What Equipment Do I Need To Set Up A Commercial Bar

Setting up a commercial bar requires more than just a few bottles of alcohol and some bar stools. It requires careful planning, organization, and investment in various equipment and supplies. Whether you’re opening a bar for the first time or looking to update your existing setup, knowing what equipment you need is essential to creating a successful and efficient operation.

In this article, we will explore the essential equipment needed to set up a commercial bar. From the bar itself to glassware and accessories, refrigeration and storage, point of sale systems, and cleaning and maintenance supplies, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you make informed decisions and create a thriving bar that caters to your customers’ needs.

So, whether you’re a seasoned bar owner or a newbie looking to break into the industry, read on to discover what equipment you need to set up a commercial bar.

The Bar Itself

The central feature of a bar, which serves as the primary point of contact between bartenders and customers, is a long, flat surface typically made of wood or metal.

Bar design and layout play a crucial role in creating a welcoming and functional atmosphere. A well-designed bar should provide ample space for bartenders to work while still allowing customers to comfortably sit and enjoy their drinks. The layout should also promote efficient movement of staff and guests, with designated areas for tasks such as serving, mixing, and cleaning.

Other essential components of the bar include storage space for bottles, glasses, and other barware, as well as refrigeration units for storing perishable ingredients.

Overall, a thoughtfully designed and equipped bar can enhance the customer experience and increase the efficiency of the staff.

Glassware and Accessories

In a commercial bar, the types of glassware used can greatly affect the overall experience of the customer.

Different drinks require different types of glasses, such as a martini glass for a martini or a pint glass for a beer.

In addition to glassware, essential accessories like shakers, strainers, and jiggers are necessary to create quality cocktails efficiently.

Types of Glassware

Glassware selection plays a crucial role in enhancing the drinking experience and presentation of beverages within a professional bar setting. Choosing the right glassware can help to elevate the taste, aroma, and overall appeal of the drink.

There are various types of glassware available in the market, such as wine glasses, champagne flutes, beer mugs, shot glasses, and others. Each type of glass has its unique shape and size that is designed to suit specific beverages. For instance, wine glasses come in different shapes, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, and white wine glasses, that are suitable for different wine types.

Additionally, it’s essential to consider glassware storage, as this can affect the quality and lifespan of the glassware. In terms of purchasing budget, it’s recommended to invest in durable and high-quality glassware that can withstand frequent use and washing, rather than opting for cheaper options that may break easily and require frequent replacement.

Overall, selecting the right glassware is a crucial aspect of setting up a commercial bar that can significantly contribute to the success and customer satisfaction of the establishment.

Essential Accessories (shakers, strainers, jiggers, etc.)

Professional bartenders require a variety of essential accessories, including shakers, strainers, jiggers, and other tools that can enhance the quality and presentation of cocktails and other mixed beverages.

Bar tool recommendations vary depending on the specific needs of the establishment, but it is important to invest in high-quality accessories that can withstand the demands of a busy commercial bar.

Shakers are essential for mixing ingredients and creating a consistent texture and flavor profile, while strainers are necessary for removing ice and other unwanted elements.

Jiggers are used for precise measurements to ensure consistency in every drink, and other tools such as muddlers, spoons, and citrus zesters can add unique flavors and aromas to cocktails.

By investing in quality accessories, bartenders can improve their skills and provide guests with an unforgettable experience.

Refrigeration and Storage

Effective management of perishable goods in a commercial bar requires the installation of appropriate refrigeration and storage systems to ensure that the quality and safety of products are maintained.

Commercial bar refrigeration comes in different types, including reach-in refrigerators, under-counter refrigerators, and walk-in coolers. The choice of refrigeration system depends on the bar’s size, storage needs, and budget.

Proper maintenance of the refrigeration system is essential to ensure they function optimally and prevent breakdowns that could lead to loss of stock.

Maximizing storage space in a commercial bar is crucial to ensure that the bar can handle peak demand periods. Bar owners can install shelving, cabinets, and racks to maximize space vertically and horizontally.

Additionally, implementing an inventory management system can help bar managers keep track of stock levels and prevent overstocking or understocking.

Overall, investing in proper refrigeration and storage systems can help commercial bars operate efficiently, reduce waste, and increase profits.

Point of Sale System

Implementing a Point of Sale (POS) system is a necessary component of efficient bar operations, as it helps bar managers to streamline transactions, track inventory, and generate reports that can be used to make informed business decisions.

POS systems can be integrated with other equipment, such as cash drawers, printers, and scanners, to create a seamless experience for both customers and employees.

The customization possibilities of POS systems are endless, allowing for tailored menus, special promotions, and customer loyalty programs.

In addition, POS systems can help prevent theft and fraud, as they track every transaction and can identify discrepancies.

With the ability to generate reports on sales, inventory, and labor costs, bar managers can make informed decisions about pricing, ordering, and staffing.

Overall, implementing a POS system can greatly improve the efficiency and profitability of a commercial bar.

Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies

Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment in a bar is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction and preventing the spread of infectious diseases, which can be achieved through the use of appropriate cleaning and maintenance supplies.

Establishing a cleaning schedule is essential to keep the bar area and equipment free from dirt, dust, and grime. It is also important to ensure that the cleaning supplies are always in stock by implementing inventory management techniques.

The cleaning supplies required for a commercial bar include a variety of chemicals, such as sanitizers, degreasers, and detergents, as well as cleaning tools like mops, cloths, and scrub brushes. Additionally, the maintenance of bar equipment, such as ice machines, refrigerators, and glassware, is crucial for the efficient running of the bar and can be achieved by using specialized cleaning products.

Therefore, providing a clean and well-maintained bar is a significant aspect of any bar’s success, and regular cleaning and maintenance should never be overlooked.


In conclusion, setting up a commercial bar requires careful planning and investment in quality equipment. A well-designed bar itself is essential, as it sets the tone for the establishment and allows for efficient service.

Proper glassware and accessories are also necessary to serve drinks effectively and maximize customer satisfaction. Refrigeration and storage are crucial for maintaining the quality of ingredients and ensuring freshness.

A reliable point of sale system helps streamline operations and track sales. Finally, the importance of cleaning and maintenance supplies cannot be overstated, as they are crucial for maintaining a hygienic and safe environment.

With the right equipment and attention to detail, a successful and profitable bar can be established.

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