As the capital of England, London is home to millions of people from all four corners of the planet, making it a popular hotspot for entrepreneurs to unleash their talents and skills. It is also a city where its residents certainly like a snifter or two. If you’re business savvy and like the idea of a fast-paced, boozy environment, then read on; our 5 IDEAL steps to starting a bar in London.


Before launching a bar business, it’s important that you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into. It’s a tough, tough world but the rewards are huge. Having experience under your belt in the bar scene can be hugely beneficial, so working in or managing a bar beforehand (or even interning) can help you learn how day to day business is conducted. Doing market research is also essential. While you should already have an idea of what type of bar you’d like to open, market research can help establish your target demographic, as well as what area in London is suitable for your idea.


Once you have established your target audience and location, you’ll need to come up with a bar concept that stands out from competitors. In the cut throat world of capital city hospitality, and with hundreds upon hundreds of bars dotted across London, having a unique selling point is key. Simply selling drinks won’t cut it. Creating a logo that’s quirky and unique can also help consumers recognise who you are. A provocative name can even hook in the punters. Being creative and thinking outside the box is important, so whether you want to hone in on craft beer, or you’re opening a roof top bar, doing all that you can to stand out and be unique is vital.


Once you’ve come up with a concept that’s quirky and unique, it’s important to get all your ideas down on paper. Writing a business plan can help bring together all your thoughts and ideas to give you more clarity on how to go forward. Posterity matters. Your business plan should outline every little aspect of your company, such as your setup costs, any investments that you need, as well as revenue projections. Go hard, go deep, get statistical, or go home.


There are all sorts of factors to take into consideration when it comes to financing your bar. Whether it’s working out what stock you need, how much the rent will be for your premises, or finding out what the application fees are to get your idea off the ground, it’s important that you have a budget in place beforehand. Note that you will also need to get an alcohol license in place before you can open. Without one, this whole project is pointless.


Obviously, you know you are going to need to stock your bar with the essentials like wine glasses, shot glasses, straws, mixers, mats and the rest. But a lot of thought also needs to go into the bar furniture and equipment. For example, rather than ordering ice from a food supplier and finding the storage space for it, contact a company who do all the legwork in this field, like the team at FFD, who can make your bar business run a lot smoother. They also sell ice crushers, ice flakers, and ice makers that can be perfect for if you are going to include cocktails on your drinks menu.


Once you’ve got your planning and preparation sorted, marketing and promoting your bar to the masses is important. London is a big place, so trying to establish your business can be tricky. Your first port of call should be to use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Secondly, creating flyers for your bar and handing them out around the area can be a great way to make locals aware of your brand.