7 Things You Need to Know to Run a Bar

If you’re managing a bar and are lost in a sea of disorganization and tasks that seem impossible to start, then let's just go through a few quick tips and reminders to lessen some of that stress.


1. Believe in what you do 

The number one way to succeed in what you do is to believe in it and have a passion for it. 

Being a bar manager isn’t easy—it takes a lot of elbow grease and a fire in your belly to stay motivated even when things go south. If you’re in this profession because you think it’s glamorous and easy, then you’re in the wrong field. If you’re in it because you truly believe it’s where you’re meant to be and you love what you do, then let everything you do exude just that!

Have a positive attitude and lead by example so your staff can see exactly how it's done. 


2. Deliver more than just drinks and food 

Running a bar isn’t just about serving up beer, wine and mixed drinks or offering up great food—it's about creating the ultimate guest experience.

Figure out what your guests really enjoy. Is it trivia? Live music? Contests? Watch-parties? Know your audience and deliver the experiences they're seeking out.

Schedule a weekly trivia night that offers prizes, or watch-parties for different sporting events that bring the community together. Whatever the opportunity is that’s a good fit, make sure you deliver incentives that will make guests want to come back for more.

Remember, people want to have a good time and shake off the troubles of the week, so make your environment enjoyable and it’ll contribute to your overall success.


3. Create a signature drink

One of the best ways to stand out in the crowd is to create a signature drink that will be both memorable and tasty. But you won’t want to arbitrarily create a drink without considering a few factors first.

Determine what demographic you serve—college kids? 30-somethings? Couples out on date night? This will play a big part in what kind of drink (or drinks) you create and advertise.

If a signature drink seems like a bit much to tackle, staying on top of current drink trends and being familiar with what’s popular with crowds will make a difference, too. Offering customers new things to try like spicy tequila infusions or fruity vodka mixes will make it special. Use unique garnishes like fresh sliced fruit, herbs or even flowers to turn the ho-hum drinks into intricate and profitable ones.


4. Hire the best staff

Exceptional staff will help you achieve long-term success in your bar. It’s the difference between a total flop and a customer favorite.

Think about when you visit a bar or restaurant—if you had poor service from awkward, inattentive or just unfriendly waitstaff, would you return? Probably not. Guests visit a bar for the experience and the people working there—so hiring personable, outgoing, organized, and professional staff goes a long way.

Remember, these folks are essentially entertainers and need to know how to engage guests. Bar tending skills can be taught, but social skills are mainly inherent. 


5. Advertise appropriately

Advertising will get guests in the door, so try to come up with some kind of marketing strategy. Even the most basic of strategies is better than no strategy at all.

Use social media to your advantage, try blogging or even advertising in local papers and around the community. If you're a new bar, building awareness is important, and advertising further is critical if you’re an established place, too. And make sure you’re advertising within while you have patrons in your bar using custom digital signage to alert guests of specials and any upcoming events.


6. Turn visitors into regulars

All bars have regulars but for some bars, this is the bulk of their overall revenue. But how do you keep the regulars, well, regular?

Treat guests with a little extra care and deliver special deals to your loyal customers. Maybe it’s a birthday meal or drink to celebrate their special day, or a bottle of alcohol behind the bar with their name on it.

It’s the little things that will keep them coming back and spreading the word about how great your bar is.


7. Play the right music

Playing the right music for the right people at the right time also creates loyal guests.

Believe it or not, music that contributes to your bar's ambiance plays a big part in making repeat customers and the overall experience of your bar. Using playlists that are customized and curated by music-obsessed people will enhance your bar’s atmosphere. By using content that’s pre-selected and easily scheduled, you'll save a lot of time and headaches.


Want to simplify your job and create an environment uniquely your own? Learn more about custom playlists by clicking the link below.

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Creative Services Team

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