On the face of it, you wouldn’t think there would be many uses of portable bars for restaurants, and for day to day business you would be right. Your restaurant is probalby offering full table service or it has a separate bar area already.
The only problem with the day to day business is that it can be pretty much set in stone. There’s x number of tables, x number of chairs, that puts a fixed limit on the guest flow through your doors. Used properly, portable bars for restaurants can let you expand and make a real difference in increasing revenue.
Here’s a few different ways that we’ve seen restaurants use portable bars to bump up the bottom line.
1. Use a Portable Bar in Good Weather
Come summer, you’ve got a patio, balcony, or garden that you could be using. The problem is that there’s a line to be seated and your main bar is already crowded. But, the guests are insisting they want to eat inside. (There’s a persistent belief that outside service isn’t as good.). So, set up a bar outside, and guests can go there to wait.
Once they’re out there, if the service is good they’re more likely to stay instead of insisting on being inside. Of course, the key is to make sure the service outside is as good as inside. Do that and you’ve doubled your restaurant size (and substantially improved revenue) for the whole summer, at least in good weather. In bad weather, your portable bar rolls straight back inside for storage.
2. Use a Portable Bar for Restaurants to Improve Service Time
If you have a larger restaurant, a portable bar can help you substantially speed up service. When the place is really jumping, you could halve the distance that waiters are covering by having a second bar at the other end processing drinks orders. Have a third bar if the venue’s really big. You can close it down and move it away when the main pressure is off, but in the meantime you’ve got quicker service to the tables and less traffic between them.
3. Create More Space
The other thing about a conventional bar area, they’re designed never to look cramped or too crowded. Of course, that means they take up a lot of space. If your place has been booked out for a big event, you could put extra tables into the bar area and switch traffic to one your portable bars for restaurants, which has been set up out of the way.
4. Use a Portable Bar for Restaurants to Increase Traffic
One issue that your restaurant may face is how to have a welcoming bar option. You want the after-work drinkers, or the theatre traffic, yes, but how much potential table space do you give up to the bar?
Your diners are your likely to be you main source of income. Your bar traffic is handy extra income, but your bar may already be at capacity during rush periods. You might even have diners complaining they can’t get to it for a pre-dinner drink. Well, one of the best uses of portable bars for restaurants is coping with rush.
Lock, load, and wheel it into place. When the rush is over, it quietly wheels away, back on standby until the next rush. You could even have it set up as a cocktail bar for diners away from the main bar, for that matter.
5. Take it Off-site
Does your restaurant sometimes get approached for offsite catering events? A major challenge for restaurants at off-site events is providing as good a service as the customers get in your restaurant. Whether you own or rent a portable bar, they really come into their own offsite.
Because of their professional appearance and functionality, you’re able to provide the same high level of service and present the same professional image off-site as well on on-site.
6. Get More Corporate Parties
A final use: corporate block-bookings. It’s a rare restaurant that wouldn’t welcome some mid-week corporate work, and portable bars are ideal for corporate parties wanting corporate logos and color schemes. In fact if your bar area is separate you can leave that serving the public and have the corporate bar set up in the restaurant, the best of both worlds.