How Bartenders Steal & How We Catch Them - Hospitality Checkpoint is a Bar Theft & Service Staff Evaluation Company. We spot Bartender Theft & Evaluate Service Staff Standards.

BARTENDER THEFT: Free Drinks, storing stolen money in the POS, making drinks with dirty glassware

November 27, 2012 23:42 by administrator


Bartender Summary:

There were five bartenders on duty on this Friday evening evaluation – three at the Xxxxx bar adjacent to the restaurant and two at the Xxxxx bar that serves as a xxxx by day. There were three barbacks observed simultaneously – two at the Xxxxx bar and one at the Xxxxx bar.

Xxxxx Bar:

  • Bartender Xxxxx: Caucasian male, 5’10’’, short-cut light brown hair

  • Bartender Xxxxx: African American male, 6’3’’, glasses

  • Bartender Xxxxx: Caucasian female, 5’2’’, brown hair worn straight with bangs

  • Barback 1: Caucasian male, 5’10’’, brown hair worn combed smooth

  • Barback 2: Caucasian male, 5’11, brown hair worn spiky, glasses

Xxxxx Bar:

  • Bartender A: Caucasian male, 5’8’, light brown hair worn slightly wavy/curly

  • Bartender B: Caucasian male, 6’0’’, dark brown or black hair

  • Barback 3: Caucasian male, 5’8’’, light brown hair worn wavy/curly

Xxxxx Bar:

The agent and my associate approached the bar and were able to slide into a standing place at the bar. Since we were standing at the bar directly in front of the Xxxxx POS, we were in clear view of bartenders Xxxxx and Xxxxx. Although Xxxxx and Xxxxx were making conversation with nearby patrons, neither demonstrated urgency to look over to help us out and take our initial order.

After we were there for approximately 3 minutes without acknowledgement, Xxxxx asked what she could get for us; the agent asked for a drink menu, which was not placed on the bar for easy access of patrons. She gave us a clipboard with the small sheets of paper with the drink menu and went back to talking to the patrons at the end of the bar and did not follow up with us. The entire experience so far was very unwelcoming.

During this time, Xxxxx had moved from the end of the bar chatting with patrons to the Xxxxx POS, where he appeared to be trying to figure out something with another patron’s tab.  After approximately 4 minutes since we had received the menu and made decisions on drinks, Xxxxx looked up from the POS and asked what he could get for us.

We placed our drink order with Xxxxx, which he took while standing at the POS – still mulling over a tab. After we placed our order, Xxxxx continued to stand at the POS and did not move to make our drinks.

After another 2 minutes, Xxxxx then returned to us and asked what we would like. We again placed our drink order, which Xxxxx then moved to make. Xxxxx, who was still at the POS nearby, was very apologetic and thanked us two different times for being so patient.

One of the patrons at the end of the Xxxxx Bar, where both Xxxxx and Xxxxx were spending their time when the agent and my associate were patiently awaiting initial service, appeared to be over served. The patron, a woman in her late 40s and possibly Latina, had bloodshot eyes, appeared to be unsteady on her feet, and was seen loudly singing and dancing at the end of the bar. She appeared to be personally known to the bartenders, which could have resulted in her over intoxication. This is a dram shop liquor liability issue that should be addressed by management immediately.

Another one of the patrons at the end of the bar who were captivating the attention of both bartenders Xxxxx and Xxxxx on this very busy evening at the bar with countless patrons waiting for drinks, a White male in his mid to late 20s was seen specifically honing in on Xxxxx. As the very busy bar continued to get busier, Xxxxx exited from behind the bar and was seen standing on the lounge floor talking to this patron. Both behind and outside the bar, this patron took her focus away from the many other patrons who needed service.

This lack of urgency was observed throughout the time at the bar. The bartenders seemed oblivious or impervious to the fact that patrons were stacked up three deep waiting for drinks. Besides Xxxxx chatting with this patron outside the bar, the bartenders, bar backs and managers casually chatted with one another behind the bar, in addition to casually chatting to patrons who appeared to be regulars. There appeared to be no individualized attention given to other patrons at the bar.

