Over the past few years, Bar-i has grown into a successful liquor inventory business. While many of the bars and restaurants we work with are in Colorado, we are currently providing services to 60 clients nationwide. Recently, Jamie and Scotty felt it was time to take the next step in growing the company, and they’ve begun the process of franchising the Bar-i brand, just like Bevintel has done with their franchisees.
Bar-i expects to start offering franchise opportunities within the next 12 months. In the meantime, we are taking the intermediary step of licensing our software. This will allow some early adopters to set up their own business while we work out the legal requirements necessary to begin franchising.
We consider software licensing to be an important stepping stone to franchising, allowing us to learn by experience and move forward with the process until we can create a full franchise offering. The more experience Bar-i can gain working with licensees, the smoother the franchising process will be once it gets underway.
Working with licensees will also help Bar-i develop our training processes etc., which will be invaluable once we begin offering franchising opportunities. Ultimately, our end goal is to build a strong national brand that delivers exceptional service.
The Ideal Bar-i Licensee
While some of our licensing and franchising plans have similar in nature to the successful model established by Bevintel franchises, Jamie and Scotty have made important alterations to the process in order to reflect the unique nature of Bar-i’s services.
The cost to become a Bar-i licensee is ~$15,000. This covers all start-up expenses, including:
• All required equipment and software
• Licensing costs
• Initial training
There has been considerable interest in our licensing opportunity. Over 15 people contacted us about becoming a Bar-i licensee. After careful consideration, we chose Jeremy to become our first official licensee, and we’re excited to have him come aboard the Bar-i team.
There were several reasons why we chose to work with Jeremy:
• Attitude – Jeremy possesses a go-getter attitude and has a strong presence. We felt that he is someone who can help Bar-i make good strategic decisions and help build the success of the company.
• Sales background – Jeremy has a strong sales background, which should help him attract clients. In our experience, building a client roster is perhaps the most challenging element of growing this business from the ground up, so Jeremy’s sales experience will make this aspect of the job much easier and set him up for success.
• Complimentary skill set – While Jeremy has some restaurant experience, his strengths lie in sales. We felt that his skill set provides a great complement to what Jamie and Scotty bring to the table, which is decades of combined experience in the restaurant industry. This restaurant experience is crucial to thriving as a liquor inventory service provider, and we can help round out that part of Jeremy’s skill set. Since Jeremy is an early adopter of the Bar-i brand, there is tremendous growth potential for him. Jamie and Scotty saw potential for this to evolve into a great collaborative venture, and they are excited about getting Jeremy involved in helping to build the Bar-i brand.
As a new licensee, Jeremy will be paying Bar-i a small licensing fee every time he uses our liquor inventory software. This allows him to build his own business while paying for the right to use our product to deliver his services.
Week 1 Training: A Comprehensive Overview of the Bar-i Way
Jeremy had his work cut out for him during his first week of training. It was an intensive, comprehensive overview of all aspects of our business. This included:
• Reading the Bar-i operations manual – This is a lengthy process. Our training manual is more than 20,000 words. However, Scotty and Jamie feel it is an important part of the training process. The manual helps explain both what Bar-i does and why we do it. This provides a window into the thought process behind how the business is constructed and the way our services are provided.
• Viewing training videos – Our training videos cover many of the basic concepts involved in our liquor inventory system. We prefer to use videos for time efficiency purposes. They allow Jeremy to learn the basics of the business on his own, ensuring the time he spends with Scotty and Jamie can be used to address his specific questions.
• Reviewing Excel shortcuts -- Bar-i’s liquor inventory software was custom-designed from the ground up, so there is a bit of a learning curve involved. This starts right away during the first week of training. Our software is Excel-based. This makes it flexible and allows for shortcuts and integrations with other software programs such as Dropbox. It is also fast and customizable, and it allows for the use of keyboard shortcuts which makes it the fastest liquor inventory counting software available.
• Invoice training – We set up a module on how to efficiently and accurately enter invoices after deliveries are made. One of the benefits of working with Bar-i is that we perform all data entry for our clients, so understanding this process is an important part of providing our services.
• Recipe training – The Bar-i system looks at a bar’s POS reports and sees how many times each button was rung in. We can use this information to create recipes for these drinks, allowing our clients to more efficiently optimize their POS system, which will help in pricing decisions and achieving the actionable information necessary to maximize profits.
• Completing self-count audits – Jeremy worked with Scotty on completing self-count audits for some existing clients. This provided him with an opportunity to apply what he had learned on actual clients. We felt it was important for him to work closely with Scotty on this to ensure he fully understands the process before performing audits on his own.
• Out-selling – Jeremy scheduled his first trials. We have him doing a few free trials as he gets going and gains some experience in the industry. By the end of the first week, Jeremy was identifying a few bars to work with to set up these trials with the hope that they will eventually become his first clients.
Looking Ahead: Next Steps for New Licensee Training
Jamie and Scotty are currently at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) trade show in Chicago. This gives Jeremy an opportunity to review all of the information from Week 1 on his own before moving forward. Next week, training resumes and here is what Jeremy can expect to work on:
• Count training – This will happen in Week 2 of training. Jeremy will get to work with some existing Bar-i clients and perform free audits for them. We consider this to be a win/win for everyone involved: our clients get free audits, and Jeremy gains valuable experience performing an important part of our services.
• First trials – This will happen in Week 3. Jamie will work with Jeremy to set up his first few client trials, providing one-on-one support to him during the early stages of this process to set him up for success.
• Post-training – After training is complete, Bar-i will use screen sharing software to ensure Jeremy is performing his first few solo audits successfully. This allows us to provide him with feedback and help him grow in his new role.
We are excited about working with our new licensee. We recognize that it is as much a learning experience for Scotty and Jamie as it is for Jeremy, and hopefully we can begin to refine the process in order to ensure all Bar-i licensees have all the tools necessary for success. Ultimately, we believe the people who will benefit most from this experience are our first franchise candidates, since the training process will be streamlined by that point.
If you are interested in learning more about franchising and licensing opportunities, please contact Bar-i today. We provide liquor inventory services to clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.