Expert Advice on Hospitality Topics

Drink Selection: Optimizing Your Liquor Inventory

Posted by Nick Kaoukis on Thu, Sep, 08, 2011 @ 10:09 AM
Draft Beer resized 600By Elizabeth Godsmark
Atlantic Publishing

Part 1 of 4: Develop a Successful Beer Program

Beer is a major seller in most bars, clubs and liquor outlets; it accounts for a hefty percentage of sales. Draft beer is particularly popular. It can prove a lucrative area of any beverage operation, if you get it right. It is estimated that wastage, spillage, excess foam, overpouring, poor quality, theft, giveaways and other draft-beer-related problems can drain your operation of an amazing 20 percent of inventory. Never underesti­mate the scope for cost reductions in this area!

  • Promotions. Beer is a perishable product. As draft beer expires quickly, always consider discounting draft beer before bottled beer.

  • Computer-controlled draft beer technology. A good control system is essential. The best type of control is a flow meter attached to each tap. If your usage is over two kegs per week, then you could justify the installation of an electronic device that counts fractions of an ounce. 

  • Foam head. Control the size of the head and really make an impact on cost reductions. A good head of foam is essential, but it is up to you to control the depth of the foam. For example, in a 16-ounce glass, a half-inch head of foam yields around 136 glasses of draft per keg, whereas a one-inch head yields up to 152 glasses per keg. Add up the difference! Train all bartenders to achieve one-inch heads of foam.

  • Stop selling beer in pitchers. Pitchers sell at a lower profit margin than beer by the glass. Although pitchers are a better deal for customers, they do little for your profitability. You're far better off selling four glasses of draft than one pitcher of beer.


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

Topics: Draft Beer, beer inventory, Beer stock