The Omni-Rinse Story

The Omni-Rinse Bar Tool Rinse Station was designed, developed, and tested exhaustively in the field by Naoki Sonoda, a bartender with over 15 years of experience. He wanted to create a solution that would allow him to work faster and more efficiently.

Naoki found that what slowed him down on the job more than anything was making shaken drinks. More specifically, interrupting workflow to rinse tins, jiggers, and Hawthorne strainers–the most essential bar tools for making these cocktails.  A bartender’s natural tendency is to put off rinsing these tools until they have to, because they’re so focused on getting drinks into their guests’ hands. When they run out of tins, they have to scramble to catch up, and that really puts them behind.

Not having clean tins, jiggers, or strainers on hand forces bartenders to stop their workflow. When this happens, they have to first locate whatever tool(s) they need, and spend even more time rinsing them.  As workflow is interrupted, valuable time is lost, and that has a domino effect. If the bartender is behind, it takes the wait staff that much longer to get back to their tables with their guests’ drinks. Seconds are so valuable in the restaurant business, and Naoki noticed that stopping his workflow to rinse tins and other equipment was costing him and his coworkers valuable time.

“I wanted to design a machine that was simple, ergonomic, and specifically designed to automate the rinsing process. Bartenders have to constantly rinse their tins and other tools throughout a shift, and the existing methods of rinsing are just not optimal. For example, using an automatic glass washer for the simple task of rinsing is a waste of time, chemicals, and energy. Manually rinsing with the 3-compartment sink takes too long, and is inconsistent. Using a faucet for rinsing takes even longer, yields even more inconsistent results, and often results in a lot of wasted water. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen bartenders–myself included–set a tin in a sink, turn the water on, and walk away to do something else. Not only does this waste a lot of water, it is unsanitary. Personally, I wouldn’t want my drink shaken in a tin that was sitting in a dump sink or hand wash sink! That’s why I went to work on developing the Bar Tool Rinse Station.”

Like a lot of American businesses, Omni-Rinse started in a garage. “I started constructing the Bar Tool Rinse Station with parts that I found at the hardware store. I learned how to sweat copper and do some basic woodwork from watching how-to videos online, and the rest was just using some common sense (or what I thought was common sense!). Most importantly, I was persistent. I refused to give up on my idea because I know that the world of beverage service needs the Bar Tool Rinse Station.”

After some refinement in design, he was able to test his unit at the restaurant he worked at. “Shortly after working with the Bar Tool Rinse Station in the field, I knew that it provided the solution that I was looking for. I no longer ran out of clean mixing tins or jiggers, and I could produce drinks faster than ever before. I noticed that I could serve more guests in less time, and that I could finish service well orders much more quickly! Lines in the service well during busy periods remained consistently under 4 servers, rather than the usual 6-7 servers. This meant that they were getting back to their tables faster, and spending more time with their guests.”

“Of course, the busier your bar is, the more chaotic it becomes. Having the Bar Tool Rinse Station allows us to work with an order and calmness that didn’t exist before, because now, we don’t run out of mixing tins. We finally have a system to help us execute our specialty cocktail program. When bartenders are running around frantic, that really detracts from the guest experience. Bartenders should be working like a well-rehearsed, well-organized production, and the Bar Tool Rinse Station helps to accomplish that.”

“The initial beta testing period of about 2 months really proved to me that the concept was viable. We continued testing for over a year, just to keep exploring how we could improve the product. During that year-long period, we redesigned the Bar Tool Rinse Station to make it more affordable. Our new, sleek design is NSF certified, and ready for release.  It’s a really exciting time for us. I believe, without a doubt, that the Bar Tool Rinse Station is an indispensable machine that every bar should have.”