Specialty bars that are designed around a particular theme are cropping up across the country. Martinis bars are one example of this hot new trend. Martini bars are exactly what the name suggests, bars that specializes in a wide variety of martinis, ranging from the basic staples to creative, exotic specialties. Opening a martini bar takes some time and dedicated hard work and can prove to be a lucrative business venture.
Decide if you want to be a hands-on owner who remains involved in all aspects of running the bar or if you prefer to take on a more hands-off approach once the establishment is up and running, in which case you eventually need to locate and hire a qualified group of managers and employees.
Hire a professional consulting team to help you create a business plan for your martini bar. Include key concepts such as the theme for the bar (chic and modern, trendy and upscale bar, hip with dance floor, combination Martini/desert bar, etc.), start-up costs, possible locations and projected length of time for return on investment.
Meet with several financial institutions that specialize in small business loans. Shop around for the best rate available to you. Fill out all necessary paperwork to apply for the loan.
Find a suitable location. Begin by researching the demographics in the areas you are considering. Determine the average age of patrons, the median income level, marital status and other data. Contact the local Small Business Association, Chamber of Commerce or the business department in the local library to help with answers to these questions.
Follow the current alcohol trends in the area to determine what types of drinks are in demand. Visit other bars, subscribe to industry periodicals, contact the advertising managers at local radio stations and inquire with both regional and national alcohol suppliers to get an accurate estimate of what drinks will sell in a designated area.
Apply for all necessary licenses and business permits. Inquire with the local town hall to determine what is required to obtain a liquor license. Inquire about food handling or food preparation licenses, if you will be serving food.
Create your martini menu based on the results of your research. Include a wide variety of martinis, ranging from basic to the classics like the Manhattan and the cosmopolitan. Include more creative varieties, such as chocolate, green apple, caramel apple and pumpkin spice. Design one or two signature martinis that are exclusive to your establishment.
Place orders with local or national alcohol suppliers. Be sure to adhere to state and local guidelines for ordering alcohol. Order enough inventory to last for the first month of business operations. Order all martini glasses and necessary barware.
Advertise the grand opening in local classifieds, entertainment magazines and on local radio stations. Speak with restaurant owners in the area and inquire about leaving fliers announcing your grand opening. Return the favor by offering to advertise for their restaurant specials in your bar, such as their lunch specials, half-priced appetizers or any other deals they may be running.
Hold the grand opening celebration. Be sure to have adequate staff that is properly trained and knowledgeable about the martini menu, a surplus of serving glasses and an abundance of liquor inventory. Consider offering free samples of your signature martini in small shot glasses or mini disposable martini glasses.
Consider including wine and some specialty beers to your menu. This will make for a more diverse drinking establishment that can meet the needs of more clients, while still maintaining the martini bar specialty theme.