The Reality of Opening a Bar

Line up the bottles and queue the music – it’s time for your bar to open for business. Owning a bar can be an adventurous and exhilarating experience. No doubt, you come across all kinds of characters, from a tired mom who needs a night out with the girls to the older gentlemen who sips his cocktails alone with pure enjoyment. It’s a chance to provide customers with a curated experience and deliver an opportunity to allow your loyal patrons to relieve a bit of stress. But, as you might imagine, owning a bar is not all cubed ice and premium spirits. A business plan can be as solid and secure as possible, but a lot can change when you add alcohol. Unfortunately, humans can not always be trusted around liquor, affecting your business more than you might have guessed. 

Here are some real situations to consider when opening a bar:

Fights & Assault On Property- Alcohol can help people relax and enjoy the night, but it can also trigger emotions that don’t mix well with a low-key evening. Fights can (and will) break out at your bar, leaving your business vulnerable to being sued if someone gets hurt. Injuries do not have to be physical, either. If a patron sees a violent situation where someone is seriously injured or even killed, they can file for emotional damage. Lawsuits are never easy, but as a bar, your business will automatically be at a disadvantage in the eyes of a jury or court system for providing the situation to be injured. 

Food or Alcohol Poisoning – Even if you pride yourself on serving the freshest and most sought-after ingredients in your food and drinks, there’s always the chance that someone can get sick from too much of a good thing. Patrons could sue your business for serving any ingredients that make them sick enough to visit the hospital, seeking damages for the expensive medical care they received or time off from work if they missed any days. 

Vehicle-Related Accidents and Death – Unfortunately, alcohol-related accidents are not uncommon in the United States. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2021, a whopping 1,029 people in Texas were killed and 2,522 seriously injured because someone got behind the wheel while impaired from alcohol. Your business could fall for any alcohol-related accident on the road if you overserved someone at your establishment.

Expensive Equipment Breaking or Damaged – Owning a bar means having expensive equipment like wine refrigerators, beer taps, cocktail-making tools, and more. If this costly equipment breaks or is damaged, you’ll be quickly unable to serve your big money-maker. In addition, most bar equipment is not easily purchasable from your local grocery store, making it even more precious and essential to consider. 

Before you open the doors to your bar establishment, you should consider these and many other situations that can happen with opening a bar. One important thing to do is reach out to your SOGO Insurance agent to discuss the appropriate insurances that can keep you from getting into a bind. Some examples include a winery, brewery, and restaurant insurance policy, among other business insurance coverages. We can help you evaluate your goals and secure the right insurance for your operation. So call our helpful agents today and let us help you focus on the fun aspect of being a bar owner while we help plan the rest. 

In case you missed it: Check out “Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC vs. Corporation” to decide what business structure will best suit your business needs.