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Posted: 7/24/2013 1:57:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/25/2013 11:20:50 AM EST by hightech_redneck]

It's a no-go....

The hours of operation is Thur-Sat. and to me it screams "we can't get people here"

After reading here..talking to the other Money man that owned a bar and lost it

FUCK THAT WAY too much shit to dive into without
any hard exp.

Plan B..as buddy has a small catering/BBQ thing going on......Buying a a large
smoker/tow behind rig and setting up where we can.....Besides, if nobody
buys our product...we will have plenty of food to eat

Link Posted: 7/24/2013 1:59:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 2:04:02 PM EST by TheGunCollector]
How much are they netting?

ETA: As a former bar owner, get women to go there, and you'll have a busy bar.

How is the partnership going to be set up?

What is the lease like? Years left, increases, CAM, etc.

Is there a surveillance system?

ETA2: One bartender will steal more than 2
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:01:14 PM EST
Any bar that can run on one bartender and two waitresses isn't making any money.

FYI--I have friends with bars, I don't own one.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:03:02 PM EST
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Originally Posted By TheGunCollector:
How much are they netting?
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Meeting this weekend with him...don't know
I DO know the bar, have been there and know
they are avg. busy on weekends
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:03:38 PM EST
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Any bar that can run on one bartender and two waitresses isn't making any money.

FYI--I have friends with bars, I don't own one.
View Quote



Max capacity is 200...not a big place

Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:05:43 PM EST
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Originally Posted By hightech_redneck:



Max capacity is 200...not a big place

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Originally Posted By hightech_redneck:
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Any bar that can run on one bartender and two waitresses isn't making any money.

FYI--I have friends with bars, I don't own one.



Max capacity is 200...not a big place


What would you say they average for customers each night?

And most businesses are worth 10x net income.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:08:27 PM EST
My parents owned a bar. I would never do it. Check local and state laws, they can be very strict and a hindrance for a bar owner.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:08:57 PM EST
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:

What would you say they average for customers each night?

And most businesses are worth 10x net income.
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By hightech_redneck:
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Any bar that can run on one bartender and two waitresses isn't making any money.

FYI--I have friends with bars, I don't own one.



Max capacity is 200...not a big place


What would you say they average for customers each night?

And most businesses are worth 10x net income.


Really depends on the bands, all Cover-bands...seen as little as 10-20
and also been there when it's nut to butt {maxed out}

Haven't been there enough to really get an avg.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:09:41 PM EST
Never really thought about it, and I have been in bar cover bands.....
Do bars HAVE to pay ASCAP for live music?
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:12:49 PM EST
Does the seller have books that have been certified by a CPA ? That's a BIG part of the equation. Just because he says the bar is making X dollars per month doesn't mean anything if the books are not certified.

Running a business with partners can be great or a nightmare. Sometimes one feels he is doing more than the others. You need to sit down with the other partners and map out exactly what each is responsible for. Get the partnership in writing.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:17:53 PM EST
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Originally Posted By garbageman:
Does the seller have books that have been certified by a CPA ? That's a BIG part of the equation. Just because he says the bar is making X dollars per month doesn't mean anything if the books are not certified.

Running a business with partners can be great or a nightmare. Sometimes one feels he is doing more than the others. You need to sit down with the other partners and map out exactly what each is responsible for. Get the partnership in writing.
View Quote


That's what I'm thinking. A financial decision should be based on the historical and projected results of the business. If you aren't comfortable with interpreting the numbers, hire someone who can.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:21:28 PM EST
My family owns a medium sized restaurant/bar that we pack upwards of 350 people a night on weekends. We struggle with wait times while having two complete bars and 3 bartenders a night. We have a full kitchen staff also that helps out with bussing tables and running stuff back and forth. We also have two bar backs. As well as 8 security guards. Security is the most important aspect IMO. I keep the riff-raff out and I have a very strict dress code in place. If it gets too ghetto the women won't show up. No women, no business. But thankfully we have been going strong for about three years now and continue to grow and get people traveling from upwards of 2hrs away to come visit us.

Our local PD loves us. We rarely have issues for them to deal with while other bars have fights constantly. They know we are proactive when it comes to issues and that we are no nonsense with the rules. Our PD has a lot of pull with the city. They already pulled the dance permit from one bar because of the constant fights. No dancing no fun no money coming in.
Make sure the bar doesn't have a bad rep obviously. But I think you will need a lot more than one bartender once it starts to get busy. Good luck with it all
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:24:18 PM EST
I owned two bars.

