Five Steps to a Successful Bar & Restaurant

Written by Joshua Clifton from MasterBar Coaching

MasterBar Coaching is your online resource for you bar and restaurant. The team provides staff training packages, one on one management consulting, Marketing development & strategic planning. We work with some of Australians leading regional venue owners to provide the first of its kind online resource.

Welcome to the modern era of the bar and restaurant. The rules have changed, venues have evolved and the customer reigns supreme.

So what makes a successful bar and restaurant? Before we tackle this question ask yourself this: what do you think makes a venue successful? What distinctive traits do the venues that are doing well have in common?

Think of your establishment as a tree. To have a large strong healthy tree you must first develop a large extensive root system and the larger the root system the more support and potential the tree has to grow.


Here are five steps to make sure you’re in tune with your venue.

1. Staff recruitment and training

An interview should be thought of as a relationship building process. Think of yourself meeting a new person. What sort of environment would you want to be in? What initial questions would you be asking them?

Ask yourself this:

  • Do I like this person and do I admire and trust them?
  • Is this individual driven?
  • Do they have passion and admiration for the job?
  • Are they friendly, outgoing and do they have a strong desire for the business?
  • Are they a long term or short-term thinker? And how do they handle their money?
  • And be honest – ask them why they are here!

*Remember: staff are your biggest form of word-of-mouth promotion and a happy, engaged staff member can generate large amounts of cliental! A staff member who has a passion for the venue is one of your greatest assets.

2. Effective & Efficient Systems and Structures

A venue is only as strong as its systems and structures. Having efficient and effective structures in place can create staff efficiency and professionalism within the workplace.

I believe that having these in place creates a happier work environment with less stress for management and resulting in a more consistent product. It can be anything from a cocktail cheat sheet in the bar, or wastage controls in the kitchen – simple but effective.

*How are the structures in your venue? Look at any current problems in your workplace and ask yourself if they can be solved with a set of instructions.

3. Product, Service & Entertainment

Customers want to be impressed when they go to your business either by the venue staff, music or the facilities – so you have to play to your strengths!

What is it that truly shines in your venue and what makes the most money?

  • Food,
  • Beverages,
  • Customer service
  • Location

Society is constantly evolving. New establishments are opening up and customer preferences are being influenced on a day-to-day. Stick to your roots and remember why you have achieved success already.

*Have a major selling point and use it to your advantage and give customers a story to tell to their friends.

4. Your Market

All venues have characteristics that differentiate themselves from other venues. Ask yourself: What type of person would your venue be? Try to imagine what they like and dislike and compare your business personality and customer personality and find commonalities between them.

5. Management Direction & Vision

Your direction and vision is what binds the venue together and makes it successful. But what does it all mean to you? What’s the big picture? What’s the end goal?

Visualising your future is a crucial step toward helping you develop a clear focus and gain momentum in the right direction. So how do you visualise your future and your venue? Where do you see your venue in 6 months? One year? 10 years?

Will you have more venues opening up and where will they be?

Having clear and concise goals in the future allows you to make more informed decisions on a daily basis. Ultimately this 5-Step process is designed to help you step back and really visualise what your venue means to you and where you want it to go.

The most successful venue owners today constantly look to the future for the next step and with this process you can develop your venue to be a leader in its field and take the final step to a successful business future.

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