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A Guide To Bar And Catering Equipment

Dec 27, 2007
Bar equipment can be very specialised and choosing the right equipment can sometimes be a headache. There are many companies that can help you with this and ensure you get the right advice on the products for your requirements.

Many bars, restaurants choose wrong products at the beginning and this can become an expense later on. Below are a couple of essential bar products that are usually necessities when opening or re-fitting a bar and the more advice you can get the better.


Glass washers are designed to deliver sparkling clean glasses every time. They need to be simple, quick, easy to use and also easy to clean. There are many glass washers available on the market ranging from different sizes and qualities. The same old saying comes to mind. You get what you pay for.

It is important to make sure you get the right machine for your premises. Good advice from a reputable glass washer dealer is recommended, as the last thing you want to happen is the model you have purchased isn't coping with your requirements.

It is also important when you are purchasing a glass washer that it comes with a full warranty, not just parts only as this would incur unnecessary costs at a later stage if anything goes wrong.

Most high volume glass washers have built in chemical dispensers and are available in single and double skinned machines. This makes for a quieter bar area and also reduces heat loss. Wash cycles can range from 1-3 mins.

It is also very important whether you have a gravity drain machine or one with a drain pump. If your waste pipe is above the bottom of the machine then a pump is needed to remove wastewater from the glass washer. Baskets sizes tend to range from 350mm upto 500mm being the largest available in an under counter model which is the most commonly used in pubs, restaurants etc.

If you live in a hard water area, it is recommended that a water softener is fitted to stop the build up of scale. There are different size water softeners that are available depending on size of machine. Detergents and maintenance products i.e. rinse aid are needed to keep your glass washer in perfect running order. It is advised that a manufacturer-approved installer installs all glass washers. This is recommended, as even though most glass washers come with warranty if installed in correctly and an engineer has to visit site and finds that it is installed in correctly there is usually a charge, which sometimes isn't cheap.


Ice Flakers. Works fairly similar to ice makers although instead of cubed ice it is flaked. They are usually used in Cocktail bars / Fish Counters.Flake ice is a commodity required for a range of applications - from cocktail drinks, keeping food fresh at fishmongers to treating sports injuries at sports venues. Flake ice is used extensively so quality commercial machines for producing ice flakes are much in demand.

Ice Flakers can range from 50kg / 24hr upto 1000kg/24hr with storage bins of up to 2000kg so choosing the right one is very important. Choosing the right ice flaker for you depends on 3 main things.

The amount of ice you will require over a 24hr period, the amount of ice you need to store and the space you have to facilitate an ice flaker.

Once you have established these 3 things looking for the right machine will be a lot easier. Ice flakers are specialised products and there are only a handful of manufacturers and suppliers. Again you get what you pay for and good advise from a reputable dealer is advised.

Ensure you have good warranties and before actually purchasing a machine a site survey is usually a good idea. This will ensure there are no unforeseen problems prior to receiving and having your machine installed.
It is advised that on all ice Flakers a manufacturer-approved installer installs the unit. This is recommended as even though most ice Flakers / makers come with warranty if installed in correctly and an engineer has to visit site and finds that it is installed in correctly there is usually a charge, which again sometimes isn't cheap.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been a pub landlord for many years. He is a member of the campaign for real ale and offers advice on catering equipment to aspiring publicans.
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