1. Any business with partners is hard, doubly so for the restaurant bar scene. Make sure that you have a solid partnership and operating agreement.
2. How is the bar being purchased? Cash? Financed? Etc
3. How active is the current Owner?
4. Why is the current owner selling?
5. How are the records? If they have been under reporting cash, sorry buddy can't include in the sale price.
6. Do you like working all the fucking time?

I actually have.a lot longer list so I will shoot you an IM
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:25:26 PM EST
My parents owned a bar while I was growing up. I was pretty well raised up in it. I would pass. The trouble isn't worth the little money you'd make.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:29:55 PM EST
Some of the questions in my mind:

Why do they need you if it is a strong business already?

How much are they wanting you to invest? Is that amount equal to your ownership %.

Also, like others mentioned, everything needs to be written out - by YOUR attorney. Protect yourself.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:32:21 PM EST
Watch Bar Rescue. Do what Taffer says. Profit.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:34:08 PM EST
Until the HB passes are you going to let CC in your bar??
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:35:46 PM EST
One of my close friends bought a bar recently. The best advice he's given me is simple: Don't do it.

1. Have at least 25% of the purchase price left in cash for things that will go wrong
2. Have all your legal documents/insurance squared away, slippery floor and drunk people = lawsuits
3. Hire some sort of manager, this is the only way you will get away from being there 90 hours a week (unless you want to work 90 hour weeks)
4. Treat your employees well. 5 employees at 18 dollars an hour giving 120% are vastly superior to 12 employees making min wage not giving a shit.
5. Listen to your customers. Are people going elsewhere? If so why?
6. Get the hot girls to come in, this will draw the crowds.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:38:05 PM EST
Yep....what he said. If they can pay 4,000 per month for a band and one bartender can keep up with demand ....theres a problem.
I foresee you meeting Jon Taffer in the near future.

If things were good they wouldnt be involving someone with no exp ....like you. No offense
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:38:27 PM EST
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Originally Posted By macman37:
Watch Bar Rescue. Do what Taffer says. Profit.
View Quote


+1 to watching BR, great perspective of the mistakes people make who are playing at owning a bar.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:41:19 PM EST

Remember, if you decide to go topless, it only applies to the women.


Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:45:44 PM EST
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Any bar that can run on one bartender and two waitresses isn't making any money.

FYI--I have friends with bars, I don't own one.
View Quote

This I have been on with Bars, Clubs, some from the ground up
That is the truth............ ya gotta sling some drinks and grub and turn the tables over to make some money
sounds like 3 Families feeding at the same Trough Volume volume............
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:46:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By hightech_redneck:
Never really thought about it, and I have been in bar cover bands.....
Do bars HAVE to pay ASCAP for live music?
View Quote

YES!!
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:51:41 PM EST
Ive owned one bar and was a GM of another. As many have said here,

1. You will never sleep
2. If you have one bartender and 200 people, that mother fucker is a drink slinging fool.
3. if you can only pack in 200 and are only open thurs-sat, you will be freaking broke fast.
4. GET CERTIFIED PROOF OF PROFITS BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING.
5. You will never sleep.
6. Dont screw the waitstaff.
7. Damn near everyone that works in a bar steals from you somehow/someway, hard cash, give aways on drinks.
8. If you arent there and KNOW whats going down, that means theres waitstaff fucking in the walk in coolers and people
snorting coke on the prep tables.

I have personally witnessed this shit all the way from dive bars to upscale clubs.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:54:50 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sykostanger:
Ive owned one bar and was a GM of another. As many have said here,

1. You will never sleep
2. If you have one bartender and 200 people, that mother fucker is a drink slinging fool.
3. if you can only pack in 200 and are only open thurs-sat, you will be freaking broke fast.
4. GET CERTIFIED PROOF OF PROFITS BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING.
5. You will never sleep.
6. Dont screw the waitstaff.
7. Damn near everyone that works in a bar steals from you somehow/someway, hard cash, give aways on drinks.
8. If you arent there and KNOW whats going down, that means theres waitstaff fucking in the walk in coolers and people
snorting coke on the prep tables.

I have personally witnessed this shit all the way from dive bars to upscale clubs.
View Quote

Yep !!!!! It ain't an easy buck my friend
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:58:26 PM EST
In addition to the other posts, here are some random thoughts.

