General Business Forum Brought to you by Total Gas & Power

How do I start up a new bar?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Justin Harrison, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Justin Harrison

    Justin Harrison UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Hi, I'm looking to start up a bar in the future but just wanted to get all pre checks sorted now. What I would like to know is everything it takes to open up a bar. Completely new to this so go right back to basics if needed but the sort of stuff I need to know is what I am required to have/get and what sort of planning do I need to do.

    Please just go right back to basics for me as I'm a first timer at this.

    Thanks
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Justin Harrison Member since: Oct 15, 2019
    #1
  2. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,018 724
    What level of experience do you have working in/managing bars?
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
    #2
  3. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,596 1,085
    You need to know how to run a business

    then you need to know how to run a bar. (Very much in that order)

    the failure rate of independent bars is about 85% within 18 months

    some of those are experienced operators. The overwhelming majority are just people who would ‘like to run a bar’
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #3
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  4. Chawton

    Chawton UKBF Regular Free Member

    128 51
    Before the Byre responds to this, can I please ask him to explain his anecdote about the straws.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Chawton Member since: Mar 21, 2018
    #4
  5. Opinion87

    Opinion87 UKBF Regular Free Member

    271 52
    This. In fact, from experience, I'd say it's probably more like 90% inside 12 months.

    I've been going 6 years now. It's a tough, tough industry and not one I'd be looking to start up in any time soon. If you're completely new to it, don't waste your time or money- it's a quick way to make a small fortune out of a large one.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Opinion87 Member since: Jul 1, 2015
    #5
  6. UKSBD

    UKSBD Not a real duck Staff Member

    9,371 1,753
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
    #6
  7. STDFR33

    STDFR33 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,958 1,006
    1) Find premises
    2) Obtain necessary licenses and planning permission
    3) Buy beer
    4) Sell beer
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: STDFR33 Member since: Aug 7, 2016
    #7
  8. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    592 100
    Step 1 , use the search function in UKBF!!!! There are several good posts and articles about it in the last 2 years already explained in detail what to do.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
    #8
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    17,254 1,935
    Would have thought starting up a new bar would be expensive and less guarantee of success than buying an existing bar which at least is known about and has customers.

    Lots of businesses appear to open up and close soon afterwards. Some sales but not enough to be profitable. And quite possible to start with what is thought to be 12 months running costs as a cash reserve and blow through them in a quarter.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #9
  10. Justin Harrison

    Justin Harrison UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    I've got plenty of experience working in bars however managing one is not an area I am familiar with.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Justin Harrison Member since: Oct 15, 2019
    #10
  11. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    9,040 3,539
    :) You're welcome!

    There are tricks every server and barkeep uses to rip-off two people - the owner and the customer. When the barkeep is counting straws, he is usually ripping off both! I have even spotted barkeeps with multiple glasses filled with straws and keep moving straws from one to another. He or she needs to keep count so that they know how much to take out of the till at the end of their shift.

    Of course, it may not be straws, it could be pennies or buttons in a jar or even marks on a tally-sheet. But he/she has the need to count something. It could be up-selling or just drinks from his private stash or shorts-bottles. In extreme cases, it could be a whole system with dual beer kegs and a switch-tap under the bar.

    I have seen one very large inner-city bar in an hotel where the entire staff were in on a scam that involved trucks delivering their own beer and the staff meeting up at a petrol station at 2am to divvy-up huge sums. Management put a guy right next to the till and they still were running the scam and could not be caught. Drinks sold, till-roll, cash - everything matched perfectly. The place was packed and the till was going 'Ping!' all the time - yet turnover was about half what it should have been. The trick there was not straws but an entire ghost till system.

    In the end, management gave up and rented the bar out for (in today's money) £14,000 per month.

    Today of course with the widespread use of ePOS systems and credit cards, ripping off the owners is waaaay easier than in the days of cash, as management actually believes that an ePOS system protects them from getting ripped off. Working that way, a good server and barkeep team should be able to 'trouser' £100 a night each from a busy bar.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #11
  12. Energise Accounting

    Energise Accounting UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,028 167
    @The Byre an experienced manager would spot somebody on the take within a couple of shifts it really is quite easy to spot.

