Manhattan in Singapore was ranked 14th in The World's 50 Best Bars 2020

Proof and Co release 20-point guide to opening and operating a successful bar

22 November, 2021

Proof Creative, the bar and beverage consultancy arm of the Asia Pacific-based independent spirits distributor Proof & Co, has launched its 20 Pillar Plan as an online resource.

The plan has been designed as a complete guide to opening and launching a bar, covering all layers of the guest experience ranging from the more obvious – Concept, Drinks, Food, Music – to the frequently overlooked, such as Operating Supplies and Equipment, Technology, and Financial.

The Proof Creative team has helped launch more than 100 bars since its inception in 2014, a list that features some of Asia’s most celebrated, including Singapore’s 28 HongKong Street, Atlas, and Manhattan, and The Pontiac in Hong Kong.

“There is no scientific formula or mathematical equation to creating and launching a great bar, but the 20 Pillar Plan is something we have come up with to best stay on track, avoid concept drift and create a bar concept to which magic can then be added,” said Jason Williams, creative director of Proof & Company.

“Bars often have the ideas and the raw talent, but certain aspects can be overlooked, even in the seemingly dry pillars lies the opportunity to be creative and make decisions to further the concept and narrative.”

The decision to share the plan with bartenders, owners and operators, was driven by the choice to work in a spirit of collaboration as the global bar industry finds its feet again following the pandemic.

“We have been wanting to [share] it for a few years,” explained Williams. “We noticed some of our clients use it beyond our appointment and realised our collaborators, friends and peers were finding it useful adopting it for their own bars or hotel F&B.

“During the pandemic, we’ve also seen other industry legends share their knowledge and expertise and we thought it would be a nice thing to do in the spirit of community.”

The 20 Pillar Plan was developed by Proof Creative in 2014 during the consultancy’s first major project, Manhattan in Singapore. Since, the list has been updated and refreshed with additions of Technology, Community, and Ecology.

If followed, Proof Creative assert that the 20 Pillar Plan can firm up the narrative of a bar, something the firm refers to as the Golden Thread, to be ‘woven through all to create a cohesive and compelling bar experience’.

“I hope people find it useful to frame their creative thinking when developing their bar,” said Williams.

“There are 1,001 things to think about when conceptualising and opening a bar and I hope people may use this approach to get really creative and come up with cohesive concepts. A lot of sweat, emotion and money go into bars and I hope people find this as a useful tool to manage where that energy is going.”

The 20 Pillar Plan will be available to access via Proof Creative’s website here

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