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Opening up a bar.... - Page 3

post #31 of 52
Bar Rescue is an excellent show. A must watch if you are having thoughts about owning a bar.

I must say while Nereis may have overstated the need to follow his steps; he is not too far off. Food waste, over pouring and stealing from the till are all real concerns. Sure you can hire a seasoned GM but how much money will you have to get a good one? We are talking a start up right?

I think a lot of people fail because they go into it thinking they are going to have this great place to hangout. They do not plan to put the hours in working but instead spend all their time hanging with regulars and drinking. I know of several people that own bars or have owned them and the ones that are successful bust their ass and are very involved. The bar/restaurant industry is relentless. Weekends, nights, every holiday it never stops. I have a friend that has worked his way up at a national steak restaurant. He has been very successful and loved his job. I just go together with him a few weeks ago and he looking to get out soon after over 10 years in the business. He has missed so much because of his job.

A couple of people have mentioned tight margins. Can someone explain this? I think generally margins should be in the 25-30% range for beer and spirits which is not too shabby.
post #32 of 52
Many good posts here -- competition in the sector is killer, turnover of personnel is brutal, and sustaining the level of effort required on the part of owner/operator is a non-trivial challenge
post #33 of 52
I want to re-iterate my comments on Nerisis ground rules. First though, props to your parents for running such a tight ship and a good business for some many years.

My reaction was that these rules will work for some people in some situations but they neither ensure success if followed nor ensure failure if they are not followed. For instance, the rule about the same price for everyone. Well, one of my hangouts, the one I was describing previously, has a very small VIP list. I'm on it and I get an automatic 15% off my bill. I have also introduced dozens of people to the place, people with the disposable incomes to frequent it, people likely to have a high per cover ticket. I've pretty much hand fed them great customers over the years. We also of course frequent the place and I always suggest it when folks are looking for a venue that fits.

There's a restaurant, with attached cocktail lounge, that I hold an industry happy hour at about once every two months. Again, these are folks with six figure incomes so a pretty good target market. After the third or fourth time we held the happy hour there (we used to rotate around places) they offered us a "buy back" policy to keep us coming. Every fourth round was on the house. So some differential pricing there to become the home of our little network group happy hour.

I understand what that rule might be getting at, but just saying there might be some pretty valid reasons not to follow it, albeit in a controlled manner.
post #34 of 52
The more I read this thread, the more I want to open a bar.
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

I want to re-iterate my comments on Nerisis ground rules. First though, props to your parents for running such a tight ship and a good business for some many years.
My reaction was that these rules will work for some people in some situations but they neither ensure success if followed nor ensure failure if they are not followed. For instance, the rule about the same price for everyone. Well, one of my hangouts, the one I was describing previously, has a very small VIP list. I'm on it and I get an automatic 15% off my bill. I have also introduced dozens of people to the place, people with the disposable incomes to frequent it, people likely to have a high per cover ticket. I've pretty much hand fed them great customers over the years. We also of course frequent the place and I always suggest it when folks are looking for a venue that fits.
There's a restaurant, with attached cocktail lounge, that I hold an industry happy hour at about once every two months. Again, these are folks with six figure incomes so a pretty good target market. After the third or fourth time we held the happy hour there (we used to rotate around places) they offered us a "buy back" policy to keep us coming. Every fourth round was on the house. So some differential pricing there to become the home of our little network group happy hour.
I understand what that rule might be getting at, but just saying there might be some pretty valid reasons not to follow it, albeit in a controlled manner.

Correct. A lot of bars actually give their bartenders a budget to comp customers. Obviously they don't want them handing out free/discounted drinks to every other douchebag but the "marketing" budget (as my friend who is opening his own restaurant describes it) is to be used strategically.
post #36 of 52
I skimmed Nereis post. Seems the way to have higher turnover., iIndividuals who are not capable/allowed to step up into leadership roles, and a way to burn yourself out. Only Asians can keep that sort of pace, us white folk weren't built for that. I don't have any direct on premise experience, thank God, but I have been around plenty of failing places. The successful places all seem to have a few similar traits.



Kwilk and I are available for higher to open up a bar/restaurant, or any consulting needs.


Rule number one of owning a successful bar. Get drunk on site around 5 everyday. No exceptions.
post #37 of 52
1. No one touches the till except for the boss/senior management.
* This is very inefficient and it also breeds problems with the climate of the staff. You are going to get really backed up to if only 1 - 3 people are operating POS machines. I'm not sure how you can separate FOH staff from operating the POS machines. Maybe I'm not understanding your use of the word till.

2. Every entrance, exit, till and kitchen nook and cranny is covered by CCTV.
*I think this is a very bad thing. It breeds a feeling of distrust amongst the staff. If you are doing inventory control, you should be able to find thievery. There are other signs that should point to staff slacking off as well.

3. Everyone gets the same price for everything, no exceptions.
*Disagree with. Piob gives a good counter example.

4. The owner must either be in the head of the kitchen and have number two as head of the front staff, or vice versa. There is no such thing as managing off site.
*I think this is true as well, at least in the start. Unless you are looking to expand, or you have more money than God, you need to be their to protect your investment

5. There must be no wastage whatsoever. You must never buy more than what you forecast can sell in the next two-three days. This keeps quality up and helps you keep a lid on costs.
*I agree with this. This will help maximize margins. Inventory control can be difficult at first, but is very doable with a little time and practice.

