I was in the restaurant/bar business as management for many years. A couple of them, I might as well have been the owner, since they wouldn't spend any time or money doing it.
A liquor license used to be a license to steal here in Florida years ago. Those days are long gone. Even with a 300% mark up on liquor, it's a tough go. Everybody either has there hand out for taxes, fees, etc, or their hand is in your till, helping themselves. In Florida, you can get away with dealing with the Federal agencies pretty well, but don't fvck with the State of Florida, they will get the money or your license back. About ten years ago, they instituted a tax on each drink you serve, and they base it on how much liquor you buy. I've known a few bars that lost their license from not paying this tax. It's easy to think, "it's only a nickle a drink"(back then, I think it's a dime now), until the time comes to pay the piper and you don't have it. Another problem is the Mad Mothers have killed the recreational drinker, I'm not saying this is wrong, but it is a fact. Another problem is the owners themselves. Many buy a bar thinking it's all fun and games, then begin to party like rock stars and trying to bang all the waitresses on staff, which leads me to another problem, the staff. Many of these are hot young ladies who think their sh!t don't stink, and can come in when they feel like it, especially after a fresh banging from the owner. If you don' think this is true, walk into any Hooters and tell me the ladies don't have an entiltlement attitude about them. They are doing you a favor with their presence. Back to owners, once after we had already recieved a personal visit from the IRS agent informing us that if he didn't have our 941 taxes on his desk every Friday (they are only due quarterly), he wasn't going to call, he was coming down and chain the doors shut, the owner staggers in on a Thursday night deciding he needed to go to a concert, and stuck his paw in the register to pull out $500 for party favors that night. I was livid! I still give him crap about that to this day (he now works for me on occasion).
Also, in most bars, you have about 10 hours a week to make your profit. And of course, this is the time nobody else wants to work (me included). You have from 9pm Friday and Saturday until closing. Don't even think about hiring bands, they are worse than owners because they are SURE that they are rock stars, and behave accordingly. Also, to get a decent name band, you will pay say $750 a night. Realize that that is $750 a night extra in PROFIT that you have to make just to break even (my last owner never grasped this concept). It's hard to do since the people that are coming to hear these bands are the young punks with no money that order one draft beer, then spend the evening running out to the car to smoke a joint.
Don't forget the fights between customers, employess, employees and customers and its just a nightmare.
I could go on, but I have to go to work.
In summation, I wouldn NEVER get involved with this business again. I would jack off hobo's for a living first. The pay isn't too good, but the working conditions are better.