Without adequate equipment a bar cannot serve drinks efficiently, to a good quality, or perhaps at all. Bar setups range wildly in each establishment depending an array of conditions such as the bar’s angle, size, stock, staff, menu, glassware, equipment, appliances, and even what time of day it is; so no two bar setups are ever the same. However the main dogma behind the format of every setup is usually about optimizing the work space and ensuring good speed and quality of service. This section will take you step by step through the standard, intermediate and advanced equipment bartenders require to meet demands depending on their nature.
Each type of bar has its own specific needs and specialties. A brew pub mostly serves its own beer. The main equipment at a brew pub would be drinking glasses. Specialty bars that serve a variety of alcoholic drinks would require more specialized equipment such as jiggers, strainers, shakers, and muddlers.
Beer and Lager Bars
Many taphouses and brew pubs are devoted to the mass consumption of beer, where variety is not necessarily the focus as much as large quantities of a handful of quality products. It is not uncommon for such establishments to be tied to a single brewery thus restricting their products to one source. Understandably, bartenders will be required to carry a few sturdy items to cope with this unilateral demand; namely a Bottle Opener.
Primarily considering the focus of the establishment on food, it is understandable that the bar be limited to convenient beverages so as to keep up with the service of food. However this is not always the case. Many modern restaurants have taken to shifting their unique selling point to their bars as opposed to their cuisine. In which cases a bartender would require much more than the following equipment examples. It is usually the standard for a restaurant bar to have a selection of spirits, liqueurs and wines to accompany the diners’ eating experience; thus standard equipment such as a Jigger and a Waiter’s Friend would be required for an efficient service.
Pubs and Bars
The most common drinking establishment type worldwide must be sure to equip it’s bartenders well for a variety of reasons. Generic bars must be prepared to meet demands of seasonal events as well as economize in times of little business to be successful. These bar setups can vary depending on the time of day, week and month of the year. With the emphasis being primarily on alcohol, bars offer a wider variety of beverages to the public which in turn may require a wider variety of glassware. Ice Wells are imperative in bars and pubs today as approximately 50% of their available beverages are served with ice.
Clubs tend to have a broader selection of spirits available to the public which allows for an exponential increase in the number of drinks available. Again this may not always be the case. Massive demand through the late hours can also lead to a requirement for more efficient waste disposal and glass washing systems in order to maintain good service. Depending on the nature of the establishment, cocktails may or may not be available to order. However the addition of cocktails to any establishment’s menu introduces whole sets of equipment to bartenders which must be used and maintained respectively.
In the modern day, the public has somewhat lost it’s taste for stronger spirits in favor of other beverages which lead to a decline in clientele to such establishments as Vodka and Rum bars in the western world. To re-excite the interest of the public many of these spirit bars have now turned to incorporating cocktails into their menus using the already stocked quality ingredients. With an infinite list of possible combinations of ingredients in most cocktail bars, there is a requirement for much more advanced equipment to either fulfill or complete a recipe. Shakers, Strainers, Bar Spoons, Bar Knives, Muddlers and Juicers are all examples of additional equipment used in these establishments. Certain recipes require certain equipment by the requirement of copyright law (see Dark And Stormy). Each new cocktail could require a new glass or a new piece of equipment not before used in the establishment and thus bartending staff must be adequately trained prior to their debut.