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How to Plan A Bar - The Servaclean Way

The team at Servaclean are masters at making the most of behind-the-bar space in both fixed and mobile bars. This article will show you some of the key points from our bar planning checklist.


Consider whether glasses will be washed in the bar counter or somewhere else. Will you use a cabinet machine or a twin bowl sink for a manual wash & rinse method. Glasswashing needs more than just the machine: you require a sink for ‘slops’, somewhere to set down and somewhere else to drain glasses. You may need a secondary glasswash in case your machine breaks down – a second machine or a twin bowl sink. Also, handwashing is essential to meet health and safety requirements so you must have soap and hand-drying facilities accessible close by.

Glass Storage and Serving

Ensure that you have enough glasses to serve all your customers at your busiest trading time – the times you make most of your profit! Choose the best method of glass storage (either on shelves or in glasswasher baskets) to suit your particular operation. Remember that correct storage is just as important as efficient washing if you want to serve a clean glass every time.

Cash Tills

How many cash points will you need, and will they be in the counter or on the backfitting? Make sure you take into account the operating height of key pad and cash drawer – can you adjust the height if the till type is changed later? Also consider a receipt printer, card swipe machine and cash float security.

Bottle Cooling and Display

Make sure you balance bottle storage capacity with other products on tap. There’s a huge selection of chiller cabinets to choose from – left or right hinged door, sliding door, see-through, pass-through, etc – so choose what’s best for your operation. Position power points to be easily accessible for service without moving cabinets.

Empties Disposal

Do you use disposable or returnable bottles or both? And how will you separate them? When considering the position of your bottle skips or crates remember to make sure the contents are not in the customer’s view.

Drinks Mixing & Cocktails

You will require insulated and hygienic storage for ice and fruit slices, conveniently located mixer and liquor bottles, rinsing facilities for shakers and blender cups, counter storage for condiments and accessories and, perhaps, controlled storage for reserve liquors and spirits. Ice is probably your most profitable drink so choose a machine large enough – remembering that it needs water supply and drainage facility - and try to locate it away from the servery. Some ice machines are noisy and they all emit a lot of warm air.

Coffee and Tea

Choose a coffee machine carefully and position it for best effect in customer’s view and for convenience of serving. A water treatment unit is normally required, plus fridge space for milk or cream, a coffee grinder and grounds knock-out drawer for espresso machines and a water boiler plus tea pot storage for volume tea sales. You’ll also need a work surface with storage for sugar packs, crockery, cutlery, etc.

Draught Beers & Soft Drinks

Position these to face customers approaching the bar and choose dispensers which provide convenient operating heights. Avoid obstructing under-bar work space with dispenser clamps and drip trays and allow space to serve drinks between or around dispenser positions. Remember that good ventilation is essential for beer line cooling whether in a cellar or under the counter.

Counter Design

Your counter height must suit the style of operation and under-counter equipment to be accommodated. Location of mains services and beer line connections is very important, as is access to under-bar service ducts from the server’s side of bar to facilitate emergency maintenance without disturbing customers on the other side.

To design the ideal bar servery for your operation call Servaclean Bar Systems on 01274 390038 or visit

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