If you’re waiting for a rise in your pour cost to alert you to a potential theft problem, you may be out of luck. While measuring your cost percentages is crucial, it’s not enough. To find telltale signs of theft, scrutinize sales.
Bar productivity—as it’s called—is calculated by dividing the bartender’s gross sales by the number of hours he or she worked. After several weeks it’ll become evident who on your staff are the sales leaders and who consistently fall short of the mark.
If a bartender consistently generates low sales per hour, five things are possible. He may be moving too slowly to keep up with demand. The person’s personality and attitude could be so off-putting customers leave early. He could be preparing inadequate drinks or his sales ability could be so unrefined that he consistently undersells.
How do you know which it is? Take some time and observe the person. If the first four explanations don’t fit, the only remaining explanation is the person is stealing from you. Regardless of the scam, theft takes a toll on productivity.
Between tracking pour cost and bar productivity, there isn’t an employee scam or fraud that you can’t catch.