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BARTENDER THEFT: Bar Theft, Palming Stolen Money, Stolen Money to Tip Jar, Underage Drinking, Dram Shop Concerns

March 3, 2014 18:35 by administrator

BARTENDER THEFT: Bar Theft, Palming Stolen Money, Stolen Money to Tip Jar, Underage Drinking, Dram Shop Concerns

 

Bartender Summary

The agent observed the following bartenders the evening of June 30th:

-Indoor Bar

·       Xxxxx: Caucasian male, 6’2”, medium build, short dark hair

                                      

·       Xxxxx: Caucasian male, 6’0”, medium build, short dark hair  

-Near Bar

·       Bartender 3: Caucasian male, 6’1”, medium build, short spiked brown hair  

·       Bartender 4: Caucasian male, 6’2”, medium build, short dark hair  



The agent initially approached the nearer of the two outdoor  bars at 7:17.  At that time, all three bartenders were doing their best to keep up with the demand, but from the moment the agent walked in, it was obvious that they were beyond the limit of how much business they could keep up with.  And while both of them were working gamely to do all that they could, it was six minutes before one of them was able to get to a given guest after her arrival.

This was not an isolated incident either, as the experience was typical of the average guest.  Even so, after initially speaking to the agent at 17:23, Bartender 3 was able to present the ordered beverage a mere two minutes later.  Though  it  is worth noting that no beverage napkins were used by either bartender at any point.  Of some additional concern, the agent noted that the bartender never actually rang the order in.  Rather, he approached the POS, and registered a flurry of screen touches that ultimately culminated in a “No sale” screen and the cash being split between the register and tip jar.  Again, this experience was sadly typical.  (see photo below from 8:20).

In addition to multiple “No sale” ring-ins, the agent also witnessed another common practice effective for hiding cash theft:  rather than create and close out each individual order, both Bartenders 3 and 4 had a tendency to leave a tab open at all times, which they would add drinks to and apply cash payments to repeatedly without closing out.  In addition to making the cash sales record a confused jumble, this also gives a readout less than a centimeter in size stating the change due back to the guest. Obviously, in a bar where the nearest guest is ten feet away, this is a serious problem.

Yet two additional methods of outright theft were observed.  At 8:07, Bartender 3 received a drink order and a stack of bills with a suggestion to “keep the change.”  Rather than ring the order in, Bartender 3 held onto it, palmed in one of his hands while going about stocking work, until he eventually dropped it directly in the tip jar.

Similarly, at 8:34, Bartender 4 poured two draft beers for a guest, quoted her a price of $10, then went to the POS, and rang it in for a single draft, pressing the cash button as quickly as possible so that the large “$5.00” display was visible for only a fraction of a second, and then dropped the remainder and tip in the tip jar.

Each of these theft methods relies on quoting a price, waiting for the guest to present cash, and then ringing in something unorthodox to disguise the theft of the overage.

One practice that would go a long way to eliminating these practices would be to insist that bartenders announce the price only after having rung in the items.  This would at least make the practices above more difficult, but the fact that bartenders feel free to just ring in “No sales” and drop in cash means that they are stealing with impunity.  A good way to address this problem would be to have surprise cash drawer changes at random and unannounced times, making it easy for management to prove that some bartenders have impossible overages.  Also, since theft was consistently observed only at the outdoor bars, this would be a way of extending management’s control over the satellite bars that seem to operate with a sense of impunity.

Given the profit motivation the bartenders displayed, it surprised the agent to never see either of them offer food to a guest or even try to upsell to a more expensive brand of liquor, easy ways to increase check and tip averages.

Also, paradoxically, the bartenders were very slow about offering additional drinks to those guests whose had gone empty.  Initially, they were very busy with guests, then with cleaning up and restocking, but after this period, they tended to wait around to be approached rather than offer new drinks to guests sitting there with empties.

The agent also never observed either bartender giving any guest a check for any cash order at any time.  They simply did not do it.  This was even true at the inside bar where rampant theft methods were not observed.

