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What Are The Things To Do In Opening A Sports Bar?

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    First and foremost, we'd like to extend our heartfelt congratulations on your prospective bar's opening. There is a lot to consider before you open your doors to customers, but starting your own hospitality business is an exciting and rewarding experience (albeit not without its share of nerves). When starting a business, costs are usually one of the first things on the mind of the new owner, and they are also one of the most important. Over the past few years, Australia's bar and pub scene has undergone significant transformation. Although there are still some places where you can find a traditional pub, the vast majority of drinking establishments have evolved to accommodate modern preferences, tastes, and modes of consumption.

    Customers in Australia expect not only to be able to choose from a wide range of food and drink options (some of which should be free of gluten and dairy, of course), but also to hear the latest hits and tailor their experience to their preferences (coffee at 9 o'clock at night, anyone?). Not only are Australians drinking less alcohol, but consumers also expect to be able to choose from a variety of menu options (some of which should be free of gluten or dairy, of course For local businesses, this has made running a standard operation nearly impossible, while for others, it has created a fascinating new market opportunity. The same is true of bars, and there is a growing trend among Australian business owners to bring in top chefs as well as local drinks and menu items to attract customers, many of whom are perfectly content to drink at home or at a nearby restaurant that is more quiet. It can feel like an uphill battle to compete for both their attention and their business.

    If you have any background in the hospitality industry, you probably have a good idea of how challenging this type of work can be. Anyone who has ever been in charge of a business knows how taxing it can be monetarily, how time-consuming it can be, and how much of a personal commitment it requires. But if you have the right concept and the ability to put it into action, opening a bar or pub could turn out to be the most satisfying business venture you've ever undertaken.

    Bar Business Fundamentals

    It doesn't matter where your bar is or what kind of services you offer; there are a few universal business fundamentals that can be used to assess how you measure up to the competition. Your company's success in its chosen industry depends on your ability to assess its position relative to the competition and devise strategies for leapfrogging it.

    Define Your Usp

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    If you want to open a successful bar, one of the first things you must do is figure out what makes your place different from others (USP). Which features set you apart from everyone else here? Explain the unique benefits of working with your company. It's possible that your collection of gins and whiskies is second to none. Perhaps you are an expert on local craft brews, small-batch wines, or a unique take on cocktails. Whatever it is that sets you apart from the competition should serve as your main selling point. Rather than acting humble, you should list all the reasons why they should make your bar their new Friday night routine.

    Identify The Ideal Customer

    Finding the kind of patrons who will appreciate your bar after you've established what makes you unique is the next step. In order to market to your ideal client and secure their continued patronage, you must first have a distinct mental image of who they are. Instead of assuming that no one will be interested, you should adopt the "the more, the merrier" mentality in your mass marketing. Trying to please everyone will lead to disappointment as you end up pleasing no one.

    Determine Your Channels

    The third step is to go out and actually find those customers you've been trying to reach all along by creating a bar that fills a niche in the market. Make use of your advertising budget effectively by developing a plan of action. It's important to meet consumers where they are, whether that's online, in person, or a combination of the two. Probably all three, but the key is determining how to allocate your funds. It's important to prioritise social media if the vast majority of your customers are tech-savvy millennials. If your bar's target clientele is made up of retirees and rock and rollers, you might want to tailor your radio and print ads to appeal to them. Regardless of the medium you choose to establish your presence in, you must ensure that your company's branding and the messages it conveys are consistent at all times. Customers should be able to identify your company from its logo, brand name, and advertisements no matter where they encounter them.

    Licenses And Certificates

    The local government and the state government will both need you to have various licences and certificates before you can open for business.

    Business License

    The acquisition of business licences enables bars to operate in accordance with the relevant laws and in accordance with the appropriate safety guidelines. A bar must be registered with the city council before it can apply for a business licence.

