Bar counters in India are a fairly novel concept and are picking traction only recently in the urban pockets of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad etc
Getting it wrong can turn out to be an expensive mistake.
It is also the focal point of a restaurant or bar’s decor. It can make (or break) the ambience.
This is why, it is important to understand the designs, styles, patters and way in which these should be made to suit the Indian design appetites
Despite so much at stake, you’ll find very little technical information and almost no details on manufacturers or suppliers of counters for restaurants.
Which is why they’re so difficult to get right, even for large restaurant or bar chains.
However, this guide will make the task easier for you.
Let’s get started right away:
RESTAURANT BAR COUNTER DESIGNS & STYLES FOR INDIAN CAFES & RESTAURANTS
Bar counters in India are a fairly novel concept and are picking traction only recently in the urban pockets of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad etc
Or, simply schedule a call to get a walkthrough by our design expert!
WHAT IS A RESTAURANT COUNTER? THE BASICS
They also double up as ice stations, cash counters and food or drinks storage units.
A bar counter can also divide the cooking area and the eating area and act as a transition area to receive food preparations from kitchen and serve it up to diners.
Not only do serving counters and bar counters help maximize seating space
They’re the main focal point of your restaurant.
They will be the most expensive item in the list of furniture you buy.
But they’re a complicated albeit a crucial piece of your furniture buying.
But, first, let’s get one confusion a few first-time buyers have out of the way:
TYPES OF COMMERCIAL COUNTERS
Counters used at restaurants and cafes can be broadly classified into the following:
Bar Counters are often found just outside the kitchen and are used to serve food and drinks sitting at the opposite side of it or to waiters to be distributed onwards to diners sitting in the restaurant seating area. If you wish to simply check out our restaurant bar products, click here.
Food Counter Displays usually found in patisseries, bakery shops and coffee shops, display counters are often glass or plexiglass based see through units that allow the establishment showcase cakes, desserts or sandwiches. They’re often refrigerated units that aid in keeping the food fresh.
Restaurant Service Counters usually refer to either one of self-service counters at fast-food or QSR chains. Alternatively, they can also refer to cash counters or waitress stations, concierge desks or a combination thereof.
Bar Counters vs. Kitchen Counters Bar counters are different from kitchen counters.
A kitchen counter is usually found in a kitchen and is used for preparing food atop a countertop, a flat surface atop a counter base. Bar counter, on the other hand, is usually right outside the food preparation area and is used to serve food and drinks to patron sitting on the opposite side of it.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the stigma associated with liquor serving in India, bar counters are not seen in a positive light, for non alcohol serving restaurants that are using a bar counter simply as a station, the designs are to be made much more homely and accommodating
WHAT IS THE STANDARD DIMENSION OF A RESTAURANT BAR COUNTER
A bar counter is usually 42 inches high from floor to the top of the counter.
A 12-inch gap between barstool seat to counter top provides the most comfortable dining experience. This is the reason why standard barstools have a 30-inch seating height.
A 10-inch overhang between the front elevation and the countertop’s outside edge helps provide ample leg room to customers, especially during ingress and egress. It also allows customers to place their hands or elbows on countertop for a comfortable dining experience.
RESTAURANT COUNTER DESIGNS - IDEAS & DESIGN PLANS
Unlike chairs and tables that comes in a range of standard designs, restaurant counters are much more individualistic.
Their design reflects the decor and styling requirements of the space &/or the owner / interior designers imperatives.
So it is difficult to pin them down, design-wise.
We’ll still go ahead and give it a shot.
We can classify restaurant counters in a couple of ways:
One is by Shape and the other is by Design Style.
Let’s dive into it straight away:
A. RESTAURANT COUNTER DESIGNS CLASSIFIED BY SHAPE
1. Single-Fronted Counter
Single-fronted or straight bar counters are the most common types found in restaurants. They allow customers to sit in a straight line allowing the bartender to serve them efficiently.
2. Double-Fronted Counter
Double-fronted or L-shape bar counters are the more optimal solution when a restaurant or bar has a corner space as they help maximize seating at empty corner of a restaurant or cafe.