My dad owned 2 different bars over the years...

You need "things" in place to keep the employees from giving away drinks and stealing cash money.

You need a "menue" of small appetizers, that are very good. Many places have food on the menue that have too large portions, so people do not order them as they cannot eat all of it, so they feel they have waisted their money. Several smaller portioned very good appertizers is more better, IMHO.

And as others have suggested, target women customers. Advertise to local lady workers, ie giving them a free drink, of free appetizer, etc.

Also if you can get a good Lunch business, that is just extra money in the bank.

Having a good atmosphere, where people just even stop off on the way home for a drink or two and a good appertizer, is again money in the bank...
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 3:16:30 PM EST
my bil went down this road

3 good friends partnered in a restaurant with a bar.

my bil was the partner with good business sense, and experience in food service.

the other partner with experience, owned 4 other resraurants, ended up bankrupting 2 of them, and blew money on everything (towel service, floormat service, apron service, personalized order pads and napkins), if a salesman offered it, he bought it.

the last partner looked at the bar as a way to party. hire underage waitresses and try to score. give free drinks to errrybody. he has to blow into a tube to start his car now.




my bil bailed before things went full retard. he lost half his investment, but opened his own place with what was left. since he was the one keeping it from going full retard, once he left everything went to shit.


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:24:28 PM EST
Savannah? City Market, River Street? If so, I may see you there. Good Luck either way.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:33:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 4:38:12 PM EST by Rustyprop]
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Originally Posted By propguy:

YES!!
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Originally Posted By propguy:
Originally Posted By hightech_redneck:
Never really thought about it, and I have been in bar cover bands.....
Do bars HAVE to pay ASCAP for live music?

YES!!


ASCAP only covers some artists. You need BMI and RIAA.

DON'T USE ANY OF YOUR MONEY!

If you are in GD asking questions you are not ready to "own" a bar yet.
If they want your sweat equity now with an option to buy in later then consider it.

Look at every penny you spend and try to save where ever you can without it effecting your customer.

Edit. Forgot ASCAP, BMI and RIAA also charge a dancing fee.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:40:49 PM EST
My friend owned a bar and all I can tell you is don't let your friends drink for free and certainly don't let them stay after hours and drink free. If your bartenders are letting their friends drink for free, shitcan them
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:45:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 4:52:31 PM EST by ATLDiver]
Originally Posted By hightech_redneck:
So there is a SERIOUS op, for me to partner up with 2 others on a working/semi-busy bar

I have worked in a bar before as a kitchen manager yrs ago, but other than that, no hard exp.

I know MOST bars fail within 2 yr and I will have NO income.....

Other than that, what can I expect?

Bar is 4000 sq ft. in a historic distract, area is being re-vamped and speaking of,
The Vampire Diaries film in the area, literally 2 blocks down....have filmed every season
in this area.

Bar limit is 200 max, small kitchen {2 fryers, 1 flat-top} Open Thurs- Sat. known for
Comedy on Thurs. live bands on weekends, typical band pay is $500 per night.

Has one bar-tender per night, 2 servers, One cook, kitchen closes at 11pm.

Meeting with seller this Sat.

Besides Income/Outgoing bills and what-not
what should I ask?
View Quote


Sorry, I have no experience outside bar-tending while in college. But you have to be unique in some way to draw crowds. You need to decide who your clientele will be, theme bar, yuppy bar, college/sports bar, etc.

I would suggest highly on having a diverse and numerous beer selection or look at being a brewing bar to roll some of your own suds. Do pay to have a proper kegging/tap system designed and learn to rotate your beers for freshness. Obviously having one of your partners with a business background and experience is key here as well as hiring good staff. Will you be serving food? If so, that opens up a whole other can of words.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:49:53 PM EST
If having a partner was a good idea, God would have had one.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:57:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:58:16 PM EST
IB


Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:07:37 PM EST
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SHAME ON YOU!!!!


Came here to post this
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:19:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 5:24:04 PM EST by locolopez]
you only want to work 4 nights a week and feed 3 family's go back to school ,yes high school . ga has a historic district? fogetaboutit , unless you are in athens and can book Cory Smith every weekend
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:38:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 5:49:44 PM EST by sirensong]
long time manager, not an owner. first thing that jumps out at me is why they are closed so much. you pay rent 24/7/365. so why are they closing early and on specific days? money in the bar business is made with time and square footage. as an owner, you need to be maximizing both of these or you're literally turning money away.

