What are the 7 biggest problems with designing a bar? For many, bar design is a very frustrating experience. Today I’ll address the 7 biggest problems with planning commercial bar plans and layouts, dimensions, equipment, finishes and costs.
DESIGNING A BAR – 7 BIGGEST PROBLEMS
Let’s face it, planning a commercial bar is frustrating and time-consuming. To make things easier, let’s talk about the most fundamental planning issues of bar design:
1. PLANNING FOR AREA AND CAPACITY
What’s the best shape for a bar and how many patrons are you intending to serve?
Here are a few examples:
1. 2-STATION SHOTGUN BAR
This bar design is becoming less popular. The bar shown in this example seats eight is nearly twenty four foot long and requires 260 square foot of floor space.
2). 2-STATION L-SHAPED BAR
This bar is more compact and therefore more flexible to buildings with limited space this bar seat six is about 18 feet long and requires 180 square feet of floor space;
3). 3-4 STATION ISLAND BAR
This is the most popular bar design, as it enables patrons to interact with people on all sides. This bar is approximately 485 sq.ft. and will accommodate 28 seats.
PLANNING FOR EFFICIENCY
In terms of seating efficiency, the shotgun bar and L-shaped bar require the largest area of at least 30 square feet per patron. The island bar is the most efficient at only 17 square feet per patron. This chart summarizes all the above.
2. HOW TO FIT A BAR TO A GIVEN SPACE
It can be challenging to fit a bar within the physical space with all proper clearances. Remember that empty space often appears larger than it really is and careful planning is required.
3. PLANNING SEATING AND TABLES
This is a further refinement of the previous point, which addresses all seating, including tables. Architectural standards need to be applied that take into account human dimension and interior spaces, including server aisles, ADA, customer activity zones, circulation zones and clear access zones between tables. Using these standards were generally put you in good shape with the occupant loads as stipulated by IBC for Assembly Group A-2.
4. HOW TO DESIGN BAR EQUIPMENT FOR ERGONOMIC EFFICIENCY
Bars are factories which make drinks, so what are the necessary provisions for maximizing ergonomic efficiency and owner profits, while reducing work comp claims?
5. DESIGNING BAR FINISHES
Once the bar layout has been determined, there are a myriad of options for creating the finish. The following is a top 7 list of commercial bar finishing options:
- Ceiling treatments
- Wall coverings
- Architectural lighting
- Bar tops
- Bar cladding
- Foot rails
The following is an expanded version of that list, with all the finishing options. Bar owners need to invest in design in order to retain their customers.
6. HOW TO DESIGN A DRAFT BEER SYSTEM
Nearly every commercial bar client we have wants to get in on selling craft beer, but the choices for equipment are numerous and this requires careful planning.
7. HOW MUCH DO BARS COST? (BUDGETING)
For most, this ranks as the most critical aspect of bar planning, but in order to make the budget work, one needs command of the above. One of the largest line items in bar planning is the equipment. Every bar needs a myriad of bar equipment, such as dump sinks, hand sinks, 3-bin sinks, glass washers, drainboards, soda gun holders, ice bins, combination ice bins, speedrails, blender stations, POS stations, coolers, waste baskets, ice machines….the list goes on and on. Some companies, such ‘Easy Ice’ and ‘Ecolab’, help you alleviate the cost of capital outlay, by offering subscriptions.
Here’s a copy of our ‘Bar Equipment Price List’ for your reference. A clickable version is listed below.
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