Additionally, other, numerous operating controls seemed to have broken down, especially the system for checking ID.  It is possible that the bartenders were under the impression that IDs were being checked at the door, because no bartender in the establishment or out was ever seen to ask for identification of any guest.  This is obviously a big enough risk for the establishment, but on top of that, much of the crowd that evening was young, including several people that were clearly under 30.  Additionally, by the end of the evening multiple guests made statements both to the bartenders and to fellow patrons to the effect of their being completely intoxicated.  Sure enough, both guests showed all the symptoms of visible intoxication, yet they continued to receive drinks from Bartenders 3 and 4.

Even more worryingly, at 9:27, the agent observed Xxxxx serving a Mojito and a Pomonat to two girls that appeared to the agent to be underage (pictured at left) .  What’s more, Xxxxx not only never carded them, he was also never seen to ring the drink in, meaning that he either delayed the ring-in considerably, or they were given away without being properly comped and accounted for. Agent never observed the drinks to be accounted for.

Obviously, it goes without saying that under New Jersey’s dram shop law, these are massive sources of liability to the establishment, as any damages caused to either any individual or any property by a minor who has been served in a restaurant can be considered the liability of the establishment, and can be recouped by litigation.  In fact, the law is so stringent, that even minors who have not been served on the premises, but have been seen to have been intoxicated on the premises and then go on to cause damages can be a source of liability for the establishment, as the establishment is legally obligated to stop the process.  This is why it is so essential that all guests be identified in terms of age upon entry to the establishment.  Of course, when it comes to intoxicated guests, the liability exists regardless of guests' minor status.

On the other hand, there were minimal problems with correct pouring controls at  both bars.  The only overpour was actually poured by a chef (see “Managers” section for details).

All bartenders appearance was always professional and hygienic, with no cause for concern with respect to their hand washing.  The agent did observe both outdoor bartenders and Xxxxx drinking from plastic cups though.

The outdoor bar farthest from the entrance was closed.

Manager Summary

·       Patio Manager: Caucasian male, 6’0”, short dark hair and goatee , average build, black short-sleeved collared shirt labeled “Baia,”  and black slacks (pictured at right)

·       Chef: Caucasian male, 6’0”, short light brown hair in a baseball cap, glasses, wearing a black chef’s uniform monogrammed with a name beginning “Sch”

For the most part, the agent only observed the Patio Manager.  He was generally busy and effective though.  He was first seen in conversation with the hostess outside the patio bar at 8:16, then was seen circulating around the patio, in one case talking to a guest.

Next, at several times between 8:50 and 9:28, he was seen preparing bar drinks and taking them outside, presumably to help the swamped bartenders.

The only negative finding about the Patio Manager is that he was just five feet away when Xxxxx was seen presenting the alcohol to the seemingly underage guests.

Finally, the Chef described above was briefly observed at 9:20 when he stepped behind the indoor bar, grabbed a goblet, poured himself an eight-count (>3 oz) of Grey Goose, emptied a can of Red Bull over it, and then walked back into the kitchen, taking a large gulp of the drink as he walked. It was not observed to be comped in the POS.

While the Patio Manager was doing a laudable job of assisting his staff, in the agent’s opinion, his time might have been better spent by inspiring a bit of fear of authority in his bar staff.

There were no guest problems at any point that required manager intervention.


Michael Zenner - CEO      

Eye Spy Spotter Services Inc.

eyespyspotter.com

bartheft.com  (blog)

Hospitality Checkpoint

hospitalitycheckpoint.com

liquorassessment.com

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299

Office: 480-777-7056

Toll Free: 800-880-0811

© Eye Spy Spotter Services Inc. 2014


BARTENDER THEFT: Not ringing in drinks, Liquor Law Violations, auto up-selling

November 28, 2012 20:11 by administrator

BARTENDER THEFT:

Bartender Summary

·       Bar 1:  Caucasian female approximately 5’4 with short black hair and pink highlights and multiple facial piercings wearing a blue zip up sweater and jeans.

