full work station overhead view

a mobile bar layout guide

Bar Flow with the Linea Mini | The focus for our bar layout is on the flow and rhythm of the barista or baristas working behind the counter. Set up your bar so that it’s easy to make drinks.

Coffee bars and especially mobile set ups are often required to produce large quantities of drinks while being limited in space. To set things up for these situations, we need to think about the menu, equipment and the workable counter space. The menu dictates what equipment our bar consists of but the way we set things up to build the drinks becomes the driver in being able to serve our menu well. While it’s not always possible to make the perfect flowing system due to scope and budget, the value of implementing a well thought out workflow is beneficial for everyone involved.

bar flow & layout

Assess the workable counter space before making any big moves. We are, in the simplest terms, creating an assembly line to move through and the less we must move the better. Often the best place to start is making designated stations.

drink prep work flow

drink prep station
Easy to clean, where we can line up drinks that are in process and work well when they are either in front of the espresso machine or maybe on top.

workflow in paper form bar flow with the linea mini

wet station
Consist of the machine’s steam wand, a milk fridge or in most mobile situations an iced chest with a thermometer, located either directly behind or underneath the steam wand on the machine. Keep the wet station on the opposite side of the espresso machines from the espresso grinder.

dry station
Consisting of a rubber mat, tamper, distribution tool and knock-box should go in front of or around the espresso grinder. This area should be kept dry and separate from our stations dealing with liquid.

We will need three designated rags, one for the steam wand, one for the portafilter and one for the countertop.

add a friend to help?
These stations are important for when we add in a second barista for a busy service. When adding another person, there needs to be a designated position for them to take and not have it cross over into our other position. Barista #1 can take orders and pull shots, while barista #2 can prepare the drinks, steam milk and serve. Ideally each position has everything they need within reach.

Note: There are many accessories and pieces of equipment that can be added at an espresso bar, such as a small sink and pitcher rinser.

optimise your space

Doing walkthroughs of the bar flow can help us create a logical sequence for the coffee-making process before locking anything in place. We should also be open to evolving our layout and bar flow to be better and adapt as we grow.