The key to good bar design is efficiency; the fewer steps a bartender has to take, the more drinks he or she can make per hour and the higher the bar’s 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.
• Install LED or other task lighting under the bar to enhance bartenders’ visibility.
• Don’t forget to design areas for waste receptacles.
• All bar equipment should be on legs or have coved bases.
• Floor drains should be installed so the floor can be washed down.
• Triple-check that underbar clearance accommodates equipment heights, legs included.
• High-volume bars require a glass-washing machine with rack storage.
• Backbar shelves need to fit the tallest and widest bottles you stock.
• Bar depths should not strain bartenders’ backs.
• Install a glass/shaker rinser by the wells.
• Build in generous space for beer- and soda-line chases, and don’t let the soda gun be installed in a way that it crosses the ice bin.
• Add a small ice well with spacer bars next to the main jockey-box ice well to store fresh garnishes and fruits chilled and within reach. Do not fill the hand sink with ice.
• Create fully equipped work zones to avoid employee crossover (bartenders, servers and bussers).
• A NICE TOUCH: Add purse hooks under the front bar top and outlets for phone charging.
Setting the Bar:
Additional Bar Resources
Chase joined Central Restaurant Products in February 2016 as a Content Specialist, bringing to the role years of various foodservice experience, including front-of-house service (slingin’ chicken wings and libations with a smile on his face) and back-of-house food prep using heavy-duty commercial cooking equipment to prepare for peak dining hours at his university’s dining hall.
He puts this experience to use writing for Central’s Resource Center, website, and print catalog. 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.