world that we live in, the most effective way to expand your business is to put your work out there for a larger populace to see. Creating websites and other social media handles can shoot up the popularity and clientele unexpectedly.

Certain things to be kept in mind while putting out work online is that the website should be user-friendly, and the content should be relevant to maximum people. The social media handles should provide useful information about the bar like the location, menu, bookings, special deals, etc.


The right strategy and smart business plan is the key to excel in the bar-restaurant business. It takes every bit of hard work and patience to deal with a business as extensive as handling a bar-restaurant. But with lawful execution, high ethics and healthy competition, it is bound to yield great results, because where else would the people find comfort, excitement and overwhelming joy altogether if not a bar-restaurant!