How To Start A Pub Business

Quite a few people have considered starting a pub business, but the number of those who’ve actually turned their dream into reality is much lower. This is not unlike many other business ideas, but when you take into account all the preparation, planning and investments you need to make, you really need to give credit to those who have managed to open the doors of their dream business.

It’s true that having a bar can be a quite lucrative project, but in order to be able to see any profit, you really need to be aware that there is a lot of work you have to do before the first guest enters your pub. So, let’s take a look at the most important elements you need to take into account in the planning and preparing stage.

Research and business plan

Before you take any other step, you need to research the area and the competition thoroughly. This is vital since you don’t want to open a pub in an area already packed with similar establishments, especially if your offer is not going to be much different from those of your competitors.

After that, when you become familiar with the environment you’ll be operating in, create a business plan in which you’ll outline how you plan to make money with your pub. In order for your business plan to be attractive to investors and lenders, you need to include the information about the area and the competition, as well as anything else that would persuade those people that your concept is plausible.

Register the name

Your next step is to register the name of your pub and choose a legal business entity carefully. This is important because you want to limit your personal liability in case of a lawsuit filed by a customer for whatever reason. It might be a good idea to ask for professional advice on this matter and consider establishing a corporation or a limited liability company, if possible.

Sort out the lease or purchase agreement

Location is definitely one of the most important factors when it comes to running a successful business, especially when it comes to a pub. You should be after a location in a vibrant part of the town, where people like to go out in the evening. Also, it would be ideal if your location had good public transport connections with other parts of the town since you don’t want your customers to drive after they’ve had a few drinks. So, once you find such a place, lease or buy it as soon as possible.

Obtain necessary funding

Few people have enough money in savings to pay for everything, which means most of them have to turn to outside sources of financing, such as investors or banks. In order to obtain financing for your business, you need to have some strong arguments, suggesting that your endeavour will be a success.

Equipment and decoration

Equipping and decorating a pub is a very difficult and expensive task, but it’s crucial. Select a set of hardware bundled with a specialized pub point of sale system to manage sales and inventory. Consider all the appliances you need to prepare food and clean the dishes, as well as things such as a draft system, glasses, plates, cutlery, furniture, and sound system. Make sure you analyse how much sunlight you get during different parts of a day and consider shade sails. This is also one aspect that might require assistance from a professional interior designer.

Licences and permits

There are quite a few licences and permits you’ll need to obtain before you start serving drinks and food. Depending on your location, such requirements may vary, but they will definitely include things such as the liquor license and health department permits. It’s also vital that you have an expert in fire safety inspect the premises so that you can reduce the risk of fire. Finally, you need to buy an insurance policy for your bar, which will include general liability protection and property protection, because you need to protect your building and equipment.

Decide on the menu and drinks

One of the things that can and should set your pub apart from others is your offer of food and drinks, which is why you need to give them some serious attention. Whether you decide to go for a wide range or a more specialised menu is completely up to you. The most important thing is that the quality of your offer never drops and that you keep refreshing your offer occasionally.


No matter how good your business plan is, if you don’t have people capable of putting it into practice, you won’t go very far. You should look for bartenders, cooks and a waiting staff that know what they’re doing and are reliable. In return for their work, you’ll offer decent conditions, compensation insurance and you’ll have to register them with the appropriate tax authority.

Make people know about your pub

Even if you’ve followed all the steps mentioned before, it still doesn’t mean you’ll make it. You need people to know about you, keep returning and, hopefully, bring other people along. That’s why you need to advertise your pub heavily, especially in the early stages.

Running a pub is a great challenge, but it can also be very rewarding in every sense of that word. So, pluck up the courage and give it a go!


Dan Miller
Dan Miller
DAN is a Payments officer with nearly ten years of experience in banking and international payments in the Australian banking sector. He has a masters degree in finance and banking. He is married and also a father of a beautiful little girl.

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