There are several components necessary for the creation of a successful bar, starting with a good business plan, a strategic bar location and a good brand and concept development, but all these aspects will be useless if at the moment people attend your bar they feel uncomfortable and unaware, and that is where the design of the bar takes vital relevance, the central aspect in the development of a successful business.
Some environmental psychological understanding would be helpful. These are the depth studies, including primary factors that determine why people experience certain ways of sitting, lighting, music, and other design elements. There are two basic social needs at the core of guest behaviour: Safety and Stimulation.
The people like to maintain a special space of their own, enough for comfort and protection of the intrusion. But they also like their environment to be both interesting and attractive, within limits, The key to good bar design is balancing comfort and safety, and the visitors’ tolerance for stimulation.
Main design elements in a bar
The layout, arrangement or arrangement of the furniture and equipment represented is an important factor in designing the bar.
Some common design problems include:
• The siphon beer located on one side of the bar and the collection area on the other.
• The waiters deliver the dirty glassware on one side and the bartender needs to move it to another side, for washing; to remove the ice from the bar you have to pass through, or under the collection area.
• The bartender has to move to different points in the bar to locate the liquors, products and utensils needed for the drinks
• There is not enough capacity installed for washing the glassware, nor enough storage space;
• The refrigeration equipment is in the way of the bartender, or there is not enough refrigeration space.
• These situations represent a nightmare for a bartender in a peak period.
• If it is a bar-restaurant, use the same dishwasher to wash the glasses and dishes or cutlery.
The bar, can be considered divided into three main areas: The bar, or “front bar”, which is the territory of the customers, the back of the bar or “backbar”, which serves both for refrigeration and storage space, as well as for decoration and display of the liquors that are sold and finally, the section of the bar most important for its efficiency: The bottom of the bar, or “underbar”. If the front bar is the customers’ territory, the underbar is the bartender’s.
The underbar is the bartender’s primary working area. Its design can help or hinder its efficiency. The main work tool is the “battery” or “speed rack”, which is a special shelf where the bottles of liquor with the highest consumption are placed and should be located in the center of the work station and at the bartender’s waist level.
The bottles must always be placed in the same sequence, this guarantees that the bartender does not waste time looking for them to serve the drinks. They know their location on the shelf and grab it and serve the drink virtually without looking. Hence the name “speed rack”.
In the speed rack the bartender places the bottles according to the most usual order sequence. For example: several brands of whisky, placing the closest one, the one with the highest sales movement, then several brands of other products can go, according to the bartender’s opinion as the most effective sequence for his work.
Main factors when planning the design of a successful bar
The following four principal factors are considered in designing the bar and its space:
• the customer.
• the atmosphere
• the service.
• the efficiency of the bar.
Bar customers as a success factor
The customers are the center of everything you do in your bar. They are the recipients of your services. They are willing to pay for what you have to offer them in the way you offer it.
Research your target market and ask yourself why people would visit your bar, to watch televised sporting events while having a drink? to have a conversation in a quiet environment?
The customers are the target audience of your business. They are the demand for your products and services. Without customers the business does not make sense and will not generate income for you. That’s why you should be especially concerned about their tastes and needs.
Bar atmosphere as a success factor
For the atmosphere of the bar the choice of the furniture and the lights will play a fundamental role, what kind of bar do you want to project, bright, big, cosy?
There are colours that make people feel at ease and others that encourage them to leave. Make sure you choose wall colors that are comfortable and inviting, or at least do not make the guests feel uncomfortable. Every surface color is affected by the quality of the color of the light and the colors of the surroundings. Cold and warm light have special characteristics that can be used effectively.
Lights that are too bright and cold are said to be suitable for cafes and bars without food as they impose a fast pace on the service and encourage the customer to leave the premises faster, if that is your goal, although it is not an absolute rule.
On the other hand, the softer and warmer lights are suitable for restaurant and hotel dining rooms, where a prolonged stay is desirable.
Lighting can be either general, working or decor lighting. The incandescent or warm general lighting produces a cosy atmosphere of warmth and calm that invites people to stay. Very cold, halogenated fluorescent or mercury vapour lights produce a livid effect and are often used in an indirect way or for purely decorative purposes.
The music style and loudness may be a key factor in making customers feel uncomfortable. If it is not a bar that specialises in one type of music (such as for instance rock or dubstep) avoid punishing your clients which are not of that kind of taste, as you will make them run away and not come back.
If you don’t have a programmed music system, software or a resident DJ, you should instruct your staff not to play music that will make the audience uncomfortable.
Bar service as a success factor
For good service in the bar there are some very basic tips for customers to stay. The first one is to have a smile with attention and a friendly attitude from you and your staff with the customers. This is fundamental.
Do not have employees with a bad attitude, because it will cost you to lose clients if you do not retire them on time. A friendly smile can be enough to make someone feel at ease.
Bar efficiency as a success factor
During bar peak hours, there are problems such as long delivery times, inadequate drink temperatures, badly presented cocktails, frequent customer complaints and bar staff who are subject to excessive working pressure and work overload. This results in customer dissatisfaction and loss of business for the establishment.
To make the bar as efficient as possible requires a good design with appropriate flows and arrangement of furniture, when designing the bar the right person to guide you in these aspects is an experienced bartender, is the person who knows the processes, sequence and requirements in teams in their area of work.