5 top tips for reducing wastage in your bar

24/01/2018 Venners Ltd.

“Turning a blind eye to bar wastage is one of the easiest ways to achieve poor stock results, since wastage directly results in lost revenue and profit. Any wise operator would spend time monitoring and addressing wastage in their bars.”

– Scott Hulme, Managing Director, Venners

What is bar wastage?

Bar Wastage is defined as any pint, bottle or measure of any product that could have been sold, but due to poor quality, human error or fault, no sale took place for the product.

If you had no wastage, you would be making more profit and this is the ultimate goal. No wastage is in fact probably an impossibility, but it can be drastically reduced.

Follow these tips for guidance on how to reduce wastage in your bars:


1. Adopt a ‘first in first out’ approach

It is important to ensure your deliveries are being put away properly. Make sure all your new cases are going on the bottom of the stack, no matter how big it is! If newer stock is stored separately make sure it is clearly marked and make sure your beer barrels are stored in a precise order of use, ensuring the next to be connected has the shortest remaining shelf life.


2. Clean your lines

In many bar managers’ minds it is common to think ‘if I don’t clean the lines I won’t lose that beer, so I will be up on my stocktake’, WRONG! In fact due to beer being made from live components without line cleaning, yeast, mould, beer stone and bacteria become your enemy, the quality and flavour can be ruined in the few short seconds of travelling through a dirty line resulting in increased waste.


3. Replace your glasses

The glasses you are using can affect the quality of the beer you are serving, glasses can get a build-up of protein from milk, oil from lipsticks and snacks or a film from detergents, when this happens the beer will not keep its head as CO2 is lost because it has nothing to cling onto in the glass as the surface has become too smooth.


4. Train your team

The benefits of regular team training far outweighs the costs. During team training sessions you should be focussing on:

  • Perfect serve: using the correct glass & measure, using ice & fruit.
  • Till training: showing staff how to use the tills in different scenarios.
  • Cellar duties: changing and tapping barrels, as well as post mix.
  • Wastage: recording and valueing wastage on a weekly basis
  • Stock rotation: teaching staff about the correct rotation processes.


5. Set par levels

Utilise your stocktaking reports and till system tools to find out how much of each product on average you are selling each week and set your par levels in line with this, this enables your stockholding on site to be kept at a minimum and reduces the chance of suffering from out of date losses and possible theft, plus it will assist your cash flow.