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Opening a Bar 101

Creating efficiency behind the bar

Opening a new cocktail bar can be a challenging but very rewarding endeavor, and speaking from experience, Timo Janse, Owner at Flying Dutchman Cocktails, one of Time Out’s top ten bars in Amsterdam, shares advice on how to create efficiency behind the bar to help bar owners on their journey.

What are the hidden challenges of opening a bar?

Enthusiastic mixologists preparing to open a bar often dive straight into creating their signature menu, however, few consider the impact of poor bar layout planning.

Investing in storage and space

“When you’re opening a bar you need to create a welcoming space for your guests and keep their experience at the forefront of your design. New bar owners need to pragmatically consider how bartenders will work and strategically maximise the space behind the bar.” Timo Janse, Owner at Flying Dutchman Cocktails and Hoshizaki ambassador.

To ensure smooth service, Timo also suggests, “all glassware and equipment should be within arms reach behind the bar. Your ice machine should be as close to your station as possible, as it’s your most time-sensitive ingredient and there is no substitute for ice during busy service.

Another common oversight is selecting the right size ice machine for your establishment. Timo points out, “your ice machine needs to be big enough to serve the maximum bar capacity for two hours with ease.”

Maintaining waste management

Thinking logistically with a bar’s maximum capacity in mind, Timo stresses, “your waste bin needs enough capacity to hold a full day’s amount of rubbish. Bartenders shouldn’t have to empty the waste bin during service and guests should never see the trash being removed.”

Creating a space for comfort

Keeping the customer in mind, bar owners need to consider the complementary services and comforts customers have grown accustomed to, such as strategically placed USB charging points. Small details that put the customer experience at the forefront will ultimately help the bar succeed.

Smart storage solutions for small bar spaces

Bar owners need to consider what their fully stocked bar will look like and how it will function.

Bar owners need to identify what style of glasses their bar will use, as confirming these details at an early stage allows planners to create smart storage solutions which will help maximise vital bar space and improve the speed of service.

Ice machines for small spaces

Serving drinks at the perfect temperature is a must for any bar – which is why investing in high-quality ice machines and refrigerators needs to be a top priority for bar owners.

The vast majority of cocktail bars have limited space behind the bar. To remedy this Hoshizaki developed energy-efficient compact under-counter ice machines and refrigerators to create more bar space without sacrificing quality.

Hygiene solutions for behind the bar

Complying with health and safety requirements is critical for the food & beverage industry and all Hoshizaki machines are HACCP certified to help bar owners maintain these standards. Hoshizaki ice machines use a magnetic water pump that prevents leakage from the water circuit and the closed water circuit provides maximum protection against any type of contamination during the ice-making process. These solutions create precise shapes that are extremely compact and consistently identical.

Regular cleaning will help maintain the performance of your ice machine and refrigerator. To ensure high hygiene standards are maintained Hoshizaki created a cleaning guide to help bar owners keep their machines in the best condition.

Maintaining your machinery is a core component of bar management, as machine downtime can have costly knock-on effects to your order of service such as missed opportunities to upsell or unscheduled closures.

The benefits of proper preparation

Providing great service is the backbone of any successful bar. New bar owners can focus their attention and efforts on providing excellent customer service if they have a well-structured bar and reliable machinery.

A well-organised bar will give owners more opportunities to focus on cocktail creations, accurate pricing and other activities that will help them execute their concept smoothly.

Hoshizaki is dedicated to supporting bar owners across the globe – to learn more about new technologies and time-saving equipment, visit the contact us page to connect with a regional consultant.