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August 28, 2018

The Ultimate Commercial Bar Equipment Checklist

The basis for much of your bar’s success depends on what type of commercial equipment and supplies you keep on hand. When it comes to serving customers as well as managing inventory and staff, you may not realize at first the variety of things you need to buy and stock on a daily basis. You can keep your bar’s doors open and make a nice profit at the end of each day by using this ultimate commercial bar equipment checklist.

The supplies and equipment you have on hand in your bar influences how successful your business will be each day.

Point-of-sale (POS) System

A lot of customers today do not carry cash with them. They instead prefer to pay for their drinks and meals with credit or debit cards. In fact, you may require customers have a credit or debit card to open a tab at the bar.

To accommodate them, you need a Point-of-sale or POS system. A POS system comes in useful because it allows you to pre-authorize credit or debit cards. It also lets you handle more complex matters like:

  • Charging for customized drink orders
  • Split or move checks
  • Manage daily drink or happy hour menu charges
  • Tabulate daily bar and sales reporting

The only time you might not need a POS system is if you insist on customers paying cash for their drinks and food. Otherwise, a POS system could help run a successful bar.

Security Cameras

You also may need to install security cameras or a surveillance system to keep your bar from losing money. This system can be invaluable if:

  • You are losing money each day and cannot figure out why
  • You suspect employees are stealing from you
  • You have customers regularly skipping out on checks
  • Regular fights break out in your bar
  • Your bar is the target of vandalism

A surveillance system can let you catch the culprits, recoup the money, and protect your bar’s reputation and profits.


What would a successful bar be without a variety of glassware on hand with which to serve customers. You have a variety of glassware from which to choose. However, the most popular types used in most bars today include:

  • Martini glasses
  • Highball or Collins glasses
  • Old-fashioned or rocks glasses
  • Margarita glasses
  • Champagne flutes
  • White and red wine glasses
  • Beer mugs
  • Irish whiskey glasses
  • Mint julep mugs
  • Cordial glasses

These are just a few of the glasses available to bar owners.

Bar Accessories

The accessories you keep on hand likewise will influence how easy it is to manage and run your bar. The accessories you might order and keep in stock range from bar towels and corkscrews to napkins, drink stirrers, coasters, and straws. Other accessories you can keep in your bar include ice tongs, a drink shaker, and a bottle opener.

Fruits and Vegetables

When it comes to running a successful bar, you may not think that fruits and vegetables have anything to do with it. In fact, they add color and flavor to your drink menu and are sometimes called for in the recipes your bar tending staff will use. Some of the fruits and vegetables to make sure you keep fresh and on hand include:

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Cherries
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Berries
  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Olives

Other ingredients to store in your bar’s fridge or pantry include chocolate, whipped cream and kosher salt.

How Can You Know What and When to Order Inventory?

As a bar owner or manager, how can you know what inventory to order and at what time? You can keep track of your inventory in a relatively straightforward manner. The plan also calls for you to enlist the help your bar tending and wait staff to account for ingredients, accessories, and other supplies they use during their shifts.

You can first create a spreadsheet with individual categories for the inventory you have on hand. As the supplies get used or added, you should change the numbers in the respective columns on the spreadsheet.

You should also collect sales and inventory data at the end of each tracking period. At that time, you will know, based on what your spreadsheet is telling you, what the costs are and how much inventory you need to order for the coming week or month.

The supplies and equipment you have on hand in your bar influences how successful your business will be each day. By investing in the right glassware, POS and security systems, accessories, and more, you can better serve your bar’s customers.

TAGS: bars, helpful tips, business, bartenders, management
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