Subscribe to our newsletter to receive industry news, management tips and special offers.

Your email:

Follow Me

Promotions

    Tell A Friend

Gift $250

Browse by Tag

Expert Advice on Hospitality Topics

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Loss Prevention: Don't Let Bartenders Rob You Blind

By Bob Johnson

Part 1 of 2: Do Bartenders Steal?

bartender theftDo bartenders steal?  I've worked with some outstanding bartenders over the years, men and women who are honest, hard-working, team/family-oriented and loyal. I'd like to think all bartenders are like that, but according to some, I'm misguided.

Joe Motzi of Entrepreneur Consultants in New York wrote an article on the subject for Restaurant Hospitality magazine, in which he said: "The theft is incredible! In the past three years we ran across only one bartender who wasn't stealing from his employer. That's out of about 1,000 clients! Only one bartender went by the rules of the house!"

Employee Service Reports in Fort Myers, Florida, a surveillance service to restaurants and lounges since 1950, reports that more than 50 percent of bartenders surveyed are not recording sales. That's a polite word for stealing. After weeding out the undesirable employees, the theft problem goes away - at least until after the new hires are comfortable with taking advantage of management.

A Michigan bar owner I know fired her last nine bartenders for stealing - in just one year. The owner of the Au Main bar in New York City has filed a $5 million lawsuit against 12 former bartenders and his chief financial officer for "working together (collusion) against the house, not recording drink sales and splitting the money amongst them for the past 8 years". The CFO changed the numbers in the books to cover up the missing inventory.

The temptation for a bartender to steal, and the ease of doing it, is scary. Receiving cash each time you sell a drink creates the temptation to keep the money (is anyone watching?). The drink sale is simply not rung up. The money for the drink goes straight into the cash register drawer by hitting "00" (No Sale), or they work out of an open drawer. They keep track of how much they are "over" by using a type of abacus system - 3 match sticks in a nearby empty glass equals $30, or a black sneaker mark on the floor equals $20 (3 black marks and they're up about $60).

The bartender takes the "over" out of the cash register drawer before turning in their money. Selling a cup of coffee or a "virgin" daiquiri (non-alcoholic) increases the temptation for bartenders or servers to take that money, too. Most bars do not inventory non-alcoholic type drinks, and most do not require their bartenders/servers to issue a receipt for each sale.

blurb

While taking from you, there's a good chance they're also cheating your customers. Your bar might feature "tooters", which are 24 shots of liquor served in a one-ounce tube. The bartender is supposed to sell them for a buck apiece, but decides to charge the customer $2 - and pockets $24 at the customer's expense. Of course, the house gets hurt when the customer discovers the scam.

The theft process starts when first hired. The bad bartender usually looks for areas where management is lax. They run little "spot tests" - seeing what will work and what won't. Once it's established what works it's full steam ahead.

Another type is the overt thief - one who steals openly, thinking no one, including the customer, realizes what he or she is doing. Professional spotters describe this type of bartender theft as "wide open". These people fear no one - customer or management.

This is reason enough to use professional surveillance companies, or spotters, routinely. Spotters are hired to watch for, and report, any act of theft by a bartender, waitress, manager, or any employee working on the premises.

However, there can be problems with spotters. Many don't understand a bartender's organization, motion, or actual transactions. Many are also "minimum wage plus expenses" employees of a local security company and have never tended a bar before. The best spotter is one who has bar experience and can detect a discrepancy in another bartender's work routines.

 

Bob Johnson is a nationally recognized Beverage Management consultant who specializes in multi-unit management of nightclubs/bars and bartending. He is a 50 year veteran of the bar business and is known for creating America’s first certification program for bar managers, “CBM” (Certified Bar Manager). Mr. Johnson has taught at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, serving as Professor of Beverage Management.

Mr. Johnson can be contacted at:

Website: BobTheBarGuy.com

Email: bjbarhop@aol.com

Tel: (800) 447-4384

Loss Prevention: The Bar Manager's Key to Quick Profit Growth

How Keeping Close Tabs On Your Liquor Supply Can Both Cut Costs & Generate Revenue

Inventory ControlIndustry studies have consistently shown that a full 25% to 30% of a bar's liquor inventory never converts into registered sales. That is the equivalent of about six to eight 1.25 oz portions per bottle (which should yield at least 25 portions.) This loss of liquor volume--due to unauthorized comps, over-pouring, spillage or theft--should be of great concern to any bar manager. 

