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    hello guys new to this site me and my thai wife who have a baby boy are think about renting a bar in pattaya or phuket has anyone got any info on this i dont think its going to make me a millionaire i just want to be with my family. we applied for 6 months family vistor visa last year and got no problem my wife enjoyed england very much stayed just over 5 months but i have now lost my job got a new job buts its only 30 hrs a week top up with working tax would t that why we decided for me come to thailand im not scared of hard work and know it not going to be easy

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    Good luck to you if thats what you decide to do.Over the last 12 years of visiting thailand most of the farang bar owners i know are either back in the uk.drying out,alcoholics or dead.If your on your own running the bar 7 days a week its not as glamorous has being on holiday,i think bit of boredom sets in and its to easy to reach for a bottle.There are other farang bar owners that seem to have coped very well,so good luck if you want to run a bar.

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    Premium Member Phetchy's Avatar
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    Craig, if I was in your shoes, opening a bar in Pattaya would be the last thing I'd consider on a list of possible options. Yes, there are bars that make money in Pattaya. They are run either by farangs that have been living here for a very long time and already have enough money to acquire an established and successful bar in a prime location, or they are run/owned by Thai's and look out any farang that might be thinking about trying to compete by opening a better bar nearby!

    I realise you say you don't want to make a fortune, but even if you're looking at it as a place to make a basic living I'd forget it. It's something that someone with a (good) few bob to take a chance with and no young family to support might try. If the business goes jugs up - so what?, move on to the next thing. Not so if you've got responsibilities such as yours.

    I've lived in Pattaya for a good few years and have seen bars open and close in less than 6 months. Even though the tourist trade is going through a sticky patch at the moment, there are still dozens of new bars being built all over the place despite there being a dearth of customers to keep the existing ones afloat. I don't want to pour cold water on your plans at the outset, but I'd consider any other option before thinking seriously about it.
    Phil.

    "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment."

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    I'd advise against it too. It needs capital to start up, always more than you think. Its success depends on the girls, who are typically hard to handle or flaky (and if they're not, they're old or fat and ugly and won't attract punters).

    Bars are having a bad time, like most places, with the global recession. I reckon a higher proportion of visitors are from other places, like Russia and India and China. Those visitors don't hang around so much in bars.

    Why spend a ton more money on plane tickets, moving to the other side of the world, buying a new business, when you don't have much to start with?

    I know of a guy who was in a similar situation. He lost his job, couldn't find a new one and he and his wife and child came to Thailand. She went to work in a bar, telling him she was a 'cashier'. I wouldn't do it.

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    Premium Member Phetchy's Avatar
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    Very well put lwatg, just in case my succinct approach doesn't sink in - the warts an' all approach.
    Phil.

    "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment."

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    One more point. You say you're not scared of hard work. You are not allowed to do any physical wprk.

    LWTG. Not all "bars" are girly bars. Even in Pattaya.

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    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    I know this is only one anecdotal story, but I think it might be helpful.
    My friend's brother used to run pubs in the UK, he's been successful at it (he's managed about three different places for the same brewery), so he's got a lot of experience, gained over about ten years in the industry.

    A few years ago he went to Thailand, after about his fourth or fifth fairly long visit, about three months for each visit, he decided he was going to run a bar, after all, he's done it before, knows what he's doing etc.

    He lasted about six months, ended up with nothing.

    Here's an abridged version of his list of reasons why it didn't work for him;

    Suppliers (changing prices without notice), local authorities (people turning up with new 'licence' requirements), police ('taxing' him), landlord (rent and key money issues), customers (not enough of them), staff (unreliable, thieving), other foreign bar owners and associated 'hangers on' (threatening him), other Thai bar owners (not threatening him directly, but definitely behind some of the other issues, including the staff issues!) no work permit (so having to sit and watch while 'his' staff messed up his business).

    There is a much longer list, which could turn into a novel, if there weren't already enough stories about people being ripped off in foreign countries. And that was a guy who knew the business he was getting into inside out, he thought.

    If you have run a bar before, you might stand a chance if you're lucky, tough, strong and have some Thai back up and quite a lot of money (a whole lot more than you think you will need!).

