Bars are noisy, packed places where people go to socialize or let off steam. As customers vie for the bartender's attention orders are being called out, drinks are being made, and tabs are being opened. The success of your bar is as good as the people, and the supplies you have behind it. In this buying guide we'll cover everything you'll need to equip your perfect bar.
Speed is the name of the game when it comes to creating a profitable bar. The faster your bartender can make and serve drinks, the faster your customers can drink them and order more! Equip your bartender with the right setup for a more efficient service.
As the name implies, speed rails enable bartenders to quickly grab a bottle and pour a drink after it's been ordered. Often filled with well liquors, speed rails (also known as speed racks) are located behind the bar and down within easy reach. Sometimes bars that frequently sell high-end spirits will feature another rack next to well liquors for more high-end and popular products.
Often you'll find store and pour containers housed in a speed rail for easy access behind the bar. Fill with mixers like simple syrup, Bloody Mary mix, lemon/lime juice and much more for faster drinks!
Avoid bottle caps from collecting on the floor with a few cap catchers installed onto the walls or back bar areas. Cap catchers are a no-brainer when it comes to keeping a professional looking bar without worrying about caps collecting in corners or hard-to-reach places.
Featuring deep grooves and heavy duty rubber, bar mats keep wet glasses in place to reduce breakage. Ideal for protecting surfaces and keeping spills contained, bar mats often come in tiles or strips for easy customization in any bar.
Equip staff with proper corkscrews that can quickly open a bottle of wine without breaking the cork, or worse, pushing the cork further into the wine bottle.
Chances are that you'll be opening up at least a few bottles of beer over the course of an evening. Quickly open and serve drinks by always having a bottle opener within reach.
The purpose of liquor pourers is twofold: streamline the flow of pouring and control the amount of alcohol that is poured. With liquor pourers you reduce the risk of spills and splashes, which is literally money down the drain. For even better control on pours look for portion-control pourers that ensure an ounce is an ounce, no matter who is bartending that day.
This long-handled spoon is used regularly by mixologists due to its length, which can reach the bottom of even a highball cocktail glass. Great for mixing ingredients with ice as much (or as little) as intended, stock your bar with several spoons to carry you throughout the night.
A simple yet important bartender's tool is the muddler. Used like a pestle to literally "mash" ingredients, muddlers are used quite often in cocktails like mojitos to express the oils and other flavors from herbs, fruit and more.
Cocktail shakers are a must for most cocktails and mixed drinks. Shakers simultaneously mix ingredients and chill drinks, making it the perfect companion to any mixologist.
Achieve consistent drinks each and every time by encouraging bartenders to use jiggers. Not only do jiggers help bartenders keep beverages tasting the same no matter who is making it, but they also help you control your product costs.
Use a strainer to effectively separate solid ingredients (like ice or herbs) while pouring a cocktail from the shaker. Keep several bar strainers on hand so you're always equipped.
Compact and sturdy, a bar knife is similar to a paring knife and used quite often for slicing citrus (like lemons and limes) for garnish.
A channel knife, also known as a zester, is perfect for creating long ribbons of citrus peels to attractive garnishes and aromatics.
Keep it sanitary by keeping an ejector fork nearby to quickly and easily grab those olives, cherries and more to garnish those drinks.
Add the finishing touch to every cocktail by keeping your collection of lemons, limes, cherries and other garnish essentials close by in a garnish center/caddy. These little organizers sit comfortably behind the bar without taking up much room. Offered in a variety of attractive styles and finishes, garnish centers are a must for any busy bar.
For that perfect layer of salt or sugar on the edge of your margarita glass, use a glass rimmer. These trusty tools are easy to use and clean, and all you need to do is give your glass a quick dip and a twist for the perfect drink each and every time.
Long nights on your feet can cause serious problems for your employees. Not only that, between mixing drinks to ice runs, bottle washes, and more, your tiled floor can quickly become a safety hazard. Avoid slips and dangerous falls while keeping employees comfortable with durable floor mats beneath their feet.
Make your first impression a good one with barware that makes your drinks shine. Learn more about the basic glassware you should stock your bar with. For more information about specific beer, wine or cocktail glasses, be sure to check out our Restaurant Glassware Buying Guide.
