If you’re outfitting a bar area and are expecting to serve up beer, wine and cocktails to a crowd this summer, then you’ll be thinking about what to buy for behind the bar. You’ll have beer taps, seltzer and water spouts and perhaps even serving fonts for wine and other drinks, but what types of commercial commercial kitchen equipment need to go behind the bar? Here are five must-haves for any busy watering hole.

Basic Appliances Setup for Your Bar Area
Basic Appliances Setup for Your Bar Area

Under-Bench Fridge

You’ll need at least one glass door under-counter refrigeration area for your white wine and bottled beer. You’ll probably need another, less visible fridge for cocktail ingredients. Your glass door refrigeration units are an important part of your bar operation; customers are more likely to order based on what they see there than from your drink list. Make sure you have enough space for an attractive and easily visible presentation.


If you serve cocktails, then of course you need a blender. A blender can create a range of drinks that just can’t be created any other way. You’ll be able to offer ice cream-based dessert drinks, alcoholic smoothies and of course, classic frozen cocktails. The only limit is your (bartender’s) imagination. Ice can dull ordinary blender blades and significantly shorten the life of the appliance, so buy a specialised blender if you plan to use ice. If you have a high-capacity operation, then you may want to invest in more than one.

Ice Shaver

If you’re planning to serve cocktails this summer, then an ice shaver is a great thing to have behind the bar. Ice cubes are all well and good, but there’s nothing quite as fun and refreshing on a hot day as a cocktail served over shaved ice with a straw and a colourful garnish. If you’ve got outdoor seating, then an ice shaver is an absolute must.

Cash Register

Bars are their own little world, and it’s always a good idea to keep a cash register behind the bar, even if you have one somewhere else for diners. The bar staff is good at keeping tabs on who owes what, and many bars operate mostly on a cash basis. Opt for a cash register that’s compact, fast and easy to use. If you’re tracking sales and inventory, then keep it as straightforward as possible.


If your bar isn’t close to a fully equipped kitchen, then you might want to include a dishwasher, as well. In fact, it’s always a good idea to add one in if space allows. Why leave the bar staff completely at the mercy of the kitchen staff for clean glasses, pitchers and mixers? If you don’t install a dishwasher, then at least provide a basin; that’s invaluable for a number of reasons.

Of course, there are plenty of other Cafe Ideas products you might find handy behind the bar: coffee grinders, juicers, vacuum packing machines, food processors or under-counter freezers. Spend a few minutes browsing our site for ideas.