Whereas the lack of urgency on the bartenders led to longer wait times for patrons needing drinks, the lack of urgency on the behalf of the bar backs led to a messy and unmaintained bar area and a shortage of clean glassware. During our time at the Xxxxx Bar, many empty glasses and bottles sat on the bar surface for the entire time that we were present – unbussed, uncleared, unclean.

Besides the empty glasses and bottles that remained on the bar for the extend of our time there, the more pressing issue from the barbacks’ lack of urgency was the lack of clean glassware. The lack of clean glassware led to a variety of problems and solutions, depending on the employee.

To create a solution for the problem, one server (Caucasian female, 5’6’’, light red hair) came behind the bar to clean burgundy glasses that were needed at her table; this was resourceful and necessary for her service, but it also led to unneeded informal chatting between this server and the bar backs and bartenders.

To exacerbate the problem with a much larger, more concerning issue, Bartender Xxxxx took the lack of clean glasses into his own hands. Xxxxx was seen to take a dirty glass that was at the service well (placed there by the service staff from the cocktail lounge area), rinse it out with water from the gun, and make a new drink directly into this dirty glass. The agent cannot even begin to describe the hygiene and health issues with this troubling observation. Needless to say, my associate and I did not order anything else made in glassware for the rest of the evaluation.

Other than the unfortunate incidence with the curt rinsing of a dirty and used glass, Xxxxx seemed to do an adequate job behind the bar. He primarily tended to the service well, making the drinks for the dinner and cocktail crowd being serviced by the waitresses around the establishment.

In addition to making all of the drinks for the service well at the Xxxxx Bar, Xxxxx also helped out bar patrons who were patiently and impatiently waiting for drinks from Bartenders Xxxxx and Xxxxx. Xxxxx helped out the agent and my associate on one occasion. He was professional, friendly, and had integrity with the recording and charging of the two drinks ordered.

Despite his apparent integrity for only making and delivering drinks that are bought and paid for, both at the service well with chit sheets and at the bar with patron tabs and cash payments, Bartender Xxxxx consistently pours a heavy drink. He was seen to pour on average an approximate five count (4 count =  1 1/2 oz) for all drinks at the service well. Some drinks were closer to a five and half or six count.

Pouring additional alcohol more than what management prescribes for increased gratuities and/or social standing is a form of bartender theft. Agent further suggests that management pour test all the bartenders to ensure uniform accuracy.

All of the bartenders at this Xxxxx Bar had some issues with integrity. Outside of Xxxxx’s heavy pour count, Xxxxx was seen not charging the full or appropriate amounts for drinks, whereas Xxxxx was seen to top off one drink with more than the fair share of alcohol, again without charging or recording on any spill/comp sheet.

Xxxxx made a drink in a champagne glass for a female patron that included brandy and a sugar cube. She served the drink and the patrons stated that there was no brandy in the drink. Xxxxx replied that there was indeed brandy (which there was a four count that the agent had observed her pour), but the patrons were insistent that they could not taste it.

Without argument, Xxxxx grabbed the bottle of brandy and poured a three count into the glass that sat on the bar in front of the patron. Xxxxx did not charge for this extra shot, or record the liquor on any spill/comp sheet.  

Other than this occasion of not charging for the additional top off, she did not appear to have other integrity issues.

Xxxxx, on the other hand, was observed engaging in some questionable behavior at the POS. At approximately 9:51 PM, Xxxxx was seen to ring out an attractive, young female patron who had just ordered a vodka and tonic. Her tab read just over $3.00, which the agent believes is not the accurate price for even well vodka at this establishment. The patron left $6.00 as a tip, which further interpolates to the agent that the bartender had charged less than the going price for her drink.

