Running a bar in Pattaya is not as easy as a tea party in the White House

Me and two of my lovely lady friends (yeap, you can have friends in Pattaya to)
Me and two of my lovely lady friends (yeap, you can have friends in Pattaya to)

Pattaya is wonderful

The wild nightlife is like fire to the soul
Many tourists comes from all over the world to experience the hospitality and the wild nightlife of Pattaya, many of them comes here the first time, and some have been coming for years. Some likes the place and some don't. It's for sure, Pattaya can be all over you sometimes, and feel a little bit to much at times, at least for people like me and others that lives here, and for people that stays here for longer times. But overall, most people like Pattaya because it has everything to offer to people. I can make a huge list of what to do here, except from running in bars and chasing girls, but lets leave that for an other hub.

Like it or Love it
As I have seem to notice, there are two kinda of people who are in the group of liking it, some just like it, and take Pattaya for what it is, and some people don't like it, the LOVE IT! and the love for the place it's overwhelming, and they starting to make plans of moving here and start, yeah, you guessed it right, a got damn bar! - "Oh, crap" I just think for my self, its not the first and probably not the last time I heard that. It's no use of trying to stop them, if they not buy the bar right now. There might be a chance to save their souls, its best to have a little chat with them when they turn back to the reality in their home country.

Why everyone wants a bar?
First timers are in the big hazard area to get sucked in to this "Oh, my god, I love this place I must have bar here"-attitude . Pattaya can be wonderful, overwhelming, superior, great and the best party town in the world, but that do not justify anybody, not a single soul to get a bar here. Well of course there are some, a very very few examples that have succeed to get a bar and have it running for more than one year, they made something right, and I'm going to tell you, if you ever want to open a bar here what to do.

A'int fooli'n me boy, I'cant loose!
I can just see an expression in someone's face now, reading this on his 2 week holiday in Pattaya or anywhere in Thailand, -"Haha, that ain't me, those are losers, I'm going to show him how to run a bar here with my new Thai lady". Well read on, you maybe pick up something on the way, this goes for anyone that want to start a bar.

Grown ups like playgrounds to
"They are knee deep in big sh*t" I think quietly for my self, every time when I hear that someone is going to buy a bar, well it all depends on who it running the bar. It's a workplace not a got damn playground , well some bars are, but that is not the point here. A workplace must have staff that is reliable and knowing, else the concept of running a bar fails. It is not different from running a company, if you have people that you can rely on, they are going to be loyal, not steal or talk bad about the company, and if they know what they are doing then your work gets done properly.

Strike One!

First mistake is when they have fallen in love with a lady from some bar, they are going to put her in charge in that bar they are buying. Well, think about it, she maybe have knowledge at working in a bar, Yes. But do they know how to run a bar? Probably not. Can you rely on her? hmm, you known this girl for what? 2-3 weeks and you trust her already. Did she show here CV (curriculum vitae: a summary of your academic and work history), do not think so. But the love for her is overwhelming and love builds bridges right?

Strike Two!
Second mistake is to buy everything in that lovely girls name. Well its easiest that way, she might suggest that to, well obviously you want make everything very quickly and have that bar right now . So the papers are written in her name and she have all the control of that bar. So how surprised would you be if that bar isn't there when you come back?

Forget your hobbies back home, you have a bar to support
Sending more money down to the bar is often required, except for the high-season when the bar is supposed to make the money for the survival of the upcoming year. But sometimes it happens that the new bar owner works abroad and makes a salary and from his earnings he send a part to the lovely lady in the bar, this is suppose to pay for the rent, electric, water and other bills for the bar. But sometimes, the money never goes further than the ladies pocket, and it stays there. How do know she is even in the bar?

This is the number one tips I can give you: Stay in the bar yourself!

If that for some reason is impossible, you have work at home, a wife and kids and so on, then follow the rest of the steps.

Running the bar!
Its hard to run a bar at distance, so here is some tips on distant bar management:

  • Hire people the right people to come work for you, look up their background. You can ask for a CV, but they probably not have one (if not hiring a real pro), ask where they worked for before, call their old bosses and ask how they worked and behaved. They got fired? ask why.
  • Set up a connection to the person in charge of the bar, through Skype, MSN or other chat you can have daily conversation, ask about customers, the staff, problems and so on. And don't forget to ask how they are feeling, about the weather and other not related to the bar things, small talk bonds people and builds up trust.
  • Put up a webcam , so you can see what your staff is doing, it also gives your website a nice touch. But you don't have to make the webcam a public thing, you can just keep it for private use only. And the staff can tell customers that Big Boss is looking, and ask them to wave or make ugly faces at the camera.
  • Get a manager to take care of the place for you, this can be a person that you know before or someone can recommend a manager for you, check out the background, call the old bosses and so on. Do not take the first person you see on the street and ask him to take care of the place for you. The advantage with a manager is, mostly they are outgoing, and have lots of friends (this adds to the revenue of the bar) and have skills to run a bar pretty much on their own. If you have a country specific bar, get a manager that speaks that language. Make a clear list off do and don't, this will save you a lot of of time and money. The biggest reason for a manager them to not run a own bar is all the trouble that comes with it, and some just don't have the money to open up a huge bar like they want. In the end, a manager takes care of the place for you, but all the big problems is still for you to decide on.
  • Have friends check out the place from now and then, you can offer them a free drink, a drink coupon or a heavy discount at the bar as a token of your good will. And if you lucky they might bring some friends to the bar to.
  • Get a spy , make someone (or everyone) in the crew to check up on all the others, i know this sounds a little bit creepy, but it works. Assign everyone to spy or assign a person you trust to do this, and make them report directly to you.

My experience in the field is only limited to the few years in the bar business, but you snap up things very quick, you kind of have to, adjust or go under (if you don't have some to send you money all the time). I started my first company 1996 and still running it, so i have some experience in my backpack. Here is my CV, for the last year:

Beginning of 2009     - Started in the bar business.
Work Desc. Owner of a bar
Work Desc. Manager for a bar
Work Desc. Bar bellboy
Work Desc. Technical fluid tester IOW Barfly
Now     - Still in the got darn bar business and wannabe     blog writer.

Hope you enjoy the reading and may the luck be with you when you start a bar.

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Comments 3 comments

phil 4 years ago

Good advice to potentional bar owners.

ParkerSmith 2 years ago

Nice information, There is obviously a lot. Your points are very valuable and knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this great blog with us.

Alan 6 months ago

Thank's for the info, i think there are many useful things here to remember, the get a spy tip are very usefull i have used this before in another situation and you can stop things running will before is to late, i found a site where there also are some tips about running a bar i Thailand they have a link on the frontpage say something about "dating thai girls and running a thai bar the name where the link are change sometimes try to see it.

I will wait for more stuff Thanks.

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