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Running a Successful Bar Business

How to Run a Profitable Bar

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Social networking and advertising via traditional methods and email marketing campaigns may bring many new customers to your bar, but the atmosphere in your bar and how your customers feel in your establishment will keep them coming back. Read on to learn the basics of successful bar best practices.

Bar Cleanliness

It sounds pedantic, but keep a clean bar. Nothing disgusts a customer more than sticky counters, crumbs, or sloppiness. Keep lots of bar rags and a small bottle of dish soap behind the counter for quick clean-ups. Instruct bartenders to put liquor bottles back on the shelf as soon as possible. Remember that beautiful picture of the bar you posted on your Facebook Fan Page? Try to keep it looking like that so when new customers arrive they know they have come to the right place.

Employee Presentation

Bartenders and waitstaff must have clean, ironed clothing and clean, ironed bistro aprons. Long hair should be pulled off of the face and tied back. Make-up must be subtle and minimal. Deodorants and lotions must be unscented, because scents and perfumes can interfere with customer's appreciation of the food and drink.

In addition to being neat and clean, employees at successful bars are friendly toward customers (within reason). Guests must always be greeted with a warm smile. A good bartender is able to listen, to entertain, and make drinks. A good bartender makes people feel welcome at the bar, and his or her demeanor may encourage people to sit at the counter.

Special Events at Bars

This is where social networking becomes a successful bar owner's best friend. Lots of establishments generate business by advertising special events, such as live music or an open mike. If you have developed a Twitter following, designed a Facebook page, and have an email list, you can advertise quickly, easily, and at little to no expense.

Live Music at Bars

If there are musicians in your area, they may be interested in performing at your bar on a given evening. Many small bands work for tips, and possibly a small meal. Depending upon where your bar is located, you can advertise "live music every 1st Saturday of the month" or "live music every Friday." The more populated the area, the more likely you can find enough people to offer live music every week. And some musicians will want to come back to play on a regular basis. There are many types of music to complement the many types of bar atmospheres. If extremely loud, head-banging music does not suit the atmosphere of your bar, perhaps a jazz duo does.

Bars with Open Mikes

Open mikes can be grand fun; just set the ground rules. Each participant may play a song, or read a poem or essay, or give a short performance. Have participants sign up as they arrive for a time slot, and leave 15 minutes for each slot. Advertise these events via your online networking tools, and you may find they generate business and make them a regular, weekly event.

You can succeed as a bar owner by keeping a clean, friendly and neat bar—with tons of atmosphere.

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