Could You Hack It As a Bar Owner?

There’s something inherently romantic about the idea dropping everything to open a bar. But warm and fuzzy feelings aside, people often underestimate the amount of grueling, unglamorous work that goes into running their favorite watering hole. So often, what inexperienced bar owners fall in love with is “the fantasy…not the reality,” says Kirk Struble of Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue Pub.

Running a successful establishment entails a not insignificant amount of desk work, including countless hours of accounting, inventory and marketing, recounts Slate. There’s also an employee management aspect that often proves a stumbling block for new owners who are unable to reign in tenured bartenders and waiters that play favorites with customers in order to raise tips. And on top of all that, there’s the daily requisite manual labor of “schlepping kegs and unclogging toilets.”

That’s not to say bar ownership is without its rewards. But it’s for reasons like these that Andy Dismore of ADI Consulting, a team that helps corporate clients open nightlife venues, often suggests “cleaning out a grease trap at 3 in the morning” to starry-eyed prospective clients in order to break them of their delusion. Well, either that, “or they can give me $20,000 upfront, I can kick them in the balls, and they’ll thank me in a year.” The grease trap seems the more attractive of the options. [Slate] [Photo: Flickr/Sigfrid Lundberg]

Tagged: bar owners, Slate