How to open a bar: the secrets of the beer business

Restaurant and hotel business Bar and night club

Ever since the time of Peter the Great, Russia has been striving to prove to the West that it is a part of Europe, and not its worst part. But from the desire to the embodiment of a dream in reality - a long way. As you know, the devil is in the details. A daily encounter with trifles, petty and methodically proving that Russians are still far from the European level, enrages even those who habitually and “patriotically” frown on the word “Europe”. Everyone wants to live in a civilized way. Even the so-called "Eurasians" and all sorts of Slavophiles.

One of the achievements of the Western world is the possibility of comfortable leisure time outside your own home, something that glossy magazines call it somewhat vaguely and poetically - the hustle and bustle of Parisian boulevards. What is meant by comfort in this definition? The presence of a place or several places where you can feel "at home" - relax and do not work "in public". This is the right to your style and philosophy of life. A bar (pub or street cafe) is a place united by one idea: "This evening I am so alone - pour it, son."

The Russian consumer, not spoiled by tolerance, understands any trip to the street, outside the home - as a challenge to the world. And he goes to public catering to “prove”, and not to relax, so he chooses a restaurant and restaurant-like establishments. The idea of ​​"relax with your company, " he realizes either in his kitchen or in a park on a bench - depending on the level of culture. Why it happens?

The domestic market is experiencing a severe shortage of establishments such as a bar or pub. The more such places, the greater the chance that "no one will leave offended." A citizen who feels the desire to drink quietly and intelligently in a beautiful and cozy, but inexpensive interior, today remains with his unfulfilled desire. Entering some kind of public catering, he is faced, in general, with two plots: either some “local gang” is gathering there, or the place is filled with random but pathos passers-by who came to demonstrate boots bought yesterday or a cell phone. So he leaves with unspent money ... But he had money, and he wanted to spend it with you. So where were you with your bar? He will spend the money anyway, having bought beer in a stall on his way home. That's who lives in Russia well - the owners of the stalls! They will never end up with customers. Well, where is the spirit of Europe after that?

In order for you to fully understand the situation and opportunities for running the proposed business, I will give a simple, illustrative example from the life of a pioneer camp or an average yard. There, as you remember, there are two tables for playing table tennis. It is impossible to play on one, because it is rusty, crooked and without a net, and on the second they play "big boys" who will let you go there only when they play enough - that is, when you grow a mustache, a big belly and when your children go to school. What prevents you from putting ten, twenty, as many as you need, beautiful desktops for playing ping pong and taking money for it? So it will already be a tennis court, you say, and not the average yard. No, we say, this will be a civilized and business-like approach to spending comfortable leisure time, and in translation into “catering language” - the very European street with the hustle and bustle of Parisian cafes, a British pub or “American bar” - call it what you want.

If you are inspired by the view of the bartender, who mixes masterly cocktails and masterfully combines the position of a psychoanalyst, communicating with regulars and mysterious newcomers, then open this particular business - you have no competitors.

Bar is not a restaurant

It is difficult to be a restaurateur because of the gigantic staff that needs to be monitored all the time, because of the most sophisticated and high-tech equipment, because of the gastronomic specifics that require an uninterrupted flow of quality products. Do you remember? “How, the wedding is canceled? And where will I get all the salads! ” If the restaurant is the Titanic, then the bar is a boat with an outboard motor.

So your bar is not a transatlantic liner. What is this? A boat with a motor (as we already said), without a motor, an Indian cake, a black shuttle alien to spells, a scandal full of mullet, or maybe a Kon-Tiki raft or, in general, an air mattress, orange like sky and a blue strip? How you make your bar depends on what target audience or, as seasoned PR specialists say, “target group” it is intended for.

The embodiment of the idea is implemented in several stages. Here they are:

Meeting place can not be Changed

Find out the "spirit of the area" in which you intend to place your establishment. It’s not for you to explain that the place is an animate category, it has its own memory, which is also called energy. It attracts a kind of contingent, often from all over the city. Find out what happened at this place long, long before you - it is of great importance. Take an interest in how often businessmen went bankrupt in the district, and what businessmen were pulled by this district.

Feel the place you have chosen, taste it. Attention! Not every devastation of the historical center of the city has a foul aftertaste of what is unmistakably felt by the whole skin as an “abomination of desolation”. But if you feel this, run away from such a place. It will suck all the juices out of you. No one will tell you what secrets the surrounding cellars keep and what is under the asphalt 5 meters in depth directly under your feet. This knowledge is given only at the level of vague sensations.

But there are places in the same center that, in spite of their neglect and “emergency-historical” surroundings, inspire the illusion of either the Dickens City, or the Venetian palazzo with picturesque peeling stucco. If the local inhabitants stretch their clothesline between these two associations, they will only help you to develop the idea of ​​such a decoration in the right way for free. However, the micro-district rebuilt “with a needle” may also be a bad place.

Next, people. Of course, you should pay attention to those who live in the immediate vicinity of your future bar. But if you look only and only at “representatives of the local intelligentsia”, then you will become a victim of one very widespread illusion. It is the victims of this illusion who open everywhere faceless public catering, soon turning into frightening in appearance and essence, wineglasses and "drinks."

