8 Steps To Open A Sports Bar

Do you dream of spending your days catching every sports game on television and hosting your city’s biggest fans all while munching on classic bar food and washing it down with beer? If you answered yes, it’s likely that you’ve at least considered Inauguration of a sports barAt one point or another.

If you’re getting more serious about it these days (desk job got you down, perhaps?) or you’re just curious about what it might really take, look no further for your how-to guide.

Here’s what we’ll cover:  


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1. First Concept

What are you going to offer that the competition doesn’t? Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a magical place that doesn’t already have a sports bar, you’re going to have to figure out what sets you apart from the competition. 

Will you keep it classic and authentic in a way that the other bars in your area don’t? Are you going to feature sports that are not local or will your venue be a hub for all things sport? 

The most essential and important step of all is to identify your needs. Restaurant mission statement and value proposition. You are different from all others.  


2. Next, the menu.

Your concept is closely tied to the food and beverages you offer. Is it wine, beer only? Or will you be exploring liquor or craft cocktails? (No one says that craft cocktails and sports bars can’t go together.) Is it just bar food? Or will you be offering new twists to the traditionals, or something completely different? 

Once you know what you’ll be serving up, you can start some early stage restaurant marketingStart to create buzz (think about social media). 


3. Location, location and location

If you’re going to have a sports bar, you’re going to need a place to put it, plain and simple. You will need to analyze the location of your competition and the neighborhood composition, as well as weigh what you can afford. 


4. Licenses and permits for restaurant owners

You need to complete all the required paperwork once you own the building. Licenses and permitsYou will need to have a license or food permit in order to open a restaurant. You will need to have a liquor license, food permit and business registration. 


5. Your bar POS system

Although this tip may seem more precise than the others, it is still a crucial step in your decision-making process. bar POS systemIt can make or break the entire process. It’s the heartbeat of your business, the central portal where it all happens, from payroll calculations to online food orders and everything in between. 

This is one place where you don’t want to go wrong. The main factors to consider are the cost of a POS system for a sports bar, the key functionalities you need and whether or not you can integrate your POS system with the other technology you’ll be using (like iPads for your servers and a kitchen display system for your kitchen staff). 


6. Invest in entertainment equipment

What does every sports bar have in common? Sports. That means you’ll need large, high definition televisions and an impeccable sound system that makes your patrons feel like they’re in the front row of the big game while they’re sitting at your bar stool. 


7. Your staff can be hired and trained

It is not easy to find the perfect staff. They’re the face of your sports bar, the people your customers will get to know and hopefully grow to love. From interviewing to scheduling and professional development, there’s a lot to consider. You should have an idea of what you want to do before you put ads in your newspaper. 


8. Market your product.

Even after your big launch, your work isn’t over yet. A solid marketing strategy is key in keeping the buzz alive. Management of the image and reputation of your bar’s sports bars is an ongoing task. This includes creating profiles on social media, responding to Yelp complaints, and more.

Of course, there’s a lot more to opening and running a sports bar, but these are the big steps. If you reached this point and think you’ve got what it takes, the only thing left to do is act on it. Just don’t forget your POS system. It’s the key to any successful sports bar. Get in touch with our hospitality specialistsTo learn more, visit Small Biz Sense. 

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.