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8 Essential Tips for Reopening a Bar in the New Normal

8 Essential Tips for Reopening a Bar in the New Normal

In the past four months, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy. It has especially been difficult for bars because they are establishments where people gather and close contact between customers is the norm in bars.

Bar owners have waited with bated breath for the signal to reopen. Sadly, though, a cure for the Coronavirus has yet to be found. So, before you reopen your bar, you should still be as vigilant as possible by knowing the proper protocols to follow. Here are eight essential tips for reopening a bar in the new normal.

It Is Best to Restock on Glassware and Utensils

Before you reopen, it would be best that you throw away your old glassware and utensils and restock with new ones. Remember that the most commonly used objects in your bar are the glassware and there is no way of knowing who used your glassware and utensils. There is also no way of knowing whether they are contaminated or not. So, as a precaution, it is advisable that you just restock your utensils and glassware.

Luckily for you, there are companies that sell glassware wholesale like Roetell, which is a soda glass bottle supplier that also creates custom made glassware. By purchasing wholesale glass wear from Roetell, you can save your company money and get the new glasses that you need.

Refrain from Having Live Gigs or Stand-up Comedy Shows

Although having a band or stand-up comedy group perform in your bar can bring in customers, it is best to not hire them for now. Your main concern now should be your patron’s safety, and having a performance usually causes a crowd to come closer together. This will ultimately make it harder for you to enforce discipline. Overall, it is better that you just lay off the live performances for now.

Social Distancing Is Key

If you want your bar to be as safe as possible you should know that social distancing is key. Remember that Coronavirus’s main mode of transmission is through fluids, and one sneeze or cough is all it takes to get a person infected.

This is a sobering fact that we all must come to understand in the new normal. So, make it your establishment’s standard operating procedure to implement social distancing. All your customers should stand at least six feet away from one another and tables and seats should be kept at a safe distance apart as well. This, of course, means that social conversations and dancing will be very minimal. These precautions may feel overly strict and tedious to implement, but if you want your bar to operate safely in the new normal, you will need to follow them.

Customers Should Book a Table in Advance

In the new normal, customers can no longer stroll into a bar and expect service right away. Patrons should first make a reservation before they arrive at the bar. This is a way for you to properly monitor your customers without taxing your employees. Making a reservation is especially important if your customers come in groups as a group of 5 or 10 people can be very difficult to monitor and find the right seats for. So, before you open up to the public, you should have a system for reserving seats.

Ask for Personal Contact Information from at Least One Member of a Group

When customers call in to make a reservation, a member of the group should leave his or her contact information. This is a precaution that is adopted by most establishments, that way should any patron report that he or she has contracted Coronavirus, the establishment can conduct contact tracing and take the necessary precautions such as disinfecting the area and replacing the utensils and glassware that may have been used by the infected person.

Limit the Number of People

As stated earlier, crowds are the major problem for most bars. Before COVID, you would want to have as many people as possible in your bar, but during these dangerous times, it is best to limit your clientele to a smaller group. The accepted number of people depends on the size of your bar and the number of employees you have.

Implement A No Mask, No Entry Rule

Bars are usually a great place to meet people and most people want to look their best. Because of this fact, some customers may frown at the thought of using a face mask because it may clash with their outfit. As tacky as it may look, though, your customers must always wear masks. Remember that all it takes is a cough or a sneeze to get infected, so it is imperative that you implement a no mask, no entry rule.

Staff Should Disinfect Before and After Every Shift

The precautions stated earlier are very useful, and they can minimize the chances of infection in your establishment, but the best precaution you take is to make your bar as clean as possible. Make sure that before every shift, your staff disinfects the whole bar and leaves no stool or surface uncleaned. After you disinfect, you can use bleach solutions or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.  For carpets and drapes, you should have them laundered in the warmest possible setting.


Reopening a bar in the new normal can be quite a challenge because there are so many rules that you will have to implement, but if you stick to them, you’ll have your establishment running smoothly in no time.

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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.