While losing 25% of a $25 bottle may not seem like a very serious problem--an unavoidable cost of doing business--the true cost is much greater than that $6 or $7 per bottle. The question you need to ask yourself is: Where is this lost liquor going? And how is it affecting sales? For instance, if your bartender is not pouring 1.25 oz portions, but is instead pouring 2 oz portions (say, perhaps, to curry favor with clients and receive a bigger tip), you're not just losing liquor volume, you're also losing potential sales. Where the customer may have been disposed to buy three drinks (3.75 ounces), he may now be content to buy just two 2-ounce drinks. Your bartender's actions, in this case, haven't merely cost you a dollar's worth of liquor, they may well have cost you $6-$8 in lost sales revenue (depending on how you price your drinks). And that's just for one customer buying two drinks. How often is this occurring? What if your bartender also happens to be giving away free drinks without your knowledge or authorization? The point is: "shrinkage" does not only affect supply costs, it can also affect revenues in a big way. 

That's why loss prevention is so important. The profitability of your business depends on whole bunch of variables--the location of your establishment, the overall economy, ever-changing customer tastes.... Achieving profit growth can be difficult and can rarely be accomplished overnight. Increasing the price of your drinks is risky, and can prove more harmful than helpful as far as your bottom line is concerned. And growing your clientele usually takes time. The best way to increase profits in the short-term, therefore, is not to try to fiddle with pricing or to increase your client base. (Of course, this is something you should always be doing. But it is not easy to do in the short-term.) The quickest way to increase revenue is to make the most of the clients you're already serving. And one way to do this is to improve operations by getting tighter grip on your inventory. Loss of liquor supply at double-digit levels is not an "unavoidable cost of doing business". It is "bad business". And it is entirely avoidable. Put simply, loss prevention can pay big dividends. What's more, it can be achieved quite quickly through the implementation of a quality liquor inventory control system.

Managing Liquor Costs to Achieve Maximum Profitability

By Elizabeth Godsmark
Atlantic Publishing
 

The Basic Mathematics of Profitability

Liquor Cost ControlA typical beverage operation generates a constant stream of data and information, endless columns of figures and daily records. But you'd be surprised how few managers actually do anything with these figures, let alone fully grasp their implications. So how can you tell if you're operating profitably? The answer is you can't, unless, of course, you get to grips with some basic mathematics. For a start, you'll need to know how to perform a few simple calculations, such as working out an item's cost percentage. You don't need to be a mathe­matician to figure the following straightforward formulas:

  • Cost per ounce. This is the basic unit cost of a drink. For example, to calculate the cost per ounce of a liter bottle, divide the wholesale cost of the bottle by 33.8 ounces, or in the case of a 750ml bottle, by 25.4 ounces. The figure you arrive at is the cost per ounce.
  • Cost per portion. To be able to price a certain drink, you must first calculate the base cost of the serving. Use the cost per ounce to work out the cost per portion. For example, if the cost per ounce is $0.60 and the recipe requires 1.5 ounces, then the portion cost is $0.90.
  • Cost percentage. Master this formula. You cannot function without it! To calculate the cost percentage of an item, divide the product's cost (or portion's cost) by its sale price and then multiply by 100. This simple calculation gives you the cost percentage. Profitability hangs on this key calculation. This calculation is the most frequently used formula in the beverage industry. It indicates the profit margin of any drink and represents the difference between the cost of the item and the price for which it is sold. If cost percentage increases, profit margins decrease..

Measuring Bottle Yield

You know the theory: to obtain the cost per ounce, you must divide the cost of the bottle by the number of ounces in the bottle. Fine, so far. But sometimes, in practice, the final sales volumes and profits can seem disappointing. You're confused because you have done everything by the book, and now, somehow, the figures don't quite add up. Get wise.

  • Consider evaporation and spillage. When calculating a bottle's cost per ounce, the secret is to deduct an ounce or two up front, before dividing, to allow for evaporation or spillage. Although this will slightly increase the cost per ounce, it will also give you a more realistic starting point.
  • Calculation errors. Slight variations can easily creep into a calculation involving both liters and ounces. For example, assume a highball contains 1-1/2 ounces of spirit (or 45ml): using ounces, a liter bottle yields 22.54 measures, whereas, using milliliters, the bottle gives 22.22 measures. Tip: "round down" in the interests of reality.
  • Maximize potential yield. You know that a bottle of liquor yields so many measures at a certain cost. However, you also know that sloppy pouring methods can wipe out potential profits. The best way to overcome this problem is to standardize portion serving as much as possible. You've paid for the liquor and want maximum returns.
  • Buy big. High-turnover liquor, wines and spirits should always be purchased in larger bottles for better yield per measure.

