The right equipment to build a better bar

Efficiency is the key to a good bar design. The fewer steps a bartender must take, the more drinks they can make per hour and how high the bar’s sales. It is crucial to plan the bar properly, use the right space and include all the equipment and tools needed to operate and maintain it. A good bar design requires input from the operations team, especially the bartender. Also, coordination between the electrical, plumbing and mechanical engineers and the equipment installers is essential.

Opening a bar can be easier in some ways than opening a restaurant, but only if you have a smart plan. Here’s what you need to know on how to open a bar.

He puts this experience to use writing for Central’s Resource Center, website, and print catalogue. ServSafe certified, he enjoys educating on food safety in the commercial setting, researching new dining room and tabletop trends, and sharing innovative solutions to enhance operational efficiencies. He also enjoys (in no specific order) long hikes with his dog, bingeing 90s sitcoms, red wine, and live music.

The key to good bar design is efficiency; the fewer steps a bartender has to take, the more drinks they can make per hour and the higher bar sales. Proper layout, smart space allocation and incorporating all of the tools and equipment required to run and maintain the bar is critical. Good bar design starts with input from the operations team—especially the bartender—and coordination between the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers and the equipment installers. Here are some tips on how to build a better bar. 

These are some tips to help you build a better bar:

  • Make sure that the drink rail faces guests and is perforated stainless with drain. Arrange bar equipment such as taps or POS (Point of Sale) stations so that bartenders are facing customers.
  • Install LED or another task lighting underneath the bar to improve bartender visibility.
  • Do not forget to create areas for waste containers.
  • Bar equipment must be supported on legs or have coved bases.
  • Floor drains are required to allow for floor washing.
  • Provide ample space for glasswareThe right racks are needed to hold your different types of glass.
  • Double-check that Underbar clearance is adequate to accommodate equipment heights, legs inclusive.
  • Large-volume bars will require a glass washing machine with rack storage.
  • The back bar shelves must accommodate the largest and widest bottles in your stock.
  • Bar depths shouldn’t strain bartenders.
  • Place a glass/shaker rinser near the wells.
  • Don’t allow the soda gun to be placed in an area that crosses the ice bin.
  • To keep fresh garnishes or fruits cool and easily accessible, add a small Ice well to the main jockey box ice well. The hand sink should not be filled with ice.
  • Establish fully-equipped work zones to prevent employee cross-over (bartenders and servers, bussers).
  • A NICE THING: Place purse hooks under your front bar and plug-in outlets for your phone.

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