Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.


The Ultimate Bar Equipment Checklist

The Ultimate Bar Equipment Checklist

Whether it’s your first or fiftieth location, opening a bar is easier when you have a detailed plan. Before you open your doors, it’s important to make sure you have all the right bar equipment so your team can hit the ground running. 

To save you precious time, here’s a complete bar equipment list that covers everything you’ll need from rail to cleaning supplies (broken down by category, of course).

Of course, your specific bar needs will vary based on your operations and offering, but it’s safe to say your bar will need at least most of the items on our essential bar equipment list.

Running your bar in 2023

Our guide will walk you through the future-proof hospitality tactics that’ll add flexibility to your business—a key to thriving in the new world of hospitality.


Cocktail and bartending equipment

Your tools matter. Few professionals understand this better than bartenders and chefs (except maybe carpenters). And unless you exclusively serve college students, your guests are going to expect to get their drinks in appropriate glassware.

As with any business, your equipment is essential to keeping your bar operating smoothly. Invest in equipment and supplies that will save you time, effort and money in the long term.



🗹 Rocks glasses
🗹 Pint glasses
🗹 Shot glasses
🗹 Collins (and other specialty) glasses
🗹 Pint glasses
🗹 Wine glasses
🗹 Champagne glasses
🗹 Martini glasses
🗹 Brandy snifters
🗹 Highball glasses
🗹 Mixing glasses


Bartending tools and accessories

  Bar tools and accessories
🗹 Jiggers
🗹 Muddlers
🗹 Cocktail shakers
🗹 Cocktail spoon
🗹 Citrus juicers
🗹 Cap catchers
🗹 Bottle and can openers
🗹 Cocktail strainers
🗹 Garnishing tools
🗹 Muddling supplies
🗹 Straws and stirrers
🗹 Cutting boards
🗹 Napkins and coasters
🗹 Bar mats
🗹 Bar towels
🗹 Liquor bottle pourers
🗹 Containers for garnishes and bitters
🗹 Ice cube trays and ice buckets
🗹 Wine openers


Beverages and beverage dispensing bar equipment

Your bar equipment list should also include a good selection of well liquors and top-shelf liquors, as well as liqueurs and mixers for cocktails. Unless you’re a cocktail bar, you may not need a huge selection, but guests will expect at least one house option and a few premium options. 

You’ll also want to stock garnishes and those extra touches that take your cocktails up a notch, particularly if you’re running a higher-end establishment.

“We have like 200 types of whiskey. I copy and paste my LCBO order into an Excel sheet, put that in Lightspeed, and it’s like magic—within five minutes, my menu is already there.” — Rohit Sharma, General Manager, Bar 404



🗹 Vodka
🗹 Gin
🗹 Tequila
🗹 Whiskey
🗹 Scotch
🗹 Bourbon
🗹 Rum


Basic liqueurs

🗹 Amaretto
🗹 Coffee liqueur
🗹 Dry and sweet vermouth
🗹 Irish cream liqueur
🗹 Orange liqueur


Non-alcoholic mixers for mixed drinks

  Non-alcoholic mixers
🗹 Lemon and lime juice
🗹 Orange juice
🗹 Cranberry juice
🗹 Grapefruit juice
🗹 Pineapple juice
🗹 Tomato juice
🗹 Bitters
🗹 Simple syrup
🗹 Sour mix
🗹 Grenadine
🗹 Milk, Half & Half or cream
🗹 Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce


Essential sodas

🗹 Club soda
🗹 Tonic water
🗹 Ginger ale
🗹 Cola and Diet Cola
🗹 Lemon-lime soda

You’ll also want to stock garnishes and those extra touches that take your cocktails up a notch, particularly if you’re running a higher-end establishment.


Fruit garnishes

  Fruit garnishes
🗹 Lemons
🗹 Limes
🗹 Oranges
🗹 Maraschino cherries


Beverage nice-to-haves

  Other garnishes
🗹 Olives
🗹 Cocktail onions
🗹 Mint
🗹 Salt and sugar
🗹 Cinnamon
🗹 Grated nutmeg
🗹 Celery or pickles
🗹 Whipped cream

Depending on local regulations, you might be able to offer to-go or off-premise drinks. If that’s the case, you’ll need to invest in supplies to make takeout orders a breeze. 



🗹 Disposable cups and lids
🗹 Straws
🗹 Drink holders
🗹 Bags
🗹 Napkins


A bar POS system

A modern bar POS system is invaluable to your business. Not only will this system give you a quick way to manage customer tabs and transactions, but modern POS software also gives you tools to manage the operations of your entire business within a unified platform. 

