8 Areas of Focus for the Successful Bar Manager

8 Areas of Focus for the Successful Bar Manager

For those that are regular visitors to the Your Bar Consultant Facebook page you’ll have noticed a large number of links to blog posts giving tips on ‘How to be a great Bar Manager’ or ‘Top 10 tips for to manage a successful bar’. The reason I like to share all of this external content is because of its value. I want people to know that there is a community and available resource out there. I want people to know that the help and advice needed to be a success in the Bar & Hospitality Industry is just a Google search away for those who need it, when they need it.

What I haven’t done myself however is put a list like this together on my own blog here at Your Bar Consultant. Why is this? Well, I guess it’s because I’ve covered content similar to this in my book “Do You Need Help with Running Your Bar?” When I wrote that book during 2016 it started as a stream of consciousness from over 10 years working in the industry. What it became however was a collection of the areas of focus that I myself may have failed to see the importance of at the beginning of my career.

I’m not totally to blame for not seeing the importance of these things. If my own managers at the time had put as much emphasis on them and on me knowing about them then it would have been a totally different story. I think that I would have gotten to where I am now a lot sooner. The importance thing though is that I did eventually realise the importance!

A lot of the tips that are seen in the ‘Top 10 tips for to manage a successful bar’ style articles a lot of the time focus on similar themes. They’re about a bar manager knowing an array of cocktails and keeping things clean and organised. They talk of a bar manager knowing their ePos system inside and out and how to pour the perfect pint. I agree by the way, these articles are saying all the right things! What I also say however is that this is not all there is to running a Bar & Hospitality business.

If you happen to have read my article, The Alternative Bar Manager Job Description back in September 2016 you will recall me talking about my three key elements that I strive to instil in everything that I do and that I champion within the teams I oversee. These three things are Standards, Attention to Detail & Consistency. I believe that with these three elements embedded we can all achieve great things.

Through Standards we set the expectations of ourselves. It allows us to benchmark how we and our wider teams want to deliver our products and services to our customers. With Attention to Detail we ensure that these standards are delivered in the way that we want them to be. Through Consistency, we ensure that we are delivering these standards every second of every day to our customers giving them fantastic and rememberable experiences.

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Taking the themes from my own book my 8 areas of focus would be:

  • Know Your Market & Know Your Competition:

If you don’t know who you’re serving to then how do you know what your customers want?

  • Branding:

Present your business in a professional, clean and consistent way through your branding.

  • Ambience:

Create memorable and comfortable experiences for your customers that they’ll want to experience again and again.

  • Research:

Learn about your business through research and strive to make improvements based on your findings

  • Staff & Training:

Value your staff and they’ll value you and your business more and more.

  • Suppliers, Pricing & Stock Control:

Maximise on the output of your business through supplier management and tight stock control.

  • Marketing & Promotion:

Build upon your customer base through effective use of Marketing & Promotion.

  • Attitude:

It’s in our approach to our work that determines the outcomes we achieve!

It’s when we apply the three elements of Standards, Attention to Detail & Consistency to these 8 areas of focus that we begin to see the results.

Take Staff & Training for example. If we have a set standard for the level of training we expect our staff to achieve then we are one step closer to delivering a high standard overall within our business. If our attention to detail is high on supervising and monitoring our staff then we can ensure that these standards are being kept to. Consistency in our own approach to staffing ensures that our staff’s consistency in their work output is equal to our expectations.

All of this is achievable and all of this has enabled me and the teams who I work with to achieve results that I am proud.

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Think about your own ‘Top 10 List’ for your own workplace and then think about how the three elements of Standards, Attention to Detail & Consistency play into them. Are there areas where you see that your own standards aren’t being met? Have these standards been communicated effectively? Do your staff and wider teams recognise what the standards even are?

How is your own attention to detail? I’m not talking in an obsessive compulsive manner but could potentially be missing in your operations? What are the things that you personally may expect in the experiences you have when socialising away from your work place that your own customers may be lacking within your own?

How consistent are you? Do you have procedures and systems of work in place that are designed to be followed to produce a better output? Are these being followed in a consistent manner?

These are just examples of where Standards, Attention to Detail & Consistency come into play within my own outlets regularly. Yours may be different but I’d bet that everybody reading this article can come up with a list of examples where these three elements are relevant.

So, what’s your ‘Top 10 List’ of bar manager tips or areas of importance? What areas of your own business could benefit from an improved approach to Standards, Attention to Detail & Consistency?

Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your comments


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