Bars are crowded places where people gather to socialize and let their steam off. Customers vie for attention, orders are being called out and drinks are being prepared. Tabs are being opened. Your bar’s success is only as good as its people and what supplies it has. This buying guide will cover all the necessary items to outfit your bar.

HOW TO SET UP THE PERFECT BRANDED BAR

When it comes to running a successful bar, speed is key. Your customers will be able to drink their drinks faster if your bartender is able to make and serve drinks quickly. For a faster service, equip your bartenders with the right equipment.

Speed Rails

Speed rails allow bartenders to grab a bottle quickly and pour a drink once it has been ordered. Speed rails (also called speed racks) are often filled with well liquors and are easily accessible from behind the bar. Bars that sell high-end spirits may have another rack beside them for popular and more expensive products.

Store & Pour Containers

You’ll often find store and pour containers stored in speed rails for easy access behind bars. For faster drinks, fill with mixers such as simple syrup, Bloody Mary Mix, lemon/lime Juice, and many other ingredients!

Cap Catchers

Cap catchers can be mounted on walls and speed rails back bars to prevent bottle caps from falling to the floor. Cap catchers make it easy to keep a professional bar looking without worrying about caps getting stuck in corners or other difficult-to-reach places.

Bar Mats

Bar mats are made with heavy-duty rubber and deep grooves to keep wet glasses from slipping. Bar mats are ideal for protecting surfaces and keeping spills contained. They can be purchased in tiles or in strips so that you can customize your bar.

BAR UTENSILS

Corkscrews

Equip staff members with corkscrews that are able to open bottles of wine quickly without damaging the cork or pushing it further into the bottle.

Bottle Opening

There’s a good chance that you will open at least one bottle of beer during an evening. You can quickly open and serve drinks by having a bottle opener at your fingertips.

Liquor Pourers

Liquor pourers serve two purposes: to streamline pouring and to control how much alcohol is being poured. Liquor pourers reduce spillage and splashes which can lead to a loss of money. You can also get portion-control pourers to control pours. They ensure that every ounce is poured, regardless of who is serving that day.

Bar Spoon

Mixologists use this long-handled spoon often due to its length. It can reach the bottom even of a highball glass. You can mix ingredients with ice as much or as little as you like. Make sure to have several spoons on hand for all occasions.

Muddlers

The muddler is a simple but essential tool for bartenders. Muddlers can be used as a pestle to “mash” ingredients. They are often used in cocktails such as mojitos to extract the oils and other flavors of herbs and fruit.

Cocktail Shaker

Cocktail shakers can be used to make most mixed drinks and cocktails. Mix ingredients and chill drinks simultaneously with shakers, making them the ideal companion for mixologists.

Jigger

Encourage bartenders use jiggers to ensure consistent drinks every time. Jiggers not only help bartenders maintain consistent beverages, no matter who makes them, but they also allow you to control the cost of your products.

Strainers

To separate solid ingredients, such as ice or herbs, while you shake the shaker, use a strainer. You should always have several bars strainers handy.

Bar knife

A bar knife is compact and strong and can be used for garnishing citrus, such as lemons or limes.

Channel knife/zester

Channel knives, also known by the name zester, are great for creating long ribbons from citrus peels that can be used as garnishes or aromatics.

Olive fork/ejector

You can keep it clean by having an ejector knife nearby so you can quickly grab the cherries, olives and other garnishes.

Garnish Centers

Garnish centers/caddy are a great way to add the finishing touch to any cocktail. These tiny organizers can be placed behind the bar and don’t take up much space. Garnish centers come in many attractive styles and finishes.

Glass Rimmers

A glass rimmer is a great tool to add salt and sugar to your margarita glasses. These reliable tools are simple to use and clean. All you have to do to make the perfect margarita is to give your glass a quick dip.