3. Triple-Fronted Counter
Triple-fronted bar counters are usually placed in the center of the restaurant or bar. Because such bar counters occupy a large visual focal point they tend to be custom made.
4. Four-Fronted Counter
Rectangle bar counters occupy maximum space. Given their large proportions, they’re bespoke statement pieces and found in large-sized, fine dine restaurants or upscale sports bars.
Custom bar counters can be designed in any shape or form. Such bar counters optimize space irrespective of layout since they can be designed to go around pillars or fixed sections of a building which would otherwise go cause disruptions in seating and waste available space in a restaurant.
B. RESTAURANT COUNTER DESIGNS CLASSIFIED BY STYLE
1. MODERN-INDIAN RESTAURANT COUNTERS
The minimalism of colors and lines of modern interior design style has led to its popularity in current day and age.
2. RUSTIC RESTAURANT COUNTERS
Rustic interior design style embraces free-flowing textures and earthy colors that emphasize rugged, natural beauty and create an unpretentious warmth.
Rustic restaurant bar counters use wooden beams and butcher block designs that bring out the beauty of the grain as well as other natural materials such as stone and concrete in earthy, subdued hues.
Such rustic commercial bar counters provide a bucolic, farmhouse style ambiance.
3. INDUSTRIAL RESTAURANT COUNTERS
Industrial decor came to the fore as a design trend when people started converting industrial spaces such as old factories and warehouses into living spaces and lofts.
Restaurant bar counters intermingle wood, metal and pipes to achieve the industrial look. Such a look goes really well in settings that have exposed brick and concrete walls, unfinished plaster work, exposed pipes and large windows.
4. DISTRESSED RESTAURANT COUNTERS
Distressed decor style, commonly referred to as shabby chic style, is one that combines weathered wood with peeling colors, often pastel, and takes a laissez faire view of nicks, bruises, cracks and peels.
Distressed bar or cafe counters are made using unfinished wood and combining it with distress painted metal or steel.
Distressed counters tend to blend in with both rustic decor, lending it more authenticity as well as with modern/contemporary decor styles where it imparts an element of serenity and colors.
5. BESPOKE RESTAURANT COUNTERS – BY FURNITUREROOTS
With our bespoke & custom capabilities we offer you the option of fully configuring the counters for your bar or restaurant.
You can customize dimensions to fit into even the most complex of restaurant layouts, including configuring them for pillars and other protrusions and angled corners.
We custom manufacture countertops and front elevations of bar counters in materials as diverse as solid wood, marble or granite, laminates and metal to even those exquisite ceramic tiles or the zinc, brass and copper facades you see in Michelin-rated fine-dine and luxury restaurants or bars in 5-star hotels or resorts.
Discover our range of Custom Restaurant Counters & Custom Counters for Coffee Shops.
ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF FOOD & SERVICE COUNTERS
Restaurant counters not only look elegant and stylish, they are also functional pieces of furniture.
When you’re out to buy restaurant bar counter, you need to keep in mind its features.
Well-made bar or service counters provide high degree of functionality.
The features-list of a bar counter can be comprehensive.
We’ve classified them into 2: Must-Haves and Add-Ons.
If you want the most functional counter for your restaurant, commercial bar or coffee shop…
…you need to tick-mark everything on this checklist!
Let’s dive in:
Our Detachable Bar Counter Solutions for Restaurants/Cafes Ensure That You Get a Personalized Bar Counter at > 30% Discount
ESSENTIAL 'MUST-HAVE' ELEMENTS
Different types of drinks have different set of needs. Beers and cold drinks need refrigeration. Wine needs different temperate and needs to be stored sideways.
The quantity of beverage you need to stores for quick access will drive the decision on the size or number of fridges you need. Which, in turn, will help figure out storage space required for it.
Consider if you may be better served with all the items stored in one location, or if you’d prefer to arrange a “long-term” storage spot separate from the main bar.
Temperature-controlled wine coolers come at a variety of sizes and price points. This is also true for beverage fridges for beers, sodas and cold drinks.
