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From mojito to margarita, from Burgundy to bourbon the Bar industry has everyone covered. Nothing quite says sophistication like the click of ice in the glass and the ‘pop’ of a champagne cork. Whilst the much publicised downward trend of the classic English pub continues the upward spike in bar culture shows that Brits are not totally kicking the booze.

The increased deviation into specialist bars; be then focusing on a flagship spirit like gin or supporting small-time craft beer brewers, has created ample new opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to emerge.

You have landed here because of your expressed interest in learning more about the bar business. Please enjoy the blog below and learn more about this popular sector.

Industry Stats

The figure below shows some of the key industry stats for the UK Bar Industry. The demise of the English pub has crossed over with a return to form of old fashioned states given a modern twist with the focus on small batch, artisan production. The average UK adult now craves ‘experience’ just as much as product and so the theatre and performance of businesses such as a cocktail bar has just as much importance a the physical drinks themselves.

The past decade and a half have seen a steady rise in the number of specialists bars. Gin, in particular, has had a dramatic facelift. No longer an old-fashioned tipple, gin is now most definitely cool. Its limitless variety and bespokability make it the perfect vehicle for a new wave of mixologists to create a wonderful array of interesting new taste sensations.

And the average UK adult still likes to prop up the bar. Over 1 in 4 will drink in a bar once a week, the difference being is the demand is very much now on the premium service and quality of the drinks served and not necessarily the volume.



Country-wide the average number of daily customers in a Bar is a little over 125 people. As the average spend for a night out is a touch under £70 per person there is still a vast amount of lucrative opportunity for new business owners who enter the market with a clear and differentiated business plan.

As previously mentioned the central and defining feature of the current Bar industry market is the development and refinement of specialist offers from business owners. Whilst the ‘catch them all’ style bar outfit still has its place where local competition is light, large town and city-based enterprises need to present a more unique business. The wide range of tastes, cultures and trends within the UK means there is a real opportunity for new start-ups to develop a niche within the market.

The graphic above shows the most popular options available in UK bars. Wine is the most prevalent drink option which in itself has a whole spectrum of variations. Wines by country, wines by the glass, wines with food, all have their own place in the market. The same variety can be similarly applied to the other major categories outlined. The growth in popularity if small production, unique products lends itself perfectly to the drinks market and by consequence the establishments that serve them.


The Customer Spend in a Bar

Despite recent years of austerity and the squeeze on personal spending, the average Brit can still be trusted to enjoy a drink and a fun night out. With the average spend for an evening out at a shade under £70 and the average price of drinks around £10 the bar scene still offers plenty of lucrative opportunities to business owners with the right business plan in place.

How Do Bars Get Financed?

 Start-up costs for a bar very much depend on the varied size, scale and location of the business. it is not inconceivable to spend into the millions for a trendy new bar in the centre of London’s Soho but that is not to say there are not opportunities for the more modest budget.

‘Junipers’ is a quirky, modern gin palace that makes the most of its extremely focused offering to keep its costs down. The bar utilises a small, stand only space which can be managed by two staff and keeping a short but quality menu of gin-based cocktails.

The owner and manager Justin spent just over £15,000 to set up the business using a combination of personal savings and an interest-free loan from his parents. His story is a testament to how a strong and clear business plan can help a start-up can get up and running on limited funds.

The table below shows the main sources of business finance and their associated percentage. In some cases, for larger projects, businesses may need to obtain finance from more than one source.

The layperson may be misled into thinking a fully written business plan would only be a requirement if looking for outside finance. Whilst it is true a solid business plan would be a pre-requisite for any form of form debt or equity finance the value of having a quality business plan cannot be underestimated. Even for those self-funding, a viable and robust business plan is a sure way to keep focused and accountable which will ultimately lead to better business decision making.

Importance of a plan

Bars by nature can incur a great number of operational costs and are totally dependent on a sound understanding of the numbers behind the business. As a cash-based business, a tight handle on all finances is a must to ensure the healthy survival of any bar venture. Getting these numbers right early on is the best way to avoid running into trouble down the line. Investing in a quality business plan ensures you have all the information to make the best strategic decisions.

So what can we say about starting your own bar?


  • The bar industry is very mature and robust
  • Possible to start a unique venture on a budget
  • Businesses can adapt to fit market trends


  • Extremely important to fully understand the business cash flow
  • Potential for operational costs to spiral if not carefully planned


How you can succeed

The best way to get ahead of the competition and eliminate the biggest unknowns and risks when starting your own bar business is to invest in a high-quality business plan. The investment is invaluable. We at MyBizPlan provide the highest quality and yet lowest cost business plan in the UK, for a minimal outlay you can obtain a high-quality, visually stunning, financially robust business plan. It will give you a greater chance of seeking that vital finance and in the long run, could save you thousands. 

If owning and running a bar business sounds like the kind of business for you, get started with a Bar Business Plan from MyBizPlan. See which of our solutions is right for you by having a go at our – Do You Really Need a Business Plan Questionnaire?


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