Business OverviewDepending on the establishment's capacity, sports bars can be a specific version of the neighborhood tavern, or they can take on a life as big as a nightclub. You may have the latter in mind, but your market research may point to the former. It's important to do your homework! Generally, sports bars offer some kind of menu options such as burgers, pizza, sandwiches and appetizers. Since the main attraction is sporting events, sports bars have televisions in view of every seat, sometimes all tuned to different channels. Audio and video technology comes into play, with some owners spending a large percentage of their revenue on keeping up with the latest in technology--from satellites to big-screen TVs. The startup costs and revenue potential reflect basically the same numbers as a neighborhood bar. Sports bars benefit from having built-in events to use in their marketing throughout the year, but you need more than just sporting events and drinks to attract customers. Many sports bars also have video games and other activities to keep customers captivated.
The MarketWhen creating your sports bar concept, keep in mind the people you'd like as customers. Contact the local chamber of commerce or SBA to get information on age, gender, income level, marital status, and political and religious affiliations of your target market. You'll also want to investigate any favorite sports or teams in your community. Once you've established your bar, how can you get the neighborhood to come? Generate word-of-mouth buzz through direct-mail campaigns, developing a Web site or getting involved in community events and charity functions.
Needed EquipmentOnce you have your location selected and have gotten the necessary licenses, you will need to decide how to layout your bar and what equipment you'll need, including: glassware, compartment sinks, glass racks, taps and dispending systems for beer and soft drinks, cooler for beer kegs, freezer, ice bins, ice machine, ice pick, ice scoops, dishwasher, storage cabinets and display shelves. You will also need kitchen equipment for the snacks and sandwiches you're offering, and machines for making coffee drinks. For a sports bar, TVs are a must, and there is cable or satellite service to consider as well. And don't forget the beer, wine and liquor!