While hiring someone and the process consists of many personal preferences we do not believe that your bar consultant needs to be local and we would go even further in saying you don't want someone local who is working with your competitors offering the same old thing to each bar. You are bringing in a consultant to help you be different and attract patrons because you are aiming at outside the box! yes, you! Your consultant is going to help you, your bar, and your staff to step outside of that normal average box. So no, do not hire someone local. Hire someone that is working with other bars across the country (yes, we do that lol.)
A bar consultant has to add value to your business or they are not worth your time, we get it. The main focal point is who you are hiring to be a consultant. Are you paying someone $20 an hour for their previous experience in making drinks or managing staff or are you hiring a previous bar owner who has the experience for $50-$100 an hour? This matters because the saying "You get what you pay for" is true.
We believe that this question should be looked at on an annual basis because of the fluctuation from within the industry based on where you are located. On average you should expect 25% in additional revenue from your consultant at their peak during their process on an annual basis. With that being said here are the disclaimers: Your bar is only so big, your occupancy only allows so many, and there are only so many people within 5 miles from your bar depending on location. Our point is that while some might think "wow, 25% sign me up" we will break it down like this...
For a consultant to truly find success it will take 3-6 months to see if they are going to truly deliver value. After this honeymoon time, you will clearly know if they are going to be a good fit or if it's time to look for someone else. In a perfect world we would expect to see the timeline + revenue track like this, 3-6 Months 5-10% growth, 6-12 Months 10-15% growth, year 2 15-20% growth, year 3 20-25% growth. What happens when you reach your cap? what happens when we aren't seeing any more value truly added and we are just maintaining solid sales week after week? Then you need to have a group discussion and decide on your path, what are your goals? Is there any interest in another location? A consultant will help your business but unless you are looking to continue growth via expansion then you might not need a consultant monthly, it might be time to go to every 3 months or maybe even 6 months. There is also another reason or avenue to make a change. Your consultant has done a very good job for you and has truly earned every dollar they have been paid but you might want a change and another set of eyes and there isn't any issue with that. This happens at times, again, people like change.
At this point you have options but as you can see we believe that there is a very clear value when working with the right consultant and in our opinion, the right consultant is a previous bar owner who has success and failure if they said they didn't fail then they never succeeded.
And here we go... The popular discussion from within the bar industry when you are an owner or manager. You have found steady success and sales are good, patrons are happy and so is your staff, you don't need anyone's help. You got this!
NOT SO FAST!
Just because you are doing good now doesn't mean that you will be killing it next month! Anyone with any experience in the bar industry knows that the bar game changes like the wind in many ways. Your patrons are always looking for something new, your competitors are trying new things and there is always an entrepreneur that sees an opportunity in your community and is about to open the next new hot spot. Patrons love the new place! Patrons get bored. Our point is that while you might be doing good now, a set of eyes from the outside is always a smart move. We believe that a consultant should be part of your marketing budget and utilized monthly. Someone who can bring new ideas, specials, drinks, event concepts, and more to your team. Who should that person be? It should be someone who has owned a bar and has the experience to fully understand that each decision has a price associated with it and to always keep the bottom line in mind. There are many new and cool things being done in bars all over the country and this industry has a copycat mentality which we embrace and use to help every business that we work with. We believe this is beneficial to each business that we partner with and it doesn't affect anyone negatively as we strategically work with bars across the country.
The fact is that you need to keep things fresh and you need to give your patrons what they want to keep them coming back while giving them reasons to stay and enjoy the environment that you have created and are offering them.