    Liquor License

    A liquor licence, issued by the government of the state or territory where the business is located, is required by law for any business that plans to sell alcoholic beverages. However, the specific licence you need will be established by the nature of your business. Depending on factors like your location, the state government, the requirements of the local council, and your business objectives, the price of obtaining a liquor licence can vary widely. Liquor licences, for example, can cost anywhere from $102 to $556 in the state of New South Wales, and from $61.90 to $986.30 in the state of Victoria.

    Council Certificates

    In most cases, you'll need to apply to your local council for the following certificates:

    • Zoning certificate
    • Fire safety certificate
    • Occupation certificate
    • Compliance certificate
    • Certificate prices vary by state and your exact requirements but range from $50 to $500+.

    Food Licences

    If your bar serves food and drinks, you'll need to apply for a food licence before you can. Licencing requirements vary by state and the size of your venue. Please visit your state government website for more information.

    • Australian Capital Territory
    • New South Wales
    • Northern Territory
    • Queensland
    • South Australia
    • Tasmania
    • Victoria
    • Western Australia

    Music Licenses

    If you want to play music in your bar, you will need a music licence to protect yourself from copyright violations. Pricing can vary from $210 to over $1,700, depending on the size of your venue and the package you choose.


    You should allocate some of your budget towards advertising, as it is crucial to building a successful business. Unfortunately, these costs are often overlooked when people try to estimate the total price of opening a bar. To get the word out about your brand-new bar, you may want to put money into one or more of the following marketing strategy


    Your cafe needs its own website because 90% of customers will research your establishment online before visiting. Using simple website builders like WordPress or Wix, you can create your own site from scratch. Neither of these options costs anything to set up, but if you want access to more advanced features, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan. Expenses start at $60 annually. If you prefer, you can hire a freelance web designer to create a site for you. The price tag for creating a basic website can range from $300 to $1,000, depending on your needs. The best place to find local web developers for hire is on Airtasker. A domain name for your website is also required, and you can get one for as little as ten dollars a year.

    Social Media

    Online networking sites
    Creating a social media profile for your bar is a great way to showcase your offerings and reach a wider audience of potential customers. It is crucial to make regular posts on social media channels like Instagram and Facebook in order to build a community of followers. Posting promotional materials and upcoming events alongside photographs and videos of the venue itself is a great way to generate free publicity for your business. Additionally, paid social media advertising is a great way to get the word out to people in your immediate area. Investing in social media ads to publicise your bar and build hype is a smart move before opening. Though there is no hard and fast rule about how much money (or how little) can be spent on social ads, we recommend allocating between $100 and $200 per month.

    Startup Costs

    Start-up costs include large, one-time purchases like a new bar or restaurant's worth of furniture and fixtures before business officially begins. The size of your venue and the number of necessary items will be the two most important determinants of your initial investment. The majority of new bar owners, however, will need to make investments in the following areas before they can begin welcoming customers through their doors:

    Choose A Location

    There are a number of factors to think about before settling on a location for your bar. The perfect spot can be found by asking yourself the following list of questions:

    Who are some of the rival businesses that you face there? Finding a happy medium between too little and too much rivalry is essential (if there is no one else around, there is a possibility that this indicates that there is not enough interest in the area).

    How busy will the area be that the building is in? Will customers be in the neighbourhood and able to stop in whenever the mood strikes, or will they have to make an effort to find you and frequent your bar?

    Do you have enough money every month to cover the rent? Talk to local merchants and other real estate agents to get an idea of the going rate. Determine why so many workers are leaving the company. Is it competitive to open a bar there because there are already several others? Or, to look at it another way: Do most bars have trouble staying open for more than a year or two?

    Is it easy for your customers to get to your building? Facilitate the process of getting in touch with you. If you want customers to stop by after work for drinks with coworkers, you should be situated close to their places of employment. You should stay away from places like primary schools that draw a wide range of people into the neighbourhood.

    Make sure the venue you pick has the right feel and atmosphere for your event. Keep in mind the building's history, design, and ambience. Different types of bars, such as those with a beer garden, sports bar, or 1950s decor, call for specialised building plans.

