How to Open a College Bar on Campus

There’s nothing like the college experience. It’s a time of learning a profession and learning yourself. It’s also a time to party and celebrate youth and independence. All those things combined make opening a college bar a great business idea.

Opening a bar is a long and hard process, and you can’t afford to skip any steps. A slight oversight could mean the end of your business. So, are you ready to learn what it takes to open a bar on a college campus? We’ve detailed some of the essential steps of launching a college bar in this short article. Cheers!

Do some research and write a business plan.


Before you open any type of business, you should know what you’re getting into. It’s integral to know your competitors, customers, and the area in which you plan to place your business.

There are a lot of things you can learn from doing a little opposition research. For one, you can learn what the most popular beers and mixed drinks are among college students in the area. Do they favor a craft beer like an American IPA, or do they prefer mainstream lagers, malts, pilsners, and ales? On tap or in a bottle?

It’s also a good idea to see what food items your competitors serve and what their menu prices look like. You can even question students to learn which bars are their favorite and why. Soak up as much information as you can, and apply it to building your business.

Writing a business plan is another essential element of launching your business. Your business plan will provide you with a guideline for your efforts and keep you focused on your business goals. Your business plan should include your business model, pricing model, overhead costs, plans for attracting funds and becoming profitable, and any insights you gained from your research.

Get the proper licenses.


There are a lot of college kids who are ready for school yet sitting at home because they missed the college applications deadlines for Fall 2021. It was a matter of doing paperwork on time.

You don’t want that same fate to befall your business. You need to apply for your licenses early so you’ll have everything you need to open your business on time. Of course, you’ll need a regular business license and tax identification. However, you’ll also have to get a liquor license as well as a license from the local board of health if you intend to serve food. Some states even require cooks and servers to take a food safety course to handle food.

Your bar has to undergo an inspection before it gets its liquor and food licenses. Take time to learn the regulations and design your bar accordingly to expedite the licensing process.

Create a marketing strategy.


Marketing is critical to running a successful bar. New establishments don’t acquire traffic through magic. It takes a lot of work to attract new patrons, but the goal is to create a marketing strategy that’s fun and effective.

One way bars attract newcomers is with drink specials like “Happy Hour” and gimmicks like karaoke night. You could also host live music and let local talent and college students showcase their stuff. Have you noticed that marketing your bar revolves around fun?

Your bar could be a place where a lot of lasting memories unfold. You’ll get to serve a customer base that’s discovering itself in the real world and having a great time while doing so. You’ll be doing much more than merely serving drinks—you’ll be facilitating moments.

The first step to launching your establishment is to do research. Research is an essential part of the launching process. It’s where you learn about your customers and the viability of your business. It’s also wise to develop and write a business plan to maximize your efforts and resources. Nailing down suppliers and getting your licenses will get you ready to serve drinks, and from there, it’s all about marketing. So, launch your bar and let the good times roll.