Restaurant owners always ask “Why should I hire a bar consultant?" Believing experience is the best teacher, I answer by discussing current clients. I focus on what my current clients have in common and why they decided to hire a bar consultant. All my restaurant clients have one thing in common. They all recognize their bar could be more profitable and don't understand why it's not.
Many restaurant clients gross $60,000 per week with bar returns less than 35%. It's beyond me why such low returns are acceptable. Conditioning is the only explanation. Many restaurant owners perceive they are not in the bar business. I never debate the difference between being in the restaurant or bar business. I always encourage clients to abandon their own perceptions and embrace their customer’s perception. The easiest way to determine if you're in the restaurant or bar business is to examine supply and demand. If customer demand for cocktails exceed your bartender's production ability, welcome to the bar business.
As a bar consultant, I've learned there is a fine line between ego treading and ego tarnishing. I always tell my clients not to confuse professional critique with personal criticism. Pride and passion fuel the hospitality industry. Passionate owners, full of pride, often mistake critique for criticism. It’s not personal. It's business.
Other restaurant owners hire a bar consultant to maximize profitability. Pricing audits contrast liquor cost with cocktail sale pricing. Calculating the cost per ounce, serving size and portion cost best expresses this contrast. These calculations are foundations for understanding gross profit margins and total beverage cost. Quantifying these calculations maximizes profitability.
Restaurant owners seeking to maximize profitability are quite often plagued by “scope creep.” Scope creep is the gradual breakdown of systems and operating procedures. “Set and forget” cocktail pricing is indicative of scope creep. Static pricing is a silent profit killer. Two constants dictate cocktail profitability. The first constant is pricing. Cocktail pricing is a reflection of liquor cost. The second constant is fluctuating cost. Wholesale liquor cost is not static. It's constantly fluctuating. Fluctuating liquor cost demands fluid cocktail pricing.
Proactive restaurant owners hire bar consultants to provide a forensic accounting audits. Unfortunately, reactive restaurant owners need forensic accounting the most wait until it’s too late. Forensic accounting approaches loss by auditing historical POS data. POS reports provide powerful insight into cash handling, theft and money laundering. "Cui Bono."
I can go on and on about why restaurant owners hire bar consultants but I think you get the point. Auditing bar operations, maximizing profitability and conducting forensic accounting are just a few services. Bar consultants provide a multitude of services. Restaurant owners hire bar consultants to deliver results. Learn more about our services or contact us to become a client.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - PRESTON RIDEOUT
My name is Preston Rideout. I am President of Cocktail Currency Bar Consulting located in Memphis, Tennessee. I have twenty-two years experience opening, operating and owning bars across the United States. I specialize in operations, profitability, writing bartender manuals and conducting bartender training. My long-term sustainable solutions are foundations for success in the restaurant and bar business. I thrive in high volume nightlife and operational chaos. Please contact me now if you are a restaurant owner and you want to hire a bar consultant. Download my Bartender Training Manual today and make more money tonight!