The devil is in the details – and he’s taking your money! Operators who pay attention to the little things earn big profits. This week’s group of our 50 Money-Making Ideas presented at the recent Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show lays out some profitable operations practices. The session was standing-room only as author and beverage management consultant Robert Plotkin of BarMedia and Nightclub & Bar publisher and editorial director Donna Hood Crecca blasted out 50 ideas in 50 minutes, organizing them into four “buckets.”
This week, we’ll dish out five ideas for Operations – The Devil is the Details. These simple steps can lead to big profits, so read on!
Operations – The Devil is the Details
Bar Backs – Improve Service, Save on Labor Cost and Promote from Within
Bar backs are the bartenders’ best friends, and if they’re well-trained and engaged, they can be the owner’s best friend should the bartender call in sick or simply not show up. Bar backs make the bartender more efficient and productive. What’s more, invest in developing your bar back, and you’ve got your next top bartender. Soon you’ll be hiring bar backs and not bartenders, resulting in a bar team that delivers a great guest experience!
The Bar’s Achilles’ Heel – Dirty Glassware Send Entirely Wrong Message
Lipstick or grease on a glass speaks volumes about what’s happening behind your bar and in your kitchen – and it’s not a good message. Take the club soda test: Pour club soda into the glass. If bubbles adhere to the side, you’ve got a less-than-clean glass; the bubbles are sticking to grease or other material instead of rising up in the liquid. Re-visit your glass washing program and equipment and emphasize the importance of clean glassware with your staff.
If Nothing Else, Keep Your Bathrooms Clean!
This is very important if you want to retain your female clientele, and we all know how important the ladies are to your business. If the restroom is dirty, they may not stay long and may never come back. Worse, they’ll tell their friends! Be sure to clean your bathrooms thoroughly and regularly, and check them hourly on busy nights to replenish towels and paper, empty trash and wipe up sink areas.
Coping With Labor Pains – Schedule As a Percentage of Sales
Do you know your labor costs? What you don’t know can hurt you! For most restaurants, labor costs are about 30 percent; a bar or nightclub, should be 18 – 24 percent. Owners and operators need to forecast labor based on forecasted sales – you’ve got to do the math. Then, you’ve got to constantly monitor it daily and make adjustments quickly if things are out of whack.
Portioning Safeguards – Winning the Battle at the Point of Thirst
Improper pouring, be it spirits into a cocktail or wine into the glass or pulling a draft beer, is a constant culprit of loss for many bar owners. Train staff to follow recipes, use measured pouring techniques and dispense draft beer properly, and you’ll see waste reduced significantly and quickly. And don’t forget to let them know that you’re watching and monitoring!