There were two other occasions that the agent was unsure about Xxxxx’s actions at the POS. On two occasions, both in which patrons paid cash, he did not appear to punch anything into the POS before he sought out change and returned it to the patron. It appeared, to both the agent and my associate, that Xxxxx put cash into the till without ringing in the drinks on these two occasions.

Agent strongly suspects that this bartender his hiding stolen money in the POS Drawer. If this is the case, the money is being laundered via transfer of money through say the tip jar (watch for an abacus system of tracking the stolen money i.e. straws, toothpicks, pennies/nickels/dimes, storing info on cell phone).  It also could be taken out at the end of the night if these bartenders are allowed to "Z" their own registers. In this case, Agent suggests management have them do blind bank drops to detect any overages and stolen money. In both scenarios, Agent suggests that management start performing mid-shift random POS drawer pulls to detect possible stolen money in the POS drawer.

There is a possibility that this happened on more than these two occasions, but the setup of the POS behind the bar does not allow for ample visibility to monitor for theft and integrity. While the agent appreciate that each individual employee must swipe his or her card to access the POS, thus providing record of individual transactions specific to each bartender, the position of the POS flat to the bar surface does not allow any visibility beyond that of the individual bartender recording the drinks. Moving the machines to the back ledge would provide a more public view of what is rung in, thus holding bartenders more accountable.

In addition to the problematic nature of the POS screens being difficult to view from any person other than the person who is ringing in the drink, the current system is also difficult to track for integrity due to the fact that bartenders apparently leave their tips in the till. There is no actual tip jar, and no tips were ever seen. While this deters bartenders from counting or displaying tips to the public, this confounds the lack of clarity of integrity when money enters the drawer without clear recording. Moreover, if they are comingling tips with $0 ring and cash deposits, management probably has a real theft issue on their hands.

The issues with the integrity related to the tabs are further exacerbated when the bartenders do not consistently provide the itemized tab statement. Xxxxx was the only bartender during our visit to give us an itemized tab; the other bartenders either provided only the credit card slip to sign (i.e., Xxxxx, Xxxxx) or took the cash and provided change with no documentation (i.e, Xxxxx, Bartender B). The itemized tab should consistently be provided to patrons.

Bartenders Xxxxx and Xxxxx appeared appropriately dressed, yet Xxxxx did not appear as pulled together. Although he originally appeared to fit in well with the other bartenders in their full black apparel, there was some sort of white shirt or boxers clearly showing under his uniform. To add to the unprofessional nature of his appearance, Xxxxx continued to attempt to use flair quite unsuccessfully.

Xxxxx Bar:

We visited the Xxxxx Bar in the second half of the evaluation, when the patronage at the establishment had picked up substantially. Whereas we had a good locale to observe the goings on at the Xxxxx Bar in the early portion of the visit, the Xxxxx Bar proved much more difficult. There were no seats at the bar, and patrons were squeezing and pushing their way up to the bar in order to get served drinks.

Unlike the Xxxxx Bar, the Xxxxx Bar appeared to have a better balance between bar duties. Bartender A took primary responsibility for the service well, whereas Bartender B helped the patrons at the busy, standing room only bar. Although there was still a very busy crowd and an extensive wait for drinks, the clear divide seemed helpful for bar and service staff.

Despite having all of the patrons waiting at the bar area, Bartender B had no urgency or enthusiasm. The agent and my associate slowly inched our way up through the hefty crowd to the bar. Without counting in the time that it took to move up to the actual bar itself, we continued to wait for more than 10 minutes for the bartender to offer us drinks.

When my associate finally was able to get his attention, although we were standing directly at the small bar, he barely changed his affect when we posed questions about drinks available at this bar. When we tried to order a round similar to what we had just ordered at the Xxxxx Bar, Bartender B retorted that they didn’t have draft beer, as if we should have known the distinctions in offerings between bars.

As my associate turned to ask me what I wanted instead, Bartender B was gone. This was highly irritating, and if not on duty I would have left.

