by Wayne Miles, Stocktaker for the South East
How to make more profit from your bars
Making more profit from your pubs and bars does not have to be difficult, but you do have to be dedicated and disciplined. A good place to start is by looking at the stock control measures you have in place and then improving and developing them. For example, do you have a stocktaker and are they giving you what you really need to help you improve profitability, month by month? Are your staff trained properly or are there shortfalls which could be addressed to reduce shrinkage? Are your staff trustworthy or are a few bad eggs defrauding your business through the usual tricks? Are bar staff giving away too many free drinks? Is your stock secure?
Reduce losses and minimise stockholding
Your One aim should be to minimise stockholding as this reduces chances of wastage via write offs. Discounting close sell- by- date products for example is a great way to do this. Proper stock rotation too helps prevent such wastage. By rotating your stock effectively and reducing your chances of having to write off stock, you are engineering potential to yield more from your stock, therefore maximising opportunities to make more profit.
Regular stocktaking, as a process, will give you line by line product performance. That in itself is helpful as it will tell you what sells, what is slow-moving and which products are susceptible to negative variances. Use this information, found within your stock results, to inform your buying decisions. Or if you’ve just implemented a new range of weird and wonderful gins, use it to eliminate lines with low demand from your spirit list. This will help to streamline your offer to popular liquor only.
It seems obvious, but make sure you secure your stock. There are many occasions where our stocktakers find newly-delivered stock left front of house or easily accessible stock rooms left unlocked with doors wide open. You should ask your staff to comply with stock security at all times to eliminate the risk of pilferage.
Our stocktaking motto
One of Venners oldest mottos is to ‘treat your stock like cash’. It’s a simple concept which needs little explanation, but is so often forgotten. You wouldn’t pour cash down the drain. You wouldn’t lend a customer cash. You wouldn’t leave cash lying around. Keep this as a mantra and it will help you implement the kind of stringent controls that will help you minimise losses and improve profitability.
Amidst the repeated churn of casual labour, improving and continuously training staff is a great way to ensure that everyone knows how to serve, has proper measuring and pint pouring skills and follows best practice stock control at all times. It’s too easy to train up front and then leave standards to nosedive over time. Train your staff over and over again and you’ll cultivate a more diligent attitude towards stock and profitability.
Stocktaking done well
Stocktaking and stock control, done regularly, will have a seriously positive effect on your pub or bar. It should lead to tidier cellars, more streamlined till systems, improved stock rotation, a more popular menu, less wastage, decreased stockholding, higher profits and bar and kitchen staff trained in optimal stock control practices and proud of what they do.