The Ultimate Checklist for Your Restaurant Bar Program

bartender pouring LibDib whisky in glass at restaurant

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So, you?ve decided to open a restaurant and bar. Before opening your doors, it?s essential to have all of the proper equipment necessary to operate a successful bar. A well-equipped bar can easily make your restaurant successful and bring more customers into your establishment.

You might choose to build a full-service bar or a limited-service bar for your restaurant. In any case, it is essential to know what type of liquor or equipment is needed. Many tasks should be completed before opening your restaurant bar, like investing in refrigeration and purchasing wine and spirits from a liquor distributor.

Here at LibDib, we want to help your business grow. That?s why we created the ultimate checklist of bar equipment to make your restaurant the talk of the town!

Basic Liquor Needs

Well Liquors: These essential liquors are typically the least expensive to include in your bar menu. They are usually known as ?house liquors? that are kept within reach from bartenders due to their frequent use. When a customer orders a cocktail like a Moscow Mule or a shot without mentioning particular alcohol, the bartender uses the well liquors available

Call Liquors: Call liquors are poured when a customer asks for a specific brand of alcohol. For instance, a customer can request a ?Maker?s Manhattan? made with Maker?s Mark bourbon. These are a step above well liquors in price and can easily be purchased from a wholesale alcohol distributor, like our amazing partner RNDC!

Top-shelf liquors: Connoisseurs typically request a top-shelf liquor to enjoy, and often, customers who are celebrating a special occasion may choose your priciest option as well. It is essential to stock all three levels of alcohol for the most popular spirits. This wholesale craft liquor distributor can help you purchase all of your vodka, tequila, whiskey, scotch, etc. These top-shelf products not only offer your customer something new, they can bring in higher margins which means more money for your business. And with consumer tastes changing, focusing on specialty top-shelf products can bring in more customers.

Remember beer, wine, aperitifs, liqueurs, and mixers are all essential to operating a restaurant bar. Make sure you remember the type of clientele you have when purchasing the alcohol.

Refrigeration and Coolers

It is crucial to purchase proper cold storage for your bar?s liquor, fresh herbs for garnishes, and mixers for cocktails.

Walk-in coolers are an excellent option for storing your liquor inventory but may cause your bartenders to rush back and forth between the bar counter and fridge. A cooler that fits behind the bar counter gives your bartenders easy access to drinks. A reach-in freezer allows bartenders to view and select all options available, and they will be thankful for it!

Other cooling considerations include bottle and wine coolers and keg storage, depending on the type of bar you are planning to build.


A bar stocked with glasses will make your drink service go smoother. It is crucial to determine the number and type of glasses to stock your bar. Types of glasses include shot glasses, pint glasses, wine glasses, and more. Liquor distributors may offer glasses as promotional gifts that can be an immense help during the beginning stages of your restaurant.

Point of Sale System

Investing in a modern POS system can help your business immensely. New POS systems can help manage orders, inventory, and process daily transactions. Depending on the POS system?s features, it can include the credit card terminal, cash register, and employee time tracking. While it is perfectly okay to operate with old cash registers or computers, new technology allows you to manage your business efficiently.

Additional Equipment

Underbar sink: During busy times like happy hour, the addition of an underbar sink can help customers wash and reuse glasses when in a faster, time-efficient manner.

Ice Machine: Nobody wants a warm drink unless it?s a coffee or tea. It is vital to purchase a reliable ice machine and ice scoop that keeps libations cold and customers happy.

Rubber Floor Mats: The last thing your business needs is an injured bartender. Purchase several rubber floor mats to keep your staff?s feet secure and save them from any potential accidents.

Utensils: Cocktail shakers, strainers, stirrers, and muddlers are some of the essential tools that bartenders use to create delicious drinks for your customers.

Find The Right Wholesale Alcohol Distributor for Your Restaurant Bar

One of the first steps to planning a restaurant bar is to find the right wholesale liquor distributor to stock your bar. Contact LibDib for the right wholesale alcohol distributor for your business.


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