There are also many solutions for horizontal wine storage including standard cabinets that can be included in a custom bar solution.
Alternatively, if you have a large collection of spirits to showcase then open shelving mounted over a distinctive backsplash is a great statement maker.
Display Shelves or Rail Racks for Barware
One of the most aesthetically pleasing components of a bar is the sparkling glassware that comes with it. With specific glasses and mugs made for variety of drinks, your barware collection can rival your beverage collection.
It is better to store glassware and china at your bar counter itself rather than the kitchen so they can be accessed on the fly for serving drinks efficiently.
When it comes to storing these, there are a few options:
– Glass cabinets with interior lighting adds shine to glassware.
– Or, if you have stemware, consider bar counter racks that allow glasses to hang upside down for serving wine efficiently and provides a clean, industrial look.
Waste storage and disposal is an essential component of any bar counter. You will need to decide the size and location of waste receptacle(s) based on the seating capacity and whether the counter is a managed-service front counter or a food & bar service counter.
Construction Tip #: Countertops with waste holes increase functionality of kitchen or bar counters since scraps can be quickly swiped into the hole for efficient waste disposal helping cooks / bartenders avoid walking over to trash can at regular intervals. A 6-inch diameter hole is sufficient for most use cases however the ideal size can vary based on design and layout. A stainless-steel bin or compost holes can be incorporated into the waste hole that lifts out for emptying or cleaning. Trash holes can have lids if required.
Other Essential Fit-Outs
You will also need to assess if the bar counter needs to be outfitted for dishwasher &/or a warming drawer, microwave and a full-sized fridge or two?
Share and discuss these essential requirements with your restaurant bar counter manufacturer / supplier.
Finalizing these must-haves will help nail down the number of cabinets, their dimension, and other specs. These, in turn, will enable the bar counter supplier to share more accurate quotes with you.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES TO CONSIDER
Add overhead lights, especially above workspaces like countertops, sinks and ranges to help provide proper lighting to guide your servers through their work.
Recessed downlights directly above the center of countertops or along the perimeter of bar counter underneath countertops helps bring out the beauty of materials and contours of the countertop. This is especially true if the face of the bar counter is made of materials with surfaces that reflect warmer hues like zinc, copper or brass or inlaid or tiles stone countertops.
No matter how well you place downlights, upper cabinets will always block some of the light and make the space below them dark. To fight this, consider adding undercabinet lighting. As with recessed downlights, undercabinet lighting should be placed above the center of cabinets, rather than too far forward or back.
Installing LED tape lighting that faces the backsplash will reduce reflections on glossy stone counters, but it puts the brightest light in the wrong place and leaves counters too dark. Placing LED tape lighting too far forward can also create harsh shadows on the counter. We suggest testing a strip of light before installing it to make sure it pushes light onto the counter evenly.
Construction Tip #: Too many LED tape light products simply do not have enough punch to get the job done right. Look for a lumen count of 250 or more per linear foot.
Dimmers are not very expensive, but they are worth their weight in gold and can help you get the right amount of light on your counters.
There are additional features available that come in handy in a bar environment:
– Some undercounter bar sinks come with a backsplash or marine edge, making them ideal for washing glassware or other dishes,
– Features like insulated ice chests and speed racks/rails providing easy access to bottles help bartenders prepare drinks efficiently,
– Waste chute directly in front of the sink helps with speedier waste disposal.
A drop-in sink is lowered into a cutout in a surface and uses a wide flange to create a rim on top of the counter. Whereas, an undermount sink is installed from below a cutout with the same dimensions as the sink’s opening, leaving no rim on the countertop. Undermount sinks are more difficult to install, but create a more attractive, easy-to-clean countertop.
Most manufacturers of underbar sinks offer single, double, three-bowl and four-bowl models.
They provide higher seating comfort, add a visually pleasing element to bar counters and help reduce scratches to bar counter’s front elevation.
Bar foot rails provide customers a comfortable place to rest their feet when sitting in bar stools that are much higher up above the ground than dining chairs. Such foot rests double up to dress up your bar area as well and prevent customer’s feet from scratching the counter’s façade, especially if it is made up of materials that can scratch.
