December 8, 2017 glimpse_team

Learn How to Stop Beverage Theft

Managers and bar owners are imbued with much responsibility. As they facilitate the operation of the business, keep customers happy and employees performing, it is possible for things to go unnoticed. Employee theft is a very real problem. Nearly 75% of restaurant inventory loss comes at the hands of employees, according to The National Restaurant Association. This difficult problem can manifest in various forms, and this article aims to help combat the issue.

Employee monitoring in the workplace is no easy task.

There are two possible ways to discern if there is, in fact, a problem on your own, however. Bar inventory management should begin with analyzing the beverage cost history and comparing it to the profit margins. Another option is to communicate with employees. If there is theft occurring, honest employees likely will have noticed and will shed light on the problem.


Girl distracts friendly bartender whilst her boyfriend steals drinks

With regards to beverage theft, there are three main forms that it can take:

Bartender is pouring liquor in golden shaker, toned image

  • OverpouringThis is sometimes not treated as theft in the bar industry, but it is a serious problem. Whether the bartender is overpouring to preferentially treat friends, finish a bottle or increase tips received, the bar is losing money.

  • Inventory Stealing – If a bottle of liquor is stolen, not only is the money paid for the bottle gone but the potential revenue generated from all the drinks it would make as well. Keep in mind that theft of full bottles is less common, as it is more difficult, but half bottles (or demis) and splits are targeted more often.

  • Cash Theft – Short ringing and reusing receipts are two ways in which employees can pocket some extra cash. With bigger groups, the POS system is less likely to catch it.

As far as solutions go, there are three ways to help prevent theft from cutting into the profit margins. First, it is important to create a system for operating that is consistent. Consequences for such actions need to be defined and agreed upon by employees. When a theft does occur, the punishment should be employed. Going along with the consistent system, regularly check inventory. Also, every hired employee should be made aware of the cash handling operations.

Another way to discourage theft is to actively try to engage workers and make them more invested in the business.

bartender empowering


  • Provide an employee meal either before or after a work shift. Feeding employees helps maintain a more positive work environment and happy employees.

  • Provide discounts for family and friends of employees. Employees will take pride in their place of work and bring more customers.

  • Create a reward system to motivate bartenders and all employees. Incentivizing better performance will, in turn, benefit the bar as a whole.

  • Enlighten employees on the costs of theft to the business. Many times, someone engaging in overpouring is not aware of the full effect of their actions.

Lastly, technology is perhaps the best option to efficiently improve bar inventory management and decrease theft. Upgrading the bar inventory control systems will improve reliability and monitoring of the operations. An up-to-date bar inventory software paired with outside monitoring from a company like Glimpse will benefit the business greatly. Employees will be encouraged to constantly perform at their highest level when a professional bar consulting company is added to the team.

Our team at Glimpse analyzes operations, finds points of vulnerability, catches employee theft and provides reports to clients with unmatched accuracy. Employing video analysis and extensive data analytics, we catch all forms of employee theft. Contact Glimpse today to take the worry out of potential beverage theft.

Tagged: , , ,