·       Bar 2:  Caucasian male approximately 6’ with short spiked brown hair and multiple tattoos on his arms wearing a cross necklace.

The agent and associate approached the bar top and were greeted with a slight delay by Bar 1.  She was surprisingly staring rather blankly off into space and didn’t seem to notice new guests had approached her bar top (see food and beverage summary for details).  She came over and asked “you didn’t need anything to drink did you?”  The agent was perplexed by her non-upselling greet as it was not inviting or good service in the agent’s opinion.

A drink order was placed (see food and beverage summary for details).  She brought the drinks in a timely manner and placed them on top of coasters.  She reported to the POS to start our tab.

She did not introduce herself by name in case we needed anything further.

Later in the evaluation Bar 2 came onto shift.  He greeted us with a smile and asked if we were doing ok which is good service in the agent’s opinion.  He was only observed for a short time but appeared to be friendly and attentive in the agent’s opinion.

The agent presented payment for Bar 1 to process as it appeared she was getting ready to come off her shift.  Payment was processed quickly.  She did not return it in a check presenter and an itemized receipt was not included.  She thanked us while walking away which impersonal and in genuine in the agent’s opinion.

Overall the agent was not impressed with Bar 1’s service.  She moved around the bar without any sense of urgency which made her appear to be bored, tired and unenthused to be at work which is unpleasant in the agent’s opinion.  She was not observed conversing personally with any guests and only spoke when an order was being exchanged which is impersonal and not a quality that a bartender should posses in the agent’s opinion.

She was only observed pouring one mixed drink and it was poured using a 3 count pour.  She placed the pint glass directly into the ice well when making this drink which is a Health Code violation.  Most of the drinks she served were bottled and draft beer.  Draft beer was served with ¼ inch of head and in a cold glass.  Drinks made for servers were accompanied with a ticket and no server call outs were observed.  

There was one instance where she did not report to the POS after making a beverage for a walk up guest.  At approximately 4:50PM she served a guest she personally knew by name a pint of beer and did not report to the POS.  The agent did not see this drink accounted for on any tab.

Also, at approximately 5:02PM she served a single walk up guest a large pitcher of Blue Moon which is a violation of the liquor law as the pitcher is likely 64 ounces and a single customer can only be served 32 ounces of beer at one time.

TITLE 4, CHAPTER 3

4-244. Unlawful acts

23. For an on-sale retailer or employee to conduct drinking contests, to sell or deliver to a person an unlimited number of spirituous liquor beverages during any set period of time for a fixed price, to deliver more than thirty-two ounces of beer, one liter of wine or four ounces of distilled spirits in any spirituous liquor drink to one person at one time for that person's consumption or to advertise any practice prohibited by this paragraph.

Food and Beverage Summary

·       Host 1:  Caucasian female approximately 5’6 with reddish hair in a ponytail wearing a pink sweater and jeans.

There was a host on duty upstairs when we arrived at the establishment.  She did not greet us in a friendly manner instead asked “2 of you?” without smiling or welcoming us into the establishment.  It was very unwelcoming. Server 1 was at the host stand and since we were going to be her table, she led us to our table in the dining room.  Host 1 was not seen seating any tables and appeared to have gone off duty shortly after the evaluation began so the section was not scored.

Shortly after we sat down, two guests sat themselves in the dining room at a table nearby.  The agent watched as Server 1 and Bar 1 obviously walked past this table numerous times without greeting them or even noticing they hadn’t been acknowledged by staff members.  The agent observed them looking around as they were desperately trying to get a staff member to come to the table.  Finally, approximately 15-20 minutes after they sat down, the male patron went up to the bar and asked for menus and also asked to have a server sent to the table which is unacceptable in the agent’s opinion.  Server 2 approached shortly after to greet the table.

