If you’re familiar with the following scenario, this article has written just for you.
Your bar is working with full capacity and there is no empty tables in the house. People constantly circulate, waiters and bartender are working hard and don’t have time for a break. Everything flows smoothly, but at the end of the day when you review traffic, profit figure is not so good?
You are discouraged for a moment, you’re looking for causes and wondering “where your money is leaking”? What can you do to control the traffic? How to improve your business and increase your profits?
Control Your Business Through Reports
Although it seems that running a bar is simple and easy job this is far away from true. This job requires affinity to catering business, organizational skills, much effort, control, recording and calculating. Only in this way you will succeed to get a maximum profit.
The financial reports are an irreplaceable tool for analysis of any business. These include daily, monthly and annual financial reports. When you make analysis of these reports you will be able to promptly correct the daily workflow and improve your annual business plan.
How Much Money Your Bar Has Lost Today?
The answer to this question can be obtained by analyzing daily reports about total turnover, report about sales per menu items and reports about working hours of your personnel. Each of these reports is a powerful tool for planning and tracking your goals. By analyzing daily reports you will be able to:
- Make a projection of sales and earnings on a monthly basis and set realistic business goals.
- Make better organization of staff and minimize staff costs.
- Identify your guests favorite items from the menu and make changes in your offer as well as the change of prices for certain menu items for better sales results.
Prevent Theft in Your Bar
You will agree with me that is not possible to completely prevent theft in a bar but if you think that it is not possible to control it you are wrong. The most widespread type of deviance was providing free drinks to friends (69.7 %). The next most popular deviance was drinking beverages without authorization (66.2%). Two popular ways to increase tip for servers and bartenders were providing free drinks and over-pouring.(source)
More most common ways how waiters and bartenders steal in a bar:
- By selling their own drinks in the bar
- By diluting drink
- By shortening drink
- By using same bills for different orders
- Theft by taking coffee directly from the coffee mill
To prevent theft be sure that your staff are following workflow in your bar as follow:
- The waiter receives orders.
- Waiter logs in bar software with his/her username.
- Waiter is entering order in bar software.
- At the waiter’s individual printer the bill for customers will be printed.
- Waiter is logging out from the program.
- Bartender receives order with quantities in a bar on his display or printed.
- The system works without conversation between waiters, bar or kitchen.
- Review of total number of orders/items is easy.
- Issuance of items that are not listed in order list has been impossible.
- All orders are recorded and prepared for further analyzing and reporting.
Control of waiters and bartenders at the same time does not mean spying them than establishing clear rules for bar operation. Make sure that every waiter and bartender is familiar with them. Take time to educate each waiter or bartender.
In addition to the above methods, daily inventory control is one of the most effective measures to prevent theft and my recommendation is to conduct inventory at the end of each working shift. If this is not possible because it takes much time, it is recommended to do an inventory control at least once a week.
Choose The Best Supplier of Goods
Before choosing your supplier make a list of the best selling items in your bar. Compare prices from a different vendors and choose the one with best offer on the basis of targeted items. Even a very small difference in the purchase price can cause huge changes in your profit for a longer period.
Take the opportunity to negotiate, try to negotiate with the current supplier if you have already build good relationships.
Bookkeeping Service for Your Bar
You’re not a lawyer, but it is recommended that you follow all the changes in the law related to catering business. Why you must do that if you have an accountant who can do that kind of job for you?
Because it often happens that you choose a bookkeeping service that is not specialized in the field of hospitality and it happens that some important provisions of the law are not paid on time. For example, if the registration of workers has not been done on time, and this happened very often, you will need to pay high penalties to country. This will increase your costs for staff immediately. It would be the best to choose bookkeeping agency that already have many customers in the catering industries.
Create Seasonal Offer
Creating seasonal offer you make constant update of your bar offer. With this you show to your guests that you are following trends and taking care about them. They will recognize that. Put in your offer interesting cocktails during hot summer or warm exotic drinks with cookies during winter. This will enrich your offer and serve as a promotional tool in your marketing program.
If you spice up your seasonal offer with promotional prices you will surely attract new guests.
Bar Management Tip #1- Defining Ingredient List
It is very important to make ingredient list properly for easier inventory control in the bar.
Ingredients are necessary goods that you need to make some drink. Recipe for drink is your ingredient with preparation instructions. It would be the best to consult your bartender when defining ingredient list. Only in this way you will be able to know your true costs for some items and to set proper price and calculate your profit.
Proper defining of ingredient list will help you to set your goals realistically and to price your menu properly.
Build The Best Team in Your Bar
To build a good team you will need quality staff, respect, confidence, quality bar manager and time.
If you already have quality staff you still do not have a good team. Excellent team may consist of more or less quality staff. Emphasis is on recognizing the quality of your employees, exploiting capabilities, giving additional education and workflow harmonization.
Bar manager must not behave as conductor. He or she must stand side by side with other team members and to keep his/her authority with a positive attitude and valuable work. Do not forget to reward outstanding team members for achieving excellent results!
Your Staff Behavior
If you running a bar you know that you need to observe your employees. Do they laugh or have sad faces while doing their job? Do they like their job? Ask them to express their opinions. Maybe some of them will give you information about possible misses in business or give you new ideas, or make some triggers for ideas that you can put into action.
The behavior of your staff is very important to create a positive working atmosphere which is transmitted to your customers. This invisible energy is one of the main reasons why your customer will visit your bar again or not. What can you do about it?
Start from yourself. Your work, your love for hospitality shall be transferred to other members of your team. Be sure to help them when they need your help. We all have good and bad days. Sometimes it’s better to stay at home than spread your irritability and anger among your employees. You will have more harm than good from that. Find the strength and love for work in a bar and pass it on your staff. Teach your waiters and bartenders about good manners, nice mutual communication and respect between each other, as well as how they should treat their guests.
Bar Promotion Ideas and Activities
This is mandatory part of successful bar management. You have to promote your bar constantly. This does not mean only the promotion of lower prices, it means the organization of a variety of special events for these purpose such as happy hour, wine tasting or cocktail parties, theme nights and similar events to attract new guests.
Bar management is a complex job. It takes a mental strength and a lot of physical energy. With good organization, experienced team, lot of recording and timely planning your bar will achieve the best results.
To manage your bar successfully you have to be continually focused on all aspects of the business. Only in this way you will have a long term cost effectiveness and not less important, a job that makes you happy.