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Chain restaurants, coffee shops, department stores, etc. have really exploded during the past two decades or so (at least I was not paying attention before then … that might have something to do with being 10 years old and living in Queens). So I have a question for the folks out there: are there any chain bars out there I am forgetting? No, I do not mean Applebees, I mean a real bar – a watering hole where people go just for the beer, the shots, the darts, and all the other stuff that happens at a bar. Does a place like Jillians count? If the answers are few and far between, or no, can you guys guess why we do not see more of this, but that franchises of almost every other kind are fixtures in our lives? I will throw my 2 pennies in later next month.

Cheers!

5 Responses to “Shake Me If I am Missing Something”

  1. Sanket says:

    Why don’t we see real chain Chinese take out places? The local Chinese take out places are the only ones I see everywhere, and they seem to be making a lot of money.

    and why are local Pizzerias so popular vs. Dominoes/Pizza Hut?

    Even nightclubs and lounges are not franchised.

  2. Brian Dunbar says:

    can you guys guess why we do not see more of this, but that franchises of almost every other kind are fixtures in our lives?

    Laws governing food business, preparation and sales are pretty much the same wherever you go. The process used in a Wisconsin McDonald’s can be easily applied to one in Dallas.

    Liquor laws will vary by state, county and town. Where you can buy booze, how you get it, when you can serve it, who you can serve it to …

    We don’t see franchised bars because you can’t run a bar like a franchise.

    I note that enlisted clubs in the military can be seen as a kind of franchise: one e-club is pretty much like another, prices, products and service will be the same no matter what club you are in.

  3. Moosehead Beer, Proudly Canadian says:

    Mr Dunbar, I’d just like to state that here in Canada we also do not have any bar franchises, but our liquor laws, (despite very some small differences in age and taxes), are virtually the same across the country. You COULD franchise a bar, and you COULD run a bar like a franchise, but nobody does. So Rizzo asks why?
    Here’s my take:

    There are three things I can think of that make an industry “franchisable.”

    The first and by far most important aspect of a franchise, is that it must be profitable! There has to be an incentive to expand. I’d argue that if indivdual bars are succesful, and chain could be to! So this can’t be it. The next important aspect to me, is the ability to duplicate your success and product. This isn’t hard at all. Beer is beer no matter where you go, and everybody loves it. This leaves one more aspect:

    Every business must have somethign that sets it apart from competitors. It can be ANYTHING from an innovative market approach to copyright protection or a unique beer. This is why I think we see sports bars as chains, they offer unique environments where people can go watch the game. But people only go to a bar to drink and meet people. If faced with the option to buy in to a franchise, or start your own bar, you would naturally chose to start your own. There is very little difference between any one bar and the next. And lets be honest, we don’t want there to be. We want the same old thing in a bar, beer and a few pool tables. Easy enough for anyone to start up.

    Its my belief that there are no bar franchises, because there is no incentive or profit in doing so. There is no uniqueness associated with bars that could set one bar apart from others.

    Here’s another try. Everyone who owns a bar is likely to be alcoholic. And thus doesnt have the attention span to expand! Or maybe there are to many legal risks, my friend got sued because someone left her bar drunk and crashed their car and they blamed her! She lost her whole business. Because at a “bar” that is solely for drinking, you are expected to keep track of everyone. A franchise would have serious problems if they were getting sued all across the country.

    Here’s another question. Why do I willingly pay a tip to a waitress or bartender at a bar or restaurant who simply brings me food, but not the fast food worker who makes and serves me my food?

  4. Brian Dunbar says:

    Proudly,

    I cannot argue with your argument: it seems reasonable.

    Why do I willingly pay a tip to a waitress or bartender at a bar or restaurant who simply brings me food, but not the fast food worker who makes and serves me my food?

    Personal contact: the waitress comes to you, brings you water, scurries around, gives you a kind word. The kid behind the counter slaps some food on a tray and calls it good.

    Perhaps it’s that the food is better at Jack’s Cafe than MacDonald’s.

  5. wintercow20 says:

    A friend of mine Erik Quick poses a simple and elegant explanation (on Facebook):

    Bar ownership = hi % of cash money = who wants to report all that income to Uncle Sam?

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