Are you a lover of blondes, brunettes, and redheads, are you a beer expert and have decided to open your own beer bar? Whether you are new business starter or franchise business retailers, here you are in the right place. 

This article is made for you! You will find the critical stages of the launch of your beer bar and many advice to accompany you throughout the creation of your company: market study, positioning, marketing plan, business plan. We decipher for you all the obligatory passages of the entrepreneur.

#1. Perform the market research of a beer bar

The drinking establishment sector is in difficulty for several reasons.

First of all, the trend among consumers is the search for a healthier lifestyle, which means less alcohol, and consumption at home: they obtain more from wine merchants or wine shops. Large area to consume at home.

Then, the prevention campaigns against excessive alcohol consumption (particularly while driving, which was accompanied by more severe penalties), and, of course, the decree of November 15, 2006, prohibiting smoking in public places, have also dealt a blow to the frequentation of cafes.

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Beer bar market: trends and projections

However, all is not so dark for beer bars! Indeed, the themed bars and the branded bars (developed under the impetus of big brewers like Kronenbourg and Heineken) resist the best.

The beer market has experienced a notable improvement in recent years. The beer market grew for the second year in a row in 2015. According to the Association des Brasseurs de France, it posted a 3.1% increase in volume, for a total of around 20, 6 million hectoliters. The number of breweries has doubled since 2010 in France.

This revival of beer is notably due to a young and urban clientele, who appreciate beer and are interested in it, even going so far as to learn how to brew beer, as with the start-up La Beer Fabrique for example, or to buy a kit to brew your beer at home. But this clientele also goes to the bar or pub to share a moment of conviviality, discover new beers, and meet up with friends.

Beer bars also benefit from the Made in France trend since 70% of the beers drunk in the country are made there.

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Regulation of beer bars

Opening a beer bar requires, as with any opening of a drinking outlet, to have a license.

To have the right to serve alcoholic drinks, you must obtain License III at most negligible. If, in addition to beer, you want to sell rum and distilled spirits, then you will need to obtain the IV license or "grand license."

To obtain your license, you will need to undergo training on the rights and obligations relating to the operation of a drinking establishment. This training, payable and provided by the chambers of commerce and industry and private organizations approved by the Ministry of the Interior, will also allow you to obtain your operating license.

Note, however, that the public health code prohibits the creation of new IV licenses. If you wish to obtain this license, you will therefore be required to purchase or rent an existing license from an IV License owner, then from the license holder. Transfer to your facility.

#2. Opening a beer bar: with what concept?

Once your market research is done and you have seen the main regulatory points you will need to comply with, you will then need to look at the commercial positioning of your beer bar.

Would you like to open an English-style pub, a rustic beer bar with a raw wood counter, matching tables, and benches, or would you instead open an upscale establishment with leather club chairs and muffled music?

The choice of your concept should also be reflected on the menu: beers from around the world at low prices, exclusively French beers, tasting beers, abbeys beers. It's up to you to define the type of beer bar you want to create!

Once the concept has been defined, and the commercial positioning found, you can then wonder about a franchise or independent opening unless you take over an already existing beer bar.

Note that the beer bar lends itself perfectly to the franchise model because it requires a fundamental knowledge of the product and often offers a dedicated sales space, making a store "hybrid" hard to create from scratch. Many brands are looking for young entrepreneurs who want to create a beer bar by joining their network.

#3. Finding a location for your beer bar

The location of your future beer bar is essential. The location of your structure will indeed have a considerable influence on its attendance and, further on, its turnover and profitability.

Therefore, you will have to choose a frequented place and equip with modern store fixtures, of course, but above all, keep in mind that it is above all your positioning and your concept that must dictate your location. Thus, an accessible beer bar with low prices will be ideally located between a university and a sports complex, and a high-end beer bar must be located in the city center, in a chic and lively district. 

It is also the concept of your beer bar that will determine the surface area necessary for your activity. Generally speaking, the higher the prices, the higher the surface area per customer.

#4. What legal structure to create a beer bar?

Creating a beer bar also means creating a business with legal status.

This process is essential, and it is essential that you invest yourself in the choice of the legal status because this will depend on the method of taxation of the company and your social system as a manager.

#5. The employee and equipment needs to begin a beer bar

The next step in creating a beer bar is to define the human and material needs necessary for the activity to establish your estimated budget.

The Equipments needs to open a beer bar.

To open your beer bar, you will need a large number of types of equipment: a computer station and payment terminal for any commercial activity, furniture and decoration, glasses and dishes, and, of course, a substantial stock of beers.

The staffing needs of a beer bar

Staff needs are also a key factor to take into account when drawing up your estimated budget. Waiter, cook for any small snacks, draw up a precise list of recruitments to be carried out by detailing the working hours, expected skills, desired remuneration, etc. And this will help you to target the profile of the people to be recruited precisely.

#6. Additional services essential to the opening of your beer bar

As with any commercial activity, a beer bar involves having recourse to a certain number of ancillary services, which are essential for the smooth running of your activity. Thus, you will have to call on the services of an insurer, an accountant, or a chartered accountant who will take care of the administrative tasks, the proper maintenance of the accounts, the calculation of VAT, and possible expenses related to this tax.

Whether for ancillary services or when defining who will be your suppliers, ask for quotes! You will then be free to compete for services and products at the best price.

#7. The marketing plan of a beer bar

The marketing plan will allow you to acquire and retain your customers. Many means of communication are at your disposal; it is up to you to identify the most relevant to your activity.

Flyers and local advertising in the regional press or the municipal newspaper will allow you to introduce your structure to those who live nearby.

For example, loyalty programs and promotions (happy hours) can be used as leverage to build customer loyalty.

Finally, consider creating a website, or, at a minimum, have a presence on social networks to keep your customers informed of your news; also, know that it may be interesting to be referenced on Google Map or in the directory of your city.

#8. The business plan of a beer bar

When you have completed all the previous steps, it will be time to develop the business plan for your beer bar.

The business plan of a beer bar is a document containing a presentation of your professional project, highlighting its strengths and a financial forecast that will serve, among other things, to quantify the need for financing and verify that your entrepreneurial project is financially viable.

The business plan is also, and above all, the document that you will communicate to your bank or your potential investors when seeking financing. It must therefore be perfect in substance and form.

#9. Fundraising to start a beer bar

The investment required to open a beer bar will depend significantly on the concept, the size of the establishment, and the desired location.

You have different means available to raise the sum necessary to launch the activity:

  • You will first need to have your funds: your contribution and the funds provided by your potential associates.
  • You can then turn to the banks to finance part of your equipment or your suppliers if you are interested in obtaining a brewer loan.
  • You can also appeal to your relatives and future customers by launching a crowdfunding campaign
  • Finally, do not neglect the support systems for starting a business, which can sometimes provide you with financial assistance (in the form of hard currency or tax credit, for example).

Our guide is coming to an end, and we hope it has given you a better understanding of opening a beer bar. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.