Starting a beer garden can be a lucrative and exciting business venture. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before getting started.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own beer garden.
10 Steps to Launching a New Beer Garden Business
1. Choose Your Type of Beer Garden Business
The first step in launching a beer garden business is to identify the type of beer garden business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- A beer garden that is attached to a brewery
- A beer garden that is attached to a restaurant
- A beer garden that is part of a larger entertainment complex
2. Name Your Beer Garden Business
Give your beer garden business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your beer garden business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your beer garden business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so customers will want to visit it.
3. Determine Your Beer Garden Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a beer garden business including:
- Brewpub: A combination of a brewery and beer garden in which the beer is brewed on-site and served fresh to customers. Food is often offered, as well.
- Microbrewery: A small-scale brewery that produces limited amounts of beer. The beer is typically sold through distribution channels or on-site at the brewery itself.
- Restaurant/Bar: A beer garden that is attached to a restaurant or bar. The beer is typically provided by a wholesale distributor.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your beer garden business.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your beer garden business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your beer garden business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common beer garden business structures.
5. Write a Beer Garden Business Plan
All beer garden business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your beer garden business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What type of beer garden business do you have?
- How is your beer garden different from other beer gardens?
- Where is your beer garden located?
- What are the hours of operation for your beer garden?
- Do you serve food at your beer garden? If so, what type of food do you serve?
- What is the price range for your food and beer products?
- Do you have any promotions or specials going on at your beer garden?
- How do I contact your beer garden if I have questions or want to make a reservation?
- What is the atmosphere in your beer garden?
- What type of events do you host at your beer garden?
- Do you offer catering services?
- Do you have a dress code?
- Can I bring my own food or drinks to your beer garden?
- Are pets allowed in your beer garden?
Answering these questions will help you develop a clear and concise business plan for your beer garden business.
Read our article about how to write a beer garden business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your beer garden business.
For example, if you are serving alcohol, you will need to obtain a liquor license from your state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The requirements and steps for obtaining a liquor license vary from state to state, so be sure to research the requirements in your state.
You may also need to obtain a food permit if you are serving food at your beer garden.
You must register your beer garden business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper beer garden business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your beer garden business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your beer garden business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your beer garden business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a beer garden business to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your beer garden business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in point of sale (POS) software to streamline transactions and tracking inventory. In addition, if you have a website for your beer garden business, you will need to invest in web hosting services.
9. Market Your Beer Garden Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the beer garden industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Beer garden businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Host a beer garden festival to introduce customers to the products and services offered by the business.
- Sponsor local events and festivals that are relevant to the target market of the beer garden business.
- Create a marketing campaign that focuses on the benefits of drinking beer garden products (e.g., relaxation, socialization, etc.).
- Develop a strong social media presence for the beer garden business and post content that will interest potential customers.
- Create print, radio and television advertisements that tell potential customers about the beer garden business.
- Develop relationships with other businesses in the industry.
Read our article about how to market your beer garden business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your beer garden business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your beer garden business to learn more.
Starting a Beer Garden Business FAQs
Starting a beer garden business can be a very rewarding experience. Not only do you get to serve delicious beer to customers, but you also get to be your own boss and build something from the ground up. In addition, owning a beer garden business can give you the opportunity to be creative and have fun with your product offerings.
To start a successful beer garden business, you will need to have a strong understanding of the beer brewing process. In addition, it’s important to have a solid business plan in place, as well as the necessary funding to get your business off the ground. Additionally, you will need to invest in the right technology and software to run your beer garden business. Finally, you will need to market your business to potential customers.
There are a number of ways to market a beer garden business online. To start, you can create a website for your business and promote it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Additionally, you can sponsor local events and festivals that are relevant to the target market of the beer garden business. Finally, you can develop a strong social media presence for the beer garden business and post content that will interest potential customers.
There are a number of things to consider when starting a beer garden business. They include:
- Develop a strong business plan
- Have a solid understanding of the beer brewing process
- Invest in the right technology and software
- Find the perfect location for the business
- Market the business to potential customers
- Create a strong social media presence
- Sponsor local events
A simple checklist to use when starting a beer garden business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Beer Garden: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Beer Garden Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Beer Garden Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Beer Garden Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Beer Garden Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Starting a beer garden business can be a great way to enter the craft beer industry. With careful planning and execution, your beer garden business can be a growing success for many years.