How to Conduct Market Research for Your Bar - dummies

How to Conduct Market Research for Your Bar

By Ray Foley, Heather Dismore

Conducting market research is vitally important to getting your bar up and running. Market research involves keeping your eye on other bars in your area to figure out what they’re doing and why. You need to get a clear picture of what your competition and your clientele will look like.

Keeping up with your customers and the market doesn’t stop when you open the doors. You need to incorporate this process into your regular business practices to stay on top of what’s going on in your world.

Begin your research by focusing on four areas:

  • Location: Determine how important a convenient location is to your soon-to-be patrons. Maybe you’re close to your customers’ homes or workplaces, or maybe they drive past your place on their commute.

  • Menu: How many drinks or dishes are enough? Will customers be more likely to come in if you have a full menu, or are they just looking for a nightcap?

  • Price and value: The price is the amount of money that someone pays for an item, like a drink. The value is how patrons perceive what they get (usually in terms of quality and quantity) compared to what they pay. Consider both when you price your menu.

  • Entertainment choices: Do your patrons like live music, games, pool, darts, or dance tunes? Would they rather be able to have a relaxed conversation or slam into each other on the dance floor? What’s available around town that’s similar to what you’re considering offering?

After you understand the basics of the marketplace, you can ask very specific questions that pertain to your specific concept.

You don’t have to completely rework your concept to simply fit the mold. But it’s better to be armed with information about obstacles early in the game so you can tweak your ideas or add more money to address problems as necessary.