Gross Profits: The Lowdown

There is no better indicator of a business's success than its gross profit figure. By definition, gross profit is the cash difference between an item or portion cost and its sales price. All attempts to reduce costs should focus on this gross profit figure. Get to grips with how to figure out some important calculations related to gross profits.

  • Gross profit. To calculate a drink's gross profit, simply subtract its portion cost from its sale price.
  • Gross profit margin. This figure represents the percentage amount of profit made by the sale. Divide the amount of profit by the sales price and then multiply by 100. The result is the gross profit margin.
  • Sales percentage profits. To calculate the selling price (based on the required gross profit margin), divide the portion cost by the gross profit margin percentage "reciprocal," i.e., the figure you get from subtracting the target gross margin from 100.
  • Cost multiplier. This calculation is often used in the beverage industry to figure out the target selling price for a drink based on its portion cost. Divide the cost percentage you require by 100 and then multiply the result by the portion cost of the product.
  • Mixed-drink prime ingredient costing. A calculation used to determine the target sales price for a mixed drink that has only one main ingredient, such as gin and tonic or scotch on the rocks. All you have to do is divide the drink's portion cost by the target cost percentage.

This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Controlling Liquor Wine & Beverage Costs, authored by Elizabeth Godsmark, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to:

Atlantic Publishing Company
Amazon.com

Bar Management: Standardizing & Optimizing Serving Practices

By Chris Parry
Atlantic Publishing
 

Part 3 of 3: The Service Bar

service barThe service bar is an area of the bar dedicated to the servers only. If designed well it can greatly improve the flow of drinks from the bar to the customers. Alternately, if your service bar is not designed well, it can add yet another delay in an already-crowded process. When setting up a service bar, the things that should be considering are:

  • Layout. Will your staff need to make a long trip, past waiting customers, to get to your drinks server? Placing the service area off to the side of the bar might seem like a good plan when the bar is empty, but when it's full, a drinks server who has to yell to be heard is a disgruntled drinks server - and a frequently delayed one.
  • Drinks station.Is everything the bartender needs to prepare drinks positioned within six feet (a step and a reach) from a drink preparation area? If it isn't, you're only adding waiting time, opportunity for spillage and even waste to the drinks serving process.
  • How far do your drinks servers have to travel to reach your customers? Do you seriously expect your server to negotiate a heavy crowd with 12 drinks on his or her tray and not encounter spillage? Clear the way. Improve not just your server's efficiency but also customer traffic flow.
  • Service bar communication. If you have a bartender or bar devoted purely to drinks service, consider providing your servers with radio headsets that will allow them to communicate a drinks order to the bar from the floor. This simple move can save your servers from making literally hundreds of trips across the floor a night and can slash service times considerably.

Glass-Handling Rules

Too often, bar staff think of glasses as disposable partyware and all but ignore the fundamental rules of handling drink service equipment. Make your bar staff aware of the following, or you could find yourself in hot water down the road when someone complains:

  • Never, ever, use glasses as ice scoops. A tiny chip of glass falling into your ice bin can cause a great deal of injury, and bar glassware certainly isn't designed to shovel rocks of ice. Along the same lines, any time a glass breaks in or near an ice bin, the entire ice bin needs to be emptied and the contents disposed of before it can be used in the preparation of another drink.
  • Staff should never touch the upper half of a glass in the act of serving a drink. It's un­hygienic; it looks terrible to the customer; and the glass will be much more susceptible to breakage if it's being handled regularly in this manner.
  • Stemmed glasses. They're far more susceptible to breakage than most other types of glasses - not to mention usually more expensive. Make sure that all staff take extra care in the handling of these items, perhaps even to the point of washing them by hand.
  • Inspect. All glasses need to be inspected, if only briefly, before they're used in a drink order. A lipstick smudge, chip, crack or remnants of a previous drink are not only off-putting to a customer, but they're also hazardous to the customer's health.


