Top 10 Back Bar Design Ideas

Back bar design ideas are vital to the efficiency of your bar whether you own a small hole-in-the-wall style dive or a large dance club. Making effective use of your back bar space is vital to properly managing your establishment, increasing your worker’s productivity and maximizing the earning potential of your business. Having a well-organized back bar not only minimizes waste, but also opens up new options for you as a business owner.

Here is a list of the top ways that you can improve the efficiency of your back bar:

  1. Use Overhead Glass Rack: An overhead glass rack is one of the best choices you can make when it comes to maximizing your back bar space. An overhead glass rack both saves you counter space in the back bar and decreases the number of breakages—especially when it comes to fragile Wine Glasses.
  2. Choose Proper Equipment: From beneath bar Kegerator to back bar coolers, both which equipment you choose to have and their sizes make a big difference in terms of space use. You always want to be sure to choose equipment which does not stick out and does not get in the way of your bartenders (don’t forget to leave room for bartenders’ feet—uncomfortable bartenders don’t provide good service for long). Remember to get coolers with sliding doors so bartenders don’t trip.
  3. Don’t Use the Bar as a Storage Area: If you have the choice, keep all extra liquor and ingredients out of the back bar and in a storage room. Although this may not be possible this is a big help for most bars. Not using your back bar as a storage room, allows you to have smaller back bar coolers and gives you a number of better options as far as back bar design ideas. Bartenders should have individual speed racks with all their main ingredients and keep only what they need for the shift in small beneath bar refrigerators.
  4. Use Multiple Cash Registers: Here is a big time saver—two Cash Registers —one at each end of the bar, so that bartenders do not have cross past each other to make change.
  5. Create Bartender Stations: Bartender Stations are vital both to efficiency and for inventory and quality control. Creating individual stations for bartenders keeps bartenders from waiting on each other and from having to look for items the other bartender may have swiped. In addition, if you want to make sure all your bartenders are pouring exactly the same proportions, having stations for each makes this much easier to monitor.
  6. Let Servers Handle the Easy Orders: Along similar lines, let waitresses and runners poor the beers and/or the wine glasses and let the bartenders make the real drinks—the ones that actually allow them to use their bartending skills. If it only has one ingredient, then you probably don’t need a trained professional to mix it.
  7. Photo Courtesy of JD Harvill (via Flickr)

  8. Use the Under Bar Space Properly: Make sure that the underbar space is used correctly. Don’t place mixing boards above the ice maker. Don’t put back bar refrigerator right beneath the cash register or in under a bartender station that is always being used. Think through the motions of your workers and try to limit the amount of interference in your back bar.
  9. Use Runners: If you have a particularly busy bar, makes sure that you use runners to lend your bartenders support emptying trash bins, replenishing ingredients, doing quick spot cleans and all the things that take your bartender away from his or her primary duties—making drinks.

Following these guidelines will help you to make your back bar runs smoothly, increase your profits and improve the happiness of your bartenders, minimizing turnover at that key position.

Filed Under: Bar / Nightclub Design


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  1. Katong says:

    i’m living in a rural location and that’s where my bar is located,so what bar desing can I make on it?

  2. says:

    It is up to you. Do you want to be a regular rural bar with old fashioned bar design? Or you want to be the one to bring the trendy city design to your rural area?
    The later is a boldly move that can be a complete failure or a huge success.
    Need to ask yourself what kind of person are you? The rules breaking innovative person or the stick to the main flow and succeed with it?

  3. Michael Blade says:

    I am building a very High end Jazz club in Florida, in the concept stages right now, is there anyone that I can consults with on this from ground Zero, I already have the designer, contruction, and the local mermits to get started….?

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