Are you keen to run your own bar but put off by
the high cost of renting premises? Running your own mobile bar business could
be the perfect compromise.
A mobile bar combines the popularity of mobile
catering with the flair of a bar and can be a very profitable hospitality
This guide contains everything you need to know
about starting a mobile bar business. We’ll share the advantages and
disadvantages of running a mobile bar business, the legal requirements you need
to satisfy, and how online training courses
for food businesses make staff training simple.
A mobile bar business is a unique kind of
hospitality business, offering delicious drinks to a wide range of clientele in
a fully mobile bar.
As well as weddings and private parties, some
other opportunities include:
● Organised events: Food festivals, music festivals, fairs
● Seasonal events: Summer balls, Oktoberfest, Christmas markets
● Private functions: Weddings, graduation celebrations
The drinks you serve and your pricing strategy
will influence your target audience, so consider these carefully. Establishing
a clear brand identity will also help your business stand out.
Mobile bar businesses are popular with people
who want to avoid the need to rent expensive bar premises. There are several
other advantages of running a mobile bar business:
You don’t need any specific bartending
qualifications to start a mobile business. However, specific licensing
qualifications are mandatory, and other training courses could give you a
For example, you could invest in mixologist
training and open a mobile cocktail bar or set up a mobile gin bar to tap into
the drink’s recent popularity.
If you source your products carefully, the
markup on drinks can be substantial.
You can choose which events you attend, which
areas you will travel to and which hours to work.
The mobile bar business is booming, offering
numerous opportunities to grow your business.
When considering starting a mobile bar service,
it’s also essential to weigh up the potential downsides.
Operating a mobile bar business means you’re
likely to have to deal with intoxicated customers, which can sometimes be
Although you won’t have to finance an expensive
permanent location, mobile bar services still incur setup expenses, stock costs
and pitch fees, which can soon add up.
If you mainly run your bar at weddings and
festivals, business can boom in summer and wane in winter. Festive events like
Christmas fairs and markets can help to even out the fluctuations.
Proper planning can significantly reduce
financial risk and set you on the path to success. Take time to assemble a
detailed mobile bar business plan that outlines your offerings, target market,
financial projections and more.
While starting a mobile bar service can be more
cost-effective than opening a traditional establishment, there are still some
These vary between events, but events with
higher pitch fees also tend to bring in higher revenue.
You must obtain a BIIAB Level 2 Award or CIEH
Level 2 Award before applying for the relevant mobile bar licences to sell
alcohol. You may also need a street trading licence, and your local authority
will set the fee for this.
You must also register your business with your
local authority 28 days before trading and register with HMRC as self-employed
or a limited company.
A mobile bar business must hold Employer’s
Liability, Public Liability and Equipment Insurance. You will also need
insurance cover for any vehicles you use to transport equipment to events.
Your running costs could include electricity,
gas, and internet and phone bills.
You should expect to spend up to 10% of your
revenue on marketing your business.
Your equipment list will vary based on the type
of mobile bar business you start. You may be able to keep the cost down by
buying second-hand or renting some equipment.
Your essential equipment list will probably
● A vehicle or stall
● Fridge and freezer for
storing drinks and ingredients
● Cleaning equipment
● Drink-making tools:
Cocktail shakers, blenders, corkscrews
● Drinkware: Glasses,
● Electrical equipment:
Lighting, cash register
● Display items: Display
boards, wine racks
Although you don’t need any particular
bartending qualifications to start a mobile bar business, learning the art of
mixing, pouring and serving drinks can only be an advantage.
You must also obtain a DBS check and pass the
BIIAB Level 2 Award or CIEH Level 2 Award before applying for your Personal
Licence to sell alcohol. These qualifications will introduce you to responsible
alcohol sales and more.
Many other courses can be useful for mobile bar
owners, including HACCP (Hazard Analysis
and Critical Control Point) training, which is mandatory for UK food and drink
How will you find the time to fit training
around everything else you need to do when starting a mobile bar business?
Caredemy’s online training courses
for food businesses make it easy to complete the necessary training courses at a
time that suits you. Online study also removes the need to travel to a training
centre or book overnight accommodation.
Suitable training courses for a mobile bar
You can study Caredemy food training courses
online or download the high-quality course materials to study offline. You’ll
also receive access to your personal Caredemy Learner Management system, making
it easy to track your progress through the course.
And you can contact our expert Student Support team for queries on your
course or advice on planning your next online food training course.
Starting a mobile bar business is an exciting
venture that blends passion with profit. With hard work, commitment and the
information in this guide, you’ll soon be toasting your success!