Ever wondered how high a bar foot rail is? Bar counter foot rail should be anywhere between 6 to 10 inches high from floor.
This is because the recommended gap between seating height and footrest is 20-24 inches. While standard bar counter height is 42 inches from the floor and seating height of a bar stool is usually 30 inches from floor. Thus, the recommended gap of 20 to 24 inches means that your bar counter foot rail should be anywhere between 6 to 10 inches high from floor if you are using barstools of 30-inch seating height. If you are using barstools with different seating heights, simply remember to maintain a 20-24 gap between seating height at footrest.
Also, your bar’s foot rest rail should be 6-inch from bar’s front elevation.
For proper support, support brackets should be placed 6 inches from each end of the rail (at most) and every 4 feet through the middle.
A bar foot rail system includes tubing, brackets, end caps and sometimes elbows, which connect together easily. The tubing usually comes in outside diameter thickness of 1.5” or 2”.
On bar rail finishes, there are many options to choose from. While powder coated finishes are de rigueur but shiny silver or gold finishes go well any decor. While brass goes well with any décor but it’s used much lesser given higher cost. Of late, industrial pipe rails as well as rustic wooden have started trending.
FurnitureRoots also provides custom foot rails as well as arm rest rails (including ADA compliant designs) for all our bar counter options.
FurnitureRoots’ restaurant bar counters are made using only stainless-steel screws, nuts and other joinery hardware. This is to prevent any corrosions or rust related issues cropping up irrespective of age, environment and usage.
When it comes to drawer and cabinetry hardware we recommend and use only branded, commercial-grade level hardware, although we can customize for your choice of cabinetry hardware too.
RESTAURANT COUNTERTOPS & BASES: CONSTRUCTION, JOINERY & QUALITY
If you want to get the maximum bang for your buck…
…it is critical to understand how bar counters are made?
This section will help you gain exactly that.
Bar counters for restaurants are made up of 2 sections: Counter Base and Counter Top.
We discuss joinery and construction methods and best practices for both below.
But first, a quick primer on various types of materials that go into making bar or service counter for restaurants…
…along with their Pros and Cons:
MATERIALS USED IN MAKING RESTAURANT COUNTERS
Wood is the most popular furniture material for a few reasons – it looks classy, is very strong; screws and nails take nicely; it works well with almost all other materials like metal, stone, concrete; has great tensile strength; is electrical and heat resistant. What’s more, it pairs well with most of our wholesale coastal furniture decor collections as well, which is largely a wood-based furniture collection.
Has the highest tensile strength and is the most durable material. Properly finished metal will not deteriorate against day-to-day wear and tear, including rust. It is one of the few materials that is flame resistant, making it safer material to work with in commercial setups. It is also significantly cheaper than wood.
Cons: It is prone to rusting if not finished properly; its heavy weight makes it difficult to work with, especially when it comes to transporting it.
Engineered wood is a man-made product created using wood strands, particles, fibers or veneers of wood glued together under pressure to form composite materials. The term covers a range of materials, including particle board, melamine, MDF/HDF, plywood, blockboard, melamine etc.
Engineered wood tends to be lighter than wood and less prone to moisture. Thus high-grade engineered wood is far less prone to moisture related effects than natural wood. It is usually cheaper than wood.
Cons: Very little screw-holding capacity; plywood cannot be moulded or routed (ie, cut, carved or designed) as well as wood; weak tensile and pressure characteristics.
While bar and cafe counters are primarily made using above 3 materials in one or more combinations, however a few other materials are also often used in manufacturing restaurant counters:
– Natural stones like granite/marble/quartzite
– Engineered stones like quartz & others
– Ceramic tiles are often used in front elevations or countertops
– Metals such as brass, zinc or copper for making facade or countertops
– Concrete and glass are some of the other materials used in making restaurant counters
JOINERY & CONSTRUCTION
Getting the construction of counter-base correct is complicated.
