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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to set up a bar/beer parlour

This might not be a business for everyone because of some people’s religious beliefs but a bar/beer parlour isn’t a bad idea for anyone with medium scale capital intending on setting up a business. Truth is bars are usually suited for middle class or upper class folks and are hardly what you find in everyday typical Nigerian neighbourhoods. Let’s get to understand this business first before getting into the details of how to set up and run a profitable bar/beer parlour.


A bar is a place where drinks mostly alcoholic and sometimes non alcoholic drinks such as juices/fruit drinks, soft drinks and other non alcoholic beverages are served to paying customers. The alcoholic drinks could include; spirits, wines, gins, whisky and other top popular strong alcoholic brands such as Champagne, Hennesy and baileys. Beers can also be served at bars and occasionally light meals such as meat stakes can be served as well. In Nigeria, bars are usually found in middle class neighbourhoods and night clubs.

Beer Parlours

Beer parlours on the other hand can be found anywhere there are beer lovers. Because beer is relatively cheaper than strong alcoholic drinks beer parlours tend to be found in poorer neighbourhoods although they can be found even in high brow areas. Also note that beer parlours sometimes also double as food canteens and as a result also offer meals but heavier meals than the bars.

Market and Opportunity

There is a market for both kinds of business provided that they are targeted at the right market. For instance setting up a bar in an impoverished part of town will be a mistake because it fails to meet the right market but with a beer parlour the case isn’t really the same because there will be willing customers. What the customers really want is a nice place where they can get the drinks they want and in the right environment. Some people want convenience and quiet and so may prefer to hang out at bars that offer that kind of atmosphere where as others don’t care provided they can get whatever they want


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 trouble makers may find their way to your beer parlour, I mean people who want to eat and drink free food but don’t want to pay and stuff like that. 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.

Startup Summary for bar

1. Furniture (bar section, tables and chairs): N200,000
2. Drinks: N250,000
3. Rent: N500,000
4. Food stuffs: N100,000
5. Others: N200,000
6. Total: N1,250,000

Startup summary for beer parlour

1. Furniture: N50,000
2. Drinks: N100,000
3. Rent: N100,000
4. Foodstuff: N50,000
5. Others: N50,000
6. Total: N350,000


With over a million naira you can set up a bar in a middleclass neighbourhood or in a night club, whereas for just a little less than N350,000 you can set up a beer parlour but this has to be carefully planned. This is a business that thrives on consistency so if you start out well you have to remain on top of your game of the customer will have a reason to patronize someone else.