Draft Beer Towers – What’s the Best Location?

Cabaret Design Group

What is the best location for draft beer towers – the front bar or back bar? Learn how ergonomics affects efficiency and maximum profits.

BEST DRAFT BEER TOWER LOCATION – FRONT BAR OR BACK BAR?

Photo of bar with the draft beer tower on the front bar

PHOTO OF BAR WITH DRAFT BEER TOWER ON THE FRONT BAR

Just as with the POS terminal, draft beer should logically be set-up along the front bar. In addition to the inherent efficiency of this approach, setting draft beer along the front bar frees-up greater liquor display and access, as seen in the above photo. It’s amazing how many people don’t understand the value of this concept. Folks, draft beer towers along the front bar is a very common practice, however, patrons hate sitting in front of them. What are the alternatives and what does best practice dictate?

THE MERITS OF DISPENSING FROM THE BACK BAR

Photo of Bar with Dual-Service Draft Beer Tower on Island Back Bar
PHOTO OF BAR WITH DUAL-SERVICE DRAFT BEER TOWER ON ISLAND BACK BAR
  • Draft beer towers on the front bar are easy to accommodate, as they only require minor modifications to the bar top. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is having a drainboard below the tower. However, if you don’t already own a long-draw draft beer system, there are costs and considerations which go significantly beyond the tower itself and this is discussed in one of our videos (refer below).

  • On the surface, towers located on the back bar seems to be the least-practical approach of all. Consider the example shown here. As you can see, this back bar has two liquor displays and shelving above, in each of two locations. Back bars are intended to display your most expensive liquor, so you can maximize liquor sales; they’re part of the bar owner’s in-house marketing program.

  • If the back bar is your preferred location, then make sure the tower you select doesn’t block the bartender’s ability to reach lower-level premium liquor so as to maintain the effectiveness of the liquor display. Let’s remember that mixed drinks generate up to twice the profit of draft beer, according to my good friend and industry expert, Chuck Deibel, from his column “Last Call” in the Ohio Beverage Monthly, as written in my blog post “What Are The Most Profitable Drinks?. While back bar placement of towers is the customer-friendly approach, how do you maximize bartender efficiency?

WHAT’S THE BEST COMPROMISE?

Photo of undercounter-mount beer dispenser and short faucet handles
PHOTO OF UNDERCOUNTER-MOUNT BEER DISPENSER WITH SHORT FAUCET HANDLES FOR A CLEANER LOOK (LONGER HANDLES CAN ALWAYS BE USED)

Let’s face it – the customer experience should always be the number one goal of every bar owner. Therefore, draft beer tower location on the back bar is the most customer-friendly solution. Given all the above, how can bar owners increase bartender efficiency? The little-known undercounter-mount (UCM) beer dispenser is the perfect answer. Shown in the above photo, this is a fantastic solution for bartenders who service wait staff orders. The UCM can be placed anywhere along the front bar and can even eliminate draft beer towers on the back bar. For you neat-freaks out there, the UCM dispenser using short faucet handles will keep the bar top unobstructed.

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