In the short term, the bar business faces a steep climb to regain the buzz and profitability of normal times. Even with many municipalities lifting restrictions earlier this fall, it will likely be some time before consumers resume comfortably relaxing and socializing shoulder-to-shoulder at indoor bars.
But in this functional area, as in so many others during the pandemic, operators have learned to be nimble and find new ways of doing business to meet the unique challenges of today. Operators continue to widely space barstools and put up partitions to facilitate social distancing. Like food menus, operators continue to refine drink offerings to reduce variety and increase operational efficiency. More individual, cockpit-style wells that keep all tools and ingredients each bartender needs within an arm’s reach are being integrated to limit cross-traffic and sharing of supplies behind the bar. Mixers, condiments and DIY instructions for recreating restaurants’ signature cocktails at home are now part of to-go menus.
And, with liquor laws in more than 30 states relaxed to allow restaurants and bars with foodservice to sell beer, wine and pre-mixed cocktails for off-premises consumption, retailers aren’t the only ones tapping into what’s been a significant jump in alcohol sales during the pandemic — much of it ordered online for delivery or curbside pickup. In fact, demand for alcohol delivery was increasing before the current public health crisis. The National Restaurant Association’s 2019 Restaurant Delivery Survey found that 56% of all adults said they would order drinks with their food delivery order from a restaurant, if permitted.
With demand more than proven over the past few months, the push is now on in many states to make this regulatory change permanent, which could turn what’s been a critical pandemic-era lifeline for many operators into an additional long-term, business-boosting revenue stream.
Versatile Wine Dispensing Systems
Enomatic wine dispensers preserve opened bottles for more than 30 days, maintain both reds and whites at optimum temperatures (adjustable from 45 degrees F to 64 degrees F) and dispense in multiple programable pour sizes. The systems’ technology can be used behind the bar by staff or as self-serve experiences for guests using rechargeable wine cards. To deploy in more environments, dispensers can also be interfaced with POS, room keys, barcodes and QR codes.
Mobile Bar with Sink
Perlick’s 66-inch Signature Mobile Bar features the Tobin Ellis zero-step bartending cockpit design that strives to increase efficiency, maximize drink output and aid bartender comfort. The units are now also available with sinks, putting everything bartenders need in one place. Combine several units to build a full mobile bar surround. Suitable for rooftops, patios, sidewalk cafes or any setting in which more beverage production, social distancing and layout flexibility are desired.
Instant CO2 Glass Froster
An alternative to mug froster refrigeration units, the Krowne Liquid CO2 Glass Froster chills glasses instantly to maintain ideal cocktail serving temperatures, improve flavor profiles and enhance presentation. The properties of CO2 eliminate the accumulation of condensation to prevent drinks from becoming diluted. In addition, the super-cooled liquid CO2 instantly kills bacteria, sanitizes glasses and eliminates invisible odors and residue left behind from soap and dish detergent.
Krowne Metal Corporation
Eagle Group’s BlendPort Glass Froster features a vinyl wrapped cabinet exterior. The stationary portion of the stainless-steel top, with a ½-inch polymer edge, serves as a countertop and features a lockable stainless-steel sliding cover. Galvanized steel lines the interior.
Mobile Beverage Station
Micro Matic’s Beverage Station is a two-zone refrigeration unit that allows operators to offer an array of beverages from a single mobile unit. Wheel it into place, plug it in and start pouring wine, beer, custom cocktails, nitro cold brew and/or teas. The Beverage Station features dedicated temperature zones and storage for bottles, cans and mixers. Distinctive towers and POS wraps are available.
Custom Swivel Barstool
Built with a solid wood base, Samuelson’s Custom Swivel Barstool #8681 features a sleek, tight, fully upholstered seat and back with tapered legs. To enhance durability, bronze metal caps its four stretchers. Measuring 42 inches high and 19.5 inches wide, the stool’s overall depth is 21.5 inches.
Beverage Dispensing Towers
Glastender’s BT line of beverage dispensing towers features an internal support system for mounting stability. Designed to protect bar tops, the towers’ integrated, surface-mount drain pan minimizes damage caused by splashing and accidental pour overs. Featuring stainless steel faucets and shanks, towers are available as air-cooled for direct draw use or glycol-chilled for remote applications.
Pass-Thru Pizza Oven
The Due Bocche pass-thru brick oven can accommodate two chefs cooking simultaneously: One can maneuver dishes in and out of the opening facing a restaurant’s bar, while another operates the oven from inside the kitchen. The rotating deck oven can cook pizzas evenly in a half revolution in less than 90 seconds, per the maker. Its forced-air burner technology uses just 84,000 Btus. Each oven is custom designed.