Running a bar or lounge takes an abundance of time and commitment. This type of business management or ownership requires an extensive amount of responsibility because alcohol can prove to be a dangerous substance when misused. Misuse among patrons or employees is often unpredictable. By educating yourself and employees, you are more likely to prevent alcohol abuse. It's also important to create a strict set of rules for your employees to follow as bars and lounges often provide a laid-back atmosphere, so it's easier for employees to lose focus on job priorities.
Keep the business licenses updated, such as food, liquor, and serving licenses. Make sure that all of your bartenders and servers have individual alcohol serving licenses if your state requires you to do so.
Require an alcohol responsibility course to be taken by all of your employees. These courses are usually offered online and in some local colleges or specialty bartending schools. An alcohol responsibility course is essential because it teaches your workers the importance of recognizing the appropriate amount of alcohol to include in mixed drinks so that you are not losing profit by using too much product. These types of courses also teach the importance of recognizing when an individual has had too much to drink and the responsibility that the server has to refuse alcoholic beverage service to an intoxicated individual.
Train your staff extensively. Bars or lounges are only as popular as the staff is efficient. Many customers are not interested in visiting an establishment when the help is undertrained and clearly lacks sufficient knowledge. Make sure even seemingly experienced bartenders or servers have hands-on training before they are allowed to work independently.
Invest in a computerized Point of Sale ( P.O.S.) system. This way you can minimize employee pricing errors, as the employees are likely to make a mistake if they have to memorize a vast number of prices. The P.O.S. system will also be able to record sales compared with the overhead that you are spending on employees and products.
Require organization behind the bar. Create a liquor, beer, and supply placement system. Have a special location for each individual item so that your employees can find any item they need whenever necessary. Keep up on stocking products. If you are continuously running out of products, customers will find your establishment to be poorly run and undependable.
Keep the establishment clean. Teach your employees to clean up even the smallest spills or messes. The bar area, all tables, and restrooms should be cleaned with sanitizer as often as possible.
Perform routine maintenance on all equipment such as beer taps and computers. If your equipment is constantly out of order, your business appears unprofessional. Make sure to flush beer taps regularly and use a computer virus protection program on your computer system.
Change the drink menu periodically. It's a good idea to incorporate seasonal or specialty drinks that differ from the usual choices. You may also want to establish a drink special for certain nights of the week or holidays.
Crystal Lassen hails from Kansas City, Mo. and has been a book critic since 2008. Her reviews have appeared on the Publisher's Weekly website and are largely concerned with current events. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from The University of Kansas.