Restaurants with a bar can lose money in all sorts of ways. While it's usually good business to give away a free drink every so often, it's a product that can be given away far too often. Let’s look at some of the ways that alcohol can go missing in a busy bar or restaurant and some technology-based solutions that can help you ensure that every hour is a happy one.
- Beware the hungry bartender
Bartending is a very old, very honorable profession that also carries tremendous risk for graft. Say that your bartender is trading the sous chef stiff rounds of martinis at the end of a long shift in exchange for a nicely seasoned slab of monkfish tossed with that expensive truffle oil that the chef insists on. Now you’re out an entire meal worthy of a customer and several expensive shots of Stoli that should have made their way to a customer’s bill. But by installing a sophisticated video surveillance system armed with a business intelligence analytics package, it will be much easier for you and your managers to figure out when drinks are going astray.
- Beware the overly generous bartender
It’s been common practice for decades for bartenders to reward regulars with the occasional complimentary beer or glass of wine, but restaurant owners and managers should be aware when this practice becomes overly common for a certain staff member. Video surveillance can provide comprehensive coverage of all point-of-sale transactions and identify unusual, fraudulent or unpaid transactions. It’s a good idea for management to set policies for free drinks and enforce those guidelines, even if it takes a manager’s approval in order for the bartender to lubricate his high tippers.
- Practice good inventory management
A comprehensive video surveillance system can track booze orders all the way from a supplier’s delivery to point of sale. That said, restaurants should invest some time in setting up good inventory management practices, operational strategies, and staffing options. By no means should bartenders and servers have access to liquor inventory areas.
- Tighten up your pours
Use precision pouring devices to curb spills and over-pouring, and check the devices regularly to make sure they haven’t been tampered with.
- Be smart about tip jars
Bartenders and servers are justifiably interested in tips but that doesn’t give them a license to turn legitimate liquor sales into tips. Jars placed too close to the cash register can make it easy for a bartender or server to turn proceeds from a sale into tips.