Restaurant Ownership 101: Popular Bar Items That All Restaurants Need

If you own a restaurant and you don’t have a bar, you’re really missing out on some killer revenue. In fact, several studies have shown that most restaurants with adequate bar space gain most of their initial sales from liquor, beer, and wine.

But not all bars are made equal. For example, bars typically have local favorites that they serve on purpose to please the local community. This is evident in places such as New Orleans, home of the Sazerac, America’s first official cocktail.

But if you do have a bar, there are several items you have to have. And some of these items include flavored cream chargers for whipped toppings and gourmet chocolate for special after-dinner drinks. But the list certainly doesn’t stop here.

Here, we’ll explore a few must-haves that every honest bar needs to have on hand to make customers from all walks of life happy.

Infused Spirits

Fruit infusion has been popular for a while now, but not many bars carry infused spirits. And this is one of the simplest and more cost-effective ways for a bar to offer something unique.

Any liquor can be infused. But the more common spirits to use are premium vodkas, brandy, and whisky.

And the process is simple. All you need is an infusion container, an assortment of fruit, and the spirits of your choice. Simply add the fruit, then add the spirit, and allow it to soak up the fruit for a full day before offering it to guests.

A popular way for a bar to promote infusion is to have the infusion jar sitting directly behind the bar in plain view. And most customers will notice it sitting there and ask what it is. This is your opportunity to offer a taste, and chances are they’re going to love a drink made with your infused spirits.

Premium Single-Malt Scotch

If you want to impress your older guests, or those with a taste for the finer things, keeping a quality selection of single-malt Scotch is going to be a moneymaker behind the bar.

Most Scotch drinkers prefer a single malt over a blend. In fact, blended scotch is considered bottom shelf to most Scotch drinkers. But you’ll also want a variety of Scotch on hand, both of the peaty variety and aged single-malts.

A few great brands to have on hand are Glenlivet, Lagavulin, Macallan Double Cask, Laphroaig, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Aberlour. But feel free to diversify as you see fit.

In addition to single malt scotch, you’ll also want a variety of top-shelf and small-batch bourbon as well. After all, if you’re doing business in America, you’ll need an American spirit.


As of 2021, tequila has been recently repopularized. And it’s been through the efforts of many celebrity endorsements that tequila has seen a recent surge in popularity.

For example, celebrity endorser Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a line of tequila called Teremana, and it has been surging in popularity during the past year. Additionally, endorser George Clooney has a line of tequila called Casamigos, boasting cacao and vanilla notes, making this tequila extraordinarily smooth and sweet and great for pairing parties with gourmet chocolate.

Other celebrity endorsers such as the Jonas brothers and Kendall Jenner have lines of tequila as well, which only further proves the popularity of the spirit in 2021.

But at the end of the day, tequila is always a must-have at any bar. After all, it’s the shot that usually gets the party started, so make sure you have several top-shelf choices on hand.

Your bar is going to be a focal point of your restaurant, as many of your local regulars will more than likely be bar-sitting customers. As such, you’ll want to keep your regulars happy and make your bar a great place to come and enjoy a quality guest experience.



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