In this article: Tips for selecting glasses that suit your bar, the drinks you serve, and the customer experience you want to create. Owners, managers, and bar staff can all benefit from this advice.
Without glassware, your bar is just a bottle and can dispenser, and you may as well swap your servers for a vending machine.
If this doesn’t highlight the importance of glassware, consider the fact that the shape and style of the glass greatly impact the taste and drinking experience of different beverages. And this is what customers remember and come back for!
Choosing the perfect glassware for your bar involves a number of considerations, which is why we’ve created this guide.
Finding stunning glassware that’s perfect for your bar is a great feeling, but having to replace that glassware down the line can take that feeling away in a heartbeat.
When choosing glasses for your establishment, ensure that your supplier has a steady supply or a large amount of stock on hand. Not being able to reorder the same type of glass can greatly dent your budget, as you’ll need to replace your glassware regularly to ensure it all matches.
The price point may seem like an obvious consideration when choosing the right glasses. Setting up your bar is costly, and glassware is not a spared expense. Whether it’s glass jars, cocktail glasses or wine glasses, these are all fragile receptacles that will eventually need replacing due to accidents or general wear and tear.
When choosing a glass, factor in its replacement cost and how often it might need replacing. Decide on the financial feasibility in line with your budget: this can assist you in making the right choices for your business.
Even if they’re quite thick, drinking glasses are generally quite fragile, especially in fast-paced environments. When trying to pick out the perfect glassware, ask questions about its durability. You may find that some glassware has been impact tested, which suppliers are willing to guarantee.
Also, look out for tempered or shatterproof glass, as it has greater longevity. Although it might cost you more initially, in the long run, a hard-wearing glass could save you money and spare you frustration.
Finding storage space for everything in your restaurant can be one of the greatest challenges. When selecting glassware for your bar, consider the space you have available before making a purchase.
Here are some important storage considerations:
Glassware should be stored in an organized manner and easily accessible to your bar staff. In fast-paced environments, this will help with the speed of service. After all, speedy service equals a happy customer.
The glassware you decide to purchase will depend on the variety of drinks that you serve at your bar, as well as your target market and brand.
More upmarket establishments will need to ensure that a drink is served in the correct glass. For example, wines will require a certain type of glass for red or white. However, more laidback bars may find that their customer base isn’t too fussed and could use one type of wine glass.
If you specialize in specific drinks, such as cocktails, it’s a good idea to have a variety of different glasses suited to each drink. However, don’t be afraid to think out of the box, too. These days, serving margaritas in tumblers with salted rims is totally acceptable!
Select glassware that matches the serving size of your beverages. It can help to curb wastage and over-pouring, keeping your beverage costs in line. Your glasses should also match the standard serving size for the drink of choice. For example, a pint of beer is served in a 16 fl oz glass., and most customers will know this
Your glassware should be crystal clear and sparkling clean, so it makes sense to choose glasses that are easy to clean and maintain. Glassware should be dishwasher-safe or easy to hand wash, as this can save your team time and effort in ensuring that it’s hygienic and safe for customers.
Take careful consideration of the comfort and practicality of the glass.
Drink presentation can bring the ‘wow factor’, and it’s part and parcel of enjoying the experience. Choosing a glass that’s aesthetically pleasing or purposefully designed can have your customers returning for more.
Your glasses add to the design of your establishment. Choosing glassware that stays true to the theme or decor of your bar will add to the ambience and make for a more enjoyable visit.
The right glass can enhance your product. Let’s look at an example of a bar that specializes in beer.
A craft beer bar could have a wide selection of different glassware to match the particular style of beer. If you’re serving IPAs, Belgian strong beer or other very aromatic beers., tulip glasses are your best option, but if you have a wide selection of Weissbier, a Weizzen glass will help the aroma develop. If you’re more of a sports bar that offers beer pong or regularly screens large matches, solo cups or standard tankards are more appropriate.
Every tiny detail can help to create a memorable moment for your customers. Should you specialize in a particular drink, serve it with the expertise to match.
When choosing glassware for your bar, there’s a lot to consider, from menu design to durability and versatility.
Understanding your brand and what style of glassware will suit your drinks will help you to make better-informed decisions that have longevity. If you can weigh up the practical factors and put yourself in your team's and customers' shoes, you should be able to select glasses that tick all the right boxes.