The Ultimate Bar Equipment List

Share us around

Starting any business can send your head into a spin. For a bar business? There’s a whole other layer of logistics in sourcing equipment for a bar. But we’re here to help with the ultimate bar equipment list.

Beyond the basics of bar glasses and cocktail shakers, our bar equipment checklist has everything you need to get to first drinks, faster. Cheers to that!

Bar Equipment Essentials

This isn’t your average bar equipment list. We know – just as you do – that the success of a bar is more than just your glassware. It’s in the ambience you create. And the backend tech setup that helps to make running your bar business a breeze.

There are 15 essentials you’ll need to consider when setting up your bar:

  1. Bartending tools
  2. Glasses
  3. Ice machine
  4. POS system 
  5. EFTPOS terminal
  6. Accounting system
  7. Security
  8. Health and safety equipment
  9. Bar mats
  10. Cleaning supplies
  11. Glass rack
  12. Glass washer
  13. Lighting
  14. Furniture
  15. Signage and menus

We’ll go into more detail on each of these essentials to help you hit the ground running.

Nail The Bar Basics

What’s a bar without the essential equipment for making drinks? Beer and wine glasses are a start, but you’ll need more than that to keep your patrons happy.

1. Bartending Tools

A good cocktail starts with the right ingredients. Add in a skilled bartender and you’ve got the recipe for a mouthwatering cocktail. But only if your bartender has the tools they need to make the magic happen. 

When choosing your bartending tools, quality, durability and accuracy are key. When word gets out how good your cocktails are, you’ll want your tools to be top shelf. 

The equipment you’ll need will depend on your drinks list. Start with that and then build your bartending needs from there. Some tools you may need include:

  • cocktail shakers and strainers
  • bottle openers
  • bar spoons and muddlers
  • liquor pourers
  • cutting boards and knives
  • jiggers
  • juicers
  • peelers
  • rimmers.

2. Glasses

Every beverage has its own glassware. From middies, schooners and pints for serving beer and wine glasses of various sizes, you also need to consider specific glasses for presenting cocktails:

  • highballs for drinks needing lots of ice
  • rock or lowball glasses for spirits
  • coupe or margarita glasses for salt rims
  • hurricane glasses to show off colourful tropical drinks.

Like your bartending tools, your drinks menu will inform the glassware you need.

3. Ice Machine

A bar needs ice. And a lot of it. An ice maker is the most efficient way to keep drinks cold with minimal effort.

Ice machines can be sizable and are usually kept in the cellar or storage area. It’s also a good idea to buy buckets with the ice machine to carry the ice to the bar.

Get Your Backend Running Smoothly

From tracking data to help make smart business decisions to processing payments and more, the backend operations of your bar are critical. Not only will your customers notice but it will save you a whole load of headaches down the track. 

4. POS System

Every bar business needs a point of sale (POS) system to process and track customer orders. The trick is finding a POS system that works for your business. 

For example, you may save on staff costs by providing QR codes for customer orders. Or you may want to give a more intimate experience through table service, requiring a portable POS system with a tablet device. 

Your POS should also be capable of performing administrative tasks, inventory management and even tracking customer engagement. 

5. EFTPOS Terminals

You’ll also need a payment terminal that provides fast and reliable EFTPOS services. For seamless bar operations, look for an EFTPOS machine that can integrate with external POS providers.

Your EFTPOS terminal should also facilitate a wide range of payment options, including debit, credit and contactless, to provide the best experience for your customer. These transactions do incur a small merchant service fee but your customers will appreciate the flexibility.

Not keen on paying those merchant fees? Save with Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS. Our easy-to-use terminals pass on the cost of processing certain transactions to the customer through a small surcharge. This means your EFTPOS bill can go from thousands of dollars monthly to zero. 

6. Accounting Software

Your POS system can track inventory and employee hours, but you may need an accounting system to manage your full finances. 

By tracking cash flow, inventory, invoices and stock loss through one system, there’ll be fewer human errors and much less work for you as an owner.

7. Security

With expensive bottles of alcohol and possible cash on the premises, security measures are a must. Consider installing security cameras and alarms, for security and peace of mind. 

8. Health and Safety Equipment

The hospitality industry places a lot of weight on employee and patron safety. And for good reason. Each state and territory has its own laws governing OH&S. Be sure to keep up to date with yours and follow these as the minimum standard.

9. Bar Mats

It’s not uncommon for the space behind the bar to be tiled or covered in floorboards. While this surface is easy to clean, it can cause a slipping hazard for employees when wet. Bar mats are a must in areas susceptible to spills. 

Choose durable mats suitable for a wet environment and always measure the space before you buy to ensure the perfect fit.

