HOW TO SET YOUR BAR STAFF UP FOR SUCCESS
How do you optimize the success of your bar staff? Discover why Jon Taffer says drink consistency is key to success and tips bar owners need to maximize profits.
Owning and operating a successful bar is an art. However, the overall success of any bar requires a team. If the staff is successful the owner is too. Think of your bar as a diamond-in-the-rough: it has many facets and when all are refined, you have a flawless diamond. But where does a bar owner begin in the quest reducing the flaws? In this post I’ll discuss the top 7 ideas how to set your staff up for success.
CONSISTENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Just as with a perfect diamond, a successfully-run bar is the result of perfecting the many facets of its operation. For instance, in a previous post (referenced below), I discussed the value of accurate and timely inventory. While effective inventory methods are tantamount to every bar’s success, well-defined policies and procedures need to be developed and implemented with diligence, the same as every other successful business.
All of the top hotels, restaurants and bars have operations manuals that they all live by. Writing an operations manual is the first step in setting-up your bar for success. But the creation of an operations manual is merely a one-time event; it’s implementation is the key – it must be continuously taught and reviewed in regularly-scheduled company meetings.
Related video by Greg Clark of BevInco
WHY BARTENDERS SHOULDN'T OVER-POUR FOR BETTER TIPS
First of all, if a bartender over-pours for a better tip, the tip generally isn’t any better. The reality is most patrons tip per drink. So if a bartender’s goal is to give a patron more so he or she will reciprocate, this is a false assumption. The fact is, most responsible drinkers today only consume a given amount of alcohol. Therefore, he or she will reach the respective threshold faster – making for a quicker exit. In reality, the tips are likely to be less – not more – when over-pouring for the sake of greater tips.
WHY DRINK STANDARDIZATION IS SO IMPORTANT TO BAR STAFF SUCCESS
Drink standardization is the basic tenet of a successful bar. According to leading industry authority, Jon Taffer:
More on your bar staff. If your bartenders were to make drinks consistently, patrons will return and ask for those drinks over and over. If you frequent any Mexican restaurant that makes a killer margarita, this will resonate with you. I hear people rave all the time at one of my favorite local Mexican restaurants in Chicago. In fact, if you’re really serious about making consistent drinks, be sure to read my recent blog post below about Easybar liquor control systems. Friends, if you want to make consistent drinks and maximize bar profits at the same time, Easybar is the system to own! You can download the Easybar brochure below.
Productive Bar Design: Easybar Liquor Systems for Maximum Profits
BARTENDERS SHOULD RUN TEST POURS
Accurate hand-pouring is an art, and it’s an art you have to master if you want to make money in the bar business. As my good friend and industry expert Chuck Deibel says in his recent State of Ohio Sales Tax Audit Brief (which you can download below), “85% of bars experience 20% shrinkage.” Part of this shrinkage emanates from inaccurate pouring and waste. Folks, If you don’t have the money to invest in an Easybar system, the next best thing a bar owner can do to assure that his bar staff delivers consistent drinks, by running test pours periodically.
You should develop standards for all of your drink recipes and perform your standard pour size test as follows:
- Mixed drinks
- Drinks served up
- Drinks served on the rocks
WHY YOUR BAR STAFF NEEDS TO ESTABLISH PROPER RINGING PROCEDURES
It’s of the utmost importance that drinks are rung-up as they are poured, rather than after they are served. A bartender’s memory will likely be challenged if he / she serves multiple guests and then has to rely on memory afterwards.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING KEYS
How many sets of keys are distributed among your bar staff? It can be shocking to know that a dishwasher has a set of manager’s keys – which also contains a key to the liquor room. This, of course, invites unauthorized late night drinking and liquor inventory shrinkage.
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