Start-up Tips: Starting a Wine Bar Business

The wine bar industry in Australia is fairly competitive. This is why if you’re a lover of good wine and planning to open a bar, you need to develop and execute a great strategy.

A wine bar operates the same way as a pub, except that it focuses on wine rather than beer or spirits. Some bars feature a certain type of wine, such as Italian, sparkling, red, and natural or additive-free wine. While many are stand-alone venues, others are associated with specific retailers or located within another establishment.

Wine BarTarget

The clientele of most wine bars is typically a younger crowd, but you can cater to an older market depending on the kind of wines you serve and how you position your business. The look and feel of your business should appeal to the market you’re planning to target.

Remember that a wine bar business isn’t different from running any other type of establishment. You must have excellent communication skills and genuinely enjoy working with people. You must also prepare to work late nights and weekends in a high pressure environment.

Rules and Regulations

The retail sale of alcohol in Australia requires that you obtain a license from your state or territory’s liquor licensing authority. You and your staff also need to undergo a responsible service of alcohol (RSA) training before you can start. RSA trainings provide skills in handling difficult situations, including how to recognise signs of intoxication and the strategies to slow or moderate supply of alcohol.

There are online RSA courses that you and your staff can take if you don’t have time to attend in-house classes.

Food, Location, and Competition

Many wine bars offer food to complement the drinks. This provides an additional source of revenue, but you might need to hire additional staff or outside help, especially if you don’t have experience in the catering industry. Location is another important thing to consider. Find a good spot, ideally in the central business district, and have an understanding of the area’s demographics.

Identify and analyse your competitors; know how many bars operate in the area, what they offer, and which gets the highest number of clients. Then, create a strategy that will beat the competition.