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Glassware Inventory Guide

Glassware is an essential component to everyday food service. The pieces you choose to serve your beverages in emphasize the image you’ve worked so hard to perfect. But how much glassware inventory do you need to keep your business running and what style works best to meet your needs?

Types of Service and Calculating Inventory

It can be tricky to figure out how many glasses to buy for your business. The volume of glassware needed varies depending on the style of your establishment. Food service businesses fall into three categories:

    1. Casual dining
    2. Formal dining
    3. Bar service

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Each chart below breaks down popular glassware styles and gives an estimate of how many glasses to buy for a restaurant based on its type of service. You can figure out how many glasses to purchase using this simple formula:

The number of glasses needed = ( number of chairs ) x ( the ordering factor* )

*Ordering Factor: A number determined by consumer behavior trends in each environment. For example, guests are more likely to order a second glass of wine in a casual restaurant than in a formal one, where a glass sells at a higher price.

Expert Tip

To order an accurate amount, remember to adjust the reference numbers below using your exact seating capacity.
Restaurant Equipment

What to Consider When Selecting Inventory

When estimating the amount you need it's good to keep the following points in mind: 

  • The speed and capacity of your commercial dishwasher (how many racks per hour it can clean)
  • Wait time between washing a glass and letting it sit before using again (direct use after washing can lead to thermal shock and breaking)
  • The volume of your business and your restaurant's capacity
     

Taking these factors into account ensures you order enough of each glass type to prevent a shortage while serving guests.

Casual Dining Glassware

At this type of establishment, prices are lower and the environment is informal. Customers typically order a few fountain drinks, water, or a few beers if available, and eat a one-course meal.

TYPE OF GLASSWARE

ORDERING FACTOR

100 GUEST SEATING CAPACITY

150 GUEST SEATING CAPACITY

Beverage Glasses
3 300 glasses 450 glasses
Iced Tea Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Juice Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Water Goblet Glasses
3 300 glasses 450 glasses
Cocktail Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Wine Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Champagne Glasses
1 100 glasses 150 glasses
Beer Glasses
2 200 glasses 300 glasses
Coffee Mug Glasses
1 100 glasses 150 glasses
Cordial & Dessert Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses

Formal Dining Glassware

In this type of restaurant, dining is at a higher expense and it may involve multiple courses. Guests will be served traditional offerings like water or iced tea, but also typically enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a serving of beer.

TYPE OF GLASSWARE

ORDERING FACTOR

100 GUEST SEATING CAPACITY

150 GUEST SEATING CAPACITY

Beverage Glasses
3 300 glasses 450 glasses
Iced Tea Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Juice Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Water Goblet Glasses
3 300 glasses 450 glasses
Cocktail Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Wine Glasses
1 100 glasses 150 glasses
Champagne Glasses
1 100 glasses 150 glasses
Beer Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Coffee Mug Glasses
1 100 glasses 150 glasses
Cordial & Dessert Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses

Bar Service Glassware

Apart from the classic drinks like iced tea, water, or fountain drinks, guests will typically come and order a few alcoholic beverages. Glassware will move quickly, and some drink types have higher ordering factors in this setting.

TYPE OF GLASSWARE

ORDERING FACTOR

100 GUEST SEATING CAPACITY

150 GUEST SEATING CAPACITY

Beverage Glasses
3 300 glasses 450 glasses
Iced Tea Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Juice Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Water Goblet Glasses
2 200 glasses 300 glasses
Cocktail Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Wine Glasses
1 ½ 150 glasses 225 glasses
Champagne Glasses
1 100 glasses 150 glasses
Beer Glasses
3 300 glasses 450 glasses
Coffee Mug Glasses
1 100 glasses 150 glasses
Cordial & Dessert Glasses
½ 50 glasses 75 glasses

Glassware for Special Occasions

Sometimes glassware goes beyond just serving a beverage –it’s a way to convey a style or theme of your restaurant. Whether it’s a rustic feel or an upscale vintage look, there are all kinds of glasses that can help you create a unique experience for customers.

Typically you’ll require less of these glasses since they’re used for specialty drinks or occasional novelty orders. However, below are some popular styles of glassware that offer a distinctive presentation to tantalize customers:

Shop Novelty Glassware

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