This is because restaurant or bar counter bases have to cater to a range of requirements simultaneously:
They need to not only provide ample space for storage but also need usually be customized for dimensions; fitting of sinks and waste units; as well as need to be heavy-duty to support the weight of not just heavy countertops but also of the people using or resting against them while they wine and dine.
As a result, the primary requirement you need to look at when buying or customizing restaurant counters is that the structure is heavy-duty and is configurable to a variety of requirements and specifications.
Which is why bar counter bases are usually made of solid wood supports.
The remaining sections of counter base are open to a wide range of materials, including engineered wood, laminates and other materials.
The selection of materials for bar counter’s carcass depends on a number of technical considerations: Is it going to be a wet bar with a sink? What is the required length and shape of the counter? Is your restaurant or bar in a very cold or moist or dry region? What is the overall moisture & humidity levels of your establishment?
Bar countertops usually need to have water-resistant surfaces so that spilled drinks and glass bottoms don’t leave stains. They should also have scratch-resistant surfaces in order to withstand the constant cleaning they undergo.
FurnitureRoots provides you restaurant countertops in the widest possible range of materials – from solid wood countertops in 10+ stains and finishes; to laminate countertops in an endless range of designs to metal countertops; to natural stone countertops (marble, granite, quartzite) or engineered stone countertops trending in airport lounges and luxury hotels & resorts.
Each material carries its own benefits, from mold resistance to scratch resistance to heat protection.
FurnitureRoots provides you with high-grade finishes that do not require reapplication, allowing you to stay open for business with no shut downs required. Our top-of-the-line wooden finishes are designed so that they do not flake or yellow like polyurethane (PU) finishes and are more chemically resistant than Spar varnishes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the height of bar counters in restaurants?
Difference between bar and counter height?
Should I get restaurant counters made on-site or offsite?
How much will a counter for my restaurant, bar or cafe cost?
We discuss some of the most frequently asked questions on restaurant counters below:
(Your question not on the list? Drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us. We’ll reply in 1 business day)
A. Bar counters are usually 42 inches high from floor to the top of the counter. A 12-inch gap between barstool seat to counter top provides the most comfortable dining experience. This is the reason why standard barstools have a 30-inch seating height.
Q. What is the difference between bar height and counter height?
A. Standard bar height is 42 inches, whereas standard counter height is 36 inches. The difference between bar and counter height tables stems from where such tables are used.
Bar height counters and tables are found in restaurants and pubs where customer is as likely to lean on the bar or he/she is to sit there. Which is why bar height counters and tables are taller – at a standard 42 inches high.
Whereas, counter height tables or islands are used primarily in kitchens of homes and residences where people want to be able to make food or eat at. Which is why counter height tables – at a standard 36 inches high – are not as tall as bar height tables.
Q. How much do restaurant bar counters cost?
A. Restaurant bar counter prices vary significantly based on the following parameters – dimensions, materials, designs and finishes – in that order. Dimensions tends to have the maximum impact on prices of restaurant or cafe bar counters, followed by the choice of materials in which the bar counter is constructed.
Get in touch with us today at email@example.com to get an estimated price of bar counter for restaurant or cafe.
Q. What is your production lead-time?
A. Our bar counter manufacturing time-frame is approximately 3-5 weeks.
Q. Isn’t it better to make those onsite? Why should I get them made offsite?
A. The short answer to this is that getting bar counters made onsite is not necessarily better. There are a few key reasons behind this:
1. Local carpenters won’t possess the requisite expertise making bar counters.
This is not because they’re not talented. No.
Instead, it is because making bar counters requires multiple areas of expertise to come together. From understanding of various raw materials (ranging from wood to engineered wood to metal to laminate/stone/metal) to an understanding of advanced joinery techniques & cladding expertise to having the correct infrastructure & technology to help with these multiple tasks.
Local carpenters simply don’t possess the proper infrastructure or the right technology to be able to make bar counters to the same quality benchmarks as a commercial furniture manufacturer.
FurnitureRoots on the other hand has executed over 300+ restaurant, bar and cafe projects across the globe. This gives us unparalleled experience and expertise.
