What are the most influential elements of an establishment that contribute the greatest to its success? Whilst there are many defining factors that make up a successful establishment, in my experience I have concluded the following essential elements which, when achieved, have the ability to propel your establishment towards high levels of success.
The ‘look and feel’ of your establishment’s surroundings will either repel or attract your guests. To ensure the latter happens, make the visual, audial and tactile elements of your venue impeccable. Make everything look and feel great. Choose your music selection very carefully. And make sure every object in your bar is strong and made of the highest quality your business model can afford. If you want world class customers, create a world class venue. Try and remove any factor that you believe will lower your guest’s opinion of your venue. Basically, aim to build your reputation as a venue that is great to visit, as everything inside is immaculate – including visual, aural and tactile elements.
Make your bar look, sound and feel impeccable.
An Experience, Not Just A Beverage
The manner in which you market your venue will determine your level of success. It pays to do your research, and market your venue consistently and strategically. And, remember that marketing is not just a department – you should include (and enhance) every aspect of your venue when planning your marketing. Try and incorporate every factor that’s involved in selling your product. And, remember you are selling an experience, not just a drink in someone’s hand.
Sell an experience, not just a beverage. And market your product strategically, uniquely and to the right crowd.
A Unified, Well-Oiled Bar-Machine
A venue will only be as successful as its ability to provide for a busy service period. So, make sure your venue is equipped with a bar-machine that is ready to handle your most demanding periods. Don’t forget that a bar-machine contains non-human parts – all contributing elements in your establishment are part of your bar-machine. Make sure every part works correctly. Also, make sure all aspects of your venue are geared to provide the most profitability possible. Making a profit is the reason you are there, right?
Only a highly trained, planned and unified bar-machine will deliver an outstanding product to the most demanding and critical crowd.
Brilliant Internal Culture
The internal culture of an establishment’s team heavily influences the quality of customer service, productivity and profitability that is generated under your command. So, do your best to promote a positive internal culture amongst your staff – the time and effort you invest into growing this culture will prove to be a worthwhile investment. Your staff will be happier and more willing to go above and beyond for you. And, you’ll have a lower turnover rate too.
A brilliant internal culture amongst your staff will help drive any venue towards success. A brilliant internal culture forms the basic building blocks for high levels of profitability.
Brilliant External Reputation
Your external reputation is another influential factor and greatly contributes to the status of your venue. Your external reputation is much harder to manage than your internal culture, but if you are able to build a positive external reputation, much of your word-of-mouth marketing will drive new guests inwards through your door. If you manage to execute all other of the essential elements I have listed here, you’ll be well on your way to building a solid positive reputation.
A positive external reputation will increase the status of your venue, and drive customers to your door, without any further effort from you. Excellent customer service skills and a brilliant internal culture will help build a positive external reputation.
Highly Skilled Staff, Particularly Bartenders
The second most essential element of a successful venue is a highly skilled and emotionally connected team of staff members. Brilliant staff have the ability to turn an average bar into a great success. So, make the effort to train your staff. Remember they are your frontline powerhouses! Also, remember to reward them for any outstanding work they execute, and always thank them at the end of every shift. Remember this rule: the quality of your staff play a tremendous part in determining your levels of customer service, productivity and profitability. Invest in their skills.
The quality of your staff plays a tremendous role in the quality and status of your venue. Consistently train and show gratitude to your staff.
The Most Essential Element
The most essential element of a successful establishment is the ‘key player’, who binds the bar-machine together. The attitude, approach and execution strategies of this key player will mould an average bar into a good bar, or a good bar into a world-leading bar. Without this key player, productivity and customer service drops, which in turn leads to a drop in profitability. This key player crafts internal culture and external reputation with their very own hands. This key player is the glue that holds the team together, no matter what.
The most essential element of a successful bar is the bar manager. The bar manager drives a venue towards delivering high levels of customer service, productivity and profitability.
Without a bar manager, or whichever title you wish to name the role, any establishment will flounder. A bar manager pulls all aspects of the bar-machine together and drives it towards a common goal. A successful bar manager is:
- A Frontline leader
- A Thought leader
- Well presented
- Hard Working
- Business minded
- Customer orientated
- A Teacher
It’s also important for a bar manager to know their role in the bar-machine, and to be able to delegate, handle difficult situations, and make any establishment as profitable as possible. A brilliant bar manager will commit to constant professional improvement. They will also constantly try to better every aspect of their establishment.
People love to say ‘wow’. Customers who say ‘wow’ will return to your establishment. If you inspire a little sense of ‘awe’ in your customers, they’ll feel great things. They’ll return, and re-return to your venue, over and over again to feel those same great things. Aim to build a strong positive emotional connection between them and your venue.