The importance of clean glasses cannot be understated
Given that there is going to be increasing pressure on pubs and bars to make the most of the marketing and merchandising opportunities the backbar offers, there is one essential issue that needs to be sorted out - where to put the glasses.
To make the most of the high profit potential of premium drinks such as bottled beers, spirits and wines, they need to be properly displayed.
However, traditionally a big chunk of the backbar is tuned over to glass storage.
Underbar storage is one answer, but this can often be unhygienic and awkward for staff. Aiming to address this problem, equipment manufacturer Olympic has added an underbar glass draining rack to its BarOlympic range.
"Glass storage is at the heart of a good, modern, underbar system," said Gary Allen of BarOlympic. "Our design makes glass storage hassle-free, so staff can concentrate on serving the drinks on display behind the bar."
The layout has been planned to be safe and practical. "It is manufactured in a polymer material which allows draining and drying to take place, while ensuring that glasses remain accessible and cannot fall over. A stainless steel glass storage rack is available as an alternative."
The glass drainer and storage unit are part of the modular BarOlympic range which also includes ice chests, sinks and glasswasher housings.
A free site visit, survey and design service is offered to potential customers. The various elements of the system can be linked together in any combination to suit the site.
"While BarOlympic offers major advantages to 'front-facing' drinks service, such as in cocktail bars, we believe the system's price will make it affordable to traditional bars as well," Gary added. "It allows them to upgrade at low cost and to take advantage of modern drinks service trends."
Also aiming to take the specific needs of pubs into account is Meiko. It latest Ecostar model, the 540F, has a standard rack height of 320mm, tall enough to accommodate fashionable continental lager glasses. Designed with a number of energy saving features, it can wash up to 900 glasses an hour.
The need to take environmental and economic considerations into account, as well as performance, makes choosing a glasswasher a more complex task than ever.
John Nelson, managing director of Nelson Glasswasher, said: "The hygienic results that a good quality glasswasher produces cannot possibly be consistently maintained by hand washing.
"Ask at least two companies to come for a site survey and provide quotes. Make sure, though, that they are quoting for a similarly specified machine that should perform more efficiently and outlast a cheaper alternative.
"Bear in mind that a specialist warewashing company should have the resources to be able to provide expertise in water, waste and electricity as well as water treatment and chemicals. Aim to choose a water board approved model which might cost slightly more."
Tips for your glasswasher:
- clean your glasswasher regularly, paying special attention to the filters which should be emptied at the end of each session
- a glasswasher is a workhorse that does the jobs you give it to the best of its ability. It cannot, however, restack its contents so ensure it is stacked correctly
- ensure all staff know how to use the glasswasher properly. A Chinese whisper situation can take the place of proper training, especially in outlets with a high staff turnover, and the "how to operate it" message becomes distorted
- problems with spotty or smeared glasses can occur because a) the dosing of rinse-aid or detergent is incorrect or b) the water contains a lot of solids, in which case a water filter or softener could help
- prevention is better than cure - have the machine serviced regularly.