Thinking of starting a bar? Then you’re probably wondering who is the target market for bars in your area? Who is your ideal customer and what can you do to attract them?

The target market for bars is a diverse one and not all bars can cater to all customers. So being focused matters. Some bars choose to target the college crowd, while others target people who are looking for a place to relax after work. A standalone bar attracts a different audience compared to a bar in a restaurant. A bar that offers food or even meals, in turn, attracts a different clientele than a bar that only offers snacks but may have games like darts or pool.

If you already have a bar and are trying to attract a new market, you will need to be clear about who are you able to cater to given that your bar is already in business. On the other hand, if you are planning to start a bar from scratch you may have some freedom in deciding who your target market is going to be before making your investments and launching your business.

In this article, we will discuss the different segments of the target market for bars and what you could do to attract them to your bar.

Target Market for Bars: Types of bar customers

Different bars attract different types of customers. And that’s often by design. Most bar owners design their bars, decide their menus and choose their ambiance to cater to one or at most two segments of the target market for bars.

And this is because it’s really not easy to mix different types of customers in the same bar. For instance, a bar that caters to younger people who drink and party may not be ideal for families with young children.

So based on the different types of customers that a bar can, in theory, attract, we can divide the target market for bars into the following segments:

  1. The Office Crowd: People who want to relax after work with a drink or two.
  2. The College Crowd: Younger people who want to drink and party.
  3. Families: Parents with young children looking for a night out with the kids.
  4. Foodies: People who appreciate good food and drinks.
  5. Sports Fans: People who want to watch sports and drink at the same time.

As a bar owner, you need to decide which of these target market segments you want to attract to your bar. And once you’ve decided that, you need to design everything about your bar – from the menu to the ambiance – to appeal to that target market.

Of course, attracting one target market doesn’t mean that you can’t also attract other target markets. But in general, it’s best to focus on one target market and try to attract as many customers from that target market as possible.

What do customers look for in a bar? (and how to attract them)

Customers in the different segments of the target market for bars look for different things in a bar. And so you will need to not just design your bar and products but also your marketing strategies to attract the right segment.

For example, if you want to attract the office crowd, you may want to have a more sophisticated menu with wines and cocktails, as well as a quiet ambiance where people can have conversations without having to shout over the music.

On the other hand, if you want to attract the college crowd, you may want to have a bar that’s more laid-back with beers on tap and loud music.

Similarly, to attract families with small children, you may want to have a family-friendly bar with a kids’ menu and a more relaxed and respectable atmosphere.

To attract foodies, you’ll need to have an extensive menu with gourmet dishes, as well as a selection of fine wines and cocktails.

And finally, when it comes to attracting sports fans, you’ll need to have a few large TVs showing different games, as well as a good selection of beers.

How can you make your bar popular?

There are several different ways in which you can make your bar stand out from the others and eventually make it popular.

Great Location

Just as with a nightclub, one of the most important factors affecting the success of a bar is its location. If your bar is in the downtown area of a large city, you’re likely to get more foot traffic, especially from the office crowd looking for a place to unwind after work. But in this location, you will have a hard time attracting families with young children.

The Right Type of Crowd

Another important factor that can affect a bar’s popularity is the type of crowd that you choose to attract. If you attract a young, trendy crowd, then your bar is likely to become a hotspot for nightlife in your city. But once again your bar will become popular with one segment of the target market for bars but not others. And that should be ok since your goal should be to target one or two market segments and serve them well.

Get Customers to Return

To make your bar popular you need to do everything not just to get customers into your bar for the first time but also to get them to return week after week. This means making each visit unique and memorable. A memorable time at a bar begins with a great team of bartenders and servers who are passionate about their work and provide excellent customer service.

Offer something Unique

Another way to increase your bar’s popularity is to offer something unique that other bars don’t have. This could mean an extensive drinks menu, signature drinks or food, and perhaps even regular shows, events and themed nights. Popularity depends on delivering an experience that makes customers want to visit again and again.


One way to segment the target market for bars is based on what people are looking for in a bar. Office workers usually look for a bar to relax in after work and have a drink or two. They are attracted to sophisticated places with a good selection of wines and cocktails. College students usually have less money to spend and look for a laid-back place where they can socialize over a few beers and listen to music.

Some bars also cater to families and provide a family-friendly environment with something for the parents as well as the kids. Certain gourmet bars cater to foodies. Such bars often have extensive menus with creative selections as well as a good stock of fine wines and drinks. And then we have sports bars which attract crowds to watch their favorite team while knocking off a few beers and finger food.

As you can see, each of the different segments of the target market for bars looks for something different in a bar. So as a bar owner or a future bar owner, you will need to decide which market segment you want to attract the most and then design everything about your bar to appeal to your primary segment. Just remember it takes time to build a name, earn loyalty, and become popular.

We hope you found this article useful, and hope you will soon be well on your way to making your bar popular with the target market that you have chosen.

Good luck!