Establish Good Recipes

Test Your Bartenders

Last week we talked about the need for good recipes, and to make sure your bartenders follow them. This is a good start, but it isn’t worth beans if your bartenders don’t pour the recipes correctly. It is essential to your success that you test your bartenders regularly.

This means that they must not only demonstrate a knowledge of your core recipes, but also that they know what your standard pour size is and that they can consistently pour that amount. For example, if your standard pour is 1 1/4 ounces, you must regularly test your bartenders to make sure they can readily pour that quantity. Even if it’s someone who’s been with you for a while, all bartenders can get sloppy, and you need to know if they do. Think of the advantage that brings when you have a bartender that is overpouring. That bartender cannot tell you he is unable to pour with accuracy ever again, so he will naturally be more accountable.

In addition to pouring accurately, your bartenders need to know your recipes and demonstrate that they do. Randomly quiz bartenders on your important recipes. If you have a cosmopolitan crowd, make sure ALL of your bartenders can recite your cosmo recipe and pour it in their sleep the same way.

You should also test for knowledge of legal issues, such as what the blood-alcohol limit is in your state, and liability issues your business faces if an accident happens because someone got drunk on your watch. (More on that in a subsequent bar management insider.)

Finally, you should also test for knowledge of your products. Good knowledge of the types of liquor, beer and wine you have can guide the customer to a different brand they may really enjoy, and can help your staff build credibility and repeat business. This will also enhance their ability to upsell a customer.

Testing for all of these issues can help the managers a great deal to realize when there is training needed or when you have a staffer that is not obeying your rules. In the end, you will see better profit margins and a happier, more comfortable staff and clientele.

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