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How to Open a Bar: 5 Items to Set You Apart From the Competition

Starting your very own bar is an exciting and risky venture. According to Fortune, “110,000 eating and drinking establishments closed in 2020.” While the pandemic certainly contributed to these numbers, they aren’t the only cause. Many underestimate how hard it is to keep a bar profitable. 

So how do you ensure this doesn’t happen to you? You may think you have the best location, concepts, and staff, but many bar owners have felt the same in the past and struggled to keep their doors open. You will need to find your niche in the industry and find ways to set yourself apart from the competition. So if you’re wondering how to open a bar that stays open, then keep reading because we have come up with 5 essential concepts every new bar should consider to keep customers coming back. 

#1: Signature Cocktail Menu

A signature cocktail menu is an important thing to have when starting a new bar because it helps to create a unique identity for your business. Drink menus are often one of the first things that customers look at when they walk into a bar, so it’s important to make sure that yours stands out from the crowd. 

A rotating or seasonal signature cocktail menu allows you to showcase your bartenders’ creativity and skills, and it gives customers a reason to come back and try something new. In addition, a well-crafted cocktail menu can help to increase your bar’s profitability by driving up sales of higher-margin items. So if you’re looking to set your new bar apart from the competition, consider creating a signature cocktail menu.

#2: The Right Aesthetic 

When it comes to opening a new bar, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right aesthetic. After all, the atmosphere of your bar will be one of the main things that attracts customers and keeps them coming back. 

There are a few key factors to consider when picking an aesthetic for your bar. First, think about what kind of experience you want your customers to have. Do you want your bar to be a place for people to unwind and relax, or do you want it to be a bit more high-energy? Once you’ve decided on the overall feeling you’re going for, you can start thinking about specific details like color scheme, décor, and music. If you take the time to carefully consider your options, you’ll be sure to create a bar that’s perfect for your target clientele.

Your employees will also need to match this aesthetic with their uniforms. Here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea for bar employees to have consistent outfits. First, it creates a professional appearance for the business. Customers are more likely to take the business seriously and trust the staff if they look like they’re part of a team. Second, it makes it easy for customers to identify employees. This is especially important if there’s a problem or if someone needs help. When everyone is wearing the same uniform, it also helps them feel more likely to feel like they’re part of a team and less likely to feel like they’re just another employee. There are many ways to do this, such as matching aprons, matching hats, or an array of custom branding clothing that allows each bartender to have their own style but still clearly representing the bar. 

#3: Secret Menu

A secret menu is a great way to add excitement and intrigue to your bar. It also allows you to differentiate yourself from other bars in the area. By offering unique and seasonal cocktails that only the regulars know (except for the inevitable leak *wink*), you can attract new customers, help the regulars feel special, and keep everyone coming back for more.

A secret menu also allows you to test out new ingredients and beverage combinations without commitment. You can experiment with different flavor profiles and presentation styles to see what works best for your bar. So, if you’re looking to add some fun and excitement to your bar, a secret menu is a great way to do it.

#4: Loyalty Program 

A bar loyalty program can be a great way to create recurring customers. It’s easy to do and can really add up to more than pay for itself over time. 

By offering exclusive membership to a loyalty program, you can add class to your bar and make it more appealing to potential customers. Plus, it’s a great way to keep track of your regulars and make sure they’re always coming back for more. So if you’re looking for ways to build customer loyalty, a formal loyalty program might be just what you need.

#5: Social Media Strategy/Instagram Wall

A bar needs a social media strategy for a number of reasons. First, social media is a great way to connect with customers and build relationships. It’s also a great way to promote events and specials, and to generate word-of-mouth marketing. And finally, social media provides an easy way for customers to share their experiences with friends and followers. When done right, a social media strategy can help a bar to reach new customers, build loyalty among existing customers, and increase profits.

An “Instagram wall” is a designated area in a restaurant or bar where patrons can take photos and post them to their Instagram account. Usually, the wall is decorated with the restaurant’s logo or hashtag, and it may also include other fun props like stuffed animals or balloons. The purpose of an Instagram wall is twofold: first, it helps to create a fun and festive atmosphere that will encourage customers to take photos and post them online. Second, it gives patrons a way to show off their experience at the restaurant or bar to their friends and followers. In today’s highly competitive hospitality industry, an Instagram wall can be a powerful marketing tool that can help to attract new customers and build brand awareness.



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