A mobile bar can be a great way to start your own business and do something that you love. Many fixed bars offer a mobile service as well, to increase profits and build on their popularity.
What Is a Portable Bar?
A portable or mobile bar is usually a trailer that is pulled behind a vehicle, or an actual truck, similar to a food truck, but set up to work as a bar. You can offer some basic foods, but more importantly, you’ll need to have beer on tap and a variety of alcohols to mix drinks with.
Your mobile bar needs to be secure for transporting bottles and glassware, so you’ll have special bar shelves built in to protect the bottles and glasses. These are usually custom built, so you can design your space to work the way you like. Adding your logo to the truck is another way to customise things.
Where to Set Up Your Mobile Bar
While a mobile bar may sound pretty appealing, where can you set up to sell? Whether you’re adding an extra income stream to your existing business or plan to earn all your money from the catering trailer, you’ll need to find a place to set up and that can be a little more difficult. Here are 10 places you can use your mobile bar to make a little extra money.
The perfect place to serve some alcohol is a wedding. Most wedding receptions offer bars and if the wedding party is offering an open bar, you’ll be paid for all the drinks ahead of time, otherwise you can charge as usual. With all the dancing and partying going on, weddings can be pretty easy to serve and are a lot of fun to attend. You may be working side by side with a catering company or you may be asked to provide food, as well.
2. Corporate Events
Christmas parties, conferences, and other types of corporate events can benefit from having a mobile bar on site. This lets people relax without worrying about actually going to a bar to celebrate. The ease of having a bar on site will make it much simpler for the organisers of the corporate event to plan. It also allows them to keep everyone in the same area. Depending on the event, drinks may be subsidized by the organizers.
3. Music Festivals
There are music festivals going on all summer long and these are excellent places to set up a mobile bar. You’ll find that these crowds are wide open to drinking beer and you may even need to restock throughout the course of the festival. You may not be the only caterer at the festival, but if you’re the only one serving alcohol, you’ll have the most customers. These festivals tend to run late into the night and are multi-day, so you may need to plan for shifts to keep the truck open at all times.
4. Birthday Parties
What’s an adult birthday party without a few drinks? When someone is hosting a birthday bash, they need someone to bartend and a mobile bar truck is unique enough to make the list. You’ll be helping people celebrate as they have fun with the birthday boy or girl.
Fundraisers of all types can use a mobile bar. Not only can the bar act as a way to earn some money for the fundraiser if you work out a deal with the organiser, but the alcohol can also help people feel more generous. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. You may have some special requests for mixed drinks to help promote the theme of the fundraiser.
6. Product Launches
When someone is launching a new product, they usually have a party for it. This can be a prime opportunity to provide drinks from your bar truck, since these events often provide alcohol and catering to keep people happy while they celebrate the new launch. Mobile shops can be an excellent way to provide sustenance and drink at an event like this, so get in on it and make sure you are serving, too.
7. Farmer’s Markets
While you will certainly need a permit in order to be allowed to serve alcohol in a farmer’s market, it’s worth testing the waters. If you offer any craft beers, this is the perfect place to ply them as people shopping in this type of market are always interested in the unusual. You can cater to the interests there and provide organic drinks, as well. However, make sure you do have a permit, as you could be rousted by the local authorities if you don’t.
8. Art Shows
An art show is the perfect spot to serve alcoholic drinks. While everyone mingles and enjoys the art that is on show, you can stay in the background and help ensure that everyone enjoys their time at the show. Of course, you shouldn’t limit yourself to paintings and sculptures, don’t forget film festivals and similar shows of artistic talent, where you can gain customers quite easily.
9. Food Festivals
Mobile Bars are always welcome at a food festival. In fact some festivals are designed specifically for food and bar trucks and are set up on an empty lot with plenty of parking space. If people are eating, they’ll be getting thirsty, so you’ll definitely want to be there. Keep in mind that this is not a for hire situation, however, and you may pay a fee for the privilege of joining the festival.
10. Fairs and Carnivals
Who doesn’t love a good fair? While these may be somewhat aimed at children, plenty of adults attend, as well. The rides and the food attract everyone, and there’s always room for a mobile bar. This is another fee paying option, but you can end up with quite a bit of clientele, particularly toward the evenings, as more and more visitors to the fair decide to indulge.
These are just a handful of the places you can enjoy serving drinks. You’ll find that there are a lot of different options for mobile bar trucks and as you build your business, you’ll be invited to more and more events.
Getting a Mobile Bar Set Up
While a bar truck is similar to a food truck, it does have some rather specific features. If you’re offering beer on tap, you’ll need to accommodate the taps and kegs, for example. So, where do you find a bar truck?
The best way to get your mobile bar set up is to talk to a company that does bespoke trailers and vehicles. They will be able to help you plan out what you need and then turn it into reality. You should have a good idea of what you need, as well as the colours and designs you want. If there are any special features, point these out, as well.
The company will then work up a plan to show you, or even a mock-up of the vehicle. You’ll get a quote on how much it will cost to build and then they’ll create the portable bar of your dreams. This can be a wonderful way to get your business off the ground. If you already have a bar or restaurant, you can easily have the vehicle company work within your colour scheme and add your logo to the truck.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to have everything on a small trailer or truck. You can create an expanding vehicle that pops out in the front to create more space. You can also add an awning and build your own little portable beer garden beside the vehicle, with chairs and tables. Another possibility is to have a detachable bar that you can take into a building. With the truck serving as your warehouse, it opens up more areas to your mobile bar business. The possibilities are endless and the more options you offer, the more clients you’ll have.
Investing in a Mobile Bar
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the business for a while, adding a mobile bar truck to your assets can result in a huge boost in profits. It’s worth investing in this type of vehicle, to expand the possibilities of where you can serve. Just remember, without growth, your business isn’t going to go anywhere.
Need a little help getting your portable bar off the ground? Contact Neat Vehicles today to find out how we can help.