Home Business Five Issues to Consider When You Open a Bar, Pub, or Tavern

Five Issues to Consider When You Open a Bar, Pub, or Tavern

by Olufisayo
Open a Bar, Pub, or Tavern

Have you recently considered opening a bar, a pub, or a tavern?

Businesses which serve alcoholic beverages face some unique considerations. They must adhere to extensive regulations because they impact public health and safety in a significant way. Consider paying close attention to these five issues as you plan your new enterprise:

One: Acquiring a Liquor License

In most jurisdictions, you’ll need to obtain a liquor license in order to serve alcohol to customers. Check with your local regulatory authorities to learn about the applicable laws in your location. In most places, obtaining a liquor license requires advance public notifications, as well as the passage of background checks. These licenses also typically require the payment of a hefty license fee. The specific license your business requires may vary based on bar, pub, or tavern maximum facility occupancy capabilities.

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Two: Creating an Attractive Décor

The décor you establish for your new business will significantly impact its ambiance. For example, custom refrigerator wraps visible behind the bartender and signed football jerseys framed on the wall are decor befitting of your neighborhood sports bar but might seem slightly out of place at a more folksy establishment. Many down-home taverns favor earth tones and rich, wood accents. Furthermore, you’ll need to post some clearly visible public notices in connection with the service of alcohol on the premises (regardless of interior decorating considerations). Always comply with any statutory provisions concerning posted notices: taking this step will help ensure you conduct your bar, pub, or tavern legally. Your state’s restaurant association will offer information about these postings.

Three: Licensing Music

Will you supply any music at your new establishment? Once again, it makes sense to consider this issue at length. Some taverns offer live musical performances, others do not. In some cases, a bar will play pre-recorded music or furnish access to a local radio station. If you plan to present any music subject to any copyright or royalty provisions (i.e. not music you created or music in the public domain), you’ll need to obtain permission in advance to make this material available to the public. In the USA, consider contacting BMI or other musical rights licensing agencies to inquire about the availability of blanket licenses from their artists.

Four: Training Alcohol Servers

Running a business serving alcohol means you’ll need to ensure your staff complies fully with applicable serving laws. Significant penalties accompany serving alcohol to minors, or to intoxicated patrons. Consider checking with your regulatory agency to enroll your staff in a certified server training course (a mandatory step in many U.S. states). Ensuring your workforce maintains currency in this issue may even help lower your business insurance rates!

Five: Handling Unruly Customers

Buying the neighborhood bar will sometimes require dealing with unruly patrons. Although obtaining thorough staff training should make handling this issue easier, you may also find it helpful to contact your local police or sheriff’s department. Ask for their input. You’ll also likely find it helpful to consider implementing a written security protocol. Help your serving staff determine the point when they should request police assistance if a patron becomes violent or disruptive.

Plan For Success

By considering issues such as alcohol and music licenses, staff training, décor, and crowd control in advance of opening your new establishment, you’ll likely enjoy a better introduction to the business of bar keeping. Resolve now to prepare for your new role in the business community. You’ll optimize your revenues and career satisfaction this way!

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