    Using the correct type of EPOS till will eliminate most fraud the problem is most independent owners of bars either have the wrong system in place or they are not using it properly.

    Where i do agree is someone who has no experience what so ever of running a bar is quite vulnerable.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Energise Accounting Member since: Sep 24, 2014
    #12
  13. Chawton

    Chawton UKBF Regular Free Member

    128 51
    Thanks! That's been aggravating me (not knowing) for over a year now! lol
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Chawton Member since: Mar 21, 2018
    #13
  14. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    9,040 3,539
    It's usually the manager who is doing it!

    That said, even if the manager is also the owner, he cannot spot a system that steals nothing from him. Nothing goes missing. No money is taken from the till, virtually or physically. The stock in a well-run scam will match sales perfectly.

    In the case I mentioned (inner-city bar) management knew that the place was getting royaly ripped off and placed people all over the place to stop it happening. That is when the barkeep and staff really started taking an even bigger chunk out of the place! Just for fun!

    You can set up the most magic system on Planet Earth and I'll waltz straight past it and you won't even realise that it has happened. All I need is complicit serving staff and a busy bar.

    They nearly always go for something cheap and simple which has the most features - and that makes my job (assuming I am a thief) so much simpler!

    There are loads more scams! I really ought to run courses for scammers - and bar owners!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #14
  15. Opinion87

    Opinion87 UKBF Regular Free Member

    271 52
    @The Byre is spot on, it really isn't that difficult to steal when working behind a bar...

    ...though I'd say this is probably at the extreme end of that!
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Opinion87 Member since: Jul 1, 2015
    #15
  16. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    17,254 1,935
    Some of the best scams / stealing works because there is no record of it taking place.

    If £20 short at end of day we can think someone has nicked that or something entered incorrectly. When the till and the system match - what stealing? :)

    Show people what they want to see and 9 times out of 10 that's what they will see. Not noticing other things that are happening. What their eyes see that doesn't make sense their brain disregards.

    Cash on hand matches the cash system says you should have on hand and you can end up disregarding the niggle of uncertainty that says something isn't right.
    If people get suspicious then pushing that suspicion onto someone else works well. Not so much for the person its pushed onto though.
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #16
  17. Energise Accounting

    Energise Accounting UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,028 167
    The people who invest in proper systems do not get ripped off I could put anyone in our pub they would be caught within a shift.

    If you have someone stealing cash the till will always balance that is correct.

    However, the stock will not balance in our pub if someone pours a pint or sprit and the money dose not goes in the till this will show up on our monitoring systems we don't even have to be in the pub.

    Food orders will not even be processed unless the cash has been taken.

    Line checks which take 15 minutes deal with the rest.

    All staff work on there own till so no issues there.

    Do you honestly think that Wetherspoon's would allow this sort of problem in there pubs. The manager would be on the dole pretty quickly.

    The system we put in place was not very expensive in the big scheme of things. It even tells you how many pints or shots have been poured between barrel changes and bottle changes.

    Then you just compare the monitoring system to your epos sales report.

    Line checks and cash draw changes are done on every shift swap over.

    And no staff member works the same shift pattern
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    Posted: Oct 17, 2019 By: Energise Accounting Member since: Sep 24, 2014
    #17
  18. Mpg

    Mpg UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,483 276
    When i used to work for an "irish" bar. we caught a member of staff stealing.
    We used to have a till system that you put in a long plastic "key" that was assigned to each member of staff.

    If you inserted your key, then pressed a food item and then withdrew your key it would clear the screen but send the order to the Kitchen without it being cashed off.

    That was a big programming error for one of the largest breweries




    But to answer the OP. Think long and very hard. I've already put in 4x my initial investment
     
    Posted: Oct 17, 2019 By: Mpg Member since: Aug 18, 2009
    #18
  19. Energise Accounting

    Energise Accounting UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,028 167
    The scams themselves are quite simple if the barman is at it they will pour a pint of say fosters and pocket the cash. This will show up on a stocktake or line check.

    If the manager is at it they will buy in a 11 of foster's and just under ring the till. (stock and cash will balance)

    With our system none of the above will work. Because the monitoring system will still show what has been dispensed.
     
    Posted: Oct 17, 2019 By: Energise Accounting Member since: Sep 24, 2014
    #19