Floor Matts

Your employees can have serious health problems if they spend long nights on their feet. Your tiled floor can quickly become dangerous due to the hazards of mixing drinks, ice runs, and bottle washes. With durable floor mats underneath their feet, employees can avoid slips and potentially dangerous falls.

GLASSWARE

Barware that shines makes your first impression memorable. Find out which basic glasses you should have in your bar. You can find more information on specific wine, beer or cocktail glasses in our Restaurant Glassware Buyer Guide.

Wine Glasses

Customers who visit your bar expect wine to come in either a stemmed or unstemmened wine glass. There are many options for wine glasses. You can choose from champagne flutes, large-rimmed red wine glasses with wide-bowles, or white wine glasses with narrow sides. Our advice: Consider your storage options and what your bar’s specialties are. You won’t need as many wine glasses if your patrons prefer beer or mixed drinks.

Beer Glasses

Customers have become more picky about the brews they drink since craft beer became popular. While a traditional pint glass will do the job in most bars and restaurants, you can add a selection of tulip, Weizen, or pilsner glasses to increase the aromas and head, especially the fluffy heads that are found on wheat bears.

Cocktail Glasses

There are many options for cocktail glasses to enhance the flavors and aromas of your drink. We recommend that you add martini/cocktail glasses and shot glasses to any bar that serves liquors or mixed drinks. Some glasses, such as the rocks glass, can do double- or triple-duty. The rocks glass can be used to serve alcohol on the rocks or mixed drinks. Think about your menu and the glasses you prefer to use for drinks. The more glassware you reuse, the less space you will need.

BAR EQUIPMENT

You’re probably familiar with the basics of adding equipment to your bar. But what about food preparation options. Continue reading to find out more about the different equipment that you might want at your bar.

Ice machine

The ice machine is the most important piece of equipment that you will need for any bar. You’ll need ice to make all kinds of drinks, including mixed drinks and shaken cocktails. Tip For better tasting ice and drinks, make sure to bring your water filter.

Bar Blender

Blenders are great for mixing drinks such as margaritas. Be sure to consider noise level, horsepower and programmable options. This will ensure consistent drinks no matter who is using it. Our Commercial Blender Buyer Buying Guide has more information on blenders.

Dishwasher, and/or Washer

A lack of clean, available glassware is the biggest obstacle to a bar’s profitability. It’s easy to wash large quantities of glassware in a dishwasher. You might consider installing a small dishwasher inside the bar instead of using a barback to move glassware from one place to another. To avoid steamy “poof”, you can opt for a low-temperature model. A glasswasher can be an option if space, money, or personal preference don’t permit for a dishwasher. It can be used in any sink. This handy device is fast and efficient and will remove lipstick and other stains from glasses. To wash your glasses properly, make sure you use a proper three-compartment sink. Tip See our helpful infographic about the 3 Sink Basin.

Countertop Cooking Equipment

You don’t need a commercial kitchen to offer snacks or other menu items at your bar. However, you can add a few pieces of countertop equipment. Small panini grills, pizza ovens, convection ovens and other cooking equipment make it simple to prepare frozen pizzas, warm burritos, and many more. Customers get thirsty after they eat.

SERVING ESSENTIALS

You’re now covered behind the bar. But don’t forget the dining room! You’ll need the proper pitchers, plates, and other supplies to serve your guests.

Beverage Tubs & Pitchers

Some establishments, such as sports bars, may offer beer buckets to their customers. Beverage tubs and pitchers are great for large groups. A beverage tub can be used to showcase drink options and enhance the presentation of caterers at events or bars.

Cutlery Bin

You can spend a lot on flatware replacement alone, as it often ends up in the trash. To ensure you keep more of your investment, add cutlery bins on your bus carts. This will encourage employees to separate flatware from dishes before they are thrown away.

Appetizers

The right servingware can make your app presentation more appealing. French fry cones, baskets and other small plates are great for bar counters that have limited space. Tundra Restaurant Supply has thousands of serving baskets, boards, and ramekins to help you add creativity to your menu.