It took another 4 minutes to get his attention again, and my associate placed our drink order. He sought out the drinks, moved to the POS to enter the drinks, and gave the appropriate amount of cash in return to the agent.

At this point, the agent overhead a disgruntled couple who was waiting for a pen to sign their credit card tab; the pen never came from Bartender B.

In addition to Bartender B behind the Xxxxx Bar, Bartender A poured a consistently heavy pour count at an approximate six count. There were times that he was observed pouring closer to a seven count of alcohol in drinks. This is far to much alcohol and is a dram shop issue. Nevertheless, besides the heavy pour count, he seemed to consistently accompany a drink order at the service well with a chit sheet that came through the POS system.

Although Bartender A appeared to be doing a decent job of keeping up with the service requests for drinks in the well, there was one occasion when a server did not have the patience to wait for her drinks. On this occasion, one server (Caucasian female, 5’6’’, shoulder length, straight blonde hair) came behind bar to get her own drink near service well; she appeared to pour two glasses of champagne from a bottle that was already open at the service well. Agent cannot substantiate if these were properly accounted for and therefore scores it as a theft/integrity occurrence.

Unlike the two bar backs observed in the Xxxxx Bar who moved without urgency and rush, Bar back 3 appeared to be quite attentive and helpful. He moved around quickly behind the bar and appeared to serve the bartenders quite well.

Across both of the bars, there were quite a few negative trends. The bars were overcrowded and the bartenders appeared to have no real urgency to quickly attend to the patrons in need of drinks. Bartenders appeared to be friendly and chatty to one another, yet appeared to be incredibly unhelpful and unfriendly to patrons. Many patrons, at both the Xxxxx and Xxxxx Bars, were heard to complain extensively about the wait times and poor service of the bartenders.

Agent observed first hand one group of patrons actually left without getting initial service from the Xxxxx Bar. One patron was overheard saying, "I can't wait to Yelp! about this."

Additionally, throughout the entire evaluation, there was no observation of any food sales or even offering of menus. The agent understands that bartenders need to focus on alcohol and drink sales in the bar and cocktail areas at this later time of evening on a Saturday night; however, if the establishment values this extra push for additional revenue, perhaps appetizer menus or something could be regularly placed around the bar, rather than have bartenders have another thing on their plate to serve on an already overloaded plate to serve. Liquor liability experts also suggest that food be pushed in high volume alcohol serving areas to help possibly slow down rates of intoxication.

Most importantly, there was no carding across all bartenders of a very young crowd on this Saturday evening. Without door men or a security team ensuring that only patrons of age enter the establishment, bartenders must take the initiative to card patrons who might be underage. There were a large amount of patrons who did not only appear around 21, but appeared under 21. Carding was not observed at all. This is a major dram shop liquor liability issue that needs to be rectified, considering the younger crowd that grew as the night went on.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint
PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299
Office: 480-777-7056
Toll Free: 800-880-0811
© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2012

BARTENDER THEFT: Free drinks, Liquor Law Violations, Employee Alcohol Consumption,

November 10, 2012 16:03 by administrator


Bartender Summary                                                                                                            


·       Bar 1:  Named Xxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxx male, athletic build, approximately 6’0”, with short black hair, wearing a black Xxxxx T-Shirt, and grey shorts.  Later in the evening these pants were changed to white and blue striped xxxxxxxxxx.

·       Bar 2:  xxxxxxxxxxxxx female, thin build, approximately 5’6 with long, straight xxxxx hair, wearing a pink tank top, black shorts, and axxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx .

·       Bar 3:  xxxxxxxxxx female, thin build, approximately 5’3, with long xxxx hair, wearing a white, button up shirt, with three-quarter length sleeves, a pink crop-top underneath, and jean shorts.

·       Bar 4:  xxxxxxxxxx male, medium build, approximately 6’0, with dark hair and a xxxxxxxx, wearing an Xxxxx T-Shirt, and jeans.

