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What is the best dispenser/tap system for bars and restaurants? 

Picking a refreshment solution for leisure 

In addition to keeping staff hydrated, most bars and restaurants offer patrons free self-serve water. Those who value worker morale and excellence in the customer experience will want to provide both staff and patrons with water that is pure, filtered and high-quality. If you’re reading this, you’re likely set on making this happen. 

There are several things the discerning restaurant manager must decide on before they proceed. 

Precise location of your watercooler or tap

First, they must decide the location of the dispenser or tap system after assessing the layout of their space. Bars will already have multiple drinks served on tap, and so a tap system (especially a manual one) will fit the general aesthetic more. If choosing a conventional dispenser, we recommend countertop units over floorstanding due to saved floor space, though our floorstanding range is perfectly compact too.     

Shared or exclusive?

Will this water dispenser be tucked away in the kitchen or another staff only area? Or will it be out in the foyer, the main dining area or any other place where the public will use it? Will it be shared by staff and patrons alike? 

Either way, Borg & Overström’s range can be found in many bars and restaurants, and the experience of providing this service has revealed some telling patterns. 

Manual or electronic?

Firstly, our most popular model in this sector is the U2 tap. The main difference between the U1 and U2 is the U2’s higher dispense height for refilling bottles with ease. It is also a manual system which makes it more suitable for high use areas. The U1 is more suited to offices and breakout areas, especially alongside coffee machines. It is an electric system, making it more typically found in offices of high design. 

Please bear in mind that as of this publication, the U1 and U2 have been supplanted by their successors the T1 and C2 – the former being an electronic tap system. If the previous description of the now-defunct U2 piqued your interest, know that we still provide premium manual systems: not only C2 but C3.

This year also saw us add the brand new T2 electronic tap system – the most advanced in our range. There is a wealth of material you can consult to determine if it belongs in your leisure space. We also have a direct comparison between T1 and T2.  

Furthermore, the C2/C3’s output and dispense height does not mean you should count electronic tap systems out altogether. Like its predecessor, the T1 has found its footing in the water dispenser market as the preferred option for the smaller discreet space; be it office, kitchen or the quieter kind of bar/restaurant, with users preferring its advanced technology. Similarly, both T1 and T2 have saved HORECA facilities managers money on energy bills through Eco mode, and eased many a cautious mind with their antimicrobial coating (which you will not find on a handle-operated manual system). 

If you manage a bar or restaurant and are still mulling manual and electronic differences, please read this tap system comparison on the Learning Centre before making your final decision regarding the kind of model you want.  


The wonderful thing about the Borg & Overström range is that regardless of what you choose, you are truly not bound by binary choice in any instance. Please scour our model comparison for a complete overview, or continue your research by accessing our Learning Centre. We are also available to aid in your search through this contact form.  

Our drinking water dispensers are available through selected partners