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Sarah Ward

Are Dive Bars Profitable? 10 Dive Bar Profit Points

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When you’re setting out to open a dive bar business there’s one question you’re sure to ask: are dive bars profitable? The answer: yes! Dive bars can be exceptionally profitable businesses if you plan for success and manage your business well. That business management rests on staying ahead of profits and planning for the future.

It starts with a great dive bar business plan. You can learn from dive bar history about what works well, and use the dive bar aesthetic to build a great business. Read on through this BinWise blog to learn how profitable dive bars can be with these unique dive bar profit points. 

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Are Dive Bars Profitable Compared to Other Bars?

If run with precision dive bars are as profitable as other types of bars. The key fact to remember is that your prices for customers are typically going to be cheaper than other bars. This is one of your main selling points, but it also can lead to losses if you’re not ahead of the game. Customers will come into your dive bar expecting low costs but will spend more time when you plan ahead.

To stay abreast of your profits, make sure you manage your restaurant food costs and find ways to deploy cost reduction strategies. Factor in the cost of labor when you’re working out your budget. You can use a restaurant budget template to help. Overall, consistently work to maximize profits and keep your dive bar in league with the big bars.

Bar Profit Points

Every bar has unique bar profit points. For sports bars, it’s the revenue of big game days and foods like wings and mini corndogs. For cocktail bars, it’s specialty events like the Kentucky Derby and luxe cocktail options. At dive bars, the profit points rest in the comfortability of the bar and everything that comes with that comfort and ease.

10 Dive Bar Profit Points

These 10 dive bar profit points are the broken-down answer to “Are dive bars profitable?” When you mix these into your dive bar plan, from your dive bar food to all dive bar ideas, you’ll build a fruitful business. These 10 dive bar profit points will draw in customers, boost your profits, and give you a business you can be proud of. 

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10. Signature Cocktails

You can use dive bar wine options to craft a wine cocktail. A classic cocktail could mix with your theme to create something new. Whatever you choose, signature cocktails are a great way for any bar to create a name for itself. 

9. Happy Hour Deals

Who doesn’t love a great happy hour deal? No one, that’s who! Bolster your dive bar profits with regular happy hour deals. Your customers will enjoy a great deal, and you’ll bring in more profits with double the sales.

8. Live Entertainment

The cheap drinks of a dive bar are a boon for guests but a profit bleed if you don’t balance them out. Live entertainment events are a great way to manage that balance, with ticket sales making up a good part of your profit.

7. Pool and Other Games

There’s nothing folks love better than heading to a dive bar and discovering there are plenty of pool tables, dart boards, and shuffleboard tables. You can turn a decent profit on pool and shuffleboard while keeping it a cost-effective fun time for customers.

6. Late-Night Offerings

Be sure to follow the rules in your location for how late bars can be open when you decide to offer late-night deals! You can offer a second happy hour, around 9pm, to double up on those profits and deals. 

5. Sports Viewings

Sports bars are one of the most profitable types of bars. You’re in a unique position to catch those profits at your dive bar. Include a few TVs in your decor and host events for all the big games. 

4. Loyalty Programs

Dive bars rely on customer loyalty and regulars who come back time and time again. You can boost that loyalty with loyalty programs! These can include advance notices of shows, meal deals, and more.

3. Unique Foods

The more you can offer people that they can’t get at another dive bar, the higher profits you'll have. One such unique offering is creative dishes designed for your dive bar. Hire a great chef to work with and find ideas that suit your menu.

2. Measured Employee Training

The better your employees are at their jobs, the more your profits will grow. Ensure excellent employees by being a good manager and maintaining measured employee training. 

1. Software Support

Software support can help save you money, as well as time and stress. From a kitchen display system to inventory management software, utilize software support to keep your dive bar running smoothly for a low cost.

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Boosting Dive Bar Profits

The goal of every business is to ensure customer satisfaction and boost bar profitability. Leaning into these 10 profit points of dive bars helps you manage customer satisfaction. These are a mix of events and offerings customers will love! The more you get creative with these ideas and build up your bar, the more you will find success in boosting dive bar profits. 

"Key Takeaway: Dive bars can be exceptionally profitable businesses if you plan for success and manage your business well. That business management rests on staying ahead of profits and planning for the future."

Frequently Asked Questions About Dive Bar Profits

Are dive bars profitable? Where do those profits come from? How do those profits lend themselves to the bar owner and bartenders? All these questions float across your desk as you’re studying dive bar profits. Check out our answers to these FAQs to learn more and prepare to own your own dive bar and work with those profits. 

How Much Does a Dive Bar Owner Make?

It varies from state to state, but a dive bar owner can expect to make between $23,000 and $38,000 each year. Most of the states, with factors like inflation and high living costs, rest between $25,000 and $30,000 for a bar owner's salary. 

What Type of Bar Is Most Profitable?

The three most profitable types of bars are:

  • Bar and restaurant combinations
  • Sports bars
  • Clubs

You can turn your dive bar into two of these options: combinations and sports bars. Clubs and dive bars don’t mesh in a way that makes sense. Of course, if you have a creative idea to mix them, test it out! 

How Much Do Bartenders at Dive Bars Make?

In general, bartenders make around $19 an hour. This gets tips added to it, which can be up to $150 a day, averaging a dollar a drink. Many bartenders rely on tips to make a livable wage. As a dive bar owner, make sure you’re paying your bartenders and wait staff enough to live, with tips being a happy bonus.

Is Owning a Small Bar Profitable?

Owning a small bar is profitable in the long run, but it takes time to make some major bucks. The reasons it takes time are:

  • Startup costs will take a while to even out with profits
  • Loyal customers will become a profit driver, but they take a while to get

If you start strong and remain patient and steadfast, you’ll give yourself time to see how profitable a small dive bar can be. 

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Dive Bar Profits: What’s Your Best Profit Point? 

Driving your dive bar profit points with these profitable staples of the dive bar business will help you build a successful, lasting business. Reach out to BinWise and BlueCart for help in saving time and money when it comes to beverage inventory software and order management

The BinWise Pro beverage inventory program, paired with the BinScan mobile app, gives you peace of mind when you take inventory. BlueCart’s order management software simplifies your order management system

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