Tony's Treasury: 3 Ways to Save On Operating Costs


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Tony's Treasury: 

3 Ways to Save On Operating Costs




Due to COVID, we're in tough economic times. Bar operators are scrambling for ways to cut back on costs and find ways to save. With limited seating and costs rising for some products like beer, spirits and food, finding ways to reduce expenditures is no longer an option for operators, it’s a must. 

Rebuild Old Draft Beer Systems

legion_lager_in_glassLosses from non-functional draft beer systems can be absolutely devastating to  a bar’s bottom line. Draft beer is by far the hardest product to serve efficiently because of its tendency to foam. As any operator or bartender can attest, foam can create an absolute nightmare behind the bar, particularly if that product is in demand and multiple orders are in the queue. The amount of lost product that occurs when bartenders are forced to make use of pint after pint of foam can be tremendous.

Foam is caused by anything affecting temperature or pressure. Some bars can lose 20 to 30% of their total product from inefficient draft systems. Depending on how poorly the system functions, an operator can lose even more than 30 percent. Even though an operator can do small things here and there and try to correct issues affecting foam, the best solution is a total revamp of the draft system. If that means a complete reinstallation of the coupler lines, fobs, trunk line, glycol unit and draft taps, so be it. The initial investment may be high, but it is worth it in the long run if you can get a system installed that pours properly.

Scrutinize Your Glassware

The glassware a bar is stocked with has a large impact on portion control. If the glass holds more than the allocated pour size, bartenders need to know where the pour lines are so that they do not over pour. This is an issue for draft beer and for wine if there is glassware that holds more than the theoretical pour size.

A glass that can physically contain 20 ounces, for example, but has a theoretical pour size of 16 ounces can create significant losses for a bar that serves this product at volume. The difference of 4 ounces per serving represents a potential loss of about 40 cents per serving. Over the course of a year, this loss could add up to a significant amount. A Legion doing $60,000 per year in draft sales could lose up to $15,000. To reduce the likelihood of loss occurring, find glassware that is close to your theoretical pour size, and then train the bartenders on where the pour lines are for each glass. For example, a wine glass is available with lines for 6 oz. and 9 oz. servings guaranteeing an accurate pour and eliminating a carafe; and the typical one pint beer mug should be poured to the top of the dimple not the top of the glass.

Inventory Everything Regularly

The more often you count something, the less of it you’ll be likely to lose. Typically, Legions do not utilize proper inventory methods, or do not do it on a regular basis. With active tracking, you can see your shrinkage, optimize your purchases and increase your bottom line. Everything from beer to liquor, food, sundries, glassware, and toilet paper; loss is kept at a bare minimum through regular counting. Accuracy in counting is also very important as well as extending your inventory on the same day as you do the count. Large discrepancies can be recounted right away and corrections made. If there are consistent minus counts, then the bar chair or executive needs to take action to find the cause of the problem and rectify it.


About Tony Rushworth


Before joining Legion Command, Tony was President of A.L. Rushworth Ltd. Group of Companies; operating Hotel’s, Pubs, Shopping Centre, Construction, Property Development, Commercial Real Estate and Retail Businesses.

Tony has served on the boards of the Neighbourhood Pub Owners Association, Credit Union, Southwestern BC Tourist Association, and as a Municipal Councillor.