Well liquors are probably the most important products in any successful beverage operation. Approximately 50 percent of a typical bar's liquor depletion comes from well liquor. Therefore, how you select, handle and sell these liquors is crucial to the long-term sustainability of your operation. Bear in mind the following:
- Avoid supplier "come-ons." Suppliers are always keen to off-load excess stocks of well liquor. Only succumb if you think that you can easily sell the extra volume at a significant profit.
- Quality. Consistency and quality of well liquors varies considerably. Two factors are really important when choosing which well liquors to sell: quality and cost. Select well liquors that exactly match the quality expectations of your clientele. If your customers are picky, you cannot skimp on quality. It would cost you too dearly.
- Sequence. The traditional liquor sequence (bourbon, whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, tequila), where dark liquors are separated from light liquors, isn't the most cost-effective method of sequencing your well liquor. Try the more modern approach. Alternate light and dark liquors, e.g., gin, bourbon, vodka, scotch, etc. It reduces costly wastage. Bartenders are less likely to mistake one well liquor for another.
- Well liquor grade. Match the grade of well liquor to your type of establishment. No need for costly overkill. For example, exclusive clubs may have no choice but to sell predominantly premium brands. Less image-conscious outlets can reduce costs by selling semi-premium or pouring brands.
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: