The pub business has always been a successful one in Canada. Modern Canadian pubs double as watering holes and social arenas for the working class.
Types of Pubs in Canada
There are several ways to run a pub in Canada. You can open your own pub independently, essentially as a small business you own. The other way is to open a branch in your area for a pub franchise. It works similarly to opening a local Subway or a McDonald’s. You will own parts of your pub business, like the property it’s on. However, you will not own the branding, the concept, and so on. You will also be under the supervision of a franchise manager in your area. You will be more like a local manager for the pub franchise, rather than the owner of a pub. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to be an independent pub owner or part of a franchise.
Being an independent pub owner is difficult. But you will be your own boss and earn all the profits. Being a franchise pub owner is easier, but you will only receive a portion of the profits. Also, you will be subject to the strict rules and regulations of the franchise. If the corporate heads someday want your pub branch shuttered, it will have to be.
Running a Pub Independently
If you decide to run an independent pub, you will have to build a business from scratch. First, you will have to come up with a great location. The location is everything to a pub. It has to be easily accessible for people on the way from work. The most successful pubs are located in popular areas of cities and towns. That means you will have to spend a lot of money buying property.
Also, you will have to come up with an innovative idea. If you are opening a pub where there is no other pub in a hundred mile radius, you can simply serve beer and no one will complain. But when there’s competition nearby, you have to be imaginative to attract and retain customers. You may have to come up with signature cocktails or snacks.
Financing Your Pub
Once you have an idea for a pub, and you know the law, your biggest challenge will be financing a pub. There aren’t that many investors tripping over themselves to finance a pub. Your best chance of financing your pub venture will be business loans.
You can apply for a business loan locally or with a national bank. If you are opening a pub in a rural area, you may qualify for government loans as well. If a bank loan fails, you can seek financial assistance from a private lender. However, make sure the private lender is reputable and does not charge unusually high interest rates.
In order to increase your chance of securing a business loan, you need a good business plan. Write an informative business plan that portrays your pub as an innovative idea rather than a sleazy establishment. Get your legal paperwork in order to convince the lenders. Your business loan will be readily approved if you have good credit history. If you currently have bad credit, don’t worry. If you can dedicate several months to pay down your debt, your credit rating will improve. You don’t need to eliminate the debt, only to reduce it.
If your loan request gets turned down, don’t be discouraged. Keep applying for a loan with several banks and lending institutions. Also, ask the reasons for your request being turned down. You can fix your application based on this feedback.
Canada’s food and drinks industry is significantly regulated. There will be a number of rules and regulations you have to follow. You will also need a strong internal policy to handle rowdy customers and avoid scandal. So, carefully research the regulations that will affect your pub. Check the Canada Business Network website for more information. You should also search your local government website for provincial laws that may affect your pub. Hire a good lawyer to advise you on all these legal hurdles.