Coffee Bar Layout

Your coffee bar layout is no doubt something that you’ve thought about, googled ideas, sketched out, and maybe even hired a professional company to help you.

We inherited the design in our first coffee shop when we moved into a previously occupied space.  With our second coffee shop, we were able to design the bar layout and plan for the proper workflow since it was a new build. In both scenarios, we made choices that allowed our team to function optimally by making drinks efficiently.

While the look and feel of the bar will set the tone and mood for the coffee shop, the location of each piece of equipment will set the efficiency factor for your team.   In addition to determining the placement of your equipment, you will also need to ensure that the proper water lines, drains and electrical outlets (220v and 110v) are available near the location of your equipment.

When we were researching the best possible options to layout our space, a friend, Greg Ubert, recommended his book,  7 Steps to Success. I highly recommend that you consider purchasing a copy of his book, which includes coffee samples from his company, Crimson Cup.

In his book, Greg shares that the layout behind the bar should be done in an efficient way so the working barista takes the fewest number of steps possible. This will save time in making the drink, thus allowing the barista to create more drinks per hour, which will increase your profit.

The basic concept is to have the workflow laid out for the front bar so that it follows an efficient traffic pattern.

Grab-and-go items are first, followed by the register, cups, syrups, espresso machine/espresso grinder (with milk fridge underneath), and then the service/delivery counter.

On the back counter, the pattern would be similar starting with the coffee brewer/tea brewer followed by the grinder and then the blender station.  The barista can move seamlessly after taking the drink order to grab a cup, add syrups, grind and tamp the espresso, pull the espresso shot, steam the milk, pour the latte while adding an artful design and deliver the delicious drink with a smile.

This design layout also allows the barista to continue a conversation with the customer as they move down the line toward receiving their drink. In a busy shop environment, the cup may be passed along to another barista who creates the rest of the drink and engages the customer in conversation.