Continuing on our journey of the several ways your bar or nightclub is hemorrhaging, I bring you part 2 of my series. Now, we’re going to focus on some of the more sophisticated ways bartenders can steal from you. These mainly involve some form of manipulation of the point of sale. Without a point of sale exception tool, you may be leaving yourself wide open for thieves to take advantage of you.
6. The under-ring
This one is pretty straight forward. A customer, over the course of the night orders 5 drinks. When the bill is closed, the bartender only rings 4 through the point of sale, but still charges the customer the price for 5, pocketing the cash for the 5th drink (Say, $7). In a busy nightclub, your bartender can do this to 10-15 customers, making a profit of between $70 and $150 extra each night.
7. Undercharge for bigger tips
This can happen with your wait staff, bartenders and even your bottle service hosts. In fact, it probably happens almost every day, in every restaurant. How many times have you had lunch/dinner somewhere and noticed that you weren’t charged for your soft drink? You probably didn’t think much of it and maybe added the money you would’ve spent on the drink, to the server’s tip. No big deal, right? Wrong. What if your bartender is doing this 10-20 times a night? That’s a potential loss of $150-$200 dollars that they are giving away in hopes of a bigger tip.
8. No sale
Another very simple form of theft. This works best for the customer who may only purchase one or two drinks. The bartender simply selects “no sale” on the POS, thus giving the illusion to anyone watching that the sale was properly recorded, when in reality they stick the extra cash in their tip jar. You should routinely run a “no sale” report from your POS. Bartenders with higher than average transactions should get extra scrutiny.
9. Switching our call and well drinks for bigger tips
Not only does this apply to a bartender, but it can also go for a dishonest bottle service host. For the bartender scenario, a customer orders a well drink. The bartender pours the drink using the top shelf liquor. The bartender serves the drink and mentions the “free upgrade” to the customer. The idea is to get a more generous tip from the customer for the upgrade. This can also happen in the bottle service areas. The party can request a lesser value liquor and the host can “upgrade” them, again in hopes of a bigger tip at the end of the night. This is why it is important for a manager to control the inventory at all times, especially the higher priced bottles.
10. Switching out well drinks for call drinks and pocketing the difference
This is the opposite of the scheme above. The scheme here is after a few rounds of drinking the good stuff, the customer continues to order drinks. The bartender then switches to well alcohol and continues charging the customer for the call prices, pocketing the difference. In a busy nightclub when the drinks are flowing and music is pumping, it is almost impossible to tell difference, especially if you’ve already thrown a few back. This is the worst scenario for the bar, though. If caught, the customer will most likely never return and chances are, you’ll comp their entire night.
For more information about Bottle Service, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.