Coffee Bar Layout

Your coffee bar design is no doubt something that you’ve thought about, googled ideas, sketched out, and maybe even hired a professional company to help you.  In our first coffee shop, we inherited the design since we moved into a previously occupied space.  In our second coffee shop, we were able to design it since it was a new build.  In both scenarios though, we were able to make choices that allowed our team to function at an optimal level making drinks efficiently.

In addition to the look and feel that will set the tone and mood for the coffee shop, you will need to determine the location for each piece of equipment and ensure that it has adequate water and appropriate electrical outlets available.

When we were researching the best possible options to layout our space, a friend of mine, Greg Ubert, recommended his book ( ).  It is helpful to know that if you choose to order his book, the price also includes coffee samples from his company, Crimson Cup.

In his book, he shares that the layout behind the bar should be done in an efficient way so that the barista who is working takes the fewest number of steps as possible.  This will save time in making the drink thus allowing the barista to make more drinks per hour which will add to the bottom line of profit.  This design concept works for both directions (right or left) that the customer traffic could flow.

The basic concept is to have the flow laid out so that it follows this traffic pattern on the front bar.  Grab and go items are first, followed by 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 with coffee brewer / tea brewer followed by grinder and then the blender station.  This allows the barista to move in a seamless fashion after taking the drink order, to grab a cup, add syrups, grind the espresso, pull the espresso shot, steam the milk, pour the latte with art and deliver it to the customer with a smile.

This design layout 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 is making the rest of the drink and engaging the customer in conversation.