Setting up a Beer Parlour or Palm-Wine Bar

In the year A.D. 80, the Colosseum opened with what must stand as quite the longest and most disgusting mass orgy in history – various sorts of large-scale slaughter, both of animals and men, were appreciatively watched by the Emperor Titus and a packed audience for 100 days as recreation for the roman masses.

Over the years industrialization has brought about the reduction of work-time. The hours per year committed to work have declined in the industrial West in a range from 3,000–3,600 to 1,800–2,000 from 1840 to the present. This redistribution of time has been accompanied by a drastic “repackaging” of leisure hours making possible new forms of leisure time, including the typically modern notions of free evenings and the weekend.

All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. Life is not all about working, that is why people always take to eating joints and social gathering to pass their time to toast their successes and to forget about their failures and miserable ordeals.

Amidst the current global social and economic crisis, one line of business in Nigeria that continues to promise greater returns on investment is the relaxation spot aka Nightclub, Bar, Beer parlour and restaurant, Pepper-soup joints etc. This is one line of business that keeps going and remains sustainable amidst the current global economic meltdown.

Most relaxation spots consist of drinks and pepper-soup section and a canteen or local restaurant (bukateria). The canteen or bukateria may offer delicious African dishes such as eba, fufu, starch, with a variety of soup, Rice and salad, rice and moi-moi, plantain, yam and beans with a variety of protein for customers delight.

The beer parlour or bar normally offer customers a variety of drinks, ranging from soft drinks, malt, stout, beers, wines and juice and a variety of pepper-soup such as fresh fish, cat fish, goat meat, cow meat, point and kill etc.

The beer parlour or bar business can be an exciting experience and may appear to be the perfect idea for many entrepreneurs and investors. Success in this line of business requires a deep understanding of the market you intend to target, their tastes and needs.

In addition, anyone interested in this business must be in the spirit of the times and closely follow trends in fashion, music, entertainment, food and drink. A good place to start would be to explore the different opportunities to serve the huge relaxation and partying market.

Beer Palour Palm Wine Bar business in nigeria bottle

Beer appeals to all sections of African society and is the cheapest and most affordable of all brewed and distilled alcoholic drinks. Beer bars are very common across Africa and can be found along highways and places around both low-income and upscale communities.

Individuals and their friend always spend incredibly and luxuriously on these especially in the evenings and throughout the weekends. If you own such a joint where people frequently come to sit and squander their cash on delicacy, then you can make money and catch some fun at the same time.

These beer parlours have become very popular because most people (rich and poor) like to relax alone or with friends at a bar during weekends or after a hard day’s work.

Bars or beer parlours may come with a restaurant option, and chilled beers can be served with light snacks like groundnuts, beef, snail, chicken barbecue, grilled fish and dry or fresh fish pepper soup.

A beer parlour or bar is the easiest and cheapest route to enter the evening/night life entertainment market in Africa. It requires much less capital and sophistication compared to nightclubs and specialty bars.

 

Getting Started

Some key elements of a bar and beer parlour every entrepreneur needs to consider before venturing into this business are:

Check out what works (or will work) for you and use it to your advantage!

Location

Location is extremely crucial to the success of a bar or beer parlour; and can mean the difference between success and failure. Your preferred location should be in an area with huge potential for customer. Competitive prices and excellent customer service is often enough to achieve success in this segment of the market. Note a bar or beer parlour located beside a church may attract a smaller clientele than one located beside a shopping mall or residential area.

Competition

Never underestimate the power of new competition to easily put you out of this business! Competitors in the area largely determine what type of pricing a particular bar will have. An operating center does not have to be known as the highest price place in town, although it is good for business. It is also important not to be the cheapest in the area.

Entertainment and Fun 

Majority of the people who visit bars and beer parlour want to have fun, relax and be entertained. What are your plans to keep them satisfied and loyal to your bar?  Football is very popular in many parts of Nigeria and attracts a lot of people to bars showing latest theses matches. Consider setting up wide screen TV sets in your bar business (relaxation spot) to attract football loving customers as well.

Popular forms of providing entertainment include live bands and performances, DJs, and gaming facilities like pool tables should be considered and exploited.

Great Services

Quality of service is a critical success ingredient of every bar and beer parlour. Customers demand attention and friendly service, while feeling safe and protected inside your premises. It is just about ensuring that you meet up with the different demands of each of your customers.

 

If you want your bar or beer parlour to be known for the quality of its service, you need to have an adequate ratio of waiters to customers. Continuous staff training with regards to customer management and relationships must be carried out.

 (f) Quality of food and chilled drinks 

Quality is also essential to the success of a bar/nightclub that serves food. You can offer a simple menu with traditional bar appetizers while customers drink, dance and enjoy themselves. The ability to provide cold and chilled drinks at any time of the day will be a great plus to your business.

CHALLENGES

For a business of this kind the challenges could present themselves in the form of a loyal customer who may be a perennial debtor but these are not common and but occasionally troublemakers may find their way to your beer parlour. You can guard against this by maintaining a no credit policy for your business and it should apply to almost all your customers with the exception of the credit worthy ones.

PROFITABILITY:

Millions of bottles of drinks are consumed everyday by Nigerian men and women and Billions of Naira are made from these drinks too. Go into this business and you’ll grab your share of the cash!

A bottle of Star or Gulder cost N250 in the bar and the wholesale price is about N200 per bottle. Which means that for every bottle of beer you sell, you’ll make a profit of N50. Assuming you sell 200 bottles in a day, you’ll be making N50 x 200 = N10, 000 for drinks alone, Adding gains from pepper meat, pepper soup etc., your gain for the day may or should be between N15, 000 and N20, 000 on the low side.

