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Today, I am going to teach you how to lower your restaurant and bar bottled beer costs by implementing a very simple inventory system that helps prevent “cheating”.

To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.

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Read the Video Transcript by Clicking Here...

Today, I am going to teach you how to lower your restaurant and bar bottled beer costs. One of the first things that I do when I’m working with a new client is to make sure that they have a system for counting their bottles of beer – a key inventory item. Bottled beer is usually not a place where there’s a ton of theft or “giving away.” However, it’s still a form of theft by your bartenders and servers. I’ve found that even the most honest bartenders and servers give away a bottle of beer to their friends or take a drink themselves.

Is it Stealing?:

Sometimes our staff just doesn’t understand the definition of theft. I used to steal from a restaurant that I worked at when I was young, a five-star hotel matter of fact. But, I didn’t think of it as stealing because I never walked into their storage room, stole something, and then took it home with me or resold it to friends. But we did have a shift drink every once in a while. We knew we weren’t supposed to, but we worked hard on the line and at the end of a shift it wasn’t uncommon for us to ask one of the servers to grab us a six-pack of beer while we finished cleaning the kitchen. Then we’d clock out and then have a beer. No matter how you look at it, that’s theft.

Keep Track of Your Bottled Beer:

It’s easy to implement a system of counting bottled beer and it signals your staff that you’re measuring or counting things. When you measure and count your staff is a little bit more aware of what’s going on. If the beer at the hotel I worked at had been counted, I wouldn’t have been asking the servers to get us cooks a six-pack!

Here’s all you need to do: count how many bottles of beer you have every single day. Why do we do bottles of beer? It’s very simple, you don’t sell a portion of a bottle of beer like you would a keg.

Count how many bottles of beer you have in the morning. If you receive any of those particular bottles throughout the day then you’re going to add it to your count. For example, If you start your day with 20 bottles of beer and you receive two cases that day, you’ll have 68 available for sale.

Then at the end of the day, you’re going to count and record how many you have. The next morning when you count how many bottles you have, you can go to your POS system and confirm that the amount you have compared to the amount that was counted last night. The numbers should match.

Example: If we have 68 bottles available for sale and then the next morning I count and there’s only 38 bottles that means 30 have gone missing, well, hopefully they have been sold. Then you go to your POS system and look at how many bottles were sold the day before. If you only sold 28 and you’re missing 30 it either means 2 of them are in a customers belly, in an employees belly or they got dropped on the floor. That’s where a waste, broken or spill sheet comes into play.

Now there are some variations on how you can do this using pen & paper, spreadsheets, inventory systems, etc. You might want to do this blind if you’re not always in your bar and you’re having a manager count. If this is the case, then maybe your manager shouldn’t have access to total sales data so they can’t manipulate the numbers. Some restaurants will go so far as any time there is a broken bottle it has to be set aside. But again it’s easy to just take a bottle out of the trash and break it and set it aside.

There are many ways that your staff is going to steal from you, and there’s always more levels of protection that can be put into place to prevent it. But the point is to keep honest people honest. If you have a thief amongst the staff in your restaurant there’s almost nothing we can do to prevent that.

Final Thoughts:

Let’s keep honest people honest by adding one new process to your daily routine that won’t take you more than 3-4 minutes a day – 10 minutes max if you sell a lot of beer. By doing a daily bottled beer count, it will affect your entire restaurant in a positive way – I promise.

Your Next Step

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