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8 Business Tips for Bar Owners and Managers

Bartender wiping bar

8 Business Tips for Bar Owners and Managers

As bar owner or manager, you use every strategy you can to make your business successful.  We’ve asked bar owners to share what they think are the most important things to know about running a bar.  As a result, we’re happy to have gotten many great responses from these professionals.  We’ve taken their answers and condensed them into these eight tips for every bar owner and bar manager:

Know Your Industry

While you might think this tip is a no-brainer.  If so, you’d be surprised by the number of people who buy bars with little to no knowledge of the industry. These folks think they can jump into the bar game and learn as they go. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Many who buy a bar without understanding the industry end up losing their businesses. If you’re behind on bar industry standards, it’s never too late to learn what you need to succeed in this business.    

Know Your Market

If you want a successful bar, you need to know everything about the area it’s located in.  This is just as important as knowing the industry.  Here is just some of the market knowledge that’s vitally important to your business:

  • How many people live in the immediate area
  • The unemployment rate in your market
  • The average income in the surrounding area
  • How many other bars are near yours
  • What your competition has that you don’t

These and other important demographic information helps guide your marketing and promotions. 

Customer Service is King

This is probably the most important thing every bar owner and manager must master.  Look, people don’t have to come to your bar.  They could always go somewhere else or even have a few drinks at home, which is more affordable.  This is why it’s so important to treat your customers well each and every time they’re in your bar.  This adds to their experience and encourages them to keep coming back.  As you read on, see how many of the other tips are customer-service related.  (Hint: It’s the rest of them!)

Attitude is Everything

In the service industry, there’s an old saying: “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” When choosing your staff, how they are with people can be more important than experience. For example, if you have a rude bartender, no one will care if he or she makes the best Moscow Mule in town. The same goes for your waitstaff. Hire people who are warm, friendly, and helpful, then teach them the skills they need for their jobs. 

Build Relationships with Staff and Guests

The best way to do this is to lead by example. Owners and managers need to get behind the bar and serve drinks to their customers. This lets you bond with your staff in a very real and meaningful way. It also helps you bond with your customers because you’ll be interacting with them on a regular basis. Your patrons will appreciate the attention and they’ll remember it the next time they want to go out. 

Make Your Bar Fun!

All bars offer drinks, and most offer some type of food menu. That’s why it’s so important to have other things that make your bar fun and entertaining for your patrons. Dart leagues, bands, and electronic trivia games, for example, help your customers have fun at your bar. The more entertainment you provide, the more popular your bar will be, and your guests will stay longer, driving up profits!

Be Open to Change

The most successful bars are the ones that continue to evolve with the market.  If things are going well, do not sit back and try to coast.  For your customers and the sake of your business, you need to keep up with the changes in your industry.  Whether it’s a new drink, service, or anything else, learn everything you can about it and find a way to incorporate it.  Remember, if you don’t, your competitors will… and then they’ll have the edge on you!   

Confidence is Key

Being a bar owner/manager isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. If you want to succeed, be passionate about your bar and exude confidence in your abilities. If you have a positive attitude, your customers will pick up on it and appreciate you for it. You might be surprised at how much of your success depends upon having the right attitude!

Bonus Tip: Get DIRECTV for Your Bar

DIRECTV is one of the best things you can offer at your bar.  It lets you take advantage of something we call “beer math.”  The formula is simple – when your clients enjoy the game at your bar, they’ll stay longer and order more food and drinks.   Everyone has a great time, and best of all, you’ll see a huge increase in your profits.  This makes DIRECTV and its sports programming packages, such as NFL Sunday Ticket or MLB Extra Innings, a great addition to any bar.

DIRECTV for Bars from Signal Connect

Do you want DIRECTV at your bar or pub? Signal Connect is an AT&T Preferred Dealer, which means we can help you with every step of the process. Our reps match you with a viewing package, satellite equipment, and local DIRECTV installer. The crown jewel of our service to you is the free customer support you’ll get for the life of your account. If you have questions, need an adjustment made, we’ll take care of it. If you want to learn more about how a commercial DIRECTV account can boost your business, call 866-726-4182.