How to start up a
local Pub or Bar?


Pubs work like airlines

Empty pubs and airplanes make no one happy


1st hour, 2.5 transactions per person
2nd hour, 1.5 transactions per person
3rd hour, 1.25 transactions per person

where transactions are a food or beverage purchase


Need a location with a built-in clientele. According to the Restaurant Association of Singapore, "most" FnBs pay base rent + a percentage of sales.


Collab-space during the day

Recreation-space at night: live music, stand-up, sports

Venue Management

Venue should make artists sound good

While making them some money

Revenue Management

Mix low profit-margin with high,
Shift demand from busy times to slow periods,
Reward regular and reliable customers, and
Schedule the highest-margin business at the busiest times

Revenue Management

Establish full-price menu with range of margins,
then discount for regular customers and when business is slow

Revenue Management

What complements are offered?

Food? Live music? Gaming? Betting?


Use unbreakable glassware for cheap, glass for expensive.
It is prudent to have at least a 50 percent backup stock on hand. Besides that, you should plan on at least 25 percent breakage every year.

Minimum overnight inventory = the "pars", usually 2 weeks supply, c.f. bevspot mgmt.

Pour cost should not be above 20%, or 15% with shrinkage included

Product loss and shrinkage should be 25% max

Use jiggers to prevent over-pouring

Record spills and free drinks in the POS

Inventory at least weekly

Use security cameras

Liquor is in lockup with only managers having keys

Clean the beer tap system weekly

Buy by the case to avoid breakage fees

Reconcile invoice with order

Master your POS -- especially discounts

Use KegCheck to calc remaining beer

Employees run their own inventory daily (without seeing the POS report), managers run weekly

Employees keep empties and return to manager for new bottles

Follow average industry numbers


1. Serve fresh beer. Rotate your stock using the first-in, first-out method.

2. Store bottled beer in a cool, dark, and dry room. Keg beer must be refrigerated at all times, because it is not pasteurized and will start to turn sour very quickly if not refrigerated.

3. Avoid exposing beer to freezing temperatures. It will not be servable if it freezes; thawing will not return it to its original condition.

4. Store (light) beer at 38 degrees Fahrenheit and serve it at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. (heavy beer serve at 50)

5. Always serve beer in a beer-clean glass. A beer-clean glass is one that has no trace of soap, fat, or grease on it. Even a light film of those substances on an improperly washed glass can cause beer to go flat. Glasses should be washed, rinsed, sanitized, and air-dried.

6. Do not accept beer kegs with temperatures above 10C -- use an infrared thermometer gun.


Speed Rack = Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Triple Sec, Blended Whiskey, Scotch Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey, Brandy (optional)

"Call" Speed Rack = Absolute - Stoli, Tanqueray - Beefeater, Bacardi - Captain - Malibu, Jose Cuervo - Patron, Dewers - Cutty - J&B, Johnny Walker - Chivas, Jack Daniels - Jim Beam, VO - CC - Seagrams 7, Kahlua - Amaretto - SoCo, Rose's Lime - Grenadine (optional)

Ice Bin/Cold Well = Sweet & Sour, Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Pineapple Juice, Cream/milk, Pina Colada Mix, Bloody Mary Mix


Use food delivery plating, reclaim kitchen space for stage and seating, c.f. favourites by foodpanda. Also FP charges 20-30% commission for delivery.

Use diagonal seating to maximize floor use

Bathrooms cleaned by hosing down, extractor fan ventilation

Spill out of building -- needs shade


Without a doubt, the most profitable restaurants are in quick-service category. The larger quick-service purveyors have produced dozens of millionaires and more than a few multi- millionaires. A number of franchisees have acquired chains within the chain, multiple units clustered within an area. With predominantly minimum-wage personnel, high sales volume, the use of systems, and excellent market- ing, the quick-service business is the all-out winner.


The more MRT lines nearby, the better


What are the House rules?

What are the neighborhood rules? i.e. in some areas many things are tolerated -- betting, whores, excessive drinking

Pub / Bar



11/12 rookies

2/3 second-timers

Why Pubs Fail #1

Too much $$$ spent on decor vs.
Staffing, Training, and Marketing

Why Pubs Fail #2

Have not connected with their community / local powers

Why Pubs Fail #3

No Marketing plan for:
new customers
repeat business

Why Pubs Fail #4

Atmosphere not consistent and appealing

Why Pubs Fail #5

Under-capitalized venture into hospitality

Why Pubs Fail #6

Failed to ID a profitable customer group

Why Pubs Fail #7

Lack of Expense/Theft/Loss control
Cost/Revenue: Labor = 30%, Food+Drinks = 20%

Why Pubs Fail #8

Failure to stay current with profitable customer groups

Pub Costs

Allow for slippage

Tie pay to performance: base + bonus

If you're a bar, you're ecstatic to have 120 pints accounted for in your POS (point of sale system). That is about as good as it gets in a practical environment. Even yielding this number will require a great deal of attention, training and honesty on the part of your staff with a no-budge attitude. It is hard for most people to believe this, but my experience has taught me that your average bar (not a beer haven) manages to account for 70-80 pints/keg. I usually try to encourage bars to account for 100 pints/keg number to start. Once they've successfully achieved that, 110 is attainable for most people who put some concentrated effort into optimizing their system and properly training staff.


Advertising budgets for restaurants typically range from 2 percent to 3 percent of sales, although some do very little or no advertising and others as much as 5 percent.

Research Needed

POS system with stats
Streamlining food delivery
Ringers for passers-by
Pub density per employee, and per resident

Now go start up a bar!