How much does bar equipment cost to build a bar?
Discover the equipment needed to build a bar and the cost of equipment for a typical bar cocktail station.
HOW MUCH DOES BAR EQUIPMENT COST TO BUILD A BAR?
The world of bar equipment can be overwhelming to the average person. If you’ve ever looked behind a bar and studied the equipment (I do this all the time!), you’ll notice that the possible configurations seem nearly limitless. Of course, there are many reasons for the equipment people select for their bars, and some of these reasons don’t make much sense — which leads to bartender inefficiency and lost profits. However, even among experts, there is often more than one solution for a given bar design. At the core of the equipment decision-making process is the concept of ergonomic bar design (which I discuss in another Vlog post, referenced below).
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A PRICE LIST OF THE COMMONLY SPECIFIED EQUPMENT IN BAR DESIGN
For the sake of this discussion, I want to address the most common equipment used in commercial bar design, which is as follows and shown in the accompanying pictures (refer to the video above):
- Dump sinks, used for discarding residue from used drink glasses.
- Hand sinks, used for hand-washing.
NOTE: Some health departments require more than one hand sink.
- 3-bin sinks, most typically used for washing bar glassware.
- Glass washers, which consists of various types, used in lieu of 3-bin sinks.
NOTE: While some health departments require 3-bin sinks, there is an effective “work-around” where you can use a more highly-desired and efficient glass washer and still be in compliance, described in an earlier post, referenced below.
- Drainboards, which are used as a staging area for freshly-washed glasses.
- Soda guns, used for dispensing soda during drink preparation.
- Ice bins, which hold ice and generally include a cold plate for accommodating multiple soda lines for cold drink preparation.
- Speed rails, which are optional stainless steel racks used to hold mixers, well liquor and an owner’s top-selling premium liquor, and typically attached to the front of drainboards, ice bins and 3-bin sinks; for further discussion, please see the post referenced below.l
- Blender stations, where drinks are blended, such as frozen drinks.
- POS (point-of-sale) podiums, custom-designed for maximum bartender efficiency.
- Back bar coolers, used for storing beer and wine.
- Slide-top coolers, which can be placed under the bar or back bar.
- Hand sinks, for hand-washing.
NOTE: Health departments forbid hand-washing in 3-bin sinks. Also note that some health departments require more than one hand sink.
• Waste baskets, which are often under-estimated and every bar needs plenty of.
• Ice machines, which are typically stored back-of-the-house; ice bins are often sold as an accessory.
HOW MUCH DOES BAR EQUIPMENT COST?
Depending on sizes, features and make, there can be a great disparity in bar equipment pricing. The big names in stainless bar equipment are Glastender, Perlick, Krowne Metal and True Mfg. For underbar and backbar equipment, I am most familiar with Glastender pricing, as it’s the brand I like best. The following are the average retail prices for the most commonly specified equipment in commercial bar design:
|SAMPLE BAR EQUIPMENT PRICING|
|Item||Description||Price Ea.||Cut Sheets|
|1.||12” x 19” dump sink, Glastender SWA-12||$ 600||Download|
|2.||12” x 19” hand sink, Glastender HSA-12||600||Download|
|3.||3-bin sink, 84” x 19” w/2 drainboards, Glastender FSA-84-S||1,625||Download|
|4.||Glass washer (automatic), rack-mount, Glastender GT18||3,730||Download|
|5.||Glass washer (automatic), rotary, Moyer Diebel DF||6,200||Download|
|6.||Drainboard, 24” x 19”, Glastender DBA-24||400||Download|
|7.||Soda gun, 10-button, w/holder, 4″ x 24, Glastender SHB-4||270||Download|
|8.||Ice bin combo cocktail station w/10-circuit cold plate, 36” x 19”, Glastender CBA-36R-CP10||1,800||Download|
|9.||Speed rail (single), 36”, Glastender SSR-36||100||Download|
|10.||Blender station w/drainboard, 12” x 24”, Glastender DBSA-24||380||Download|
|11.||POSstation, 24” x 24” x 36” custom-built, laminate||800||CUSTOM|
|12.||Backbar cooler, 60” x 24”, stainless w/glass doors (shown above), Glastender BB60||2,600||Download|
|13.||Slide-top cooler, 48” x 24”, black clad, stainless interior, Glastender ST48-B||2,180||Download|
|14.||Waste basket,11” x 20” x 30”, Rubbermaid “Slim Jim” S-9971||45||Download|
|15.||Ice machine, 500# capacity, Hoshizaki IM-500SAA||3,640||Download|
|16.||Ice machine ice bin, Hoshizaki B-700SF||1,100||Download|
To put all this into perspective, let’s say you want to price a single station of underbar equipment. To accomplish this, you’ll need a dump sink, hand sink, 3-bin sink with speed rail, drainboard w/speed rail, soda gun, ice bin w/speed rail, blender station, and POS station, which totals to about $6,075. You’ll have to add for draft beer and beer coolers if necessary. Draft beer systems is a subject unto istelf which requires much discussion and many decisions. I cover draft beer systems in a separate Vlog, listed below. The above price list is also available for download below.
My favorite glass chiller: https://amzn.to/2Uuotjk
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How Much Do Draft Beer Systems Cost?
THE WORST THING THAT CAN HURT YOUR BAR BUSINESS: FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ADA REQUIREMENTS
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, also known as ‘ADA,’ has found its way into bar design. Bars are now required to accommodate a space 36” in length for one patron to sit at every bar. There are effective ways to design a bar so it is in compliance, but they are beyond the scope of this discussion. The frightening thing going on recently are what is known as “Drive-By ADA Lawsuits,” where bar owners everywhere are mercilessly thrown under the bus, irrespective of “Grandfather” status! I’ve written about the importance of ADA compliance. This is a must-read!
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Seven Questions Commonly Asked About Bar Design 101:
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