6. The owner must open and close the place themselves. That means doing all the prep work for the day at least an hour before staff walk into the door, making sure all surfaces are cleaned to a spit shined finish and resolving all the books for the day after closing.
*This is a good rule of thumb as well. At least open or close. Not so sure about the prep work or cleaning. I think it is more important to make sure this is done correctly and manage someone who does this.


7. The owner must be able to do every single job and train up staff themselves. This is where experience in the industry separates the goers from the pretenders.
*I think this is true. If the shit hits the fan with staff, you need the ability to train quickly and do the job yourself.


8. Maintain absolute discipline. In the kitchen and out front the staff must obey every order from you without question. Both front and back ends should be run like the military. Do not be afraid to fire people on the spot for insubordination.
* Once I read rules 1 & 2 I'm not shocked by this rule. Not everyone can/should have the same style of management. Having high expectations does not need to be coupled with a Draconian style of management. You catch more flies with honey yada yada. You can have high expectations and be very demanding, but you can be more, not sure how to express this properly, positive in the way you do this. With that said, not everyone is suited to managing in that style. You have to play the game the way you know how. Not everyone has the play style of Tom Brady, but there are plenty of QB's out there who play differently and have won superbowls.

My 2 cents. Excellent post and a quality discussion. That said, I would comp MarkI's gf if she came in mwink[1].gif
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

I want to re-iterate my comments on Nerisis ground rules. First though, props to your parents for running such a tight ship and a good business for some many years.
My reaction was that these rules will work for some people in some situations but they neither ensure success if followed nor ensure failure if they are not followed. For instance, the rule about the same price for everyone. Well, one of my hangouts, the one I was describing previously, has a very small VIP list. I'm on it and I get an automatic 15% off my bill. I have also introduced dozens of people to the place, people with the disposable incomes to frequent it, people likely to have a high per cover ticket. I've pretty much hand fed them great customers over the years. We also of course frequent the place and I always suggest it when folks are looking for a venue that fits.
There's a restaurant, with attached cocktail lounge, that I hold an industry happy hour at about once every two months. Again, these are folks with six figure incomes so a pretty good target market. After the third or fourth time we held the happy hour there (we used to rotate around places) they offered us a "buy back" policy to keep us coming. Every fourth round was on the house. So some differential pricing there to become the home of our little network group happy hour.
I understand what that rule might be getting at, but just saying there might be some pretty valid reasons not to follow it, albeit in a controlled manner.

I think this is highly market-dependent. Your venues seem targeted toward the working professional with money to spare, which may not be to whom everyone is catering. Price reduction for frequent fliers certainly does have benefits, but if your audience is a bunch of college kids, people living in low-income areas, etc. etc. then I see the benefit in equal pricing across the board. It keeps your staff from tenuously giving out discounts to friends, etc. and passing it off as a "regular", and that audience probably won't bring you a high enough volume to merit the reduction.
post #39 of 52
^ truth.

If I had to open up a place it would be this sort of place you mentioned. High volume low margin, plug and play style joint. Cater to the masses.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post

no joke, I'd suggest watching a bunch of shows like Opening Soon, Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares (the original UK version), the Opener (David Adgie) etc and reading books like Kitchen Confidential (Anthony Bourdain).
Quote:
Originally Posted by boo View Post

An especially applicable show would be Bar Rescue on Spike TV
No offense to either of you, but this is really shitty advice. Anyone that thinks those places represent much of anything in the real world needs to actually try working in the real world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post

Kwilk and I are available for higher to open up a bar/restaurant, or any consulting needs.
Absolutely. We give you best price, my friend!
Quote:
Rule number one of owning a successful bar. Get drunk on site around 5 everyday. No exceptions.
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadly7 View Post

I think this is highly market-dependent. Your venues seem targeted toward the working professional with money to spare, which may not be to whom everyone is catering. Price reduction for frequent fliers certainly does have benefits, but if your audience is a bunch of college kids, people living in low-income areas, etc. etc. then I see the benefit in equal pricing across the board. It keeps your staff from tenuously giving out discounts to friends, etc. and passing it off as a "regular", and that audience probably won't bring you a high enough volume to merit the reduction.

Which is exactly why Piob didn't say "N's advice is wrong." He said that it isn't a hard and fast rule. Obviously, in an industry that has a million possible markets, any hard and fast rule would be incorrect in some places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post

^ truth.
If I had to open up a place it would be this sort of place you mentioned. High volume low margin, plug and play style joint. Cater to the masses.

Jesus, what a money whore you are. If I were to open a place, it'd be a place that'd probably operate right at breaking point, but I'd sure as hell be proud of it. business minded SOB's, all of you.
post #41 of 52
Have fun filing Ch 13. Hope your investors are happy. That's probably the only people who would patronize your shitty establishment anyways.
post #42 of 52
Negro please. I don't need investors. Only the poors get investors. I'm ballin'.
post #43 of 52
When I start to want to really get money together for a place....remind me being a patron is much better. kthanxbi
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post

Negro please. I don't need investors. Only the poors get investors. I'm ballin'.

fing02[1].gif Unless you are planning on making a fuckton of money, I'm not sure why you'd risk your own capital. If I want a way to waste a lot of money, or not make money from an investment, I'll start doing large amounts of cocaine. Would be much better than blowing it on my occupation, which uh after all is suppose to be a source of income.
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

When I start to want to really get money together for a place....remind me being a patron is much better. kthanxbi

for sure
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