    Check that you have easy access to amenities like running water and flush toilets. Do you have them on hand, and if not, are there others in close proximity (perhaps in a hotel complex)? Do you promise they will be kept clean and in working order?

    Commercial Space 

    The type of bar you want to open and its overall concept should be laid out in your business plan before you begin searching for potential locations. If you know what kind of establishment you want to open, such as a sports bar or a speciality cocktail bar, you can narrow your search for appropriate locations. The next step after deciding what sort of venue you want to host your event in is to consider whether you want to buy or rent the commercial space you'll be using.


    Leasing a property is going to be the biggest expense for your new bar, and the rent you have to pay will depend on the location of your establishment. If you've decided that a commercial lease is the way to go for your bar, you'll need to factor in the following costs. Deposits can range from one to three months' rent and are usually refundable. When it comes to commercial real estate, leases tend to be for longer periods of time, with the typical minimum term being five years. Usually, you'll need to pay a deposit in order to hold the room. While your bar is getting established, you will need to put aside money to cover the rent for six months.


    While purchasing a commercial space requires a sizable investment up front, there are many advantages to doing so, especially if you plan to run a food service operation. In most cases, you won't have to instal any extra infrastructure at your location because it already has a bar, kitchen, restrooms, and running water. If so, you can save yourself time and money because the most labor- and resource-intensive parts of opening a bar have probably already been handled. But if you're looking to buy a commercial space to open a bar, you'll need to put down at least 20% down and keep making your monthly mortgage payments. For this reason, if a property is selling for $500,000, for instance, at least $100,000 would have to be saved up in order to make the purchase.

    Renovations And Decor

    The cost to renovate and decorate your venue will vary according to its current state and whether or not it has been commercially converted. If you own a commercial space, for instance, you might decide it's time for a makeover that includes everything from structural repairs to the installation of a bar and restrooms, as well as further interior design work. This would put the average price tag for a renovation of a small to medium-sized bar in Australia between $80,000 and $170,000. True regardless of how big the bar is. In the case of more substantial businesses like bars, this can easily exceed $250,000. The best way to avoid the ever-increasing costs of renovations is to find a property that has already been prepared for commercial use.

    Unless there are major structural or aesthetic flaws, you probably won't need to make any major renovations to an already-established bar that you have leased or purchased. Even so, tweaks are inevitable before your idea can become a reality. In most cases, a new coat of paint, some new flooring, and a few new pieces of furniture will do the trick to create the desired atmosphere. If you want to change the way your house looks from the outside, you should set aside at least $5,000 and preferably $10,000.

    Bar Technology

    There are a variety of POS systems available that can help new bars improve their workflows, process payments, and streamline their day-to-day operations, so it's important for them to do some research before making a purchase. The data (including the transactions) for older POS systems, for example, is run and stored on onsite servers. In addition, it usually takes a sizable sum of money to get one of these systems up and running. Cloud-based point-of-sale platforms, on the other hand, store data in the cloud, which allows for greater portability (data can be accessed from anywhere) and much lower initial investment.

    In order to optimise and grow, bars will need more than just a point-of-sale (POS) system; they'll also need various technologies and software applications for things like marketing, employee management, and data collection.


    • iPads for your POS system – current models start from $499
    • Receipt printer – prices start from $250
    • Kitchen printer – prices start from $300
    • Cash drawer – from $75 to $200
    • Payment terminal – prices vary depending on your chosen provider


    • Bar POS system – from $60/month
    • Loyalty programmes and marketing software – there are several free plans in the market as a starting point 
    • Employee management – from as little as $3 per user, per month
    • Table ordering apps – from $50/month

    As an estimate, you should budget at least $1,500 for new hardware and a minimum of $120 per month for software subscriptions.