 

This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Bar & Beverage Operation, authored by Chris Parry, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to:

Atlantic Publishing Company 
Amazon.com


Bar Management: Standardizing & Optimizing Serving Practices

By Chris Parry
Atlantic Publishing
 

Part 2 of 3: Ensure Quality & Avoid Wastage

Mixed Drink Tips

cocktailsMaking a good mixed drink isn't always a matter of A + B = C. In fact, there are numerous small details that can contribute to turning your creation into something just that little bit better than the norm and, more still, that can help you keep your ingredients at peak freshness and productivity. Consider the following:

  • Champagne wastage. Many mixed drinks require champagne or sparkling white wine as an ingredient. Opening a fresh bottle for one drink can be wasteful. Consider purchasing a champagne bottle resealer for your bar, and make sure your bar staff knows how to use it.
  • Keep champagne fresh. If you have a steady flow of champagne drinks in your bar, just drop the handle of a metal spoon into the top of the champagne bottle and put it back in the fridge. This will keep the sparkle in your champagne for up to 12 hours.
  • Is fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juice a selling feature of your cocktail menu? If so, you should know that you'll get a lot more juice from lemons and oranges if you soak them in warm water for a while before juicing them.
  • Stir, don't shake. When a mixed drink consists of clear liquids and/or carbonated beverages, stir it - don't shake it. You don't want your clear liquids to bruise, nor your bubbles to go flat, and shaking the concoction guarantees both will happen.
  • "Difficult ingredients." Mixed drinks containing juices, sugar, eggs, cream, milk, or any other difficult-to-mix ingredient should be shaken - and shaken like crazy. Don't just give the contents a three-second rock around the mixer; give 'em heck!
  • Adding eggs. When you shake a drink that requires an egg, add an ice cube to the shaker. This will help break up the egg and allow it to blend into the drink more easily.
  • Prevent dripping. When serving wine or champagne from the bottle, a clean piece of wax paper rubbed along the rim of the bottle will prevent any dripping when you pour.

 

Serving Quality Drinks

QualityThe difference between a good and great martini is very small, but very important. The quality of your cocktail menu should be of paramount importance to you. The methods by which those cocktails are prepared should be a point of pride for all concerned.

  • Presentation. The color and presentation of any exotic mixed drink is key, and by adjusting the amounts of key ingredients, the bartender can not only change the color of a drink, but can also adapt it to suit any taste. Impress the customers by asking how they like their drinks mixed. Would he like it sweet? Does she like it dry? Maybe a little easy on a key ingredient? Often they'll have no preference, but in asking you'll impress the finicky customer.
  • The process of drink creation can be as important as the drink itself. A little showmanship in the preparation of a drink may slow the process down a touch. Also, if the performance is good and the bartender shows personality, your customers might not mind a little longer wait.
  • Garnishes. Maraschino cherries, olives, a sprig of mint, a stick of celery, banana, lemon, lime, all carefully prepared, an investment in fridge space, and a bartender who is quick with a paring knife - they can all set your mixed drinks off with a sparkle. The right garnish is as important as the right ingredients.
  • Novelty glassware. Most bars consider glassware as merely a vessel in which to serve drinks, but the clever operators see that using exotic and novelty glassware and building the cost of the glass into the drink price can bring customers flocking to that drink in order to get the free glass.

 

This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Bar & Beverage Operation, authored by Chris Parry, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to:

Atlantic Publishing Company 
Amazon.com


Outfitting Your Bar to Achieve Maximum Profitability

By Chris Parry
Atlantic Publishing
 

Part 3 of 3: Streamlining Service Areas

underbar layoutWhen you design your service area, it's important to realize that every step a bartender takes in the serving of a drink is costing you money and making your customers impatient. Where does your staff need to walk to get a clean glass? How far from there to the ice bins and then to the spirit dispenser? And where are your soda guns in relation to the bottles? Is the cash register yet another trip away from the customer? Even if your bartender has to take only four or five steps between each of these posts, consider how far that means your bartender has to walk in the course of serving 500 drinks a night! This is bad enough for a solo bartender, but when two or three people are working behind the same bar and sharing facilities, it can be an unproductive nightmare.

  • Most bartenders are right-handed. With this in mind, your bar setup should allow your staff to pick up glasses with their left hands and bottles with their right, so that the drink creation process is at its most productive. If your bottles are on the left and glasses on the right, your people will do a lot of crisscrossing back and forth, resulting in more time taken to prepare a drink - and a lot more breakage and spillage.
  • Consider your customers. If they're lined up three deep to get a drink, and the bar staff need to take extra steps for every drink, each of those customers doesn't just wait longer for his or her own order, but for every order ahead as well. These people are lining up to give your business money - the last thing you should do is make it difficult for them to do so.
  • Low-cost equipment. If you can't afford to equip your bar with brand-new reach-in refriger­ators, there is another low-cost alternative. Consider keeping a sink full of ice directly beneath the bar top. Have three or four dozen high-turnover bottled beers in the sink at all times. Your staff can refill the "Bud bins" from refrigerated stock whenever there's a slowdown in customer traffic, thereby saving dozens of unnecessary trips to the fridge every hour, not to mention giving your customers faster service.
  • Pre-made mixes. To save time during their busiest periods, many bars pre-make cocktail mixes. While this is a good plan, be sure not to have these pre-made mixes sitting out in plain view. Ensure your staff don't refill them in the public eye. If your bottom line dictates that you have to use tequila from Peoria, it's best not to advertise the fact when you're charging eight bucks a drink.

