It’s vital to choose the right equipment when setting up a bar. However, knowing where to start can be difficult. As well as thinking about what type of venue you’ll be, you also need to think about the space you’re working in, installing everything in a good place, and making sure you meet all regulatory requirements. Making a decent plan is essential if you are going to successfully kit out your bar and make it attractive to your customers.
In this post, we will take you through the sorts of bits of kit you will need to get you off the ground when it comes to setting up a bar. We will also offer some tips on making sure you install things in the right places and maximize the space available to you and help get you started with reviews of our favorite pieces of vital commercial restaurant equipment for bars.
Table of Contents
- Have a plan
- What is essential bar equipment?
- How to make the most of space
Have a plan
Before you go down the road of buying everything you think you’ll need to run a successful bar, it’s important to have a number of plans in place. You’ll need a business plan detailing the aims and long-term vision for your bar. It can be daunting but writing things down leads to quicker results. Define what you bar will be, is it going to be a sports bar? Will it be a cozy Irish style pub? Will it be a trendy wine and cocktail bar? Will it serve food or not? Are there nearby competitors?
The answers to all of these questions will help you determine not only the equipment you need but also the style you need to be aiming for. You’ll also know what sort of space you need to fill and get an idea of how many staff you will need. Once you know this, you need to lay out a financial roadmap and decide the level of risk you are willing to take on in terms of start-up costs and capital investment.
What is essential bar equipment?
As outlined above, the specifics of what you will need will depend on the type of establishment you plan to open. However, there are a range of items that most bars will need in one form or another. Here, we will outline some vital pieces of kit that should be suitable no matter the type of bar you intend to operate:
#1 Point of Sale (POS) System
Old-fashioned registers and expensive tills are fast becoming obsolete in bars, with modern POS systems operating from iPads or sold as a complete system often a cheaper, more reliable, and adaptable solution. As well as making taking card payments easy, it also helps you keep on top of your stock, monitor best sellers, and maximize profits.
#2 Ice maker
No-one wants a warm cocktail. However, no-one likes waiting for their drink either. It’s a great idea to have a big ice machine somewhere in your bar if possible. However, having an under the counter ice-maker is also a good idea to cover those busy times when re-stocking the ice-buckets from the main machine is going to cause a long delay for your customers.
#3 Liquor dispensers
No bar is complete without a decent selection of spirits as well as the classic selection wine, beer, and mixers. However, measuring out shots all the time can be time-consuming and a long queue at the bar will soon cost you sales. Liquor dispensers with built-in measurements save your staff and punters time whilst helping you maximize your profit margins on your stock.
#4 Commercial grade bar stools
No bar is complete without seating. More specifically, no bar is complete without at least a few bar stools. These help you to make the best of the space you have available as they tend to be much narrower than chairs making them good choices for corridor spaces and, obviously, at the bar!
#5 Bar tables
Along with your bar stools, it’s a good idea to have some bar tables dotted around any establishment. This helps you squeeze in more punters into a smaller space as they can stand and sit whilst remaining at the same height. This ensures they have a space to put their drinks down when they need to.
You’ll also need to ensure you have the necessary safety equipment to meet health and safety standards and other commercial regulatory requirements. This will include suitable numbers of fire extinguishers in suitable locations, clearly signposted fire exits, and both smoke detectors and fire suppression devices.
How to make the most of space
As already alluded to, picking the right equipment and furniture can help ensure you get the most out of the space of your venue. Bar stools take up less space than lower chairs and facilitate people to stand and sit whilst remaining at the same height, allowing you to get more punters in whilst offering comfort and style.
Other innovative ways you can make the most of smaller spaces is by converting unused areas of your building into special areas. For example, an unused office space could be adapted to be a private room for hire or you could adapt an outhouse or basement into a games room. There’s often more space that can be developed in any building that won’t require any actual building work, just a bit of creativity and a vision.
#1 Best All-In-One POS System: Square’s Register
If you don’t fancy shelling out on an expensive till but aren’t keen to figure out compatibility between tablets and POS systems, then you’ll like this complete POS that is ready to go from the box. With two touchscreen displays included this POS makes costs clear for you and your customer. The handy built-in credit card reader saves space and helps keep transactions going through faster and you’ll love the software that helps you stay on top of sales.
