The Tyro Blog

7 November 2022 - 6 min read

Business Strategies

Your guide to opening a new bar

Thinking about starting a bar? There’s a series of steps you’ll need to take to get your beverage-centred business idea off the ground. From planning to marketing, this article covers all the things you’ll need to do to build a successful bar.

Establish a business plan

Before you start making moves, you’ll need to sit down and devise a business plan. This is your time to get crystal clear about what you want your business to be (i.e. how you want it to look and feel) and how you’re going to get there.

Your business plan will become the backbone of your business – guiding you through the different stages as you build, run, and grow your bar. It will ensure that every decision you make aligns with your vision, keeping your brand consistent from day dot.

So you don’t miss anything important, including the cost of opening a new bar, follow this handy guide on how to write a strong business plan.

Register for licenses and permits

A critical step when starting a bar is securing all the necessary licenses and permits so you can legally operate.

The registrations you’ll need will differ depending on the state you plan to operate in, as well as when you trade, where alcohol will be consumed, and if you’ll offer entertainment such as gaming machines and live music. Be sure to check your local council/state laws so you know exactly what requirements you’ll need, so your bar is set up correctly from the start.

Find a venue

Where you set up your bar is just as important as what you offer. Here’s what you should be looking out for when scouting out potential locations:

  • If it’s the right size
  • If there’s enough foot traffic to sustain a bar
  • If there’s any other bars nearby that you’ll be competing with
  • If it’s easy for people to access

Ultimately, the prime spot will be one that makes sense for your operations, and that people will be able to find without any trouble. It should also be in your price range so it doesn’t blow your budget.

Get equipment

Once you’ve signed the deal on a premises, you’ll need to fit it out with all the tools that will enable you to serve drinks (and food) to your customers. As a general guide, you’ll need:

  • Inventory – wine, spirits, beer, fruit juice, garnishes etc.
  • Beverage-making tools, including shakers, measures, and blenders
  • Kitchen equipment, including fridges, ovens, toasters, and microwaves
  • Tables and countertops to prepare you drinks and dishes
  • Serving equipment, including trays, glassware, straws, and utensils

Hire a team

To bring your bar to life, you’ll need to assemble a team of managers, bartenders, chefs, kitchen hands, waiters, and hosts.

When choosing candidates, make sure you pick people that will be a good representation of your brand. It’s also important to remember that while experience is valuable, attitude is just as crucial and is something that can’t be taught.

Make a menu

Moving on, you’ll need a menu. The drinks and dishes you serve should tie into your bar theme to create a truly unique experience that people will keep coming back for.

When building the menu for your bar, you might want to focus on finger-food rather than dishes that require knives and forks – to play into the more casual nature of this hospitality space. Whatever you do, make sure to put in the time and effort to make something great.

Once your menu is sorted, you can design the physical menu that customers will peruse. It should visually and tonally match your brand to keep things consistent across the board.

Invest in technology

Next up, you’ll need a way to accept payments from your customers and bring in the money that will make your business go round. Tyro EFTPOS offers a suite of features catered towards hospitality businesses, to help you make the most of your trading experience.

They include:

  • BarTabs1: Give customers the ability to cap their spend and keep their card in their pocket
  • Pay@Table1: Let customers pay directly from their table by bringing up their bill through Tyro’s mobile EFTPOS machine instead of at the POS
  • SplitBills1: Split a bill so customers can pay their own way
  • Tipping: Make it easy for customers to tip the way they want to, either by a dollar amount or by a percentage of the transaction

Marketing

Bar ready to go? Share your open day with the world so those seats will be filled when you open your doors. Start by creating a website, social media accounts, and a Google Maps listing so your business comes up when people search for bars in the area. Then, make pre-launch posts, send out flyers, and organise features in relevant publications.

On top of sharing what your bar is about, when it’s open and what’s on your menu, you could also offer an opening-day special for the first 100 customers. Who doesn’t love a deal!

When customers visit, make sure to encourage them to follow your social media accounts or join your mailing list to receive the latest news on your bar.

Open your doors

Hooray! It’s time to reap the rewards of your hard work and open your bar to the public. If you want, you can do a soft launch beforehand to be across the basics before the big day. When you do officially open those doors, be sure to take a moment to pause and celebrate your incredible achievement.

At the end of opening day, it’s worth reflecting on what went well and what didn’t. This will help you finetune your menu and service, so it only gets better from here on out.

Conclusion

Opening a new bar is an exciting venture that requires a lot of time, effort and dedication. Follow these steps and you’ll be running a bustling bar in no time! Get your bar ready for business with Tyro.

1 Tyro’s Pay@Table, SplitBills and BarTab features are only available where the POS/PMS supports the integration. SplitBills is only available with Tyro’s Pay@Table feature.