Bars & Nightclubs

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 39,300 bars and nightclubs in the US make most of their profits from alcohol sales. Nonalcoholic beverages, food and snacks, and entertainment services are additional revenue streams.

Changing Regulations

Because of the effect of alcohol on health, establishments that serve alcohol are highly regulated.

Competition for Leisure Time

People visit bars to socialize and for entertainment, but new technologies are allowing many people to do those same activities from the comfort of their home, at a fraction of the cost of a typical night out.

Industry size & Structure

An average bar or nightclub has about 7 employees, $681,000 in annual revenue, and pays $190,000 in salaries.

    • The US has about 39,300 firms with 270,000 employees and total sales of $26 billion.
    • 72% of firms have fewer than 10 employees, but they account for just 31% of industry revenue and 28% of employment.
    • Local/regional regulations make national chains difficult to operate in this segment; the 50 largest firms account for less than 9% of industry sales.
    • National chains include Coyote Ugly, Voodoo Lounge, House of Blues, and TAO.
    • It is estimated that over half of startups will fail within the first 3 years, and around a quarter fail in the first year.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Bars & Nightclubs Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Coronavirus Update

                              Apr 28, 2022 - CDC: 60% of US Population Infected
                              • New COVID-19 cases are decreasing nationally, and bar and nightclub patronage may increase. In late April 2022, the CDC announced that according to the agency’s research, about 60% of the US population had been infected with COVID-19 by February 2022. Some medical experts suggest the high rate of infection and the resulting increase in immunity among the US population may signal a new phase where infections cause less and less severe illness.
                              • Bars and nightclubs are seeing more business as pandemic conditions have improved and restrictions have eased. Hawaii, the final holdout among states with indoor masking mandates, let its mask mandate expire on March 25. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends that masks be worn in areas of substantial or high transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
                              • Twenty-three states prohibit proof-of-vaccination requirements for entry to businesses including bars and nightclubs. Twelve states -- California, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington — have digital apps available for vaccine verification. Some major cities that had required proof of vaccination for indoor dining – including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Boston - have since removed the requirement.
                              • Seasonally adjusted US sales at food services and drinking places rose 1% in March 2022 compared to February. On an unadjusted basis, sales rose 25.7% in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
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