Essential Bar Equipment for the Bar or Restaurant


When opening a bar or restaurant, it is essential to incorporate the right equipment into your establishment. The best equipment and supplies can improve efficiency as well as profitability, making your establishment even more successful.

When outfitting your commercial bar area, consider the size of the equipment you need. Make sure your bar’s layout and space configurations can accommodate your bar equipment. As you select bar supplies, keep in mind the types of items and special tools you need to best serve your customers.

The following list outlines the essential bar equipment and supplies you need for your commercial bar:

  1. Back Bar Coolers. Commercial back bar coolers are designed for storing beer and other beverages in the back bar area. These refrigerators have low profiles so they can slide under countertops. Important not only for food safety purposes, back bar coolers are essential for keeping product chilled as well as merchandising your best bottles—if you have a glass door unit, that is. Solid door units usually have black vinyl or stainless steel exteriors for added durability and style.
  2. Bar Sink. Bar sinks are indispensable in any commercial bar. Bar sinks provide the main area for washing, rinsing and sanitizing bar glassware. Without clean glassware, a bar cannot be successful. Health codes may dictate that you purchase a three-compartment sink, although it pays to double check so that you can utilize your space to your full advantage.
  3. Bar Glassware. Selecting bar glassware takes a keen eye and knowledge of your bar’s drink menu and clientele. A brew pub operator may find it most important to stock a variety of beer glassware, while a wine bar owner will need to keep several styles of wine glasses. Consider the durability of the glass, the capacity and the height of your glassware when making the decision. »»Learn more about choosing the right glassware for your bar
  4. Speed Rail. Speed rails come in a variety of sizes, shapes and lengths. They keep bottles of liquor and mixers organized and within easy reach for the bartender. Go for a single tier or double tier speed rail depending on how many bottles you need to store.
  5. Liquor Pourer. One aspect of great bartending is the ability to pour liquor. Liquor pourers are fitted spouts that go on the mouths of liquor bottles to help provide accuracy and control when it comes to pouring. Choose free-flow pourers for a continuous flow while the bottle is tipped at an angle. Measured pourers dispense a controlled amount of liquor in a predetermined quantity.
  6. Cocktail Shaker. Many of the best drinks are “shaken” before poured. This manual method of drink preparation requires a cocktail shaker, which can take one of several forms. The Boston cocktail shaker is a common style, which involves a single tin usually paired with a durable mixing glass. The three-piece cocktail shaker includes a container, a smaller cup or lid, and a perforated ice strainer.
  7. Bar Caddy. Bar caddies have storage slots for large condiment skewers, toothpicks, cocktail napkins and other bar accessories. Select plastic or wooden caddies based on your bar design and ambience. This way, when patrons to pull up their bar stools to enjoy a drink, the bartender can easily reach for a cocktail napkin and other necessary implements from the bar caddy.
  8. Bar Service Mats. When working with liquid and ice, things can get slippery or sticky. Keep your work surface cleaner and less prone to spillage with service mats. These rubbery mats grip the bottoms of bar glassware, so if anything does spill, the liquid seeps between the grooves of the mat rather than pooling on the countertop.
  9. Floor Mats. Restaurant floor mats, also known as service mats, are commonly found behind service counters in restaurants, bars and even retail stores. Simple and practical, these rubber mats help to prevent fatigue by providing a cushion to employees who stand all day while working. Additionally, fallen fallen garnishes and other food will fall down between the holes in mats like these, helping prevent potential slip-and-fall hazards.
  10. Upright Glass Washers. Upright glass washers, or bar glass washers, can make tedious work go by quickly behind the bar. Choose from manual washers with suction cup bottoms or electric upright glass washers powered by electric motors. Place an over-turned glass over a brush and twist vigorously, or let the motorized spinning action battle germs and oil residues for a more thorough, one-handed wash.

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