Plus, our state-of-the-art infrastructure for manufacturing specialized custom & bespoke bar counters gives us the complete range of technology to manufacture bar counters that not only look highly individualistic but will also be made to higher commercial-grade standards so that the bar counters you buy from us stand the test of time.
2. Bar counters cost 2-3x more when made locally. Try it out for yourself. Get a quote from your local installation company and then get a quote from us.
This is again because of a) lack of infrastructure available with a local company, and b) being based out of India where input costs are substantially cheaper, it helps us offer restaurant counters at comparatively lower rates to our customers.
Q. How can large bar counters be transported? And installed?
A. We pack and ship bar counters on pallets which ensures easier unloading using forklifts.
Installation assistance is provided in two ways. Get in touch with us to discuss the specifics applicable to your project.
Q. What is the MOQ of your bar counters?
A. 1 pc. for custom bar or cafe counters, subject to a Minimum Order Value (MOV).
Q. I like your design but I need bar counter that will fit into my space and layout? Can you customize it?
A. Yes. In fact, we don’t customize only for sizes. With us, you can customize bar counters for any design, material, shape, dimensions and finishes you want.
Q. How can I be sure the custom product will look like the one I need?
A. We make 3D drawings for bar counters. These sketches include details of all specs and show life-like renders which we will match to high degree of visual similarity.
Q. What benefits do I get when I get bar counter for my restaurant made by FurnitureRoots?
A. Because of our location and expertise, you don’t end up paying an excessively high price for a bar counter. Instead you pay 2-3x times less when you get your bar counter custom manufactured by FurnitureRoots.
You also get heavy-duty bar counters that will not have those small mistakes that come up in everyday usage. Instead you will get a bar counter that is seamless to use, built to commercial-grade quality and last you a lifetime.
STEPS TO BUY RESTAURANT COUNTER
Follow these steps to design your custom commercial bar counter:
1. View our gallery of Bar Counters for Restaurants & Cafe Counters to find styles you like,
Share your own designs on firstname.lastname@example.org or text them to +91-97 69 00 33 11.
2. Once we receive your selection or designs, get in touch with you to discuss the finer details like cut outs you may need for electrical or beer taps, determining if you want drink rail, illumination requirements etc.
3. After all specs are finalized, we will share quotes.
4. Upon receipt of advance, we will start manufacturing it.
5. From the start of production, we will keep you posted on production with images and video.
This step is assigned the highest importance from our end. This is because if there are any course correction you desire post-finalization, those too can be mostly accommodated at this stage so that you get the exact product you desire.
6. Once the product is fully made, it will be packed and loaded on pallets insider shipping container. Palletized packaging ensures easier unloading using forklifts.
We are here to answer any questions you may have. Please email us at email@example.com or call/text us on +91-97 69 00 33 11.
OUR RESTAURANT COUNTER DESIGNS
Please do Mention the Identification Number of the Counter you’re Interested at the Time of Enquiry
COUNTER ID #1
Curved Bar Counter in Scratch & Stain-Resistant Stone Top with Metal Sheet Facia & Brass Footrails for a Hotel & Dining Bar Area
COUNTER ID #2
Metal Bar Counter in Scratch & Stain-Resistant Top with Metal Front Panel & Skirtings & Brass Foot Rail for an Airport Lounge Bar
COUNTER ID #4
Glass Top Bar Counter with Metal Facia & Recessed Lights & Brass Footrest for a Pub
COUNTER ID #5
Bespoke Bar Counter with Wooden Facia and Metal Skirting for a Fine-Dining Restaurant
COUNTER ID #7
Marble-clad bar counter with Recessed Seating for a Contemporary-Themed Bar
COUNTER ID #8
Metal Top Bar Counter with a Brick Stone Base for an Industrial-Themed Cafe
COUNTER ID #10
Curved Bar Counter in Scratch & Stain-Resistant Stone Top with Metal Sheet Facia & Brass Footrails for a Hotel & Dining Bar Area
COUNTER ID #11
French-Industrial Designed Mini-Restaurant Counter in Riveted Metal Counter Top With Footrail & Wall-Shelf