If you own and operate a bar, you know how hard it can be to make a profit sometimes. After you pay your bartenders and the liquor suppliers, there's not always a lot leftover. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to keep your operating costs down and increase your profitability.
Buy liquor in bulk.
If you have your liquor delivery company coming once a week, or even more often, you may be spending more than you need to on liquor. Usually, these companies charge a deliver fee, so if you change your delivery schedule to every 2 to 4 weeks, you'll pay fewer delivery fees. Of course, that means you'll need to plan ahead and figure out how much liquor you'll need for an entire month, which is not always easy.
Look over what you sold on the past three months, and then take an average for each product. Buy what you think you'll use in five weeks and schedule your delivery every 4 weeks so you have a bit of a buffer. To learn more about delivery or buying in bulk, contact services like Liquor Boy.
Have your bartenders measure.
Everyone likes a generous bartender, but if your bartenders are regularly over-pouring drinks, they're pouring away all of your profits. Request that your bartenders start using a shot glass to measure the liquor they pour into drinks, and watch to make sure that they follow this instruction.
Alternatively, you can invest in pour spouts that measure the pour and stop allowing liquor through after an ounce passes. These work well if your bartenders are making a lot of simple cocktails, but they may be tough for more precise recipes that require 1/4 and 1/2 ounces of various ingredients.
Don't be afraid to mark up call drinks.
Offering specials on well drinks can be a good way to bring customers in the door. You don't have to charge a lot for a vodka cranberry or rum and Coke to make a profit if you're using the bottom-shelf liquor. However, your profit margin will generally be a lot smaller on your call drinks made with top-shelf liquor.
Avoid offering specials on these drinks, or you may not be making money off of them at all. Don't be afraid to mark them up a dollar or two. Those who desire the top-shelf liquor will still pay for it; others may purchase a well drink instead to save money, which will still earn you the profit you need.