Most customers visiting your bar would expect wine to be served either in a stemmed or stemless wine glass. Between champagne flutes, wide-rimmed and large-bowled red wine glasses, to slender white wine glasses, you can really fall into a rabbit hole when it comes to the diversity of wine glasses. Our advice? Take a look at your storage capabilities and then consider what your bar menu specializes in. If your patrons gravitate more towards beer or mixed drinks, then you probably won't need the diverse selection of wine glasses that you may find in a wine bar, for example.
Since the rise of craft beer customers have been much more discerning when it comes to their brews. A traditional pint glass can do the job in most bars, but if you're looking to bring out the most from your ales, lagers, saisons and more, consider adding a collection of pilsner, tulip or even Weizen glass to enhance the aromas and head (particularly the fluffy heads found on wheat bears).
Cocktail glasses come in a wide range of varieties to enhance the aromas and flavors of the drink. At a minimum, for we suggest that for any bar serving liquors and mixed drinks to consider adding martini/cocktail glasses, shot glasses, and rocks glasses. You may find that some glasses can perform double- or even triple-duty, like the rocks glass. The rocks glass is perfect for serving alcohol neat or on the rocks, mixed drinks, and as of late, margaritas too. Consider your menu and which glasses you'd prefer to serve drinks in—the more you can reuse glassware the less storage space you'll require.
When it comes to adding the right equipment to your bar, you've probably already considered the obvious contenders like an ice machine or blender, but what about food preparation options? Read on to learn more about different types of equipment you may want behind your bar.
Probably the most obvious piece of equipment you'll need to pick up for any bar is an ice machine. From mixed and blended drinks to shaken cocktails, you'll want a steady flow of ice that's ready for drinks all night long. Tip: Don't forget your water filter for better-tasting ice and drinks!
Great for mixed drinks like margaritas, blenders are a mainstay in any bar. Before you settle on just any blender, consider factors like noise level, horsepower, and even programmable options for consistent beverages no matter who is behind the bar. For more information about blenders, check out our Commercial Blender Buying Guide.
Nothing hampers profits more quickly at a bar than lack of available, clean glassware. Dishwashers are a no-brainer when it comes to washing large amounts of glassware quickly and efficiently. Instead of relying on a barback to rush glassware back and forth from the kitchen you may consider installing a small dishwasher in the bar itself. That said, consider opting for a low temperature model to avoid the unsightly "poof" of steam every time a rack of dishes is unloaded. If funds, space or even personal preference doesn't allow for a dishwasher behind your bar, you may consider adding a glasswasher instead. This helpful device works in any sink and it's a fast, efficient way to clean glasses from hard-to-remove lipstick and other stains. Just remember, if you opt to wash glasses behind the bar with a glasswasher, be sure to do so with a proper three compartment sink to effectively wash, rinse and sanitize your glassware. (Tip: Check out our helpful 3 Sink Basin infographic here!)
If you don't have a full commercial kitchen, but still want offer bar snacks and other menu options, consider adding a few simple pieces of countertop equipment to your bar lineup. Cooking equipment like small panini grills, pizza ovens, and even convection ovens make it easy to cook frozen pizzas, warm up burritos and much more. Plus, it's a fact that customers get thirsty when they eat!
Now you're covered behind the bar, but don't neglect the dining room as well! Make sure you're equipped with all the serving essentials with the right pitchers, plates and other supplies by your side.
Sports bars and other establishments may choose to sell pitchers or beverage tubs (also known as buckets) of beer to patrons. Great for places with pool tables or an expansive bar area, pitchers and beverage tubs make it easy to serve large groups. Caterers may opt to enhance their presentation at the bar or any event with a beverage tub to display drink choices.
Sadly, you can spend a small fortune on replacement flatware alone because it frequently makes its way into the trash. Ensure you hold onto more of your investment by adding cutlery bins to your bus carts to encourage employees to separate the flatware from the dishes before food scraps are thrown into the trash.
You can easily enhance the presentation of your apps with the right serveware at your disposal. French fry cones, baskets, and other small plates work well at bar counters when space can be tight. At Tundra Restaurant Supply, we have thousands of different serving baskets, ramekins, boards and more to help you put a creative spin on your offerings. Give us a call at 1-888-388-6372 to learn more!