    I have another acquaintance, who's Thai, runs a bar in Samui, has done for years. Nice fella, but he's kind of (how shall we put this delicately?) not the most law abiding person you might meet?

    His family have his back, they protect him, he pays the police regularly and they still hassle him from time to time. He does ok, if by ok you mean just about gets by every month and often worries that the whole thing will collapse around him.

    So, I'm sure there are people who make a go of running a bar in Thailand, but there's definitely a whole lot more to it than meets the eye.

    If I were going to try the same thing, I'd want at least six months run up to it, a lot of money, and a hell of a lot of back up from some Thai people who would actually be useful to me if the brown stuff got anywhere near the fan.

    I also don't want to P on your chips, but I do feel that you need to hear this kind of thing before you go ahead and jump.

    All the best,

    Biff
    ไม่ลองไม่รู้

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    Premium Member toddmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddwjg View Post
    One more point. You say you're not scared of hard work. You are not allowed to do any physical work
    That's a good point. Sounds like heaven sitting in a bar all day everyday? I know a guy with a bar in Phuket. He loved it for the first 6 months but now hates it. Although he is (sort of) making a living out of it (although to be honest he has property back home which I think is mainly where his income comes from), he hates the bar scene and is always looking to get out of it. Like Dave says he is not allowed to do any work but has to be at the bar everyday to keep an eye on things, sit and chat with customers etc. He says its having a massive impact on his health....after all he can't refuse when good customers want to buy him drinks every day.
    On top of the usual running costs you also have to factor in things like paying the local BIB their monthly cut in the tourist area's. Jealousy from other bar owners and local thai's is also costly.....just picking up a glass and taking it to the bar could be classed as "working" and mean a big fine when your neighbours are grassing you up.
    Last time I was there he was telling me they were starting to feel the pinch....there were still plenty of tourists in Phuket...but they were all Russians & Koreans who don't go to the bars. The Russians just get drunk on their own Vodka in their hotels and the Koreans just don't drink. He was also having trouble finding any staff. His isn't a girly bar as such, more of an ex-pat bar, but the girls he had were choosing to go back to the villages rather than stay in Phuket.

    Personally I would look at ALL other options before going anywhere near the bar scene....or anywhere in a tourist area for that matter.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by toddmeister View Post

    Personally I would look at ALL other options before going anywhere near the bar scene....or anywhere in a tourist area for that matter.

    Steve
    Teaching English, import/export, selling stuff on ebay, ANYTHING, before running a bar.

    To the OP, is your wife in the UK at the moment and what visa does she have?

    Personally, I'd tough it out until she get's her passport.


    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by toddmeister View Post
    Like Dave says he is not allowed to do any work but has to be at the bar everyday to keep an eye on things, sit and chat with customers etc. He says its having a massive impact on his health....after all he can't refuse when good customers want to buy him drinks every day.
    Along the same lines......my local bar has one particularly loathsome patron. He's German and bores the pants off of everyone (coincidence I assume). When he arrives and parks his car over the road, customers spread out, covering as much sitting space as possible and hope that he doesn't sit next to them. He's often ignored and told bluntly to shut up. The trouble is he's so thick skinned it makes little difference. It's OK for the customers - they can check bin and go elsewhere if they wish. The farang 'boss' can't, and as Fritz gets through an average of ten beers in a session, he can't bar him. Not my idea of a fun way to pass an afternoon.
    Phil.

    "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment."

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    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ Linne's Avatar
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    How about an eco retreat or Thai family style homestay.

    Richard
    Nice bit of original thinking ..................

    Sadly girly bars are a reality and I doubt pattaya would be what it is today without them. As a solicitor once said to me in a philosophical mood "we do live in a real world".

    Lets play a game called "lets ban prostitution" ha ha fat chance. Even without the girlies places of alchohol sale were and are always good places to make err "friends".

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    Quote Originally Posted by craig c View Post
    hello guys new to this site me and my thai wife who have a baby boy are think about renting a bar in pattaya or phuket
    Welcome Craig. An interesting first post. Maybe you could set out a bit more about your and your wifes backgrounds. Do either of you have any experience of managing a bar or similar customer focused venture? The Leisure industry in all its forms is a tough one and one that young families move out of rather than into so far as I have seen.

    Richard

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