On a good night, the bar is probably the business place in any restaurant. Bartenders have to serve “bar only” patrons as well as juggle drink orders from servers. With such a high volume of breakneck service, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that add up to increased bar costs and lower profit.

The first solution is to establish rigid guidelines for pouring mixed drinks. Frequently train bartenders on drink consistency. Eliminate “free pouring” by implementing a policy of controlled pouring that utilizes shot glasses, jiggers and pour spoons. And keep a thorough drink recipe book behind the bar at all times. This not only helps monitor your inventory, but provides better guest service by delivering the same drink every time.

Your beer taps are another “waste zone.” Test your beer lines for free-flow (an oxymoron to be sure) every week. Eliminate beer pour-off (foam) by combining air pressure with your beer lines system. And keep an eye out for the three types of beer-waste pours: after-foaming, over-fillers, and quick-draw artists.