It’s always important to have a talented and friendly team of bartenders. However, that need is only enhanced further when you are asking your team to create a wide variety of drinks that incorporate many different craft beverages. Many of the cocktails you now offer may have four ingredients rather than just two, meaning the bartending staff needs to be up to the challenge of producing these more-complex drinks correctly. Another point related to this issue is the fact that your team may now need more prep time, as well. With more ingredients comes more prep, so bartenders may need to arrive earlier than before in order to be ready when customers arrive.
Bars can be hectic places, and mistakes are going to happen from time to time. Even if your entire team is trying to do the right thing, some drinks are likely to slip through the cracks. When that happens with a cheaper drink, you don’t lose much in the end. On the other hand, with a costlier craft drink, your loss will be more substantial. So, again, it comes down to the quality of your team. You’ll need to emphasize the importance of tracking down every single drink to minimize the losses that occur when beverages go uncharged.
You will likely find that your menu changes far more frequently when you serve a variety of craft beverages than if you stuck with the standard corporate offerings. One of the best ways to keep your bar organized in the face of so many different drink options is to do a good job of updating your POS system. It is easy to let this fall behind while you are dealing with other jobs around the bar, but try to make time to update the system regularly. This will make life easier on your staff and it will reduce the likelihood of drinks being logged incorrectly.
Finally, one other thing to consider is that you may need to pick and choose more carefully what to carry behind the bar since there are so many options available. Even a well-stocked bar can’t have everything on hand that is available on the market today, so you will have to pick and choose. Of course, as has always been the case, the best way to do this is to listen to your customers. While you can introduce new things to them from time to time, it’s a safe bet to listen to what your customers want and make sure those drinks are always available.
The craft beverage trend has been a great thing for bar operators in many ways, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. We hope the points we offered in this two-part article will help you think about how your bar inventory and operation is impacted by the movement toward craft beverages.