Opening a bar is no easy task, and if your aim is to be a favourite spot among locals and tourists, then it is important you get the design right. Customers choose their best bars because of a number of different factors such as the friendliness of bar staff and selection of drinks. However, one of the most important aspects of any bar that is often overlooked is the overall energy and vibe of the place, and this is all created through well thought out bar design.
If you’ve got a large space and a team of bartenders to serve up some delicious drinks to the public, then you need to carefully consider the bar’s overall layout and design. It is often worth consulting a bar designer or bar fitting expert for some knowledge and advice on how best to plan your space profitably and functionally. This mini guide covers some basic ideas and tips on how to design a successful bar.
Every building and property will have its own space constraints for your bar, and it is essential you design around these. Assess the measurements of your space and create a blueprint for you and your bar designer to work on. Do some research to find the average size of bar stools, cabinets and other equipment that you will need to begin planning how and where you can fit everything in.
We recommend you leave about 3 feet in width between the space where your customers will be served to where the drinks are displayed. This gives customers enough space to see your entire offering and gives bartenders the space to retrieve the bottles and make the drinks.
It can be tempting to choose materials like stainless steel that are durable and super easy to keep clean, but you should also be thinking about the overall look and vibe of the place. These materials are great for behind the scenes and in kitchen areas that customers will never see, but for front of house you need something that stands out and makes an impact on your customers.
Consider a statement bar counter made of marble, wood or steel that will create the kind of feel and ambience you want for your bar.
As we’ve just mentioned, it is vital to create a good energy in your bar by using materials that suit your style. However, when you or your bar designer are planning this, you need to consider the practicalities of the materials you choose.
Many materials used for bar tops will have a bit of give in them, which can cause problems. This is a common issue with stone tops, which can look amazing in the right setting, but they can be prone to cracking easily. Metal tops such as brass or metal can look great but require regular maintenance to keep them in a good condition.
When it comes to positioning your offerings for the best possible sales and also ease of the staff, you should carefully consider the location of each product. Drink purchases can be split into three distinct categories: Impulse, speciality and demand.
Your speciality products, such as exclusive or unique brands, should be position in the hot spots and high visibility areas where your customers can easily see them and be tempted to give them a try.
Impulse buys include limited edition products or new brands that you’ve never stocked before; these should also be positioned in view of the customer.
The demand items are your regular stock that your customers will know you’ve got without even seeing them. These are likely to be your most popular drinks, so make sure they are within easy reach of your bartenders but don’t worry about getting them in your customer’s eye line.
If bartenders do not have adequate space and equipment to work efficiently, it will have a huge negative impact on your bar. Poor bar design and use of space can actually make a difference to your overall revenue if your staff aren’t able to work to the best of their abilities. Make sure your bar space has plenty of room for the number of bartenders you expect to have on a busy shift, and that they all have the space to move freely and get the drinks they need quickly and easily. Consider adding multiple tills as having bartenders sharing terminals can result in customers having to wait around to pay for their drinks.