HomeManagementBar Liquor Theft: How To Spot It And How to Stop It

Bar Liquor Theft: How To Spot It And How to Stop It

Any bar and brewery can face significant losses because of liquor theft. And no matter how hard to and your manager tries, certain pilferages cannot be stopped. Especially for bars where expensive liquor is one of the prime inventories, liquor theft can burn a deep hole in the owner’s pocket. 

All great organizations are built on the foundation of trust. However, too much trust can cost you many bottles of gin and scotch. 

Nobody would like to accuse someone of liquor theft. However, it is important to know whether or not your bartender is stealing from you. And this blog is for all your bar owners looking for a way to prevent theft in your bar and what to do about it.

How To Identify Bar Liquor Theft? 

First things first, how would a bartender, mixologist or employee be committing liquor theft? It might be happening in front of your eyes and you would not realize it. So, let’s identify the methods by which your bar staff might be stealing liquor:

  • Using the POS to tally a custom, discounted beverage and keeping the difference
  • Overpouring for family, friends, the government, or nearby businesses
  • Bringing their own alcohol from home, pouring cocktails using that alcohol instead of paying for anything, and keeping the change for themselves
  • Marking a cheque as a walk-out and pocketing the money
  • Unofficial discounts, also known as free drinks
  • Claiming that a drink was returned by the visitor, reselling it, and pocketing the proceeds
  • Charging for premium drinks but serving cheaper drinks 
  • Short-pouring certain alcoholic beverages to offset the increase in pour cost 
  • Using a different bartender’s open POS login to ring up drinks
  • Providing wine by the glass while billing for a bottle of wine and keeping the difference
  • Failing to generate cocktail server sales and keep the money in their pocket
  • Selling leftover wine from wine bottles to other clients as wine by the glass without ringing it up

Wow! That’s quite a shocker, isn’t it? These are some of the ways in which your Bar’s POS inventory and its inventory reports are being misused and your expensive Bombay Sapphire is running out faster than expected. But, how do you stop it? Well, keep reading!

how to control liquor theft at bar?
Bartenders might be robbing you of your expensive alcohol

How To Prevent Bar Liquor Theft?

1. Hire The Right Staff 

It is imperative to perform pre-employment background checks. This is important when hiring from small firms that frequently underinvest in pre-employment screening and position themselves to meet the targets of potential employers looking for candidates.

Before recruiting, bartenders and other staff members, examine references and do a background check. Candidates who are dishonest and have a history of stealing and drinking might be filtered through a thorough examination. 

This is beneficial for building a team of dependable employees who won’t steal alcohol and for effective staff management.

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Pro tip: Hire through references. Ask your staff if they have any references who can work for your open position. You can also referral programs as an incentive!

bartenders tricks to steal liquor
A thorough background check will prevent you from getting robbed

2. Establish Strict Policies And Guidelines 

A crucial strategy in safeguarding your bar from liquor theft is giving your staff a well-curated workplace guideline that has detailed policies and employer expectations. This is a precaution to effectively deal with staff issues.

It then becomes the job of you as the bar owner to list down, in detail, all the policies and practices of your business. Getting it in form of a legal contract, signed and attested, is important! You are giving yourself and your staff a framework for operation by outlining the standards, rules, and acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and decorum for your organization. 

Any new legislation or modifications to existing regulations should be evaluated and updated on a regular basis in the manual. 

On their first day, each employee should receive a copy of the handbook and sign a receipt acknowledging receipt of it. This fosters open discussion about organizational standards and helps hold people accountable.

3. Create A Positive And Ethical Environment For Your Staff

All employees need to understand your company’s code of conduct in order to foster a work environment that is healthy that also encourages moral and ethical conduct. 

Holding ethics training seminars can help you do this by informing employees about the policies and standards that are unique to your business. 

It’s a terrific method to instil the right conduct in a good way to actively involve your staff in group activities that concentrate on best practices, such as role-playing, webinars, and town hall meetings.

4. Install Surveillance Cameras 

Installing cameras should be a general practice to safeguard your bar from any kind of theft, not just liquor theft. It sounds counterproductive to keep an eye on your staff through cameras, but in a bar full of costly liquor, it becomes a necessity.

You can install the camera at multiple angles around the bar to have a clear view at all times. You do not have to be secretive about it. Let your staff know that you have cameras in place to ensure smooth operations.

Surveillance cameras will not only allow you to identify theft but also solve discrepancies in case of false accusations. You will have video proof to solve the matter. Sounds helpful, doesn’t it? 

bar liquor theft solution
A camera will help you keep an eye on what is happening

It is disheartening to imagine that someone would indulge in liquor theft. However, it is a sad reality of the business and you must protect yourself against it. Implement these strategies in your bar and keep yourself and your staff protected from liquor thefts and other mishappenings.

We hope this article was helpful. For more content like this, follow us on Instagram. Cheers!

Anukriti Singh
Anukriti Singh
A strategist by the day and writer by night, I find solace between books and coffee cups. A firm believer that words are the most powerful tool of the humankind


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