If a licensed operation is to be profitable, it is most important that 6 ways to liquor control procedures should be initiated prior to opening. They can be divided into a number of separate sections, all of which are equally important.
Control of purchasing
Ideally, this should be left to one responsible person who should be aware of the amounts of liquor to be ordered. This can be done by one of the following methods:
- by keeping a simple stock card system showing a description of the item, supplier, maximum and minimum stock levels;
- by keeping a list of items sold and, maybe weekly, checking this list and re-ordering on the basis of what has been sold.
Receipt of goods
Try to insist that your liquor suppliers only deliver to you during the pre- or post-service times, not at a time when you are too busy to check the delivery for correct quantity and that the goods delivered are what you ordered.
It is most important that you become acquainted with the requirements of your licensing authority as to sizes of glasses and nip sizes to be used. When you have that information you must insist that these measures or portions are served at all times.
Wastage is probably one of the commonest reasons for a business having a high liquor cost. Wastage can, and must, be controlled if you wish to keep your costs down. Some examples are:
- staff who take customers’ orders incorrectly
- not cleaning draught beer or draught wine equipment regularly (which results in customers wanting either a refund or an alternative drink as the product originally served did not taste right).
Limit of range
A great deal of your capital can be needlessly tied up. Analyse your needs. Do you need more than four types of whiskey, two gins and two brandies? This also applies to liqueurs. Start small – you can always increase the range if there is a genuine call for a larger selection.
Beware of being caught with a lot of dead stock when ‘today’s trendy drink’ becomes ‘tomorrow’s forgotten drink’. With this type of stock keep enough for current needs – don’t over-order and don’t buy up big just to get a quantity discount unless you know you can sell it.
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