Pouring practice is an important component to bar training that is overlooked by many establishments. It is the only way to ensure that your bartenders can pour drinks accurately and consistently.
Most bars have a standard pour size for their liquor drinks. In Colorado, the most common pour size is 1.5 ounces, although a 1.25 ounce pour size is fairly common as well. When pouring shots, many bars use a smaller 1 ounce shot glass.
While the majority of bars have these pouring practice standards in mind, they are often not followed very carefully by bar staff. There are several reasons for this variability in how bartenders apply these standards:
- Pour size standards are not known by all bar staff
- Bartenders have not practiced specific pour sizes and simply pour ‘till it looks good’
- Pour sizes are deliberately ignored to generate bigger tips
Even when bartenders know what the appropriate pour size is, they have a powerful incentive to pour heavy. A heavier pour may lead to a bigger tip and even if it doesn’t it’s the bar not the bartender that misses out for the most part.
Why Does Pour Size Matter?
While standardizing your pour size may seem insignificant compared with the many other items you deal with on a daily basis, it can actually have a substantial impact on your bottom line. For example, if you want your standard pour size to be 1.25 ounces and your bartenders typically pour 1.5 ounces, this extra quarter of an ounce in each drink increases your cost for the drink by 20% (since you are pouring one fifth more than intended). Over thousands of liquor drinks poured every month, this increase in cost will add up quickly.
Pouring drinks accurately is a skill that needs to be cultivated in order to standardize this process, and pouring practice will help you build this skill among your staff. By requiring your bartenders to do pouring practice, you will ensure that they internalize the pouring routine in a way that makes it standard and consistent.
While pouring practice is an important component of this standardization process, it is equally important that you check the implementation of this practice during shifts. You can do this by comparing what you’re pouring to what you’re selling on a regular basis. Bar-i’s liquor inventory software can help you determine whether your bartenders are adhering to established pouring standards with a great deal of accuracy.
In Part 2 of this post, we will discuss the best ways to implement pouring practice at your bar.
For additional tips on how to streamline your bar processes or to schedule a free liquor inventory consultation, please contact Bar-i today or call us at 303-219-0196. We provide services to bars nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.