For passionate cocktail lovers, launching your own bar is the ultimate dream. However, high start-up costs and an uncertain economy might make it hard for you to get started.
Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the initial cost and future proof your business. One great solution is to consider launching a mobile cocktail bar.
Mobile cocktail bars can be housed in the back of trucks or on trailers and can easily be launched at events such as weddings and music festivals or in open spaces to attract crowds of party-lovers.
Whatever you intend to do with your mobile cocktail bar, you need to make sure that you do it right if you want to succeed.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of practical tips to help you get your mobile cocktail bar off to an amazing start!
Create A Plan
Mobile cocktail bars come in all shapes and sizes, so the first step is to create a plan. Think about who you want to attract, where you plan to host events and what you want to offer. Some mobile cocktail bars serve food, while others have a limited menu of speciality cocktails based around one specific alcohol. Whatever you want to do, it’s important that you have a plan before you start.
Find Out What Sort Of License You Need
After you’ve made your plan, you can think about your alcohol license and any other licenses that you might need. For example, if you’re serving food, then you might need a license to serve meals. Make sure that you check what permissions you need in the state you want to operate in. If you plan on taking your mobile cocktail bar into different regions, then ensure that you know what certificates you need so that you’re always prepared and fully compliant.
Get The Correct Insurance
When you’re launching your mobile cocktail bar, it’s important that you choose the right insurance policy. You need to be covered if anything goes wrong, and your funding sources and licenses might depend on you having the right policy, so make sure you take the time to explore all of your options. If your mobile cocktail bar serves alcohol and food, then you might need restaurant coverage. As such, understanding restaurant insurance cost and what sort of coverage you need is crucial. Research the policies available to find one that will suit your new mobile establishment.
Put Together A Unique Menu
Now for the fun part; writing the menu! Whether you want to focus on one or two recipes each night or have a large regular menu and evolving specials, it’s important that you have a menu so guests can see what your new mobile cocktail bar has to offer. Writing your menu and a list of specials that can change depending on event or season can take time, so perfect your recipes and test them out on your friends and family before you launch your bar. Both your food and drinks menus can change as your bar grows, but the initial menu needs to be enticing and unique.
Research Your Competition
As you’re creating your menu, you might find yourself seeking inspiration and ideas. While you can’t copy the offering of your competitors, you can explore what they’re doing to find ways to emulate them and give your customers the mobile cocktail bar experience they crave. Check out your closest rivals and see what they are offering, as well as how they present their drinks and more. You can then work out which tactics to emulate and how you can make your bar truly unique and inventive.
Choose The Perfect Vehicle
Mobile cocktail bars usually operate out of some form of vehicle. This might be a purpose-built van, a reconditioned vehicle or even a trailer. Take the time to explore all of the options available to find one that is both cost-effective and unique. Repurposed vehicles, such as old buses or off-road vehicles, can be quirky and creative, while trailers can be more practical for driving over long distances. So, think about your business plan, how you want to market your new mobile cocktail bar, and how much you have to spend, to find the perfect option for you before you commit to buying a vehicle. Remember that while some options might seem cheaper, you need to factor in how much time, effort and money you’ll have to put into it to make it fit for purpose.
Stay Up To Date With The Latest Cocktail Market Trends
Launching a mobile cocktail bar is exciting, but once you’ve got your business up and running, you need to keep adapting. The hard work isn’t over yet, so you need to make sure you stay up to date with the latest cocktail market trends. You also need to make sure that you’re always compliant with relevant laws and regulations, so follow any governing bodies in your state and review their updates. Running a mobile cocktail bar takes a lot of hard work and commitment, but it’ll all be worth it when you can share your love of delicious cocktails and your culinary skills with your happy customers.