“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin may not have been talking about cocktails when he came up with that proverbial saying, but nowhere does it ring more truly today than behind the bar. Every second is key for bartenders, and proper organization and bar setup saves them time for when they’ll need it most.
The craft cocktail movement has led to more complex cocktail recipes, and consequently, warranted the need for bar setups to become more elaborate. That’s why the concept of mise en place has moved from the kitchen to the bar. From an Old Fashioned to Ben Franklin’s Milk Punch, organization can make all the difference behind the bar.
What is mise en place?
Mise en place is a French culinary term that means “put in place.” In the kitchen, it refers to organizing and consistently arranging all the necessary ingredients and tools a chef will need to create his or her dishes in the most timely and efficient manner. Having everything in the same place means chefs and cooks barely have to look to find what they need, and their most important tools are right in front of them.
Bar setups are adopting this principle as well. As cocktails become more intricate, so too must the setup behind the bar.
How can bars use mise en place in their bar setup?
Craft cocktails require more ingredients and more preparation than say, a gin and tonic. However, guests don’t want to wait for either type of drink. That’s why bar setup is so important.
To utilize the mise en place principles, start with the ingredients. In this case, storing the most used bottles in speed rails where they are the easiest to access, limiting the movement required by the bartender to make drinks, which in turn speeds up the process.
With craft cocktails using more unique ingredients than ever before, bartenders want to be prepared for every possible drink order. That means organizing different juices, garnishes, and bitters ahead of time, and arranging these ingredients in a place where the bartender can get to them quickly when the time comes to use them. Whether it’s by size, name, or popularity, having a consistent system will keep the bar running smoothly and profitable.
The concept of mise en place can also keep bartenders calm in an environment that is normally fast-paced and hectic. Organization allows them to not only craft drinks in a timely fashion, but also pay mind to their guests.
What bar equipment can help maintain mise en place?
Making good drinks will only take a bar so far. Pouring wine or beer and crafting cocktails efficiently while maintaining quality is where bar operators make their money. Mise en place is possible with a bar setup designed for zero-step bartending. The Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station is the ideal piece of underbar equipment that keeps the tools and ingredients a bartender needs organized for optimal performance.
The Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station is a bartender’s dream come to life. With its curved rails, tool caddy, narrow ice bins, and refrigerated storage, everything a bartender needs to operate quickly and correctly is within arm’s reach. And that time bartenders will have earned by organizing translates to more dollars per night for bar operations.