The Under-Bar

Your under-bar is the engine of your bar area. If it's designed well, your staff can get from order to delivery in seconds. If it's poorly designed and dys­functional, your customers and staff could spend a good portion of the night stuck in bar traffic.

  • Focus on the customer. Employee interaction is the key. The under-bar area should contain everything your staff needs to fill 80 percent of their drink orders without moving a step away from the customer. If your staff aren't able to engage your customers in steady conversation as they're filling their orders, you're not only putting your staff through more work than they need, but you're also making your customers wait too long.
  • Bar layout. If your staff can work more effectively within a smaller area of the bar, you will be able to fit more staff behind that bar during peak periods, ensuring faster service and higher productivity. Take a fresh look at the bar area and consider what changes you can make to improve productivity.
  • Streamline your workstation. Many bar-fitting companies sell sink units that include speed racks, jockey boxes, ice sinks and more. They can also replace aged fittings with a minimum of fuss and expense. This will give your staff a compact, efficient workstation from which to maximize their time and effort. Prices vary, but when you consider the time, labor and customer tolerance savings, it's a purchase that will pay for itself many times over. BigTray (www.bigtray.com) can sell you this kind of equipment online or over the phone at 1-800-BIG-TRAY

 

 

This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Bar & Beverage Operation, authored by Chris Parry, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to:

Atlantic Publishing Company 
Amazon.com


Outfitting Your Bar to Achieve Maximum Profitability

By Chris Parry
Atlantic Publishing
 

Part 2 of 3: Design Your Bar With the Customer in Mind

 Consider Customer Comfort

Bar DesignHave you ever sat under a blue neon light for an hour? While neon decor might look great when a bar is packed to capacity and the music is pumping, when business is slow it's like a power drill closing in on the center of your forehead. Certainly your customers should be impressed by your decor, but will the very look that draws them in end up driving them away early? Consider the following:

  • Invest in comfortable seating. Wooden barstools may look fine, and are usually very cheap to purchase and maintain, but are they likely to give your patrons buttock cramps after an hour? Try padded seating. Make sure the customers can move their seats to suit with a minimum of fuss - never have barstools and tables bolted to the floor.
  • Consider installing booths. Replace those cheap tables. If you want your customers to stay all night, give them the kind of seats that will make them too comfortable to leave. Customers tend to settle into booths, especially if a venue is crowded. If your drink servers are attentive and food is available, a group in a booth is all the more likely to settle in until closing. Remember, a shaky table is very easy to walk away from.
  • A comfortable bar surface keeps your clientele happy. Make sure your customers can lean on the bar and get comfy without getting cold elbows. This is much more likely if your bar surface is wood than if it's stainless steel or marble.
  • Lighting. Your lighting does more than just keep people from bumping into one another - it sets a mood. If you've inherited a system of overhead fluorescent lights or neon, consider getting a lighting specialist to give you suggestions on potential improvements. It won't cost as much as you think. Generally a quote is free.

Color Schemes Influence Buyer Behavior

Have you ever wondered why fast-food outlets almost always follow the same color scheme? The McDonald's decor and logo are yellow and red, as are those of Taco Bell and Burger King; KFC's are red and white, just like Pizza Hut, Wendy's and Jack in the Box. Coincidence? Not quite. Research has shown that certain colors promote cravings in consumers. When an establishment is decked out in reds and yellows, customers tend to experience feelings of hunger, not to mention an inability to settle down and relax. It's believed that those colors will cause a moderately hungry person to order a little more than he or she needs. They also will prompt customers to move on quickly once their money is spent. Blues and greens, on the other hand, promote relaxation, serenity and even lethargy amongst customers, which might be the better option for an establishment like a bar, where you're looking to keep your clientele seated for the long haul. How can you utilize these colors to quietly "persuade" your customers to buy, buy and buy?