    Staffing And Hiring

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    It's not easy to find good help in any industry, but tavern and bar owners and managers have it especially tough. One of the first things to consider is whether full-time, part-time, casual, or contract work (or a combination of these four) is best for your company, as well as the type of hours that your company requires. Some red flags to watch out for when filling open positions are:

    • Motivation and the ability to take initiative
    • A positive attitude 
    • Flexibility and availability 
    • Hospitality experience, to the level that suits your business
    • Customer service experience, or a passion for working with people
    • Professionalism and an understanding of your business type, and the kind of behaviour that's expected 

    Bartenders, waiters, waitresses, chefs, cleaners, front-of-house personnel, security guards, and managers are just some of the positions whose qualifications must be established. Your employees will also need specific qualifications and training to work with alcohol and gaming machines; thus, you should either ensure that they have what is required before they begin working there, or consider investing in this on their behalf if they meet the other essential criteria.


    Numerous rules and regulations apply to the management of establishments that serve customers food and alcohol, may house gaming machines, and feature live entertainment. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need different licences to operate in different Australian states. The specifics of your business, as well as where and how alcoholic beverages are served, will determine the types of licences and permits required by local, regional, and state law. To get things rolling, you must know the ins and outs of your business and verify its registration with the Australian government.


    The pub and bar culture in Australia has changed dramatically in recent years. Diners can personalise their experience by selecting from a wide variety of menu items and beverages. There has been a recent uptick in the number of Australian restaurants employing celebrity chefs and featuring regional produce and beverages. There are some base requirements in business that can be used to compare your performance to that of your rivals. Examine what sets your establishment apart from others like it (USP).

    You need to identify your perfect customer and develop a mental picture of them. If you want to succeed at mass marketing, you need to adopt a "the more, the merrier" mindset. In order to comply with the law, bars need to obtain business licences. Your logo, brand name, and advertising should be easily recognisable to consumers no matter where they may find you. Any establishment that wants to legally sell alcoholic beverages must first obtain a liquor licence.

    Depending on the size and location of your venue, getting the necessary licences may prove challenging. Prices can vary from $50 up to $500 based on factors such as location and complexity of needs. Making a social media account for your bar is a fantastic way to advertise the drinks and services you offer. It's wise to put money into social media ads before you even open. Your preliminary budget will be based largely on the dimensions of your venue and the quantity of required items.

    Here are some things to think about before you start looking for a location to open a bar in Toronto. Think about the kind of bar you want to open and whether you want to buy or rent the commercial space you'll use. The most costly part of opening a bar will be renting a commercial space. Usually, reserving a room will necessitate putting down some sort of deposit. Your venue's condition and whether or not it has been converted for commercial use will determine how much it will cost to renovate and decorate.

    To properly stock your bar, make drinks, serve them, clean the glasses, and maintain a clean and sanitary environment, you will require a wide range of equipment. Although the initial investment in new machinery is significant, it should perform flawlessly once it's put into action. Renting or buying used equipment are both viable options that can save money. A point-of-sale (POS) system for a bar can be purchased for as little as $60. In addition to the aforementioned, new bars will require various technologies and software programmes for purposes such as marketing, employee management, and data collection.

    Think about whether you need full-time, part-time, casual, or contract workers. Success in the service industry requires an expert handler of people. In order to work with alcoholic beverages or gaming machines, your staff must meet certain requirements. The use of digital systems has made it much easier to stay in touch with everyone who might have an effect on your company.

