4 Reasons to Have a Bar in Your Restaurant

Having a bar in your restaurant irrefutably raises the profile of your venue. While a unique logo, convenient location, good food and better service may gain attention and strengthen the reputation of your restaurant, adding a bar will entice customers to return (providing that the drinks you offer live up to their expectations). Signature drinks give your restaurant a special draw among your patrons and satisfied drinkers (and diners) will likely spread the good word about you to their family and friends. And if they are already ordering some cocktails at your bar, they may linger around for dinner too.

Obtaining a Liquor License

A restaurant bar setup can potentially increase revenue while maintaining the same or better profit margin. At the very least, it’s one way to increase the odds of success. The profit margin on drinks is comparatively higher than that on food. If you are seriously considering adding a bar, applying for a liquor license should be a priority on your bar setup checklist. With liquor licenses ranging from $12,000 to $400,000, it is crucial to make smart financial decisions for your restaurant and invest in a bar POS which can lower operational costs, open new revenue streams, and help you upsell to your customers.


The requirements to attain a liquor license vary by state as it is offered in different classes by the governing agency. In Wisconsin, for instance, a Class A license allow retail sale of alcoholic beverages on the premises. Some municipalities place quotas on liquor license based on the population and current number of licenses in the local area. The application process begins through contacting a local municipal clerk. The National Association of Alcoholic Beverage Listing Attorneys features a list of lawyers by state who provide further assistance of the application process to their clients.

Attractive Restaurant Bar Design

Having an attractive exterior/interior restaurant bar design championed with delicious cocktails is a fundamental ingredient in the recipe for success in the restaurant business. Evaluate the amount of space you need for a restaurant bar setup before you make furnishing arrangements. You can seek the expertise of a professional and trustworthy interior designer who can bring flair and the right ambience to your establishment, especially someone who specializes in bar and restaurant concepts. A designer will show you how to utilize your bar area to the fullest and provide you with a list of original design concepts. He/she can help you select the right furnishings for your bar. Swivel bar stools and bar height laminate tables are popular choices of restaurant bar furniture not only for their durability but also for their comfortable seating and design which is thought to make the bar décor more enticing. However, budget with discretion and extreme meticulousness. The expenses of adding a full bar include licenses, permits, materials, construction and furniture: you may be able to reap the benefits of these investments in the long run but don’t purchase what you can’t afford.


An original and brilliant restaurant bar design concept can also translate into additional revenue. Restaurants with a consistently full dining space can use their bar area as a waiting room for customers. Customers who have to wait outside or in a lobby for long periods of time may grow frustrated and leave which can hurt your profit margins. Having a bar area with comfortable seating will allow them to order drinks as they wait to be seated at their tables. A bar menu typically offers less expensive and smaller portions of food to patrons which can result an increase of food sales in addition to the items they order from the main menu. With a well thought out design and layout along with a thriving lunch/dinner business, restaurants can set their bar area up as a buffet to upsurge their sales.

Happy and After Hour Specialty Drinks

Restaurants hit a low point in sales every now and then. A bar provides extra seating for happy and after hours for customers. Happy hour drink specials are one way to combat slow times. At the maximum, they are a surefire way to attract customers during a slow season. Furthermore, customers who prefer to mixed drinks to wine and beer will likely visit your premise more frequently, especially when you serve hard beverages.


After hours are specials that include beverages and food that is served after the main dinner hour but right before closing time. Besides, serving an original drink that is visually appealing will create buzz and excitement among them. You can work together with an experienced bartender to develop various combinations or come up with your own names and flavors to make them fit your restaurant’s location and motif. You can’t generate sales from happy hours, after hours or from specialty drinks without a bar so adding one to your restaurant is something you should give some thought to.

Giving your Brand an Extra Edge

Nowadays, patrons don’t just rave about a restaurant’s food. Drinks can have a huge impact on their dining experiences as well. No one sensible will critique about the soda they drank or the tea they sipped at the restaurant. But your mixologist’s original will have them talking. A drink menu listing a variety of beverages, including a drink or two with your twist, may put your restaurant ahead of competition. Concocting drinks add entertainment to the bars as doing so may encourage people to order them.


The supplementary appeal of which a bar radiates can be game-changing to the customer’s dining experience and ultimately driving more sales. Even if you don’t employ a talented mixologist, you can bring returning and new customers with a bar itself. A drink or two may be just enough to enhance any night out. Drinking contributes to more socializing among customers. Conversations tend to be more animated over a pint of beer than over a salad.

New Social Marketing Approach

Instagram is no longer about featuring mouth water picture perfect images of food. A cocktail can be just as pleasing to the eye as a well plated fillet mignon. Now that word about your newly established bar has traveled, you should develop in-house marketing strategies to draw attention to your restaurant. The more unique your drinks are (as long as the flavors merry nicely), the more interest your restaurant will gain among diners. Are you offering a signature drink? Is it a local beer with your own spin? Just like the food you serve has a story to tell, so should your drinks. You have built the buzz with your signature dish, your specialty cocktail should produce the same level of excitement. Build your social media presence and make sure people know about your drinks. Interesting drinks can generate a lot of buzz among patrons. Whether they are seasonal, fresh or a specialty infusion, people will be talking about them as long as they are well made and taste good.

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