Operators are continually looking for ways to maximise sales and profitability, be that through their range, unique offerings or by latching on to the latest trends. They are also increasingly looking at effective use of space, in the kitchen, in public areas and, crucially, in and around their bars.
Getting the layout of a bar right is critical to both customers and staff alike. With customers, being able to see what’s on offer – especially if that view shouts quality – can make a big difference to their perceptions of that business. And with staff, having easy to use and efficient equipment adds to employee satisfaction and creates time for customer engagement. So, if you’re looking at your operation, what gear should you have in mind? Here are Take Stock’s top five must-haves…
The right icemaker for your outlet is vital. It’ll save you money and time, and make perfect presentation of your drinks offer easier. Don’t forget, ice comes in different formats. For blended drinks you might need crushed ice. While, for drinks in the rocks, nothing beats a gourmet ice cube or super cube, as they melt slowly and look great in the glass.
Juicers, blenders and drinks mixers enable operators to offer a wider range of fresh juices and smoothies. As well as producing perfect drinks, blenders can be used to speed up preparation and can create a real spectacle behind the bar. However, according to Mark Hogan, marketing and sales manager of Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM) it’s vital you do your research before buying. “Look for beverage equipment that’s easy-to-use, for example, pre-programmable blenders which will reduce the requirements for staff training and ensure consistency. Look too for quiet blenders and drinks mixers as a study by Zagat Staff showed that noise irritates diners more than anything else, and conventional blenders, with their loud motors and blades working overtime to crush fruit and ice, quickly exacerbate this.”
The rise in sales of bottled and packages beers means it’s vital to have a storage solution that gives your customers the opportunity see what’s on offer and allows your staff to get on with serving customers. The latest bottle coolers are high impact sales tools as well as being solid, reliable pieces of equipment with robust refrigeration systems. They are designed to take the hassle out of back bar equipment with innovations like temperature alarms, maintenance-free condensers, LED internal lighting and frontal venting that allows easy fitment.
A coffee machine is a back bar essential as customers expect good quality and variety when it comes to coffee. As coffee consumers become more aware of what is available and their preferences, there is a greater demand for a wider range of coffees, including iced coffees and flavoured coffees. Specialist coffees are increasingly popular too. Modern bean-to-cup machines are responsible for the expansion of good quality coffee where previously it was a no go. They offer the ideal solution as you can get close to a barista quality drink using relatively unskilled staff. As the technology continues to develop, it’s becoming easier for operators to offer a more comprehensive coffee menu to their customers.
Hotels, bars and restaurants invest an incredible amount of passion and careful consideration in selecting the very best wine, and correct storage is essential to protect, mature and maintain it. Storing bottles of wine in an attractive front-of-house unit enables customers to easily see the selection available and to make informed purchasing decisions. It also keeps wine in its optimum condition, ready to serve.