A shadow is shown of a stylist holding a glass of wine at her salon bar.

Is a Bar the Next Addition to Your Salon?
Top Considerations for Adding a Salon Bar

You know what's really beautiful about the beauty biz world? There's always something new happening. 

The ever-changing, always evolving, nothin'-stays-the-same nature is probably one of the best things about this amazing beauty industry. But it's also one of the toughest parts of staying relevant. 

With a million new trends happening every month, it can be challenging to figure out what's hot now and what's going to stay hot after the fast fads fade. 

So, as new things come and new things go, how can you be sure about what to invest in, what to change in your own shop, and what's going to fizzle out faster than it began? It helps to have a little insight, some experienced advice, and a dash of intuition. 

This blog is here (and always will be here) to offer you a blend of all three. 

The latest question surrounding the hottest trend in the salon, shop, and spa world is this one: should I add an in-salon bar to my repertoire? 

In theory, it sounds amazing, right? Imagine rolling up to get your nails done, your hair perfected, or a massage and having your go-to brand of wine, your fave mixed bevy, or a delicious custom concoction waiting for you. Seems almost too good to be true. 

But as wonderful as that sounds, there's a ton to consider before you go all-in on a full bar in your shop.

This blog is going to help you work through the ins and outs of this choice to make sure you're picking the right path for your best interest.

What to Consider Before Adding a Bar to Your Salon, Shop, or Spa 

First things first, we want to be clear when we say we're not here to sway you one way or the other. At the end of the day, you're the best professional to run your business, and we never want to step on any toes. 

This trend is poppin' right now (you'll find it in a lot of barbershops, actually), but it's up to you to determine if it's a good move for your unique situation. 

What we do want to offer is a big-picture look at how this works and what you'll need to make it happen. What we don't want to do is only share the flashy, fun stuff about in-salon bars. 

Expect a little blend of pros and cons to give you a realistic picture of whether or not this is the right fit for your shop! 

Beer, Wine, or Liquor License are Musts

Adding alcohol to the mix of your business doesn't necessarily make things harder, but it can complicate things a bit. Your fave bars and restaurants that serve amazing cocktails, wine, or beer have special licenses to do just that. That means your salon will need those, too. 

First, you'll need to figure out how to get one–and if it's even possible for your location. What kind of paperwork will you need to do? Are there fees to consider? Will you have to move your salon or spa to a different spot to make this happen? 

Your local government can help you figure out how to go about this–just know it's not as simple as deciding to serve wine, beer, or liquor in your shop. It takes a special license to legally do this right. 

Business Licenses Might Have to Change

You're an ambitious and upstanding business owner, so we know that you've got all your paperwork and business license stuff totally figured out. But when you start toying with the idea of adding liquor, wine, or beer to the mix (*cough cough* a bar *cough cough*), that's when things might start getting tricky.

Yep, you might have to wrangle a liquor license, but you also might have to change your business license and adjust your paperwork. Once you start adding a bar concept to the mix, things change–and that might reflect in how your business files with the government. 

The best idea is to chat with your local municipalities and see what they say. It doesn't hurt to talk with other cosmetologists who have done something similar to get a feel for how the process works, what they had to change, and who they had to talk to. 

Hiring, Management, and Day-to-Day Tasks 

You're running a salon, right? That's a rewarding and challenging handful of a task. So, when you start adding another element to the business–like a salon–you've got to ask yourself the question–who's going to run everything? 

Unless you're planning on divvying up the tasks among yourself and your current employees, you'll likely need to figure out a new specialized staff to make this thing happen. 

Ask yourself important questions like:

  • how do I determine who is the right fit to hire?  

  • What responsibilities will this new hire have?

  • Will the new hire have a background in cosmetology and bartending? Just one? 

  • How do I establish the management responsibilities for this new feature? 

  • What will the pay and benefits look like?

How you set everything up is totally your call–just remember it's going to take some finagling to figure out. 

Bar Menus & Service Menus 

This is one of the fun parts of the whole shebang. How will your service menu and bar menu coalesce? 

Will you create a themed menu that works with your service menu? Will you run the two totally separate from each other? Will you create a tasting menu based on each service you offer? Will you stick with wine and beer, or will you elevate to liquor? 

Cosmetology Liability Insurance Options 

Perhaps most importantly, you've got to figure out how your cosmetology liability insurance fits into this whole mix. You wouldn't run your current business without it, right? (Hint: the right answer is no). You definitely shouldn't run a salon biz with a bar without it, either. 

Here's the thing, though: adding the beer, wine, or liquor element can complicate stuff and bring on different inherent risks. And your current setup might not accommodate for mitigating these types of risks. 

The best thing you can do? Chat with your provider, explain your ideas to them, and see where your policy lies. If this is an idea you actively want to pursue, liability insurance is going to be one of the most important parts of it all. 

So, what's your verdict? Are you Team Bar-in-the-Salon or #thankyounext? Whatever you choose, we're glad to offer as much insight and support as possible. Need a little more advice in the trends department? Consider this blog your beauty career BFF. 

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