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Wine Bar Business Idea

Learning how to start a wine bar is truly a gourmet entrepreneur’s dream. Throughout history, wine has been the favored beverage of nobles and peasants alike.

Wine is even more popular today. Wine makers have created a vast choice of wines for every occasion, taste, and budget. Wine restaurants and wine bars are growing at a rapid rate.

Wine bars are increasingly popular and considered one of the few recession-proof business endeavors. Learning how to start a wine bar is the first step toward becoming a successful wine bar owner.

How To Start A Wine Bar – Getting Started

Perhaps the most important asset for someone learning how to start a wine bar is knowledge. Customers will ask a variety of questions about wine and expect expert answers. Read books, take wine appreciation classes, attend wine tastings, and visit wineries, if possible. Become a wine expert.

Below is a list of equipment and supplies that are typically required to run a successful wine bar:

  1. Dispensing equipment
  2. Refrigeration
  3. Tables and chairs
  4. Supplies, such as glasses and napkins
  5. Cash registers
  6. Computers for maintaining customer and inventory data
  7. Ice maker
  8. Dishwasher
  9. Appliances, such as coffeemakers and microwaves
  10. Sound system (optional)

When determining how to start a wine bar, be sure to check with the local municipality about licensing and food safety requirements. You may find it surprising how long it can take to get a beverage license. Make sure to budget this into your startup timeline.

Key Factors To Success

Researching possible clientele, locations, and competition is essential. What is the median income of those living nearby? What about the education level? The local Chamber of Commerce can assist with demographics and vital statistics as you continue your research on how to start a wine bar.

The location you choose is of the utmost importance. Follow these tips:

  • Find the location of other wine bars in your area. You should have at least a 2 mile radius around your location with no competition.
  • The location of a successful wine bar should be where there are already plenty of customers, waiting to be pulled in.
  • The location you choose should be easily seen and accessible.

After opening, be flexible. Over time, you will learn what your customers want. Your job is to accommodate them and keep them coming back. Communicate with customers, ask for suggestions, and listen to their feedback.

Finding Customers For Your Wine Bar

If you have chosen the perfect location, many customers will naturally find you. However, actively marketing your wine bar is critical.

Word of mouth advertising is free, but must be earned. If you always treat your customers with respect, exceptional service, and high quality products, they will tell others about you. Offering your regular customers incentives for bringing in friends is another way to increase your base.

Holding and promoting charity events is a rewarding way to get your wine bar noticed. Advertising in local newspapers and business publications is usually affordable and can reap great benefits. Since wine is often viewed as artistic as well as tasteful, partnering with other artists in exhibitions gives your wine bar more exposure.

Wine tastings, customer appreciation sales, and open houses are additional ways to get the word out about your wine bar.

By being active in the community, using promotional materials and holding different events, your wine bar should easily enlarge its customer base.

Expanding Your Business

Over time, you may decide to expand your wine bar offerings to increase revenue. You may consider selling wine related merchandise such as wine totes, decanters, and books. Cheese and wine go hand-in-hand, so offering a selection of various cheeses and cheese servers may be popular with your customers.

Serving light food items like sandwiches and appetizers is another avenue to explore. Ideally, you would want to choose additional products and services that compliment your current product lines.

Learning about how to start a wine bar is as exciting as it is rewarding. A love of wine along with the proper planning will give you the greatest chance for success.

2 Responses to “Wine Bar Business Idea”

  1. Glenda November 29, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Hello, I am 29 yrs old and I have a few business ideas that I would like to start but just one of them (Ice cream shop, decor ( make vases, candle holders from used wine bottles) and wine bar). I don’t know much about wines and I am willing to learn. I live in South Africa and I haven’t seen a wine bar or maybe I haven’t done my research well. I want to know if one can open a wine bar at a shopping mall???

    • MySmallBiz.com Admin December 15, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Hi Glenda,

      You’re certainly in no short supply of fantastic wines in South Africa! In the U.S. (where our site is based), you need a license before you can serve alcohol in an establishment. I’m not sure about the procedures in South Africa but my guess is that you would need to apply for some kind of liquor license. If you have a mall in mind, contact the mall management to learn more about lease opportunities as well as licensing requirements for food and beverage establishments. Your local chamber of commerce may also help point you in the right direction. Good luck!

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