Ah the bar manager’s dream! Sticky surfaces, broken speed-pourers in the ice buckets and unaccounted for stock.
But before you go blaming your bar staff, you might want to investigate the other reasons for that missing drink.
According to Barmetrix, even well run bars regularly lose 10 to 15 percent by volume of every served shot, with poorly run bars losing much more.
Of course spotting the causes for this wastage early, could save your profits in the long run. But what are you actually looking out for?
We have put together a list of the six most common signs of liquor wastage and their causes, to give you a head start:
1. Do you often see drips and pools of alcohol on your bar top?
Obviously, some drips are to be expected, but small pools and obvious spills are often a sign of something more. The key things to look our for during service hours are pourers leaking or measures being consistently over-filled. It’s so easy for this to happen during busy periods, but there are tools that can lessen the problem.
2. Are you constantly wiping down?
Sticky circles are really common when using generic jiggers to measure. Did you know that the round standard jigger causes a meniscus bubble to form on top, which, once lifted spills over onto your bar? That meniscus can account for three to five millilitres of over-poured liquor, most of which will end up directly on your bar top.
3. Broken speed-pourers scattered around the bar
Generic speed-pourers are not usually made for longevity, which means they are much more likely to break during use or when being changed. Particularly during busy rush periods. If you are noticing pourers shoved in ice buckets or bar stations, you’re likely losing money.
4. New tool purchases on a monthly basis
The more speed pourers getting broken (or any tool for that matter), the more replacements required and that is going to hit your bottom line. Consider how often you are replacing these tools due to rusting, leaking or breakage. Are you just replacing them with the same again? If a staff member kept failing, would you not replace them? It may be more cost-effective to invest in quality tools that will last much longer.
5. Unexplained amounts of comps, incorrect orders, staff drinks or missing bottles.
As we’ve discussed, using generic jiggers makes a spill much more likely, but free pouring can also be risky, with a large number of factors affecting the pour. This is inevitably going to mean a lot more over-pour than intended by staff, who will want to account for them as easily as possible.
6. Finding stock take doesn’t add up
Well it’s pretty difficult to account for those spills, drips and splashes on your bar, but it all adds up – and stock take is where the wastage really shows. Let’s say you serve 100 gins per night on average. If you spill just 3ml per measure, that can mean three bottles, or $120 worth of gin a week, missing from stock take.
And it’s not just stock. What if you had sold that gin? You would have made an extra $720 revenue in one week. That means you could be wasting $37,000 per year in gin alone!
So if you can spot these signs of liquor wastage in your bar, it may be time to change your tools and save some serious money.