With margins continuing to be squeezed across every hospitality business, bar managers are under greater pressure to run a tighter ship, yet still deliver the same high levels of service their guests expect.

The dilemma is a tricky one: How do you make your operations more efficient without negatively affecting the product and service? After all, isn’t ‘operational efficiency’ just another meaning for ‘cut’?

Fortunately, there are some very simple ways a bar manager can make the operation more efficient and help free up staff to do their job properly, without compromising quality.
Here are our five top tips:

  • Keep a tight control of stock. Which products are selling well and which ones are still full on the back bar several months later? Stock more of the former and don’t re-order the latter to avoid tying up money in unnecessary stock.
  • Monitor wastage. Head chefs in some of the best kitchens keep a close eye on what their chefs throw away to ensure they aren’t wasting produce unnecessarily. Make it your business to know what your bartenders are throwing in the bin.
  • Look at how staff divide their time. If certain procedures mean staff are spending more time prepping, making drinks and cleaning than engaging with customers, you need to readdress their focus.
  • Talk to your staff. If you think their focus is in the wrong place, find out their views on how you can improve efficiencies.
  • Invest in time-saving equipment and technology. There are so many products out there dedicated to improving efficiency – whether it’s an app to organise staff rotas, or our own super-speedy Zummo Z40. The fact it can squeeze three litres of 100% pure orange juice or 1.5 litres of pure lime juice in 60 seconds means staff will spend more time engaging with guests than preparing fresh fruit juice for the quality cocktails they’ll be serving up.