 

SOME BASIC INFORMATION YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GO INTO THE BEER PARLOUR BUSINESS:

  • You need to inquire about all the laws governing bar and beer parlour operation. Which include all federal, state and city or county laws and restrictions governing a bar joint operation in the area before one ventures into it.
  • You also need to find out when you can actually sell liquor to your customers. Different states and cities have different restrictions as to the time any liquor store in their jurisdictions can sell their products. Non-compliance with the laws is considered a criminal offense. For example the Sharia operating states, where there are restrictions on sales of alcoholic products.
  • Also consider the safety of your store personnel and the security of the liquor shop. Liquor stores are some of the most targeted stores for crime, riots and troubles. Installing high-tech gadgetry and posting security personnel in and around your store are options you may need to consider depending on your clienteles. Vigilance is the best key to thwarting those who are most likely to attempt a hold-up or outright thievery.”
  • Aim at 25 to 30 per cent profit margin from spirits or liquor; 20 per cent on beer; and 40 per cent on wine, soda water and pepper soup.
  • Another profit-generating strategy is to create a mixture of high and low pricing mechanism.
  • It is critically important to have a good accounting and stock taking procedure in place. This is to track sales, reduce inventory theft or pilferages and help watch profit. They can also help you crack down on employee theft.
  • Cost control is important, as beer, and to a lesser extent, liquor, go on sale periodically. “It is vital to try to time your purchases correctly so that you are always able to buy during sales promotions offered by different companies. This means you have to carefully track sales and make accurate forecasts on how much inventory you will need.

 

GETTING READY FOR BUSINESS

Everyone like the perfect place to unwind and enjoy great food and drink in a laid back environment, and if you provide that for them, you’re in for good business.

 

  • Rent a spacious shop for your business.
  • Furnish your joints with plastic tables and chairs.
  • Buy assorted drinks in bulk from suppliers and
  • Get your cooking utensils ready for the pepper soup et al.
  • Buy enough meat and fish in the market and
  • Make delicious pepper meat and pepper soup with it such that the aroma flowing out from it can awaken up the dead.

 

SCENARIO 1

Dollar Cool Spot

UNIQUE FEATURE OF OUR SERVICES:

  • Service of experienced personnel
  • Customer security assurance
  • Sales of quality pepper-soup, nkwobi, Isi-ewu, suya, and
  • Cable TV subscription and quality visuals
  • Quality sound system & music entertaiment
  • Safety and healthy security
  • Improved customer service behaviour
  • Conducive relaxation spot and

EMPLOYEES:

  • 1 Cook
  • 3 Waiters
  • 1 Bar Man
  • 2 Security Men

CONSUMMABLES

  • Foodstuff                                                                                       75,000
  • Drinks                                                                                           150,000
  • Others                                                                                           25,000

                                                                                                             250,000

FIXED AND TANGIBLE ASSETS

REQUIREMENT                                                                                         AMOUNT

  • Rent                                                                                              150,000
  • Sound system                                                                                 50,000
  • Stand by generator                                                                         85,000
  • Fire extinguishers                                                                            20,000
  • Furniture /fitting (plastic tables and chairs)                                    75,000
  • Bar assets/accessories                                                                     75,000
  • Fridges & Freezers                                                                         150,000
  • Television set                                                                                   75,000
  • Cable TV Accessories and subscription                                           25,000
  • Sanitary tools                                                                                     5,000
  • Kitchen utensils                                                                               50,000
  • Gas cooker /stove/cylinders                                                            50,000
  • Restaurant equipment /accessories                                                 15,000
  • Micro wave                                                                                       10,000
  • Refuse bin /drum                                                                                5,000
  • Miscellaneous                                                                                   50,000

890,000

 

SCENARIO 2: “ONE LOVE PALM-WINE BAR”

UNIQUE FEATURE:

  • Sales of quality palm-wine & beer
  • Quality music entertainment
  • Conducive relaxation spot.

CONSUMMABLES

  • Foodstuff   30,000
  • Drinks        30,000
  • Others        10,000

                           70,000

EMPLOYEES:

  • 1 Cook
  • 1 Waiter
  • Yourself

FIXED AND TANGIBLE ASSETS

REQUIREMENT                                                                                         AMOUNT

  • Rent                                                                                                   50,000
  • Sound system                                                                                    30,000
  • Stand by generator                                                                            25,000
  • Furniture /fitting                                                                                75,000
  • Freezers                                                                                              80,000
  • Kitchen utensils                                                                                  50,000
  • Gas cooker /stove/cylinders                                                               50,000
  • Restaurant equipment /accessories                                                     5,000
  • Refuse bin /drum                                                                                 5,000
  • Miscellaneous                                                                                    10,000

330,000

 

The average Nigerian man likes to relax after a hard day’s work and most of the times; they do it at the Beer Parlour or pepper soup joints. Seating on a round table with friends with ‘gist and laughter‘ over some bottles of drinks and fried pepper meat, suya, grilled fish or pepper soup is ideal evening setting for most Nigerians. Create the atmosphere and make good money, while enjoying yourself.

Everywhere you turn to in most cities in southern Nigeria, a beer parlour or drinking joint waits you. Irrespective of where you put it, you can’t run a beer parlour business and not be profitable, even if you walk in valley of the shadow of the poor except if your enemies or witches and wizards from the village are unrelenting in their quest to show, oppress, conquer or do you.

The qualifications you need to run this business is common sense, hard work and some finance.

Good luck and see you in the bank!

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