·       Bar 5:  xxxxxxxxxx male, thin build, approximately 6’2, with xxxxxxx hair, xxxxxxxxxxx, wearing a black Xxxxx tank top, and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

The agent and associate approached the bar and were immediately greeted by Bartender 1, Xxxxx, whose name was overheard rather than provided by introduction.  Xxxxx was the only bartender on shift at that time.  Xxxxx leaned onto the bar and asked the agent and associate what they wanted to drink while scooping up a handful of ice from the ice bin in front of him, shaking all but one piece of ice out of his hand, and placing the ice in his mouth.  The agent and associate asked for a minute to think and Xxxxx rudely turned his back without any recognition or smile.

This is a 2-part AZ Health Code issue, as first Xxxxx placed his bare hands into the sanitized ice, and then touched his mouth with his hands and the product and then put his hands back into the ice bin without washing.

Xxxxx spoke to one of the customers sitting at the bar, eating a few more pieces of ice while talking to the patron, and then proceeded to stand in front of the register texting on his phone.  The agent and associate waited three minutes while Xxxxx was texting, at no point did he stop and look around at his customers to see if service was needed, and finally turned around saying “sorry about that.  Do you know what you want yet?”  The agent and associate placed a drink order (see food and beverage summary for details).

Xxxxx placed beverage napkins in front of the agent and associate and quickly served the beverages.  Xxxxx asked if the agent and associate would like to pay cash, a credit card was provided to start a tab, which Xxxxx swiped into the POS system after placing the drinks into the system, and placed the credit card into a box of cards.

Xxxxx never asked for proper identification. Agent's associate is well under the age of 30. This is a dram shop liquor liability issue that should be addressed by management.

At no point did Xxxxx attempt to strike up a conversation with the agent or associate and only asked if an additional drink was desired once throughout the entire evaluation.

He was noted to continuously grab fistfuls of ice from the ice bins, dropping all but one chip of ice back into the bin, and eating the single remaining chip while talking to customers.  Xxxxx was also observed using his bare hands, instead of tongs, to place and squeeze fruit and garnish into drinks, as well as use a dirty mixing tin to scoop ice into clean glassware, if he was not scooping the glassware directly into the ice bin.  Xxxxx was also noted to be frequently texting behind the bar throughout the evaluation.

Bartender 2 arrived behind the bar at approximately 9:54 pm.  She greeted various customers, showing off the teddy bear tied to her back and explaining to various customers that they were having a pajama party.  Bartender 2 was not observed texting behind the bar, nor having any integrity issues, but was stationed on the opposite side of the bar from where the agent and associate were sitting.

Bartender 3 arrived at approximately 10:07 pm, smiling to customers as she entered behind the bar.  Based on overheard conversations it became apparent that Bartender 3 was a customer or mutual friend of many patrons and was training to bartend at the establishment as a new hire.  Throughout the evaluation she was also polite and friendly with customers, but was minimally observed as she was being trained by Bartender 2 and stayed with her on the opposite side of the bar.

Bartender 4 arrived at approximately 10:10 pm, immediately checking in and chatting with the first three bartenders as well as the bar-back.

At 10:20pm he was noted to make a phone call behind the bar, which lasted approximately two minutes.  After the call he scanned the bar and began serving and associating with patrons.

Bartender 5 arrived shortly after Bartender 4, at approximately 10:17 pm.  Bartender 5 also checked in and chatted with the other staff members briefly, then waved and greeted many of the patrons who, at this point, were filling the bar.

When the agent and associate were ready to close the tab it took approximately ten minutes to catch the attention of one of the bartenders, all of whom were extremely busy by this time serving the high volume of customers.

Bartender 4 noticed the agent and associate’s need of service and yelled over the music “how can I help you”.  The agent gestured a desire to close their tab.  Bartender yelled again over the music inquiring about the last name on the tab, which the agent provided.  The tab was provided in a clean check presenter, signed, and returned.