The agent was disconcerted by the lack of organization displayed by staff.  The agent feels staff need to be diligent about watching the front door and watching for new tables to be sat if a host is not on duty.  Also, the agent feels the slow business level at the time was such that the staff members should’ve been able to notice these new guests immediately.  In fact, the agent was surprised they did not walk out.

At the table the agent ordered an iced tea.  The tea tasted fresh brewed and was served with plenty of ice.  The agent requested sweetener.  The caddie it was delivered in was grimy and only half full.  The associate ordered a Michelob Ultra bottle.  The beer was cold and refreshing.

For an appetizer the chicken strips were ordered.  The breading was flimsy and was falling of the chicken which made a mess on the table.  The chicken was tender however neither the agent nor the associate cared for the flavor of the breading.  BBQ sauce and ranch was requested on the side.  Neither the agent nor the associate cared for the flavor of the BBQ sauce.

The agent ordered the Buffalo Chicken pizza with light chicken.  The agent was brought a pizza with tomatoes and onions on top.  At first the agent wondered if they made the mistake in ordering as neither vegetable is cared for by the agent and they would’ve been requested to be left off the pizza.  The agent then tasted the brown sauce on the pizza and realized it was the same BBQ sauce that had been served with the chicken and not enjoyed.  The agent believed the wrong pizza was brought so called over Server 1.

The agent asked Server 1 if the wing sauce was supposed to taste like BBQ sauce and if the pizza in front of the agent was the Buffalo Chicken pizza.  She stated it was the Buffalo pizza.  The agent stated they didn’t want that pizza and asked for a menu.  The agent then read the menu description of the BBQ pizza to Server 1 and stated that was obviously the pizza that had been delivered.  Server 1 then went to the POS to look at the ticket and realized she had rung in the wrong pizza.  She apologized and stated the correct pizza would be out soon.  She was genuinely apologetic and asked if the agent needed anything while waiting for the pizza which was appreciated by the agent.

The agent feels this mistake should’ve been caught at the window and the pizza should not have been delivered to the agent.  The fact that it was not realized until the menu description was read to her signifies to the agent Server 1 lacks menu knowledge.

 

The Buffalo Chicken pizza was served 19 minutes later and was definitely worth the wait - great stuff.  The cheddar and mozzarella cheese was perfectly melted and abundantly spread over the chicken.  The wing sauce had a great aroma and was spread along the bottom of the ingredients instead of a traditional red sauce.  The chicken was tender and paired well with the rest of the ingredients.  The crust was soft and had a great flavor and consistency.  The side of ranch served on the side was a cool contrast to the zipp of the wing sauce.

The BBQ Pizza was present on the check instead of the Buffalo Pizza.  The agent did not point out the mistake because the price for the two items is equivalent.  However, the agent feels the incorrect item should have been comped off and the correct item should have been accounted for due to inventory purposes.

The associate ordered the create your own pizza with Italian sausage, pepperoni, ham and bacon.  The meat was abundant and well seasoned.  The cheese was perfectly melted and the marinara had a great flavor.

The associate requested a box when the agent’s pizza was delivered and the agent asked for two boxes to be brought.  They were not delivered until 10 minutes later which is a significant delay in the agent’s opinion.

At the bar the agent ordered a Kilt Lifter draft.  The glass the beer was served in was approximately 22 ounces.  Even though the agent did not specify the size that was wanted the agent feels an upsize should be upsold as opposed to up served. Auto-upselling is a form of bartender theft in the Agent's opinion.

The beer was over flowing onto the bar top and the spill was not cleaned up by Bar 1 which is poor guest service.  The beer was delicious and refreshing.  The associate ordered a Michelob Ultra bottle.  The beer was equally cold and refreshing as the beer served at the table.  The agent is unsure if all items were properly charges for as an itemized receipt was not provided.

·       MOD 1:  Caucasian male approximately 6’ with brown hair and slightly balding wearing a sweater and jeans.

The agent is unsure if the MOD was properly identified.  This male was seen sitting at the curved bar top by the kitchen for the majority of the evaluation.  He was seen going behind the DJ booth which signified to the agent he was possibly a supervisor.  The agent feels that of he was the MOD he did a poor job of circulating through the facility.  He remained stationed at the side bar top and was not observed talking to guests.

