I recently acquired a little pub in Ft. Collins, Colorado . Part of the reason I bought this pub was that cost of goods ran 40% to 45%, which left the previous owner financially strapped, and left me a very good opportunity. Prior to the closing date on the pub, I knew doing a regular inventory would be key to our success. I have been in the liquor business before, and used to do inventory by hand. This time around I figured with the boom in technology somewhere I would find a tool that could help me out.
So I start searching on the internet, and ran into the AccuBar site. I purchased my AccuBar tool in the first week I took over, and the cost of goods went from 40% to 45% down to a 26% average. One big factor in my purchase decision was a testimonial from Gillian’s Pub down in Tucson, AZ. He is a little 50 seat place like we are, and he raved about it. I have to say he was right on the money. No more paper and pencil. No more worrying that the missing inventory could be a calculation error on my part. It also tells me what I need to order, and how much I need.
I love this tool. If you are reading this, and not using the AccuBar system, you really are missing out. The bartenders that came with the bar are very popular with the patrons, and to start over with new ones would have killed the business altogether. So my approach was to buy AccuBar, let them in on what the tool can do, and how accurate the monitoring is. Then I started to run my inventories. I can now do one in about 45 minutes. This includes receiving, empties, and full inventories on all of my locations, such as the bar, cooler, and stock room.
The final report comes to my email in about a minute. Now the current employees are stuck with one of two choices: either get with the program and do the job correctly, or quit. In either case I am happy, and I don’t end up looking like the bad guy in the eyes of my customers. In Ft. Collins, bartending jobs are hard to come by, and needless to say they are all still with me, but magically the cost of goods is 14% to 19% better. Is it magic, or is it AccuBar?
I also implemented a very good POS cash register. So now I can see every ounce of liquor, and bottle of beer sold. Then I can match that to my AccuBar profit watch report. My register lets me pull reports from home on my laptop, and AccuBar lets my pull reports as well from their server. So I can sit at home and compare data.
If I had to decide between a POS register and my AccuBar tool, without a doubt I would choose AccuBar. I believe a POS machine can only be as good as the inventories that back it up. Meaning that I have not seen a POS that can’t be beaten. However, a good inventory does not lie. You either have the product or you don’t. It is that simple. Having both has really helped though, and I definitely recommend using both.
Another good point for AccuBar it that bartenders are notorious for building a bank of liquor. They do this by short-pouring drinks, then using the bank to sell drinks, and pocketing the money. This can irritate customers who are getting watered-down drinks and owners who are losing customers because of it, let alone being ripped off. With AccuBar I can now come in and spot check the bottles, especially the well bottles where most of the sales come from, and where bartenders have the biggest opportunity to steal. In the first week I would see liquor overages of anywhere from 6 to 12 ounces of liquor in about 6 well bottles. Now it is always within an ounce or so. That is very good considering we are a free pour bar.
I have implemented pouring contests as well for my bartenders, to see who can accurately pour 1, 1 1/4, and 2 ounces into one of three kinds of glasses, then pour the contents of the glass into a jigger to see how accurate they are. This makes it fun for them, and helps me with pour accuracy.
The AccuBar customer service is fantastic. In the beginning I called several times with setup questions, and the staff was very friendly, and helpful. They even had me send them some of the reports I had run to look them over, and get me back on track. Now only a few weeks later I hardly have to call them at all. This is very important to bar managers, and owners, who just don’t have to time to spend on the phone. Joanne and Roger, who help me with the purchase, were just great.
The biggest benefit to AccuBar is that it allows me to spend a lot more time with my customers and a lot less time trying to figure out costs and looking for theft. I will make the same offer that Gillian’s pub did. If you are ever in the Ft. Collins Area and would like to see my AccuBar tool and how it works, please feel free to stop by. We still have some work to do in order to get cost down to the 22% or 23% range, but with AccuBar helping me I will get there.
David Wentz, owner
Chugs Pub, Colorado