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Opening up a bar.... - Page 4

post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post

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.

Right, but of the two I think I'd pick the low-margin high-volume place instead of hoping the rich come find me. I haven't worked in bars but I imagine it's easier to get clients if you cater to a broad audience and have a small unique twist instead of excluding groups of people and hoping the remainder come.
post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post

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.

FWIW, I actually agree. I don't understand why people want to run out so badly and open their own place. The risk is so huge and the reward so potentially small. Much better to play around with someone else's wallet. I just hope that, given the chance, the person has rather deep pockets and doesn't mind a little bit of "wastage" going down my gullet.
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post

Much better to play around with someone else's wallet. I just hope that, given the chance, the person has rather deep pockets and doesn't mind a little bit of "wastage" going down my gullet.


Pio??.
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by erdawe View Post

Pio??.

Hopefully!
post #50 of 52

not worth the hassle

post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereis View Post

Bhowie is absolutely correct. My parents were restaurateurs (still are in fact) and they were working from 8am to 11pm at night every day. The basic ground rules for a well-run place are:
1. No one touches the till except for the boss/senior management.
2. Every entrance, exit, till and kitchen nook and cranny is covered by CCTV.
3. Everyone gets the same price for everything, no exceptions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Those are the basics that they used to survive in the business for two decades and are completely separate from marketing, product differentiation and interior design.

that is some insane hours right there. can i ask how much were your parents paying themselves and how much profit was there per year?
post #52 of 52
I've never owned a bar, but I've been in more than a few and known some folks who did own bars, with varying degrees of success, and all of this seems dead on. I would add that you cannot drink while you are working. That's just the way it is if you want to succeed.

There are few other businesses that have as much government oversight as the bar business. You have the liquor control board. You have the cops. You have a bazillion rules about how far you must be from churches, schools, daycare centers, etc--kind of like being a sex offender, if you think about it. You can be sued if some drunk goes out and hits someone. You have alcoholic idiots, both behind and in front of the counter. If you don't pay attention, pretty soon you have drug dealers slipping lines to the bar maids for free drinks and head in the parking lot. There is a reason that they call it adult daycare.

The most successful bar owner I ever knew--and he was REALLY successful--treated beer like gold, and, really it was. He knew exactly how many glasses of beer were in a keg and exactly how much profit. Although he was a generous guy, he would no sooner give you a free beer than a krugerrand. And the tavern proved lucrative. He established friendships and business partnerships with clientele, bought some real estate that did well with them as partners, etc. The tavern was the engine. But he worked his ass off at it. I've been in other bars where the owner weighed the bottles before and after every shift--it was the only way to prevent over-pouring, and one over-pouring bartender can break you.

I think the reason that most bars fail is that they're started by bar flys/frat boys who don't understand it's a business just like any other business, except in this business, there's always drunks and alcohol around, and that can get weird. It gets weirder still if you drink in your own place, which should be another rule: Even when you're not working, drink elsewhere. Lawyers and doctors and accountants don't drink at the office, and this is really no different. In my experience, every bar run by someone who drank in their own place failed, and that's about a half-dozen bars.

So, yeah, you can make a lot of money, I think, but don't think it's easy or a party. And don't listen to anyone who looks at rules like these and says they're too strict or that you're a tightass for having them and enforcing them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhowie View Post

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
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereis View Post

Bhowie is absolutely correct. My parents were restaurateurs (still are in fact) and they were working from 8am to 11pm at night every day. The basic ground rules for a well-run place are:
1. No one touches the till except for the boss/senior management.
2. Every entrance, exit, till and kitchen nook and cranny is covered by CCTV.
3. Everyone gets the same price for everything, no exceptions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Those are the basics that they used to survive in the business for two decades and are completely separate from marketing, product differentiation and interior design.
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