Bar Layout Guide

Part of the fun, and sometimes stress, of opening a new business is planning the layout. With a poorly planned layout, you may end up with dissatisfied customers, unhappy staff members, and lower sales. When it comes to creating the perfect bar layout, here are some helpful suggestions to ensure your success!

Appearance and Ambiance

When it comes to creating the perfect bar layout, you should first consider décor and theme. Do you want a laid back vibe where customers feel at home? Do you want a sophisticated atmosphere with a posh element? Deciding on what type of atmosphere you want to create can help you figure out your bar layout. For a more communal vibe, it is recommended to keep your bar layout less open, but not crowded. You want to create a layout that invites conversation with fewer distractions while still allowing ample room for movement.

Another way to invite coziness is to consider having lounge chairs or couches in certain areas to invite guests to linger. For a more sophisticated setting, privacy is the key element. Bars with a more sophisticated layout involve more open floor space and more space between seating options.

Another important part of creating the perfect bar layout is choosing focal points. Focal points direct the attention of your customer based on where their line of sight is while seated. A few common focal points would be artwork or scenery if your location has an impressive view or televisions for those seeking more of a sports bar atmosphere.

One of the rising trends in restaurant layouts is allowing the guest more of an up-close look at your behind the scenes operations. While in all likelihood, it won’t be possible for every seat to get this special glimpse, it might be a fun way to add to the experience for certain areas of the bar to be able to see how the drinks or food are prepared. When it comes to choosing focal points, keep in mind your customer base and try to anticipate what they might enjoy.


When planning your layout, the function is an important element. There are many questions to ask yourself when figuring out the plan aside from the decor and ambiance, such as:

• Where will you house the sinks needed in a bar area? You will need at least two sinks with one as a designated handwashing sink.
• What type of ice maker is best for your bar area? Will you employ a small unit kept in the bar area or require staff to retrieve ice from the back house using a larger machine?
• Where will you keep supplies, such as liquor, glasses, and other needs? Will you make use of back bar shelves or under the bar shelving?