Risks of Operating a Bar

Operating a bar, whether it’s a small pub or combined restaurant and bar, is a great way to run a business you enjoy. It can be a lucrative business as well, but it takes planning, preparing the legalities, insuring your business, hiring experienced employees, and choosing a prime location.


After all is said and done, everything should be ready by the time you open. Before doing so, however, you should consider the following risks in order to make the right assessments for insurance and protection of your bar.


Start Up Costs


The first risk is related to the amount of money it costs in order to start your bar business. Considerable capital is needed for things like renting a space, stocking with product, hiring and paying employees, getting insurance, decorating, and many other aspects of opening and running a bar.


Theft and Other Crimes


One of the biggest risks, which can really make an impact on your finances, is that of crimes like theft. You are at risk for theft and vandalism in the middle of the night, or even while you are busy and not paying attention — not to mention employee theft and embezzlement. To protect this significant risk, be sure to have a commercial crime insurance policy that includes coverage of theft, vandalism, and employee dishonest practices like embezzling money. You should also only allow trusted employees to handle your money and stock, and have proper security to prevent theft.


Legal Matters


Many legal issues come up while owning and operating a bar. To open the bar, you need to learn about zoning and licensing laws in your area, including obtaining a liquor license, learning when you can serve liquor, and how many occupants can be in your bar at any given time for starters. Through general liability insurance, you also need to protect your business from liabilities, which includes customer injuries while in your bar, or customer accidents after becoming intoxicated at your establishment.


Safety and Security


A number of safety and security measures need to be taken in order to prevent accidents and safety-related risks you are exposed to. Start by having trained security guards at each entrance of your bar. This keeps you from being sued for letting a minor into your bar, and gives you trained personnel to handle fights and other issues that may come up. Work hard to prevent drug and other illegal activities inside your bar. Make sure everything is secure with a fire extinguisher, security alarm, and employees trained to handle emergency situations. Clean up spills immediately so you don’t risk patrons slipping and hurting themselves, and train bartenders to recognize when someone has had too much to drink, and to help them get a cab ride home.


These are the biggest risks bar owners need to be aware of in order to get the right protection and have proper security measures. To maintain a successful bar, your business must be secure with business insurance, including crime insurance, liability insurance, workers’ compensation for your employees, and property insurance.