How To Open a Sports Bar

A sports bar is a great place for sports fans to hang out with friends and fellow fans and watch all kinds of sports events while enjoying cold drinks and good food.  Most sports fans probably dream of opening their own sports bar at least once in their lives, however, only a few really follow through with the idea.  The reason behind it is not because it is complicated to do so but because a large amount of cash is a requirement to start one up.  Nevertheless, opening a sports bar is quite easy for as long as you have the capital ready and really love sports.  Here are some of the various facets of the business if you should decide to open your own little sports watering hole.

  1. Write a business plan.  Every successful business venture has to start somewhere.  For most, it starts with a solid and accurate business plan.  The business plan should indicate the design, capital needed, operational details, and projected figures of the venture.   Some research and study should be done to get the accurate figures and intricacies of opening and running a sports bar.  The business plan must be solid to guide you through the set up and to help you acquire a business loan should you lack the cash to start it up.
  2. Acquire the necessary licenses and permits.  Any bar that serves liquor or alcoholic drinks will definitely need a liquor license.  These can be obtained at your state’s government office.  Since you will be serving food, you will need to get licenses to serve food and beverages as well.  Obtaining the business license for your establishment comes next and you can apply for it at your municipal office.  Make sure to obtain these licenses before you set up shop as these are rigid requirements to operate one.
  3. Choose a suitable location.  The next step in the process is finding and leasing a suitable location for your sports bar.  Standalone properties with a building are the best places to lease for as long as it is perfectly accessible and convenient to your potential patrons.  Shopping and strip malls are great locations to capture your target market as well.  Locations near or in a busy urban area should be your focus.
  4. Set the bar up.  Once you finalize the lease of the property, you will need to renovate it to look like a bar.  Purchase furniture and equipments like bar stools, a bar, booths, tables, chairs, and beverage dispensing machines.  Make sure to have a good and well-stocked kitchen with industrial refrigerators, freezers, and stoves.  A good video and audio system will be the focal point of your watering hole to enable your patrons to view the various sports events being televised.  Remember to purchase glassware and dining utensils as well.  Don’t forget to install a satellite or cable TV connection to enable your bar to show all the sporting events desired by your patrons.
  5. Set up your supply.  Next up will be the setting up of your supply chain.  Start relationships with the various liquor and beer brands to stock your bar with the drinks you plan to serve.  Same goes with food, make sure you are stocked and ingredients supply is constant.
  6. Hire employees.  For your sports bar, you will need to hire bartenders, waiters or waitresses, and cooks.  Make sure to hire people that are experienced, competent, and very social.  These people should make your customers want to come back and hang out in your bar often.
  7. Advertise.  Once everything is set, the last thing to do in the process is to aggressively market and advertise your sports bar.  Distribute flyers around the area.  Make sure to include the sporting events you will be showing for the current season.  Install some clear to read signs in your area pointing potential customers to your bar.  Radio and TV ads are great ways to boost your revenues as well.  Newspaper and sports publications ads will definitely be a must to market your sports bar to the right crowd.

With the right marketing, staff, set up, and good food and drinks, you should be well on your way to having a successful and fun sports bar where people can enjoy the many sporting events and build camaraderie.


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