Control the discharge levels of the waiters
Let’s face it, if there was never a spill, a broken bottle, an irregularity in the server when reusing the same check for multiple customers, the orders were not sounded at the POS and all the spills were at the perfect level, then we would have nothing to worry about . Two techniques I have seen require all liquors to be poured into a jigger or shot glass before mixing with a drink and also metered pour caps that are designed to deliver the perfect amount of alcohol in a mixed drink. Both ideas have merit and can work, but they often frustrate bartenders and disrupt the flow of service.
Another idea is to build a requisition system that unifies product counting, which is normally already carried out for inventory reasons, with the time-tested calculation of initial product – sales + purchases = ending inventory. Well, when the product is counted last, it should = the above calculation with no variation. The variation in this method or the amount of extra or missing product that is calculated will identify the extent of the problem. Let’s take a look at the wine served by the glass.
Each bottle of wine has a measure, 750 ml equals approximately 25.4 ounces. So depending on your pour level, you can determine how many glasses you can serve with that bottle of wine. Let’s say your pour level is 7 ounces per glass. (25.4 / 7 = 3.63) which says you will serve 3.63 glasses of wine per bottle purchased.
Then come your sales from your Point of Sale (Aloha, Digital Dining, Micros, Restaurant Manager or Revention, to name a few). For the counting period, extract the number of glasses sold for each wine poured per glass. If you sold 50 glasses of House Cabernet at a predetermined price of 7 ounces than you sold (50 x 7 = 350) ounces of Cabernet. Well 350 ounces sold divided by 25.4 ounces per bottle, yields = 13.78 bottles of Cabernet sold. So you can now calculate your starting number of bottles: 13.78 (number sold) + purchases = ending inventory. Since ending inventory counts, simply compare what you should have on hand with what you actually have on hand. I have personally implemented this in a restaurant with a high volume of wine sales and they typically have a variance of +/- 1 bottle of wine out of every 950 glasses of wine served and sold.
When you pay attention to alcohol, the bartenders will do the same. This also provides ample opportunity to create a game for your waiters. Depending on an acceptable variance, you, as the manager or owner, determine that you can reward or discipline your bartenders based on their performance and compliance with your controls.