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Food & Beverages 2018-09-25

How to Go Wide & Deep in the Bar Business

The Challenges of Running a Bar Business go far beyond just keeping customer's glasses full.

By Feature Writer
How to Go Wide & Deep in the Bar Business

The aim of bars across the world is to stir excitement and entertainment. Considered as the most money making business, running a bar in India is a tedious task. Bars and pubs have grown faster than cafes over the past two years driven by younger consumers, competitive pricing and a proliferation of options, says data by global market research firm Euromonitor.

Bars and pubs as a category grew 23.5% against 21.6% in cafes in 2014-16. Also, a vast number of pubs, breweries, microbreweries, and bars have opened across markets in the past two years, while there has been stagnation in the number of specialised coffee stores being set up by organized players.

Bars Unlocking their Potential

In the past year, interesting concepts have emerged and with the opening of the The Byg Brewsky, which is spread across 16000sq ft with a micro brewery holding 16 beers on tap which works as a milestone for us to set in a country like India. 

Pravesh Pandey, Director, The Byg Brewsky Company said,” One of the primary factors for any successful business to sustain in the market is an experience that is being offered to the consumers today. Any business model will have a longer shelf life and longer sustainability provided it has major factors involved in it; the experience and the uniqueness of the product is something which should be way ahead of its time.

“The parameters concerning the pricing should include your target group and where the Indian economy is growing”, added Pandey.

Offer the Best to Your Customers

Each product has a life cycle. Most of the consumers are spoilt by choices. Sustainability also depends on customer loyalty as well. Today consumers have varying preferences with no particular brand favoritism. Entrepreneurs need to make sure that they create a unique differentiator offering by creating a product extension.

“The product offering has to be dependent upon uniqueness which is the innovation to sustain in the market”, said Pandey.

Gurgaon-based microbrewery, BrewBuddy, has aunched taps on tables along with a ‘self-pour’ concept for consumers. “We are a relatively new player and despite stiff competition within the sector, footfalls have been robust both though weekdays as well as weekends. A wide variety of drinks and not just beer, snacking options, portion sizes, and younger consumers are driving in the numbers,” said Ashish Gupta, director at Rejoice Hospitality, one of the promoters of BrewBuddy.

How to Keep it Going

India is a country that has always prioritised food over the drink. Drinking was long considered a taboo and the law conspired with traditional norms for a healthy pub culture to flourish.  However, in the last 15 years India has seen a massive change in the food and beverage industry. Not only has the mindset of the consumer changed – a drink or two after work is completely kosher – every major liquor brand feels that its biggest growth potential is in India.

There are reasons why majority of the bars couldn’t sustain the tough competition in the market. Creating a brand is extremely important for a bar to sustain. When asked about what it all takes to keep a brand run through all the hurdles, Pandey said,” Defining or creating a brand depends upon the communication a brand has with its people. Brand communication and offering together if amplified with a differentiator product is the successful mantra for the brand.”

Joy Singh, Founder, Raasta said,” Pairing food with liquor has become a trendsetter which has been widely adopted by new age bars in India. This demands you to keep the menu as simple as possible. Also, leveraging business with liquor companies as well as a structured backend leads to scaling bars.

The Success Mantra

Nightlife culture is an integral part of any city’s identity and new age bars have been able to carve out a niche for the brand by building a trademark with their food, drinks or the even  more beautiful, pairing the both. Standing still isn't an option in this changing world. There needs to be a step change in the way food and beverage companies do business. 

Right people driving the right innovation and ensuring the differentiator is amplified is Pravesh Pandey’s mantra to sustain a bar business in India, where 40% sales come from food and the remaining is attributed to alcohol.

Sharing insights on running a successful business Joy Singh said,” One should always open what they believe in and stick to it rather than seeing others and changing their own product or place to match. And the most important thing is patience, as it takes time for a place to pick up.”

“Once you are a curator of a brand don’t go wide, go deep. As long as your basics are right, you stick with your concept, believe in it and don’t get desperate, there’s always space and acceptance in the market”, added Joy Singh, Founder, Raasta.

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