I'm thinking about buying a bar. Good classes to take for a Novice?

Buying a bar is something I’ve been planning on doing for a long time to help supplement my income for when I retire.

I’m not worried about getting enough customer clientele going as I’m pretty good at those sorts of things.

What I’m fairly ignorant on is things like inventory, record keeping, payroll, etc…

What would be some good classes I could take at my local community college that would bring me up to par?

Umm… a mixology course? Restaurant/Hotel management courses. Karate to “excuse” the rowdy types.

Here’s a basic article: http://articles.directorym.net/Running_the_Business_Reality_Requires_Coping_Dallas_TX-r879719-Dallas_TX.html

And here’s a link to your local small business development center: http://www.ntsbdc.org/

and some small business resources from the SBA: http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/getready/serv_sbplanner_stguide.html

And a local tradegroup: http://www.restaurantville.com/

And your local chapter of SCORE:


and unfortunately…this is what you will be getting into, don’t think for a second your life will be some kind of ongoing party, its going to be about payroll taxes, balancing tills and maintaining enough inventory to keep things flowing. The number of computers I fix has been steadily dropping and more of my life is spent on banking, bookeeping, and ordering product.

And, as an alternative suggestion, there are tons of “How to buy / run / start your own bar” business help books. Your local library should have a few of them.

I think running your own business is much harder than you think.
The rewards are there, but people underestimate cash flow, maintenance, sick leave and the ‘glamour’.

By the way, your Username is perfect for this!

When I saw the thread title my first thought was how amusingly someone had failed at typing “buying a car”.

Plan on speding about 4 times more money in startup costs than you’d estimate. So many little things come up, fees, permits, inventory, equipment, utilities, etc. Many small businesses fail fairly quickly, probably in no small part because of paying for the financing of startup costs.

Work and buy smart. If you can get decent furnishings from a yard or estate sale, do that instead of going out and buying everything new. It’s going to get messed up anyway. Get real wood furniture, things that look sturdy and easy to repair/refurbish.

Try to hang in there for at least a year or so to get established, assuming you’re not spending yourself into bankruptcy. Treat customers right and they’ll remember it. And vice versa x 10.

Remember the old “in the biz” truism that bartenders either steal a little, or a lot.

There is no such thing as a completely honest bartender.

You want to run the kind of bar that attracts the former.

Because bartenders will make their money either way; if you make them money, they’ll make you money. If you don’t, they’ll still make theirs.

This is why people who have no experience behind bars :stuck_out_tongue: should think twice about owning one. It’s a tricky business!

The bar and restaurant business can chew you up and spit you out if you don’t know what you’re doing. It really helps to already be established in real estate before you go into it. You have to deal with not only insane amounts of record-keeping and finances, but also zoning laws, health inspections, workplace safety requirements, immigration laws (your employees, in the “back of the house”, may be predominantly immigrants and you had better be sure their papers are straight,) the stressful business of dealing with all your different suppliers and wholesalers, liquor licenses (obviously,) the fucking exise police, and a million other things.

It will take a huge toll on you and it may run you straight into the ground.