Part 2 of 2: Protecting Your ProfitsYour profit margin, like that of any business, is fragile at best. You can sit down with a calculator and try to calculate the exact percentage you'd like to see on each drink. But in practice, a little splash too much here and there can see you falling perilously close to a loss. Follow these rules and you'll be that much more likely to see your bottom line behind the bar match that of your balance sheet estimations.
- Watch what your staff pours. Regularly measure what they consider an ounce. If just one bartender overpours 40 shots a night by 25 percent, you've given away ten drinks for nothing. This kind of waste can get very expensive, especially if you have a large bar staff and they're all pouring more than 40 drinks per night.
- Have your staff keep all the liquor in the glass. Many staff members get lazy as the night wears on, and inevitably they'll start taking shortcuts. One shortcut many take is to line up three or four glasses and pour one after the other in a straight line without raising the head of the bottle. While this may save them a second or two, it also pours a lot of your product directly onto the bar surface, not to mention down the sides of the glasses that your customers are about to put in their hands. It also means your customers are far less likely to get what they've paid for. Don't let it happen.
- There are alternatives to free-pouring. While free-pouring certainly is more stylish and perhaps faster than measured pouring, it is also definitely far from accurate. As bar staff generally tend to err on the side of caution, they usually pour too much rather than too little. Control-pour spouts, such as Posi-Pour spouts, are a little more expensive than the usual free-pour, but they give a far more accurate pour without the need for clunky overhead systems or sophisticated electronics - and at much the same speed as free-pourers.
- Liquor control system. If you really want to keep an eye on your outgoings, a liquor inventory control system may be your answer. The price of setting these systems up, and maintaining them, can be significant. Then again, you get what you pay for.
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: