What is a Bar Guarantee?

As you start your exciting career as a club promoter, you’ll likely come across something known as a “bar guarantee.” Some clubs may require you to agree to one of these, while others won’t. Whether this is your first time promoting or if you’ve been doing it for months, it’s important that you familiarize and educate yourself with bar guarantees, because you’re almost certain to see them in this line of work.

Bar Guarantee Basics

Bar Guarantee Club PromoterA bar guarantee is a basically a certain amount of bar sales that you guarantee a club or venue will generate on the night of an event. If they fail to meet the sales specified in the bar guarantee, the club promoter has to pay the difference of their pocket. For instance, a club and their promoter may agree to a $750 bar guarantee on the night of a party. If the club only sells $600 in liquor and alcohol, the promoter must pay the remaining $150.

Unless you have experience as a club promoter, you might assume a bar guarantee is a rip off that leaves you paying money instead of making it. While this can be the case in some circumstances, most of the times it’s easy to surpass the bar guarantee. When there’s people partying in the club, they’ll naturally want to spend money on beer, liquor and other alcoholic beverages. This is just the nature of the club scene and it’s not going to change any time soon.

Bar GuaranteeHow To Beat a Bar Guarantee

First and foremost, if a club is asking you to agree to a bar guarantee, don’t be afraid to try and negotiate the terms. 90% of clubs are in the business of making money; therefore, they may try and force promoters to agree to some hefty bar guarantees that simply aren’t obtainable. If you don’t think you can bring in enough people to generate the bar sales asked by the club, see if they will lower the bar guarantee some. As long as you’re a good promoter who’s brought them lots of business in the past, most clubs won’t have a problem lowering it for you.

Even if a club isn’t willing to budge on their bar guarantee, you can still reach the minimum sales (as long as it’s reasonable) if you bring in enough people. For this reason, it’s recommended that put in extra hours reaching out to potential clientele who would be interested in visiting the club. Send out messages on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace; go hand out and fliers at “hot spots” around town; and just start spreading the word about the event. Remember, the more people you can bring into a club, the more sales the bar is going to generate.

Another little tip that will help you beat a bar guarantee is to target individuals who spend a lot of money on drinks in the club. As a promoter, you should already be spending a lot of time talking to people in the club. Go up and introduce yourself to both males and females who frequently spend a lot on drinks. You don’t have to immediately tell them about an event, but you should at least get their contact information. After getting their phone number, Facebook page or email address, send them a message telling them about the event.

Bar Commission

Another term that’s frequently used hand-in-hand with a bar guarantee is a bar commission. While some clubs may have different definitions when it comes to this term, it usually refers to percentage of the bar sales a club is willing to give the promoter in exchange for their work. For instance, is a club offers a %10 bar commission for the promoter and they sell $1,000 worth of liquor and beer, the promoter will pocket an extra $100 bucks as a result. It’s important to note that the bar commission shouldn’t be the only form of monetary compensation received by the club promoter, as it’s just nice little bonus that keeps you focused on up-selling the club’s liquor.