If you’ve always longed to run a bar, there are plenty of options available, from slick city-centre artisan gin bars to traditional bar-bistros in chichi market towns across the country. And, while more than 11,000 pubs and bars have closed over the last ten years, the total turnover has remained steady, as other establishments benefit from the consolidation.
Obviously, it’s not all beer and skittles – bar owners can expect to work long hours and will have to tune into their customers’ preferences and react quickly to changing tastes. You don’t necessarily have to run the business just because you own it but if you plan to be hands-off, you’ll need to ensure you have a team of skilled, trusted managers who can run the bar on your behalf. Consider what kind of bar you’d like to run. Can you see yourself in a fashionable urban cocktail bar or presiding over a selection of craft beers? Whatever your preference, you’ll need to make sure you have an audience.
Bar owners are usually sociable people who enjoy working in a busy, entertaining environment that’s a million miles away from a 9-to-5 desk job in an office. In terms of its investment potential, running a bar can be a rewarding profession: it’s a cash business with high-margin sales and the ability to provide a profitable income within a relatively short payback period.
You’ll likely find bars for sale in every category, but you’ll need to approach any potential purchase with caution. Don’t skimp on due diligence and make sure the bar is compliant with all the necessary legal and local regulations. Consider the amount of capital you can call on, especially in the early days, as one of the main reason’s bars fail is due to being undercapitalized. You’ll pay more for a bar that’s doing well but you’ll also be able to rely on a more reliable income from the first day.