Owning a bar or restaurant can be a lonely business! You experience epic highs and tragic lows, working all hours to ensure your business is a success. We believe that one of the best ways to keep moving forward and adapt to industry changes is to join an online community.
There are many online communities where bar and restaurant owners share successes, failures, and give feedback and top tips to other members. You can ask your burning questions or complain about staff problems to like-minded peers who will understand what you are going through. Sounds good, right? We have compiled a list of the top online communities for bar and restaurant owners for you to join!
The best online communities out there
With over 12,000 members at the time of writing, this US-based Facebook group is the biggest on our list. What do we like best about it? The Admins only allow a small number of service providers in and spam is strictly prohibited so you don’t feel any pressure from other members trying to sell you their software!
This Reddit community has over 4,000 members and growing. With a strong US membership, this group is a great resource if you want to share ideas or need advice. Covering a variety of topics, from software reviews to branding, you will certainly find topics that pique your interest!
You have probably heard of restaurantowner.com, offering resources to independent restaurants across the country. They also have a members-only forum for independent restaurant operators who are serious about improving their business. Keep an eye out for visiting contributors from world-renowned restaurants who pop in from time to time to offer their advice!
eG Forums is a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. This not-for-profit organization is 100% dedicated to the advancement of culinary arts. The free site has a whole heap of interesting forums including regional cuisine, kitchen consumer – comparing different kitchen appliances and restaurant life – discussing real issues facing front of house staff. With members from all over the world, you are sure to learn a thing or two.
With over 4,000 members, this Reddit group is tailored specifically for bar and nightclub owners, so will be less beneficial to all of you restaurant owners out there. With a pinned thread titled ‘Covid Tips’, members can discuss how they are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and share tips. The ‘Good Weekend/Bad Weekend’ thread is also good for a laugh or two!
Now, it’s time for a Reddit group solely for restauranteurs, and a big one at that. With 9,000 members, this group is a thriving community of owners, managers and other restaurant professionals. This one is less full of questions – its members prefer to post their thoughts on the industry and economic struggles they are facing. It’s a great resource for those looking to dig deeper and discuss the complexities of the business.
Specifically for owners and managers, this Facebook group was created by Dave Allred, the founder of The Real Barman. With 2,500 members, the group doesn’t allow any service providers in so that conversation is purely focussed on sharing ideas and strategies to increase revenue and run smoother operations.
This is a smaller group for a niche audience – aspiring and new bar owners. There is a small number of established bar owners as members, on hand to dish out advice or tips when necessary. With just under 800 members, this Facebook group offers a more personalized community and the Admins actively encourage interaction and dialog.
Another niche Facebook group, this time targeting owners and managers of bars in small towns. Common topics include event planning, hiring & firing, training, and inventory. 1,100 members strong, this group is growing quickly and members are very engaged, posting multiple times a day. If you are an owner of a small town bar, this is definitely the group for you.
More online resources
We briefly touched on Restaurant Owner.com above, when discussing its forum. But let’s not ignore the rest of their content! Although some of itis free, you can also pay to receive further support such as training manuals, business plan templates, and webinars. The best part is the Resource Library, offering hundreds of videos and articles on a number of key topics, from restaurant marketing to recipe control.
Restaurant Hospitality is a digital (and paper) magazine targeting restaurant owners and operators. The content is interesting and topical, from the point of view of owners, consultants, and chefs. With articles on staffing topics such as minimum wage and new restaurant concepts like trash pies, this resource should definitely be added to your bookmarks!
Modern Restaurant Management (MRM for short) was founded in 2016 and is a US-based digital magazine offering articles and discussion points for people interested in opening a restaurant, independent restaurateurs, and multi-establishment owners. The content is divided into 6 topics covering News & Trends, Marketing, Operations, Design, Equipment & Technology, and Finance & Law. There are also short videos with restaurant case studies and more interesting industry news.
This might seem to be a bit of a random addition to the list, but it is a must-read for restaurant owners looking to keep up to speed with the food technology industry. With a plethora of interesting articles and engaged MeetUp Groups across the US, this site provides the tech and business insights necessary for restauranteurs to innovate and transform the industry.
As you can see, there are a number of different communities out there. There are even groups for different states or cities, so you can choose to go local! One tip – you get out of these groups what you put in. We recommend that you join and engage with your peers – they can commiserate and advise in times of need and celebrate your wins.