  • Menus and food areas. A red and yellow color scheme on your tabletop menus or food area signage may cause your patrons to develop a stronger urge to order food, yet not be so over­ whelming as to chase them out the door.
  • Bar decor. Some hardy potted plants, maybe a few palms and a little pastel color on your walls may help your bar promote a feeling of island- like serenity in your customers, compelling them to relax a little - and stay.
  • External decor. Your signage and building front are supposed to draw people in. But does your frontage inspire the desire to party? Or does it drive people to the KFC down the street?
  • Staff uniforms. Do the colors of your employees' uniforms say to your customers, "Welcome, stay a while," or "I'm busy, what do you want?" Your staff uniforms are an important part of your overall decor. Your decisions about their design can radically change the atmosphere of your establishment.

 

 

This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Bar & Beverage Operation, authored by Chris Parry, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to:

Atlantic Publishing Company 
Amazon.com


Outfitting Your Bar to Achieve Maximum Profitability

By Chris Parry
Atlantic Publishing
 

Part 1 of 3: Bar Design

bar designThe way your bar operates depends on many factors, one of the most important being the "machinery" of the bar. Sometimes, no matter how efficient your staff, the bar just isn't set up to allow maximum productivi­ty. Avoid that happening to your bar.

  • Form over function? Think hard about potential consequences before spending too much money on interior design. Of course, how a bar is perceived aesthetically is very important. But, don't put aesthetics above function. It could radically hurt your business. Before starting on the renovations, stop and think about how they will affect your staff and the duties they have to fulfill.
  • Cramped working areas reduce productivity. Make sure the new bar has enough room for bartenders and glass collectors to move about freely.
  • Storage space. Is there enough storage space behind your bar to ensure your stock doesn't run dry three times a night? Consider extra fridge space or even bins full of ice for fast- selling bottled beer products.
  • Is the bar decor comfortable, attractive and easy to clean? Not only does clutter look bad; it can reduce productivity.
  • Comfort. Are your seats and tables the sort of quality furnishing that will keep a customer happily seated throughout the evening? A little more money spent on customer comfort will translate into dollars over the bar.

The Front Bar

Your front bar is your first line of attack in the fight to keep a customer coming back for more. When looking for ways to impress your clientele, remember that the impression this bar leaves on your patrons is of paramount importance. Consider these issues and make sure the design of your front bar works as well as it can:

  • Customer interaction is vital. Is your bar top too wide? Is the music too loud for a customer's order to be heard over a crowd? Does it inhibit your staff from being able to engage in friendly chat with your clientele? Interaction with your customers is crucial if you're going to turn one- off customers into regulars.
  • Be wary of mirrors. Mirrors may give a momentary illusion of more space, but they also fog up and smear an hour after they're cleaned. Mirrors might look good initially, but their maintenance does cost you money. Consider replacing them with artwork, memorabilia, menu boards, or something else that will draw people in. Don't just fill a space.
  • Appearances count. Do you have bits of paper stuck to the walls which might contain important information for your staff but look terrible to the customers? Make sure that any staff notices are out of your customers' eye line.
  • Design a bottle display with enough space to add to your inventory easily. A good selection of wines, beers, spirits and liqueurs is an essential part of a popular bar operation. You should always be looking to introduce your customers to something new.
  • Stock requisitions. Is there enough room on your bottle display to accommodate two bottles of each brand? When one bottle runs out, you don't want your staff to have to dig around a stock room for a replacement. Talk to a bar fitter about improving your bottle display. Add capacity. A small expense now can bring you future benefits.
  • Make it easy for your customers to see what you have on tap. Can your customers see what draft beers you have without craning their necks? Do patrons have to ask the bartender what's on offer every few minutes? If you watch the bar staff closely, you'll see that they spend a lot of time telling customers what beers you stock. Solve the problem by adding a small draft beer menu to each table and another on the wall behind the bar. Have the menus professionally prepared so that they add to, rather than detract from, your bar's appearance.
  • Is your entire inventory on display? Are your fridges in plain view? Floor fridges make access difficult for your staff. They also hide your product lines from your customers. Consider changing the setup behind your bar so that most of your fridge space is in clear view.

 

 

This article is an excerpt from the Food Service Professional Guide to Bar & Beverage Operation, authored by Chris Parry, published by Atlantic Publishing Company. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission of the publisher. To purchase this book go to:

Atlantic Publishing Company 
Amazon.com


All Posts
Call us today for more information regarding our Liquor Inventory products View web live demo about our Liquor Inventory products Why ScannaBar? Read some testimonials about our Liquor Inventory software and other products. Check some videos about our Liquor Inventory control products Read some FAQ on our Liquor Inventory products