Everybody starts somewhere, right? It’s logical for people without previous restaurant or bar experience who are interested in how to start a tavern business to turn to articles like this one.
At Bohemian Bull, we understand you have to begin somewhere, so we’re happy to share our knowledge with entrepreneurs with an adventurous spirit who don’t let a little thing like a lack of experience stop them.
After all, how do you gain experience? You research, learn everything you can from those with know-how, and give it everything you’ve got.
The other option for how to start a tavern business is to open a Bohemian Bull Tavern & Beer Garden franchise. You’re still going into business for yourself, but you have an experienced team by your side to mentor you every step of the way.
Let’s talk about the 11 steps to open a tavern and you can decide if investing in a franchise that’s stood the test of time is the way to go. Many of these steps can be done simultaneously.
How to Start a Tavern Business: a Step-by-Step Guide
1. Develop Your Tavern’s Concept
Having a stand-out concept is perhaps the biggest key to a thriving business and the most important step in how to start a tavern business. This is the unique feature that gives customers a reason to make your tavern their go-to hang-out place.
At Bohemian Bull, we created a tavern that celebrates the laid-back qualities of the Southeast lifestyle with our beer garden, where our customers can have quality craft beer, enjoy craveable foods, and make memories with their loved ones. We built our concept around good friends, good times, and excellent service in a comfortable atmosphere, with a top-notch menu full of flavor.
We keep that tradition going with events people enjoy, live local music, celebrations of local and regional craft beers, bourbons, whiskies, and foods that people cannot get enough of.
That’s one of our secrets to how to start a tavern business, and it’s enough to keep our guests returning time and again.
2. Build Your Tavern Business Plan
Once you have a concept for your tavern, building a business plan is the next step in how to start a tavern business.
A business plan is a vision for your tavern. It includes an executive summary of your bar, the company description, and a market analysis that includes information on your target customer so you know what kind of tavern to open (sports bar, wine bar, tavern, beer garden, etc). You’ll also want to conduct a thorough competitor analysis.
You’ll also detail your product and menu in your business plan, as well as product sourcing. Last but certainly not least, your business plan should give a detailed view of your marketing strategy.
How hard is it to start a tavern? When you sign a franchising agreement with Bohemian Bull, this step and many of the others are already handled for you, so the answer is that it’s much less difficult than opening a tavern on your own.
3. Determine Your Financing
The second most important question you may have is how much does it cost to start a tavern? Once you have your business plan, you can determine this.
Your tavern’s concept will tell you whether or not you need a kitchen, the extent of needed equipment, the size of the building you’ll need to inhabit, and whether or not you’d be better off leasing or buying your tavern’s building.
Once you have these answers, you can estimate the costs to determine how much to start a tavern.
We estimate it takes between $470,417 and $1,206,500 to open a Bohemian Bull Tavern & Beer Garden franchise, which includes the $50,000 franchise fee.
4. Trademark Your Brand and Logo
The next step for how to start a tavern business is protecting your brand and logo with a trademark through the US Patent and Trademark Office.
This ensures that if your brand becomes a great success, no one can ride your coattails by trying to brand themselves too close to your tavern’s concept.
Of course, Bohemian Bull has you covered here as well.
5. Secure Your Location
Aside from the concept, your tavern’s location is one of the most crucial decisions you can make.
A solid location that’s convenient to a large segment of your target customer with good visibility, easy parking, and enough space to hold the right amount of people is the sweet spot and a great start for how to start a tavern business.
At Bohemian Bull, we have years of experience and have opened multiple locations, so we can offer our franchisees expert advice backed up by demographic data and real estate knowledge for the ideal spot for their franchise location. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
6. Obtain Permits and Licensing
Once your location is secured, getting your permits and licensing requirements handled really sets the ball rolling in the journey to start a tavern business. Things will begin moving quickly from this point forward.
The Bohemian Bull franchise development team can help you determine exactly what permits and licensing you need for your local municipality.
7. Design and Build Out Your Tavern
Most of the time, the building you select for your tavern will not be move-in ready at the start and will need some work. If you’re serving food, you’ll need to order and install your kitchen equipment. There’s also the furniture and décor to consider where the customers will sit and relax, and where you’ll showcase talent if those events are part of your concept.
8. Develop Your Vendor Relationships & Build Your Inventory
Building relationships with local and regional vendors will be a big part of your regular business dealings, so you want to start off on the right foot with the right people. Specific vendors may also be part of your concept.
For example, at Bohemian Bull, we celebrate local and regional craft beers and source many of our food ingredients locally, so many of our vendors depend on our franchisees’ location. These relationships with local vendors not only add depth and dimension to our menus, but they show our franchisees’ customers that we care about their local economies and support the communities in which we become members. As a company, we assist in building these relationships so they flourish for years to come.
9. Hire Your Employees
The staff of any restaurant and bar is a key component of the atmosphere created for the customers. You want dependable people who match the personality of your tavern’s concept and can elevate the customers’ experiences.
With Bohemian Bull’s franchise development team’s experienced guidance, you’ll have what you need to make the right hiring decisions. It’s a smart choice for how to start a tavern business.
10. Market For Your Grand Opening
To make your grand opening, well, grand, you need customers. Ideally, you want every seat filled and more people mingling and having a great time.
To achieve this, one of the final steps of how to start a tavern business is to market your tavern in advance of the grand opening. Social media, email drip campaigns, cross-promotion with local businesses, and good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth buzz are all excellent ways to get people excited about trying out your tavern.
At Bohemian Bull, our marketing program has been tested with each new location we’ve opened, and we’ve been pleased with the results each time. Our marketing strategies are designed to generate buzz so people eagerly anticipate the next Bohemian Bull’s opening day.
11. Grand Opening
It’s so exciting when the day of the grand opening finally arrives! It takes a lot to get to this point, and now it’s time to see if the work that’s gone into how to start a tavern business has paid off. The glasses are clean and gleaming, the kitchen is ready for the first orders, and the staff is there with smiles, ready for the first orders.
With Bohemian Bull, the franchise development team would also be beside you, helping make sure your grand opening day (and few after) goes smoothly, and that you have everything you need to operate your Bohemian Bull Tavern & Beer Garden.
How to Start a Tavern Business: Open a Bohemian Bull Franchise
Are you ready for the challenge that comes with how to start a tavern business? Does having a blueprint with a tavern and beer garden brand that’s smoothed the opening process and developed a loyal following sound better than going solo? Then franchising with Bohemian Bull may be what you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more about our bar franchise opportunities.
Start a Tavern Business FAQ
Budget requirements vary, but securing financing is a critical step, which might include loans or investments. We estimate it takes between $470,417 and $1,206,500 to open a tavern business franchise.
Yes, trademarking your brand and logo is essential to distinguish your tavern from competitors.
Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses is mandatory, which varies by location.