A lot of bar owners dream of having an experience like Cheers, one where customers are happy, and the drinks are flowing. But it’s a lot more work then you’d assume, and it can be difficult to make any money from it.
Sometimes it can seem like you’re doomed to lose money and never see any profit from all your hard work.
While it’s true the profit margins for bars are not massive; it is possible to increase the profitability of your bar with a few simple changes.
We’re going to cover two easy ways for you to increase your profit without doing extra work.
#1 Make sure your staff is upselling
Teaching your servers and bartenders how to upsell is not a hard thing to do, and it has a tremendous impact on your bottom line.
Whenever they ask for drink orders your staff should always know any specials you’re running and know when to recommend a drink upgrade, be it switching to premium alcohol or a larger size.
Whenever a customer asks about your drink specials, be sure your servers mention the more expensive type of alcohol first before listing the cheap ones. People generally enjoy hearing the brands of liquor, and you can have a lot of people decide to order a more expensive drink this way.
Also, upselling doesn’t have to be pushy. You can let your staff hand out small samples of brews, increasing their chance of a customer ordering that beverage. Just make sure they ring up any sample they give out, and that they aren’t giving away too much for free.
Sometimes it’s hard to get your staff into the habit of upselling, but you can help remind them of upselling opportunities by programming your point-of-sale system to prompt them whenever they ring up specific items.
You can also run competitions and reward the server who earns the most in upsells. This also encourages your staff to track drink orders accurately to win the contest of the most upsells.
One bar/restaurant we work with saw terrific results from pushing for more upsells. They set up their POS system to prompt their staff and used it to track who had the most upsells and reward them with a gift card. At the end of the month, they saw an additional $2000 increase in profit, just from upsells!
Don’t overlook upselling as an easy way to maximize your bar’s profit.
#2 Watch for over poured drinks
Upselling can only get you so far in profit if you’re losing all your money from missing alcohol. Whenever a drink is made, the bartender needs to ring up exactly was it was, so you can track how much alcohol was used.
As lovely as it is for each bartender to have their own “flair” when making drinks, it’s a bad idea not to have strict measurements on how much alcohol they pour into each drink.
You also need to make sure your bartenders aren’t subbing out more expensive liquor with a mixed drink without ringing it up and charging the correct amount.
A heavy hand can cause your liquor costs to balloon out of control pretty quickly if your staff is lax with tracking the amount of alcohol they served.
It may be a hassle, but if you’re not tracking how many drinks are going out, you’re going to find you’re missing a lot of your inventory at the end of the night.
Use the inventory system in your point of sale system to keep track of drinks rang in and what inventory should have been used. Then compare what you should have according to the system to what is left over.
Preventing inventory shrinkage is going to help you keep your costs down and profits up.
Train your staff right and use your point-of-sale system
A lot of these items seem basic when it comes to running a bar. But if you don’t put these practices into place you’re always going to be coming short every month.
These are two big things that stand in the way of your bar being profitable are missing upsell opportunities, and losing inventory from over poured drinks.
While training your staff is important, at the end of the day you need to use the right tools to help keep your operations in order.
Looking for an excellent point-of-sale system that will help you manage your bar, can help staff with upsells, and prevent inventory loss? Contact us, and we’ll help you find the right POS system for your bar.