Restaurant owners, F&B managers, and Bars are all too familiar with overpouring. According to Hotel Business Review, “Shrinkage accounts for $10 billion in losses annually” for bars in the US. When it comes to any kind of beverage, the amount you’re serving needs to be as precise as possible.
The most common cases of overpouring are unintentional, caused by a lack of solid calibrating practices or tools. Eye-balling a glass of wine or calculating out shots for a cocktail are just some examples. Even when performed by extraordinarly skilled, honest servers, freepouring alcohol is controversial. Serving perfect pours is extremely difficult without measuring – the variation between a 5 oz. glass of wine and a 6 oz. glass is roughly indistinguishable to the human eye.
Deliberate overpouring may appear in various forms. Filling a draft beer always to the top and serving off the foam is overpouring. Adding in an extra shot to obtain a better tip is also overpouring. Topping off a glass of wine to end the bottle quickly? Overpouring.
All of these actions might seem innocent on a case by case basis, principally to servers who don’t have to stand up close and personal with the books. But in then end, they will significantly worsen your revenue.
Now that we’ve spoke about the two forms of overpouring – intentional and unintentional – let’s check out more precisely the effects on wine and spirits. Making a few suppositions on costs and volume, we can plan losses across both:
We’ll begin with wine, which is commonly served from 25.4 oz. bottles. Doing a simple calculation, that bottle can serve five 5 oz. glasses or four 6 oz. glasses. The problem is, 1 oz. difference is very strenuous to control without placing the glasses side by side. If you’re unintentionally serving 6 oz. when you want to serve 5 oz., you’re losing 20% of the potential revenue from each bottle.
Now let’s clarify in terms of potential gain. If a bottle price is $35, losing 20% only adds up to a $7 loss per bottle. However, if you’re selling wine glasses for $19.25 each, overpouring an entire serving per bottle cuts further into your margins.
What about spirits? For example, the amount of whiskey in each glass is typically so slight that overpouring even a little will double the cost of that serving. The same invisible 0.4 oz. overpour we spoke about with wine (1 oz.) will now lose you 26% of the future revenue from a spirit bottle. Spirits are unique because the glass is often served with ice, making it even more difficult to exactly freepour. You can’t detect precisely how much whiskey you are serving.
We can all agree that overpouring, deliberate or accidental is bad for business. Here are few steps to establish a beverage program to save your revenue from overpouring:
It’s complicated to resolve a problem without exactly knowing its severity. Start by analyzing your entire beverage program. You need to obtain a complete assessment, from what your pour costs should be to which kind of products are and are not attractive with your customers.
Then, if you don’t know where to begin, start by establish practices. Set up a standard inventory and make sure you’re counting the same way every time. Even something as small as always starting from the left and moving right as you count will help increase efficiency and accuracy. Once you’ve built your new and upgraded system, educate your staff members to help and keep an eye out for specific issues.
Make sure all your employees are experienced on pouring methods. Furnishing a resource that evidently lays out your venue’s “best practices” is a great way to verify everyone is on the same knowledge level.
If you still detect complications, don’t forget that it’s better to show than to tell. Bartenders and servers don’t have the same vision of sales, profit, and losses as you do. If you hold a daily meeting to analyze essential figures, your staff can invest themselves more into the business. Really drive the meeting by filling up buckets with water to show the amount of shrinkage each month. This will give everyone a fair vision of just how much pour practices cost.
Jiggers, measured pouring spouts, and other precision tools are good investments. While they may add some extra time to service, your bottom line will appreciate the patience. And, guests will be more fulfilled with drinks that are properly measured. Another option is glassware marked with portion sizes.
The beverage industry is catching up to the 21st century. Technology is accessible to take the guesswork (and human error) out of pouring. It can sound like a tremendous investment but effortless accuracy will always pay for itself in the long term.
The added benefit of Wineemotion wine dispensing systems is that they will boost speed and service quality and preserve your premium wines for up to 30 days. In addition, Wineemotion’s state-of-the-art contemporary display will generate buzz and elevate your wine by the glass program. When your servers can easily put a glass and press a button, they are free to pour more glasses at once without overpouring. Hands-free discharging lets them take their eyes off from the tap and do what bartenders do best: engage with guests.
By adding WineIdea, Wineemotion’s intelligent software, you have many added benefits such as staff control, reports of bartenders or wine dispensed, and you can also consolidate your inventory process. Data from a connected beverage dispensing solution will compare instantly to point of sale and give you a precise analysis of what you’re losing and why.
Tighter inventory, daily training, advanced tools, and increased monitoring are four ways to check your venue’s inner workings and avoid a bad situation before it happens. Letting your servers know the measures you’ve taken to reduce shrinking will stop unintentional overpouring and demonstrate how serious you are about stopping shrinkage – which will also encourage intentional leaks to plug themselves.
Wine dispensers by Wineemotion™ USA are the perfect complement to any wine-by-the-glass program. Wineemotion™ is the creation of Riccardo Gosi, the internationally renowned creator of modern day wine dispensing systems that have transformed how wine is sold and served worldwide since 2003. Our patented wine dispenser technology eliminates cross aromatic contamination, preserves wine for over 30 days and increases profit by optimizing your wine-by-the-glass program.