Essential features for a bar POS system

1. Easy-to-use interface

Bars and restaurants can feel like a revolving door of staff coming and going. And new employees need training—lots of training. If you have high staff turnover, it can feel like training is all you do. Get new employees floor-ready in no time with an easy-to-use, intuitive POS system built for hospitality.

2. Inventory management solutions

With an integrated POS solution like Lightspeed Restaurant, you can say goodbye to manual stock counting and spreadsheets with automated inventory management tools that help you keep track of what you have and plan ahead to reduce waste. 

Learn how Liverpool House uses Lightspeed to balance food costs and menu pricing

3. Remote access

Bar and restaurant managers often work long, irregular hours. The last thing you want to do is come in on your day off, especially for tasks as simple as pulling the sales report or changing the menu. 

With a cloud-based POS solution like Lightspeed, you can manage your bar or restaurant from anywhere with remote access to your back end manager. Learn more

4. Actionable data and insights to help you scale

Now more than ever, hospitality businesses need to leverage their data to stay competitive. A POS solution with robust data and insights enables you to better understand your customers, business trends, staff performance and your most and least profitable menu items so you can make improvements across the board.

“The food, the drinks, the hospitality, those are the pillars of what we do. But without a solid understanding of our numbers and our operations in the back end, those things can’t happen. They need that support.” — James Graham-Simpkins, General Manager, Joe Beef Group


Bar furniture and other equipment

Depending on the size of your space, you’ll have to figure out the number and style of the tables and chairs you want in your business. If you don’t have a physical bar counter, you’ll want to have one built to fit the space. Other logistical needs will include decor, as well as TV monitors, cable and sound equipment.

When it comes to decor, be sure to consider what design elements best align with your brand story and the vibe you want to create. 

From color scheme and textiles to the artwork on the walls, your decor should reflect your niche and create a cohesive and welcoming atmosphere. Learn how Life House Hotels creates the perfect guest experience with masterful brand storytelling

Refrigeration and cold storage are also essential, even if you don’t serve food at your establishment. Here’s the full list of coolers to consider:


Coolers and refrigeration

  Coolers and refrigeration
🗹 Kegerators
🗹 Beer coolers
🗹 Wine coolers
🗹 Additional cooler for garnishes
🗹 Horizontal bottle cooler
🗹 Swing door back bar cooler
🗹 Swing door merchandiser
🗹 Storage cooler

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you have strong cleaning tools and a streamlined process for disinfecting glassware and barware for the safety of your employees and customers. You’ll need a two or three sink setup for bar staff to wash dishes with specialized cleaning agents, as well as bathroom equipment, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.


Additional equipment

  Additional equipment
🗹 Speed rails
🗹 Liquor dispensers
🗹 Floor mats
🗹 Ice wells
🗹 Ice scoops
🗹 Ice maker
🗹 Blenders
🗹 Waitress stalls
🗹 Glass racks/holders


Food and kitchen supplies

If you’re going to serve food at your bar, you’ll need kitchen equipment and supplies. Depending on the food you serve, you might need: 

  Food and kitchen supplies
🗹 Grills
🗹 Fryers
🗹 Flat-top griddles
🗹 Plates
🗹 Cutlery (and whatever else lets your staff execute your menu efficiently)

Some bars are now mandated to serve food as a requirement for opening. Check your local guidelines to see if this applies to your business.


How and where can I get this equipment?

You need equipment that will last a long time, so it usually pays to buy new, high-quality equipment. While used bar equipment may save money at the time of purchase, it will likely wear down and need to be replaced sooner than brand-new bar supplies. 

You can find discount supplies at any restaurant supply retailer or order them from various specialized online retailers.

If your margins are tight, you can rent or lease some of the equipment you need to operate a bar. This is a good idea for any specialty equipment you either use for limited-time offerings or don’t use very often. Make sure that if you shop for used or rental bar equipment, you don’t compromise on quality.


Stocking up your new bar with the right equipment

Once you’ve finalized your bar equipment list, you’re free to focus on the other things that come with opening a new location: hiring and training employees, growing sales and building brand recognition. With the right tools and equipment in place, your bar will have a strong foundation. 

If you need help getting started finding the right POS equipment for your bar, let’s chat!


News you care about. Tips you can use.

Everything your business needs to grow, delivered straight to your inbox.

More of this topic: Management & Operations