10. Cleaning Supplies

Keeping a bar clean and sanitised is essential. Cleaning chemicals can be bought in bulk. These can include:

  • dishwashing liquid
  • hand soap
  • bleach
  • detergent
  • surface cleaner
  • oven and grill cleaner
  • glass washing liquid.

You’ll also need equipment like spray bottles, towels, rags, mops and brooms.

11. Glass Rack

Glass racks help to keep the bar looking tidy by organising the various glassware. Buy your glasses first, then look at the space you have for your glass racks and go from there. 

12. Glass Washer

Washing glasses by hand in a busy bar? No thanks! A glass washer can be used not only for glasses but also to clean other bartending tools, saving time and money.

Set The Scene

When customers walk through the doors, what do you want them to see and feel? The lighting and furniture you choose will set the mood.

13. Lighting

Lighting in a bar is used for two purposes. The first is to set the mood. Consider dimmer and warmer lights to make the space feel more intimate and cosy. 

The second purpose of lighting is to clearly mark certain areas of your bar to stop patrons from getting lost. Use neon or fluorescent lights to indicate the bathroom, gaming room and exits.

14. Furniture

Most bars have similar furniture sets, using bar stools, benches, outdoor seating and sometimes armchairs or couches if the style fits. However, you should choose your furniture based on:

  • the number of people you are licensed to seat
  • disability access
  • the style you want
  • whether or not the equipment is within your budget. 

The furniture should be comfortable for your patrons and durable enough to withstand the inevitable wear and tear.

15. Signage and Menus

Signage should not only advertise your brand but also guide your customers. Exit signs should always be clear – be sure to check mandatory signage requirements in your state or territory.

Professionally designed menus on the tables and at the bar make it easier for customers to see what’s on offer. Or a QR code can provide ease and a detailed menu online. 

Buying Your Bar Equipment

You’ve got your bar equipment list. You know what you need. The next step is to get out and buy it. 

When searching for the right equipment for your bar, the choices can be overwhelming. Creating a set of requirements for yourself can narrow your search focus. Ask yourself:

  • What’s my budget?
  • Do I need brand-new equipment? Can I lease any?
  • What type of environment do I want to create?
  • Am I offering food? Do I need kitchen equipment?
  • What kind of drinks am I offering?
  • What is the size of my customer base?

Quality Matters

When purchasing bar equipment, whether it’s as small as a bar spoon, or as important as new bar furniture, quality matters. Cheap equipment may keep you within budget, but constantly replacing these items can certainly add up.

You don’t need high-quality equipment throughout your entire business. But you do need to invest more cash in the tools and equipment that’ll be used most often and require high durability.

Brand Concept

The business concept of your bar is what makes it stand out from the competition. The equipment you buy should reflect your bar’s unique selling proposition. Think built-in strainers for your specialty cocktails in a cocktail bar, or disposable cups in a takeaway bar. Even your style of furniture should line up with your business concept. Take the time to get it right.

Financing Options

For those requiring some extra money upfront to invest in new bar tools and equipment, there are financing options available, including:

  • Equipment loans: Created just for equipment needs, these loans are both accessible and affordable, even for those without high credit scores. This is because they can use the equipment as collateral.
  • Credit card: A credit card specifically for your business is useful for various ongoing or immediate costs, but the interest rates, terms and fees will be dictated by your lender. For a bar owner, it’s best to look for ones with low interest rates and terms that suit you.
  • Lines of credit: Similar to a credit card, this option gives you a set credit limit to spend for your business. You’ll have to pay off the balance left over, but this option is beneficial for bar supplies and ongoing costs.

Your lender or bank may offer additional financing options for your business. It’s best to discuss these before deciding which works best to acquire bar tools and equipment.

Save With Smartpay

At Smartpay, we’re dedicated to providing bars and restaurants with an EFTPOS solution that suits their business. Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS works to reduce overheads by automatically passing on your merchant fees to customers. That’s savings you can put back into your business! 

Smartpay is trusted by cafes, bars and restaurants across Australia, who are saving an average of $6,800 on EFTPOS fees every year.

Keen to save? We thought so. Get started today by enquiring online.

Want to know more about surcharging?

Start your bar on the right foot with savings from day one. Get in touch with a Smartpay Payment Specialist to chat about surcharging and EFTPOS for your bar business.

Say Goodbye to EFTPOS Bills or Contact Sales on 1800 574 999

Women going to tap card on Android terminal at Cafe

Ready To Get Started?

Easy-breezy EFTPOS is just a click away! Join over 30,000+ happy customers, contact us now.

How Much Could You Save on Merchant Fees by Switching to Smartpay?

Find out in less than a minute