People who can be tracked during the day in the short radius of their own homes are loafers and marginals. They know where to buy fake vodka even without you (I hope you are not going to open such a point, pleasing the tastes of men who were tortured by a narzan in sports trousers and their golden-tooth girlfriends). Your task is to attract to your bar those who you need, and they are not compactly assembled in one place, unless this is a complex of student dormitories next to educational buildings.

In order for your future clients to be more comfortable with being attracted, you must provide them with a choice: a) a disguised entrance like a door in the summer on a busy city street, which means being close to public transport with complete external invisibility b) for the same purposes - A quiet and unexpected lane a stone's throw from the main "walking" highway, filled with conventional McDonald's and network coffee houses.

We clarify the location

To make a bar in a residential building is to make irreconcilable enemies in the person of retired truth-seekers. The local administration will receive the first letter of complaint that “a hangout was opened in the house for prostitutes and drug addicts” (in the eyes of pensioners, any visitor to a bar is a missing person, just like any businessman is a bloodsucker and an exploiter).

From this moment, you will be milked, and the complainants will triumph their victory only when you run out of money for bribes and you decide to close. It is most reasonable to open a bar in the business center, that is, to have more offices and shops in the district. Then, on the way from work, decent office clerks will come to “pass a glass” to you, and in the evening, “your own” audience will gather.

Basement bar - some consider it an ideal solution to all problems. It is not necessary to count on the “public fool”. Yes, we saw both hairdressers in the basement and beauty salons, positioning themselves for some reason as elite and lingerie stores in the basement. Even the restaurants have seen. But once we saw a lot of things, especially in the early 1990s ...

From experience and observations I’ll say: “basement” atmosphere, it is special. For some reason, it arouses in the souls of even very good people low instincts and disrespect for the institution. Normal people (those who, even when drunk, do not lose their ability to use the toilet gently) have recently less and less wanted to go down to the basement. In addition, in the basement it almost always smells bad - due to inevitable problems with sewage and ventilation, which completely discourages even the most hungry guest. They often "do not catch" cellular communications, a television antenna. There are squeamish girls descending to descend. In short, the cellars are for plumbers from the housing office.

And finally, when choosing a room at the stage of negotiations with landlords (if you rent a bar), remember that the rental period is sufficient to not only “recapture” the investment, but also to earn money. And you should always have a margin in stock in order to realize new “chips” on it that may come to your head, so do not count the bar to a square centimeter. Let you have at least one “mysterious room” that can always turn into something else.

Money loves counting

So, you have to find money to rent, fight against leaky communications, fight against officials, repair, installation of a bar counter. A separate budget is planned for an advertising campaign, which can be very modest, as the information about the bar is transmitted by word of mouth.

Next is a supply of alcohol and food. Attention! At the initial stage, this stock is made for the first two weeks. In addition, you allocate funds to pay your staff.

Minimize costs - this is the main advice for new artists. The same principle works here as in the formation of a good taste in clothes: “standing in front of the mirror, think not about what other accessories to decorate yourself with, but about what would be too much to take off”.

Break-even point, percentage of profitability, payback periods ... You do not know what it is? You need to send your feet or the feet of your manager to the School of Bar Tenders program. For not being able to correctly assess the state of your business is the path to closure. You can attract investors (the right way to enlarge the business and raise it to a higher level) if the business is organized and predictable.

Behind you is just an eye and an eye

At the school, where they specially train profile managers for the bar business, they teach modern schemes that help to combat theft. Of course, it all depends not only on the school, but also on you. If you pay the bartender 5 thousand rubles a month, and he will not leave you, continuing to work and not falling into hungry faints, what do you expect? Know that some experienced bartenders “earn” so much that they could very well buy you with your bar. The extent of theft can reach 50% of revenue.

The most popular motivation when applying for a job in trade and especially in catering is the ability to steal. Percentage of profit is an ideal tool for generating normal motivation. In this case, your staff will fight with you for each ruble profit.

In general, you need to think about how to grow your own team from scratch (not necessarily students, adults are also suitable). It is not the gods who burn the pots, they learn very quickly, especially if these people are smart. Otherwise, a brigade of funny winking rogues will come to you upon announcement, who, having sailed away from the coast, will unfold their pirate flag and choose a captain.

So, at the first stage - do not relax, but do everything yourself, delving into the work of each screw of the machine called a “bar”. You can begin to rest on your laurels and cut coupons (delegate authority to managers) only after each process has been optimized. At a minimum, take part in the work: from organizing inventory control to developing a menu. You will immediately notice where the failure occurs and understand its cause.

What can never be given into the wrong hands: work with suppliers of food and drinks.

The visitor to the bar should not only be warm (cool), drunk (full), etc. He should also have fun. The stability of the concept is stability, but innovations that can please us also need to be invented. Just let them not be intrusive. Attract the "old-timers" of the bar to the creative. Treat them not only as clients, but also as employees, accomplices in a common cause. People, especially adults, love to play the game "Children, let's think about how to decorate our class for the New Year!". Give them this opportunity. And I wish you to find your Pirosmani.

Elena Nazarenko specifically for the project

* The article is more than 8 years old. May contain outdated data

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