Key Points in Protecting Your Bar Profits

By Joanna Harralson Vice President Operations, The Insight Group International | October 28, 2008

There are times we wonder just how important it is to constantly demand adherence to the rules we've put in place in our bars and lounges. For instance, just what can the negative impact be of a bartender becoming lax in reviewing servers' checks? To forget that guidelines such as this were established for definite reasons is, of course, foolhardy.

For one, when a bartender is diligent about 'redlining' or otherwise reviewing checks created from a server's drink/food orders, the server tends to be more diligent about maintaining accountability and accuracy with those same orders. By the same token, the bartender is encouraged to travel a straighter path, as well. And collusion between a bartender and server is not an unheard of scenario in many bars and lounges.

No Servers Behind the Bar

The same holds true when servers are allowed free access behind the bar, pouring their own drink orders or carrying orders they've prepared to guests in the lounge. Again, accountability is key. If the temptation to be a bit dishonest is present, what better opportunity than being able to operate freely, without bartender or manager oversight and sometimes, without having to transact guest checks.

On a similar note, bartenders should not be permitted to double as lounge servers. Servers should relay the orders to the bartender, who should then review those orders, which are finally delivered to the guest by the server. These procedures act as barriers to moral mishaps or plain old accounting mistakes leading to disappearing funds. And they keep things running smoothly.

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