How to start a tavern business in South Africa

How to start a tavern business in South Africa

This is a guide on how to start a tavern business in South Africa.

Taverns can be very lucrative and profitable, a lot of people in South Africa go to taverns for entertainment. They are very popular and townships and areas that don’t have a lot of nightclubs.

Here are some of the things you should do when starting a tavern in South Africa.

1. Get a liquor license

The first thing you will want to do is get a liquor license, the license permits you to sell liquor. You will have to have your premises ready before applying for the license because they are likely to come and check out the place where you will be selling alcohol before deciding on whether you get the license or not.

A lot of people in rural areas and townships operate taverns without a license, this is not recommended as it is illegal and you will run into trouble with the law.

2. Operating premises

Your operating premises should be in a very accessible area, an area that is preferably busy. Your best bet is a town and busy township. People love alcohol and don’t mind traveling very far just to get it.

Your tavern should have space and lots of it, it’s not uncommon to find taverns that are cramped up with not much space. These taverns are usually small on the inside and the tables are closely put together that it becomes hard for anyone to pass through. Don’t create a tavern like that. Make sure that your tavern has a lot of space.

3. Renovations

Fortunately, a tavern doesn’t have to be very classy, this means that you won’t spend a lot of money renovating it by buying expensive furniture. It’s often better to not use tiles on your floor, tiles can very slippery and cause a lot of mess. Buy a few tables and chairs and organise your tavern in such a way that people will have a place to chill and relax even on the outside but while still in your premises.

You can add a pool table, a jukebox, a tv for broadcasting football matches. Just add anything that will make it nice to chill at your tavern, if you don’t have a tv then people might go to another tavern to watch a football match.

Most people will generally just come to your tavern for the vibe and will end up spending money when they are there. Make sure that there is a sound system, don’t neglect music. You can also sell cooldrinks, this will make it easier for people who don’t necessarily drink alcohol to come to your tavern. Plus, other people might need cooldrinks to dash the heavy staff like vodka.

4. Inventory

Stock up on the liquor that you are going to sell, a lot of tavern goers prefer beer, brandy and whisky. Sell things you know that people are going to buy. You will have to make a habit of keeping extra inventory in your storage room. This will prevent you from running out of alcohol, which might turn off a lot of people.

5. Marketing

A tavern in a good location automatically market itself. You don’t need to do any form of digital marketing for a tavern. The best way to get people to know about your tavern when opening is reducing the prices and making a few flyers about it. This should be your grand opening day.

Taverns are not known to hire celebrities; this is because it’s generally not a smart financial decision. You can hire celebrities to do live performances if you are operating a nightclub.


Operating any business is not easy, you will have to make sure that order is always maintained in your tavern business. This was a guide on how to start a tavern business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Then what is the estimated amount to tart up a tavern
    in south Africa

    1. My indirect reply is that you need to factor in things like license costs, premises, inventory, attorneys and available cash flow. My assessment is that you will need between R300 000 to R1000 000. i intend to buy an existing tavern and spruce it up. These are the costs I arrived at. It’s cheaper if you rent a tavern from someone, but for me, I don’t want to rent a business like this.

  2. How long does it take to get your liqour license when you have found space. And how will it cost to get it

  3. How much can a liquor licence cost and where do we apply for it

    1. How much & how long does it take for liquor license


  5. How long it takes to get liqour license tarven n how much.

  6. How long does it take in South Africa to get your lisence

  7. How much does it cost to get a liquor license, and were do we apply for it? And how long does it take to get it?

  8. How long it stake to get a bottle store license and tarven licence and butcher’s license and where we apply and how much

  9. How long does it take for a tavern license

  10. How much liquor license cost

  11. my comment is the as all the comments how much to get a license, were to apply and how long does it normally take before you get the license? ,thanks

  12. Hi Everyone.

    I work as an agent and I can help you get your liquor license.

    These are my contact details 065 897 2740.

  13. Can I have alicence before i open my tarven

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