Most Common Issues New Bar Owners Face
You found the perfect place, figured out the menu, designed the uniform, and you’re feeling confident and ready to open your new bar. But, are you really ready? Seasoned bar owners often develop a sixth sense to deal with the unexpected in fast and smart ways, but newer one might need a little time to adjust and learn about the kind of issues they need to keep an eye out for:
Most bars are dark, crowded, and filled with young people so naturally, drug dealers look at them as the perfect environment to make their deals. It goes without saying that’s not what any bar owner wants. Not only could the bar be in violation of local law, but it could also be inviting a lot of trouble into the premises.
While a lonesome drug dealer doesn’t seem like much of a problem, it can be. Most small dealers are usually working for someone bigger, and that bigger boss is usually in competition with another big boss. Since they are all working and competing illegally if they have any kind of issue, they won’t be talking it out or calling authorities and your bar could end up as collateral damage. Besides, there’s the more immediate safety issue of allowing drunk people to consume illegal drugs on the premises. Will you be ready to handle a drug-induced panic attack or an overdose?
Act as soon as you see something shady going down. And if you want to be extra sure you’re being safe, avoid using any kind of sign that might align you with gangs and drug use. You won’t be able to keep them away at all times, but at least you won’t be the bar welcoming them with open arms.
On that same note, intoxicated patrons are another problem. Maybe someone walked in looking alright but was actually pretty drunk and the drink you poured them pushed them over the edge. In the best-case scenario, you’ll have a bathroom full of vomit. Worst case, they injure themselves or someone else, it leads to a lawsuit, and you’re liable. It might sound like an exaggeration, but it is totally possible, it does happen and if you don’t have the right insurance it’s pretty expensive too.
You want to have a staff that understands why is important to cut people off and then train them to not be afraid to do so. But that won’t be enough. You’ll also need to get a Liquor Liability Policy from your insurance to make sure you’re as safe as you can be.
Fake ID’s are getting so good even the smartest bouncer might let them slide. Of course, serving minors can get you in a lot of trouble and saying “they’re fake ID was really convincing” will not get you anywhere. You should consider whether is good to invest on an ID scanner, and even then, train your staff to ask the right questions to identify a faker. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have young and attractive workers, chances are they’ll flirt, goof off, party, and even offer a few free drinks. That’s not entirely horrible unless it’s really affecting your profit. What should worry you is staff that treats your patrons badly, refuses to play by the rules or is constantly affecting the work environment. Most bar staff behave more like a family than co-workers, so it might feel weird to fire one of them but if things aren’t working out, it’s truly the best option.