Just like you need to refill the soap dispenser and the toilet paper in the bathrooms, you will also need to replenish the straws and other countertop disposables for your bar. This will be a recurring fee, so you will need to budget it and keep track of it. But straws and other counter top disposables are not just an aesthetic frill, they are also tools that can help in mixing drinks and organizing them. Luckily, these straws and stir sticks are cheap.
Straws: Straws are generally a necessity. You might be able to get away with having a bar without straws if you are only going to serve beers or are strictly a wine bar, but the moment you add sodas or any type of mixed drink, you have to have straws as well.
You can divide straws into at least two types, drinking straws and stir straws/stir sticks. The normal sized straws, drinking straws, are used for sodas or other thick beverages. The restaurant variety of drinking straws tend to have thicker bores so that customers will drink from them at faster rates and order more. (Thus, increasing sales.)
In bars, the thinner straws, stir straws, are far more common.
Straws as tools: Stir straws can also be a good manner of keeping things organized. If you have multiple mixed drinks that you serve in similar glasses and that are otherwise indistinguishable from one another, color coding them with a stir stick or straws can be a way to keep the drinks straight.
Napkins: You will also want to have napkins handy at the bar. You don’t necessarily need to have them in napkin dispensers on the counter top, but your bartenders should have easy access to them so they can provide them when handing out drinks. Customers expect them.
Coasters: Coasters are also a good idea, as they help keep the counter top dry and stain free. In addition, you can get coasters with fun logos or with trivia written on the back.
Optional DisposablesMartini Picks: If you are going to serve martinis or any drinks that take the kind of garnishes that martinis do, you will need to get martini picks. A martini pick can also double as a drink stirrer in a pinch, though they really should be dedicated to martinis.
Cocktail Umbrellas: You may remember Tom Cruise’s famous little talk about getting rich making cocktail umbrellas in the classic 80’s flick, Cocktail. The 80’s was definitely the height of the cocktail umbrella. They are still around however, and can be used to add a bit of a classic touch to drinks or as a part of your bar theme if you have an 80’s bar, tropical theme or are just going for kitsch in your hipster hang-out.
Napkin/Straw Caddies: Even if you don’t intend on setting them out for the customers, it is a good idea to have napkin/straw caddies to keep your napkins and straws organized for you bartenders.
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