Restaurant Beverage Control

Controlling the Pour Levels of Bartenders

Let’s face it, if there was never a spill, a broken bottle, server impropriety with reusing the same check for multiple customers, mis-rang orders on the POS and all pours were at the perfect level, then we would have nothing to worry about. Two techniques I have seen are requiring all liquors to be poured into a “jigger” or shot glass before being mixed into a drink and also measured pourer caps that are designed to deliver the perfect amount of alcohol into a mixed drink. Both of ideas have merit and can work but many times frustrate bartenders and interrupt service flow.

Another idea is to build a requisition system that unifies the counting of product, which typically already takes place for inventory reasons, with the time proven calculation of beginning product – sales + purchases = ending inventory. Well when product is counted at the end it should = the previous calculation without variation. The variance in this method or how much extra or missing product is calculated will identify the degree of the problem. Let’s take a look at Wine poured by the glass.

Each bottle of wine has a measure, a 750 ml is roughly 25.4 ounces. So depending on your pour level you can determine how many glasses you can serve out of that bottle of wine. Lets say your pour level is 7 ounces per glass. (25.4 / 7 = 3.63) which says you will serve 3.63 glasses of wine per bottle purchased.

Next comes your sales from your Point of Sale (Aloha, Digital Dining, Micros, Restaurant Manager or Revention to name a few). For the time period of counting, pull the number of glasses sold for each wine poured by the glass. If you sold 50 glasses of House Cabernet at a predetermined 7 ounce pour than you sold (50 x 7 = 350) ounces of Cabernet. Well 350 ounces sold divided by 25.4 ounces per bottle yields = 13.78 bottles of Cabernet that were sold. So you can now calculate your beginning # of bottles – 13.78 (# sold) + purchases = ending inventory. Since you count the ending inventory simple compare what you should have on hand to what you actually have on hand. I have personally implemented this into a restaurant with high volume wine sales and they typically have a variance of +/- 1 bottle of wine out of 950 glasses of wine poured and sold.

When you pay attention to alcohol, the bartenders will follow suit. This also provides an ample opportunity to create a game for your bartenders. Depending on an acceptable variance you as a manager or owner determines you can reward or discipline your bartenders based on their performance and adherence to your controls.