How to Go From Bartender to Bar Owner

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Written By Financial master






Maybe you took a bartending class so you could supplement your income or as a full-time gig. Some see it just as that, a gig, but others may want to turn it into a career. Not many want to be bartenders for the rest of their lives, but a few people decide to become owners. Depending on the years you have in the business, you may have a natural advantage as you know more about the business than most. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be easy, as the bar industry is a very tough one. Let’s take a look at how you can make the transition from bartender to owner.

Understand the Financial Side

The most important part of running a bar or any business is to take care of the books first. You will need to get familiar with accounting or meet with an accountant from the start. You also need to learn how to make projections, calculate labor and maintenance costs, insurance, and everything else that comes with running a bar.

Look at Financing Options

We would also suggest that you start looking at a few potential lenders right now. Chance are you will need financing at the beginning to cover things like equipment, inventory, or advertising. Know that you are more likely to get financing if you have healthy business finances. You have to make sure that everything is in order. This is where meeting with an accountant and understanding the business side will come in handy.

Do Market Research

You will also have to run market research on the area where you were thinking of opening the bar. You have to know what the trends are in your area and how many other bars are competing with you. Check how many universities there are where you are, and if the area is oversaturated. It would also be a good time to snoop on what the competition is doing and getting inspiration.

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Get a Business Name and Form Your Business

Next, you will have to build your brand identity and come up with a name. You will also have to think of what business entity would be better for your business.

Most small businesses like bars decide to go either for a sole proprietorship, partnership, or a limited liability company. An LLC is usually the better option for a bar as you don’t want to leave yourself open to litigation if something happens, and many things can go wrong in a bar.

Someone may sue you because there was a brawl and they got injured, for instance. Or there may be issues with a performer not showing up. These are all things that could spell trouble for a sole owner, so don’t take the risk.

So, if you wanted to make the transition from bartender to owner, this is really all there is to it. The next step is making sure that you have a sound plan and that you follow through with it.