If you are considering getting into the nightlife and entertainment industry, the two most logical choices that many entrepreneurs consider are nightclubs and bars. Though neither option is completely foolproof and requires a large learning curve without plenty of research and startup capital, there is actually more science involved in which route you choose than you might think. The fact of the matter is that opening a nightclub in the wrong area of town can lead to an almost instant destruction of your business, but choosing an ordinary bar instead can mean that you’re leaving barstools empty and profits on the table. There are some important things to consider when figuring out which option you should choose, and here are some of the most important ones.
What’s the Difference?
For many people who don’t have a lot of experience with the nightlife industry, the difference between a bar and a nightclub can seem subtle at best. However, there are actually tremendous differences that entirely shape the way the business is run. For instance, a bar is dependent on the concept of drinking to get people in the door while a nightclub emphasizes entertainment and sells alcohol as a consequence. That one simple fact should drastically change the marketing and appearance of the establishment you wish to operate.
Traditionally, nightclubs focus more on music and entertainment as well as the aesthetics of the environment. High end seating like plush chairs and couches are very common along with state-of-the art lighting so patrons don’t feel bad about forking out tons of cash for a simple cocktail. In a nightclub, you’re selling an experience more than just selling drinks which means every detail must be top-notch.
A bar on the other hand is all about the drinks and the food. When a typical customer goes to a bar, they’re looking for and enjoyable atmosphere that is more conducive to conversations rather than booming music and intense lighting effects. Value is typically a top priority as well with bar owners needing to focus on more volume and lower margins to bring in the lion’s share of the customers in a particular area.
The Benefits of Each
Both bars and nightclubs each have their own major benefits, and each can be very profitable is setup and run properly by a good staff. The most important factor to consider is opening the right business model for the area you’re in to capture as much revenue as humanly possible. Many people who are interested in starting a business make the mistake of building it up in a fashion that they personally like rather than letting the market dictate what they offer, but this usually ends up backfiring unless they have a really great pulse on the area and they close their doors within a few short months.
Knowing Which to Open
Deciding whether to open a bar or a nightclub should be a pure business decision motivated by the demographics in your area and your target market. If you have a lot of people ages 21 to 35 in your area that have a fair amount of income, then a nightclub could be a great addition to the market. However, you need to make sure that you have enough young people in the area with enough disposable income to make it a viable business model; as well as making sure you don’t have too much competition to capture your niche.
Bars on the other hand are usually viable in any situation provided that it meets the demographics. Usually, if you do the proper research to figure out your target audience and build a bar that is designed to cater to them specifically, you can open a successful establishment. The only thing you want to avoid is opening yet another bar in an area that is already flooded and overlooking the potential that a nightclub could offer the region.