    Content Summary

    • Although there is much to plan for before you welcome your first customers, opening your own hospitality business is an exciting and rewarding venture (albeit not without its share of nerves).
    • The Australian nightlife, especially the bar and pub scene, has changed dramatically in recent years.
    • The opening of a bar or pub may not seem like the most exciting business opportunity at first, but it has the potential to be the most rewarding if you have the right idea and the skills to implement it.
    • Regardless of the specifics of your bar's location or the drinks and food you serve, you can always gauge how you stack up against the competition by referring to some basic business principles.
    • Explore Your Options and Find Your Place
    • In order to have a successful bar, you must first determine what sets your establishment apart from others (USP).
    • Describe what makes working with your company stand out from the rest.
    • Determine Who Your Ideal Client Is.
    • After identifying your bar's niche, the next step is to attract that niche's typical patrons.
    • Develop a strategy to make the most of your marketing funds.
    • If your target demographic consists largely of digital natives, you must give social media a high priority.
    • In order to obtain a liquor licence from the city, a bar must first become officially recognised by the authorities.
    • However, the nature of your business will determine which licence you require.
    • Permission to Sell Food If in addition to drinks, your bar also offers food, you will need a food licence.
    • A website can be built by a freelance web designer if that is more convenient for you.
    • A social media profile for your bar is a fantastic way to advertise your business and attract new customers.
    • Paid social media advertising is also an effective strategy for reaching people in your immediate vicinity.
    • Social media advertising is a great way to get the word out about your upcoming bar opening.
    • Before deciding on a spot for your bar, there are a few things to consider.
    • In order to find out what the market will bear, you should consult with local businesses and real estate agents.
    • It is important that the venue you choose has the appropriate vibe and atmosphere for your gathering.
    • Think about the building's past, architecture, and atmosphere as you plan.
    • Knowing what kind of business you want to start helps you find the best location, whether you want to open a sports bar or a speciality cocktail lounge.
    • After settling on the type of venue you want to host your event in, you must decide whether you would rather buy or rent the commercial space you will be using.
    • The largest outlay for your brand new watering hole will be the monthly rent you pay for a property to operate out of.
    • The following expenditures should be planned for if a commercial lease is chosen as the best option for your bar.
    • In contrast, if you want to open a bar and buy a commercial space, you'll need to put down at least 20 percent and maintain your current mortgage payments.
    • If you need machinery but don't want to invest in a brand new piece, consider renting or buying a used model instead.
    • To properly stock your bar, make drinks, serve them, clean the glasses, and maintain a clean and sanitary environment, you will require a wide range of equipment.
    • Bars need more than just a POS system to optimise and expand; they also require a number of other technologies and software programmes for tasks like marketing, employee management, and data collection.
    • When filling open positions, it's important to keep an eye out for the following red flags:
    • Changeable and immediately usable
    • Knowledge and experience in customer service, as appropriate for your organisation
    • Experience in customer service or a strong desire to engage with others are both required.
    • Staff Administration
    • Success in the service industry often depends on an individual's ability to effectively manage others.
    • Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the processes that keep tabs on potential customers and archive their communications.
    • Keeping in touch with everyone who has an impact on your business is not only possible, but also simple, safe, and reliable thanks to the use of online systems.
    • The specific permits required from state to state in Australia can vary widely across industries.
    • In order to get things moving, you need to check your company's registration with the Australian government and become familiar with its inner workings.

    FAQs About Opening A Sports Bar

    Estimates suggest the revenue of the average bar is between $25,000 to $30,000 per month. Of course, your profits will depend on how well you run your bar and manage your operating costs.

    The top Most Profitable Bar Foods

    • Bars without a kitchen: Pizza. If your bar doesn't have a kitchen, pizza maybe your best friend.
    • Bars short on table space: Burgers.
    • Bars with an established kitchen: Pasta.
    • Bars open early or late: Breakfast.
    • Bars serving wine drinkers: Tapas.

    Essential Things Every Sports Bar Should Have

    • Wide selection of local beer. Let's face it, beer is the most essential thing a sports bar should have as since most customers prefer a cold beer while watching the game.
    • Tasty bar cuisine. A good sports bar is required to have decent food.
    • Large HD screens.
    • Ample location.

    Yes, opening a bar can be a good investment. The average net profit of a successful bar is more than the average annual return from the stock market.

    A sports bar is a place where customers can eat, drink and socialize while watching the latest televised sports events. Since sports bars are tailored to a specific clientele, they must have certain business objectives in place to ensure success.

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