April 08, 2024

An Important Math Lesson from behind the Bar

Uberbartools blog: An important math lesson from behind the bar

There are many things that equate to a profitably run bar – keeping stock audited, having an impactful bar design, efficient management, and pouring good drinks with speed and accuracy, to name a few.

The last of those is a key asset and it ties in with the organisation of your bar space, staff and stock. If you can be speedy and accurate, you have a happy customer with a well-made drink and a smile-inducing profit line.

“We know, in a busy bar, on average, a bartender can generate $600 per hour in sales. If you break that down: $10 per minute or 17 cents per second! So, every second is worth $0.17 in opportunity cost”, says Barmetrix.

That’s some math right there and it shows that even the smallest things count–every second counts, every lost drop of booze, every over-pour of drinks, and every leaking pourer—they all add up.

Over Pouring

According to Sculpture Hospitality, "Overpouring is a common occurrence in the hospitality industry, where bartenders and servers occasionally pour more alcohol into drinks than they should. While this might seem like a generous gesture to keep customers happy, it can lead to both financial and operational challenges."

"Serving inconsistently sized drinks due to overpouring can result in an uneven customer experience. Some patrons might receive larger drinks, while others get standard servings."

Similar applies to having consistent quality of drinks—overpouring alcohol can create discrepancy between a cocktail recipe and what the customer has been used to getting served.

Apart from that, over pouring directly leads to increased costs as pouring more than the necessary amount per drink depletes your bar inventory faster. This translates to lower profit margins, as the additional liquid poured isn't generating corresponding revenue, all while inflating the business’s overall expenses.

But there's another kind of over pour that might not be always obvious, considering the normal hustle and bustle in a bar or restaurant—the meniscus. The meniscus is the bubble that standard jiggers create at the top when liquid is poured in.

Here are some bar math to help you wrap your head around:

For every one 30ml or 1oz shot you pour, you’re probably wasting 10-15% extra booze. That’s 4.6ml over-pour to be precise… and it’s just the meniscus. Most of the time, this meniscus get spilt in a busy bar station. The practice for some bartenders is to pour a bit more to compensate for the spilled liquor.

Meniscus in standard jiggers wastes alcohol

Check out ;our blog on the importance of using a good jigger and learn why the innovative trilobal jigger guarantees an accurate pour every time.

Free Pouring

It's not just about measuring. What about pouring?

A 30ml shot will take 3 seconds to pour.
A 35ml shot will take 3.5 seconds to pour.
A 50ml shot will take 5 seconds.

And so on...

But that time can vary slightly depending on the consistency, or even temperature of the liquid, and relying on this math to free pour is all well and good until a bartender gets a bit tired and seconds get longer. In a nutshell, free pouring is bad news for your bottom line.

According to Diageo Bar Academy, "Free pouring is when a bartender pours liquid directly from the bottle without a measuring tool... It's tempting to do, but free pouring is not a favorable technique as it can lead to increased waste of ingredients, inconsistent drinks, and poor customer experience, to name a few."

Poor Pouring = Poor Bar

According to stats from Diageo Bar Academy, a bartender wastes one over-poured cocktail each shift, averaging in price at approximately $13.00 AUD or $10 USD. That equates to a loss of $4,800 AUD or $3,500 USD per annum!

Liquid loss doesn’t just come from over pouring and free pouring—it comes from bad stocktaking, staff who help themselves, and leaky or poor-quality pourers.

Uberbartools speed pourers are designed to stop leaks, prevent wastage and save bars money

Back to some math!

Each bartender on shift wastes two whiskies in leaky pourers at $7 AUD or $5.50 USD every day. If you have five bartenders on, that equates to $26K in AUD or $19.5K USD per annum in liquor loss.

And those figures are hard to argue with...

Having a good quality speed pourer not only means you avoid leaks, but it also helps you along the route to consistency which is a must if you want to get top marks in bar math!

The ProFlow range of pourers allows bartenders to pour with speed and accuracy, completely disassembles for easy cleaning and maintenance. This also means it has longevity behind the baryet another way to make the numbers look good.

So, it's time to think carefully about bar mathcount your liquor loss, subtract the bar tools that are letting you down, and add some Uberbartools to make a neat sum of profitability. Class dismissed!