Other pros of this POS system are that: it accepts all major credit cards, charging just 2.6% per sale; it comes with a 2-year warranty and excellent customer service and support if you ever need it; you can easily grow this system with optional plug-ins possible for things like cash drawers, ticket printers, and more, and; it is easily customizable if you want to add and edit sale items. The downside of this unit is that it is not mobile within the venue, as a tablet POS system would be.
#POS #POS_System #Complete_POS #POS_Software #Intelligent_POS
#2 Best Commercial Liquor dispensers: Suprobarware’s Automatic
These efficient liquor dispensers remove the need for pesky measurements, whilst allowing you to keep on top of your stock and maximize profits. You’ll save your staff and customers a whole load of time by investing in these liquor pourers with self-measurement dispensers. The glass spout looks stylish and fits perfectly in standard shaped spirit bottles. If you run a busy bar or want to offer cocktails these liquor dispensers are a must.
Other things to like about these liquor pourers are that: they can save you up to a full 4 four shots for every bottle you use them on; they are also suitable for use with syrups which is great when you’re making house cocktails; they come with a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product, and; they prevent spill sand over pours. The downside of these dispensers is that they are made of glass so are a bit fragile.
#Liquor_Pourers #Liquor #Bar_Pourers #Liquor_Stopper #Liquor_Measure
#3 Best Commercial Undercounter Ice Maker: FirstBuild’s Opal Countertop
If you’re after an under the counter ice-maker to save your bacon in peak times and happy-hours, then you’ll love this excellent machine. This ice maker makes nugget sized ice blocks that are perfect in cocktails and can produce an impressive 24-lbs of ice a day. It is also incredibly portable as it does not need water hook-up to function. So long as it has power you can fill up the reservoir and it’ll soon be pumping out ice nuggets.
Other things that make this countertop ice-maker great are that: it has a smart and sleek design that will fit in with trendy cocktail bar décor; it comes with a full 1-year parts and labor warranty; it takes just twenty minutes for your first ice nuggets to be made once connected to power, and; it is a smart device that can be controlled with your phone using a specially designed App. The downside of this ice maker is that it doesn’t have any sort of filtration system so make sure you use safe water!
#Ice_Maker #Countertop_Ice_Maker #Ice_Makers #Ice #Cocktail_Ice_Maker
#4 Commercial Bar Stools: Flash Furniture’s Black
If you’re looking for a barstool that will maximize your use of space, then this swiveling will be right up your street. With the ability to swivel a full 360-degrees, this top quality barstool fosters conversations, allows you to squeeze in more punters, and works great whether located in-front of the bar or in a difficult corner. Well-made and comfortable, this impressive chair comes at a great price and looks stylish too.
Other benefits of this barstool are that: it built with an 18-gauge steel frame that is strong and durable; it can help you provide useful seating in difficult nooks and crannies; it comes with plastic floor guides so that you can smoothly slide the stool across your floor without causing damage, and; it is a great price. The downside of these barstools is that they don’t come with any useful instructions to put them together, although a video is available on Youtube.
#Bars #Bar_Stool #Bar_Stools #Swivel_Chair #Swivel_Bar_Stool
#5 Commercial Bar Stool Tables: Leopard Outdoor
If you’re looking for a bar table to go with the bar stools above, then look no further than this stylish round top. At 42-inches tall it is the perfect height for people to either sit round on a high stool or stand. This helps you make the best use of your space and bring more customers into every available corner of your venue if space is at a premium. Available in a range of colors, this bar table will look great in any bar no matter the style.
Other pluses of this bar table are that: it is lightweight but strong meaning it is easy to move when necessary but also able to cope with the rough and tumble of bar-life; it can be either adjustable or non-adjustable depending on your preference (it can move between 28 and 35.8-inches if you opt for the adjustable version), and; it is easy to put together. The downside of this bar table is that the tabletop is not the largest, although this can also be a positive if you are short of space in your bar.
#Bar_Table #Bar_Tables #Tall_Table #Stool_Table #Tall_Bar_Tables
When you are thinking of setting up a bar, it is vital that you get your plans written down on paper first. You should also take the time to investigate the area you set up in and put together a detailed business plan. Once you’ve done this, you can move on to the fun bits of kitting out your bar in the perfect style of your choosing. However, there are certain items any bar will always need. Check out our favorite essentials as listed above to help get you started.