« back to Tips & Tricks

ESSENTIAL BAR SKILLS: ORGANISING YOUR WORKSTATION

Well-organised workstations are the key to serving customers quickly and efficiently, and the best bars will be visually appealing without slowing down the bartenders working behind them. While bar layouts vary from case to case, here are a few universal principles that you can follow to avoid delays and maximise customer satisfaction.

The two-step rule

As a bartender, the size of the space you’re working in will have a huge impact on your speed and efficiency. Most bars have adopted a “two-step” design; all your essential equipment should be to hand, so you never have to move more than a step or two away from your station. This can shave crucial seconds off service time during busy shifts, increasing both your sales and customer happiness.

The following items should always be within easy reach:

Ideally, you should aim to have two workstations per till, each equipped with the required tools and ingredients. With everything to hand and always in its place, you'll find you have more time to add a little flair to your service and really wow your customers.

Back bar organisation

Your back bar should both showcase your produce and be easily navigable, so you can find ingredients quickly. When setting up your back bar, consider the following:

Speed rack set up

A good speed rack allows you to serve frequently ordered drinks more quickly and efficiently, reducing wait times and increasing customer happiness. This makes your guests more likely to return for second and third rounds, generating more sales and more money in the tip jar.

The speed rack is normally located under the bar, in front of the ice bucket at roughly knee-height for easy access. It holds the most frequently used liquors such as rum, vodka and gin. When using a double rack, the top shelf should be used for house pouring brands and the lower shelf for any popular higher-end brands you need to hand. By setting up your liquids in a particular order and memorising their location, you gradually develop muscle memory which improves speed and accuracy.

The industry standard for ordering your speed rack is: rum, vodka, gin, brandy, whiskey, scotch, bourbon and tequila, but this can be adapted according to your customers’ preferences. For example, if you work in a cocktail bar, determine what your five most popular cocktails are and group together commonly used ingredients (e.g. tequila beside triple sec for a Margarita; whisky next to sweet vermouth for a Manhattan).

Looking for more tips and tricks to set your bar up for success? Sign up to Diageo Bar Academy today for access to all the latest recipes and industry secrets.

(*One standard drink contains 8g of alcohol)

  • ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO S

    ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SHAKING

    Mastering your shaking technique can be a great way to inject a bit of theatre into your cocktail making – guaranteed to wow your customers and enhance your serves. 

  • ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO M

    ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO MAKING ICE

    Whether it’s cubed, cracked or shaved, we reveal how your choice of ice can make or break your serves and show you how to add a little frozen flair.

  • WHAT MANAGERS LOOK F

    WHAT MANAGERS LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING

    We’ve got the inside scoop from managers of some of the World’s 50 Best Bars who reveal exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to hiring new team members…

  • TOP TIPS FOR CRAFTIN

    TOP TIPS FOR CRAFTING YOUR OWN SYRUPS

    Simple syrup is an essential component in countless cocktails – 2012 World Class winner, Tim Philips reveals his favourite recipes to get you started.