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The first 4 steps to reviving your bar business in 2022

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Has there been an industry hurt by the covid-19 pandemic more than hospitality? In between lockdowns, restrictions, closures for infections, staff shortages and a frightened public less inclined to a frothing ale than before, it may seem all doom and gloom right now. But here’s the good news: what a perfect moment to give your bar, club or pub a good ol’ kick in the pants for all the right reasons!

That’s the spirit! It’s not just the right time to turn things around, the measures you take today – when things look their toughest – may just give your brand the competitive edge over its competitors you’ve been dreaming of for so long. Will it be easy? No. Will your success be made overnight? No again. But make no mistake: the following steps are most definitely the first on the path to where you want your bar to be. Now all that’s left is to get it done. Luckily, you can purchase most of these tools at any reputable supplier, e.g. RS Components.

But first:

1. Take responsibility

Sure, the pandemic, the flagging economy and the psychology of your patrons isn’t your fault. But pretend they are. Now … what are you going to do about it?

First, stop being angry or feeling hopeless. Second, realise that some bars are going to emerge from this on top. Will it be you? If the answer is yes, you’ve just met the first pre-condition for success: belief.

2. Get rid of the dead wood

So what’s been dragging you down? Is it the people around you with bad energy? It’s time to face the fact that they’re probably always going to be negative. So as you look to replace them, make sure you’re directly replacing negativity with positivity. And make sure, as the bar manager or owner, you’ve got someone positive to look up to as well – like a mentor who’s seen it all or a business coach.

3. Stop the bleeding

Now let’s look at the real problem: money. Sure, there are a lot of reasons why your profits don’t look great right now, but it’s important to realise that if you’re in a hole, you must stop digging. Too many struggling bar managers know in their heart what the financial problems are, but try to fix them by digging into another area – like sprucing up the menu. In so many cases, however, those writing the menu have no idea what every menu item really costs when everything is factored in. ‘Sprucing up the menu’ could actually end up costing you more – which, remember, is digging down – not up.

4. Raise your standards

How long has it been since you updated your set of bottle brushes? While thinking about something as obscure as a bottle brush might seem less important right now than updating your spreadsheet software or creating a new signature cocktail, it’s usually the little things that make big things happen. And is thorough hygiene, safety, cleanliness and productivity really a little thing? In the world of hospitality, the answer is ‘certainly not’ – especially when your patrons are always just three clicks away from ruining your reputation with a harsh online review. Just imagine if that single review was all because what you really needed was a long-handled bottle brush with fresh silicone bristles to reach thoroughly and properly into that glass, bottle or carafe. Don’t forget: if your standards have slipped, now is the perfect time to put that right in every area – no matter how minor it might seem on paper.

Let’s end with some true optimism, confident in the knowledge that better times are always just around the corner. In the meantime, if you are feeling particularly worried about the future, the best thing to do is to redirect that angst into clear action and put your bar, pub, club or other hospitality brand exactly where you want it to be. You can do it!

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