The agent feels after the food mistake by Server 1 should’ve resulted in a table visit by the manager.


Michael Zenner - CEO      
Eye Spy Spotter Services Inc.
eyespyspotter.com
bartheft.com  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint
hospitalitycheckpoint.com
liquorassessment.com
PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299
Office: 480-777-7056
Toll Free: 800-880-0811
© Eye Spy Spotter Services Inc. 2012


BARTENDER THEFT - Overpouring Drinks for Larger Tips

April 27, 2012 23:13 by administrator

BARTENDER THEFT:

Bartender Summary -                    

·        Bartender – “Xxxxx” (as shown on nametag and bar receipt) female Caucasian, blond with hair up in a high pony tail, xxx feet tall, slender, approximately XX years old.                                   

Agent and associate were promptly greeted by the bartender with “hi guys, what can I get you to drink?” She was wiping down the bar refilling cups of peanuts and placed cocktail napkins in front of each of us. She was smiling energetic and upbeat.

Agent and associate ordered drinks and she immediately mixed the drinks and returned. Agent noticed that the drink was made by turning the bottle over twice and a little more. Bouncing these bottles circumvents the purpose in which they were made which delivers more alcohol than what is prescribed and therefore may constitute a bar theft occurrence. 

Xxxxx did not introduce herself to us by name but she was very friendly and outgoing. Xxxxx was not only responsible for the guests at the bar but also making the drinks for the cocktail staff and server staff in the dining room.

Agent was not able to tell exactly when Xxxxx rang up the drinks as we were not given a receipt at any time during the visit. Agent noticed that none of the guests at the bar had a receipt in front of them.

Agent recommends using the make a drink ring a drink policy and placing the receipt in front of the guest in a small glass. This will ensure that all drinks are accounted for. Especially in the event when there are other employees behind the bar.

Agent and associate ordered another round of drinks and each time the drinks were placed on white cocktail napkins but not immediately rang up.

Agent and associate later ordered dinner and Xxxxx immediately turned and went to the POS and rang in the order. Prior to the food arriving (20 min. later) Xxxxx placed napkins and silverware and salt and pepper shakers on the bar.

Xxxxx seemed to work well with the other staff and was very personable with all the guests at the bar especially the men.

Listed below are some general observations agent made during the visit;

Xxxxx use the ice scoop to make every drink except for glasses of water which were in plastic cups, she scooped the cup directly into the ice.

Xxxxx was very attentive in offering additional drinks for everyone at the bar and refilling waters. (See food and beverage section)

Agent was able to observe every drink poured. Xxxxx tips the bottle a minimum of two times for each drink sometimes up to four and even five times.

Xxxxx left the bar unattended many times and agent observed the cocktail server ( female Caucasian blonde hair in bun) coming behind the bar each time Xxxxx left as well as a couple servers from the dining room coming behind the bar to retrieve beverage orders. Agent felt that this was rather lax and a real loop hole for possible bar theft integrity issues.

In agents opinion no one but the bartender on duty should ever be behind the bar unless it was a manager. If the bartender needs to leave the bar the staff should know that they are not allowed back there for any reason whatsoever. If the bartender needs something from the kitchen the bartender should have one of the other service staff retrieve the item for them. If the bartender needs to leave the bar unattended they should call the MOD to cover.

Xxxxx was away from the bar at about 6:44 about 5 minutes and returned with a plastic bag of a purchase from the gift shop and a small clear plastic container with fruit. She proceeded to eat the fruit during the visit, turning around away from the guests facing the POS while eating.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
Eye Spy Spotter Services Inc.
eyespyspotter.com

bartheft.com  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint
hospitalitycheckpoint.com
liquorassessment.com

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299
Office: 480-777-7056
Toll Free: 800-880-0811

© Eye Spy Spotter Services Inc. 2012