-in addition to sales numbers, you need to ask about PPA, or per-person average sales. if the PPA is $20, you're probably selling a lot of stuff to a few people. if it's $10, you're probably getting a lot of guests but not maximizing your sales to each guest.

-food to beverage sales ratio. what this is is a way of gauging how well the kitchen is performing. how can you drive new sales out of the kitchen, that will supplement (not replace) the sales out of the bar? for many, many small bars, this is the biggest area of wasted sales opportunity--owners ignore potential kitchen sales. but the key is that you want to grow sales, not turn the place from a bar into a restaurant.

-obviously, you're going to want a complete P&L breakdown, at least monthly, for the last couple of years. pull a month (say july 2012), and look at the sales versus the various cost centers. you'll want to see food cost right at 30%, and total bev cost below 25% (this number is somewhat flexible due to what the bar sells). liquor cost will vary, but under almost no circumstances should be higher than 19%. a note here--liquor cost means the cost of liquor, not liquor/beer/wine. if there is not a separate line item for each of these 3 categories, this is a major red flag that the business is being mismanaged.

so in addition to gauging the bar's performance, this metric will also gauge the performance of your potential partners--how closely are they paying attention? this line of questioning is a substantial part of the "unmeasured" due diligence you need to do on the owners. do they have this information on-site and ready to hand (which they should), or do they need a few days to "track it down"? how confidently do they answer your questions about numbers? they don't need to have the shit memorized (although the best ones do), but they need to be able to confidently discuss what is going on. bar people are generally very slick, and can make themselves sound good. you need to be judging how much actual, useful information they give you in any answer. did they really answer your question? that's what you need to be looking for during every single meeting.

i could go on all day, but a couple of final thoughts.

-you need to be alert for anything that's not on the up-and-up as far as permittage and regulations go.

-what standard are the employees held to? whenever i walk into a new bar, the very first thing i do is check out the soda gun. if the gun or the hose is sticky or has gunk on it, someone is not paying attention and not holding the barstaff to good standards. are the bottles wiped or dusty? how accurate are the cash counts? does the bartender do blind checkouts, or do they see what their deposit should be before actually verifying what is in the drawer?

-parking, parking, parking. lack of parking can kill a bar. if a potential owner is not talking about parking, i already know that he doesn't have his head in the game.

-what is the plan for the urban revitalization? how will it affect the local demographics? are there going to be any new regulations on businesses? what about construction--is it going to interfere with access or parking? how long is it going to take? you need to know all of this stuff, but you have an excuse not to know yet. your potential partners have no excuse for not knowing already.


really...i'll stop now...




edit: shit--kinda misread the OP. thought you were coming in on an existing deal, not a straight purchase with new partners. most of the above still applies. the biggest, biggest question is this: why is he getting out? if the bar is actually profitable and he's just 'tired', he could simply pay a general manager and hang onto the business as an asset. usually, when an owner is trying to get out from under a bar, there's a significant reason. figuring out that reason is the single most important thing on your agenda.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:54:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 6:08:58 PM EST by Fella]
Off the top of my head, I can't fathom a way that the numbers crunch on that deal.

If you need some help once you get numbers, pm me and i'll give you my advice. I'm partner in a mechanical company with over 30 employees, already shutdown one business I bought after 3 years of running it, and I managed a bar/restaurant that our mechanical company owned for about 6 months in 2007.

I've made and lost a lot of money at the ripe age of 25. :) Lol. I got started early in business and i'm made a lot of stupid mistakes, but i'm sharp with numbers. I'd love to help in any way I can.

I'd hate to see someone lose everything like I did. I went from being a 19 year old kid with over 100k in the bank, to a 22 year old kid who walked away from his business and several hundred thousand dollars (life savings), to a 25 year old kid who is doing pretty good and is finally starting to figure it all out.

The best advice I can give without specifics is "Don't buy yourself a shitty job".

Think about that long and hard. A LOT of business owners end up working 50-100 hours a week for poverty level wages, all while risking their own money or losing their own money.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 6:58:52 PM EST
The three gentlemen in town that own the most popular clubs downtown have been in the game for over 10 years.

When you go down there, you still see them going around their clubs monitoring things.

I don't think owning a bar is a venture you can't be a part of, physically. There's always someone pouring free drinks or pocketing cash sales.
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