The Irish Pub Concept was created in 1992 by Guinness Brewing Worldwide (now Diageo) as the benchmark for developing authentic Irish Pubs outside of Ireland. As of 2020, some 6,500 pubs have been opened around the world as a direct result of their leadership, guidance and know-how.
In 2013, Diageo ceded ownership and management of the website to former Guinness employees, although the original guiding principles remain at the core of what we do. The site is owned and operated by the Guinness Irish Pub Concept team that worked to bring this remarkable concept to life, and we continue to provide sound advice and direction to prospective operators.
There is no catch, here’s how it works. Most people opening pubs and restaurants make their mistakes early on and by the time they realize they have made mistakes that can put the business at risk, it’s often too late to turn back. We want to make sure that your idea and plan is built on a solid platform and that it has a realistic prospect of success. If it is not, we’ll tell you immediately and we will not pull any punches. It is not in our interest to help develop pubs that fail, so in many cases we may advise you that a pub is not a good investment for your particular circumstances.
The first step to take is to read through this website carefully. There’s plenty of free stuff to read and yes, there is premium content for which we charge a one-time only annual fee of $39.95 to cover upkeep on the site. This allows access for a full year and we highly recommend you take up membership. It also gives you access to download our Insider’s Guide to Opening an Irish Pub, a 25-page guide that sets out in detail how to develop your pub from scratch. After you’ve had a chance to absorb all that information, you can decide whether a conversation with us might be a logical next step. The good news is that this step is totally free, we are happy to make sure you have your thoughts straight and that you have a measured, thoughtful approach.
If we get to a point where you feel more informed and confident about moving forward, and we’ve agreed that the pub is a viable opportunity, we will offer to provide you with a commercial consulting service that helps you take your pub from the planning stage through to opening in the most efficient, economical and successful way.
Through the twenty-five years of the Irish Pub Concept, the same criteria for success recur time after time. Please go to “What are the Critical Success Factors?” to find out more.
Pubs have a very different ratio of food sales to beverage sales than most restaurants. Pubs maintain high food sales while also developing very healthy beverage sales at times when most restaurants are quiet….afternoons, cocktail hour and late night, for instance. Because beverage cost of sales and beverage labor cost are lower than for food, this makes pubs far more likely to be more profitable.
Your first steps will be as follows:
- Consult with an Irish Pub Concept expert who will point you in the right direction
- Research real estate in your area and start to identify suitable locations for the pub
- Research the local restaurant scene and understand how they are doing
- Create a comprehensive business plan and financial estimate that is adaptable for different locations
- Identify the cost of renovation and assess how much money you will need to get it done
- Identify the site you want and start negotiating with the landlord
Finding restaurant or pub financing is a challenge in 2018 because, rightly or wrongly, it is considered high risk. The main types of financing are as follows:
- Bank, Credit Union, SBA (small business loan)
- Personal Equity (your own money)
- Investors (Family, friends, business partners, high net worth individuals)
In advance of your pitch, prepare and understand a well-researched Business Plan & Financial Estimate showing how you can make a good return on their investment. A good business plan should show that you have thoroughly researched your project’s likelihood of success and can talk confidently and knowledgeably about your ideas. Business Plans tailored specifically for your vision are available at a cost through our partner.
Ideally, you are looking for an existing restaurant premises which can be renovated. That way, you have existing infrastructure such as HVAC, kitchen ventilation hoods, washrooms etc. and will save some money as compared to fitting out a building from scratch.
Please check with your local beer distributor to see what marketing support might be available for your pub.
If you have restaurant or bar experience, that is certainly an advantage. If you have small business experience, that is certainly an advantage. If you do not have restaurant experience but do have small business experience than you will need to hire management who can help you through the learning curve. The qualities you will need most are a strong work ethic, a very quality-focused approach and endless patience.
- What is The Irish Pub Concept?
- Why would we give you professional advice…totally free?
- What are the Criteria for a Successful Irish Pub?
- Why is a Pub Generally More Profitable Than a Restaurant?
- What are the First Steps Toward Developing My Pub
- Where Will I Find Financing for my Pub?
- How Do I Approach Investors?
- What Kind of Location Am I Looking For?
- What Support Can Your Beer Distributor Offer?
- Do I Need Restaurant Experience to Open a Pub?