Due to having multiple drinks spilled on the agent and associate, the remainder of the evaluation was completed away from the bar-top and in the crowd.

Multiple left issues were observed during this evaluation:

At 10:27 pm Xxxxx was observed ducking his head into the corner of the bar and quickly drinking a mixed shot through a straw.  He stood, scrunching his face in response to the strength of the liquor in the drink, emptied the remaining ice and straw into the trash, and continued to work.


4-244. Unlawful acts

12. For a licensee, when engaged in waiting on or serving customers, to consume spirituous liquor or for a licensee or on-duty employee to be on or about the licensed premises while in an intoxicated or disorderly condition.

The alcohol also was not registered into the POS or any comp/spill sheet; therefore, Agent scores this as an integrity/theft issue. Consuming alcohol while on duty is also a dram shop liquor liability issue. Should an unfortunate incident happen, or an act of violence occur that results in litigation, Xxxxx's impairment can cause disastrous results for the owners.

At 10:30 pm Xxxxx was observed serving three shots of rumplemintz poured into rocks glasses without a jigger and as 1.5 ounce shots and then served the shots to three gentlemen by the service well without charging for the shots or placing them on a comp tab in the POS system.

At 10:37 Xxxxx was observed making 15 mixed drink shots, initially mixed in two separate mixing tins and distributed into 15 rocks glasses, then stacked the glasses in three piles and handed them over the bar to a gentlemen with guests sitting at one of the booths.  Xxxxx did not charge for the shots, nor put the shots into the POS system, but did take money from the gentlemen and agent observed him to put it directly into the tip cup.

At 10:39 Bartender 5 was observed making 6 shots, initially mixed in a mixing tin and poured evenly into rocks glasses, and handing them to a one girl over the bar without charging her or putting the drinks into the POS system at all.  This patron proceeded to carry the shots to the patio to serve to her friends.

This is also an ADLLC Violation.



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.

At 10:46 Xxxxx was observed pouring 2 Don Julio shots without a jigger, as 1.5 ounce shots, and serving them to a patron who was previously served free drinks from the bar-back (see bar-back summary for details).  These drinks were not charged for nor entered into the POS system.


There was an additional integrity issue observed regarding the reputation of the bar rather than the staff:

In the beginning of the evaluation there were two female patrons sitting at the corner of the bar next to the agent and associate.  Each were initially dressed in regular clothes, however, as the bartenders changed in order to wear pajama party attire, one of the two patrons changed in the bathroom into a see-through, lace, tight, short dress, and extremely tall heels.  This change was previously known and strongly encouraged by all of the staff, clearing pointing out that it had been planned and discussed with the staff prior to the shift.  This patron sat at the bar in this outfit as well as a sports hat continuing to drink and dance to the music by waving her hands around her and aggressively nodding her head and body to the music.  

Later in the evening, when the servers came out with liquor bottles to free-pour into the patrons’ mouths, this patron was helped onto the bar by the bar-back and began aggressively dancing on the bar.  As she bounced up and down on the bar, continuing to wave her hands and arms around, her skirt continuously rode up her legs and above her rear end, exposing her rear as well as her purple thong.  Her see-through dress also obviously exposed her breasts and nipples to the crowd which is against the law.

This patron stayed on the bar, dancing, leaning down and dancing in front of and accepting tips from customers, and sexually and provocatively grinding up against a staff member dressed in a bear costume who was also on the bar.


R19-1-214. Sex Acts Prohibited, Real or Simulated

No licensee shall permit, on the licensed premises, any person to perform acts of or acts which constitute or simulate:

1. Sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation, flagellation, or any sexual acts which are prohibited by law;

2. The touching, caressing, or fondling of the breast, buttocks, anus, or genitals;

3. The displaying of any portion of the areola of the female breast, or any portion of his or her pubic hair, anus, vulva, or genitals; or

To those patrons appearing concerned that the girl was going to knock over their drinks, and would move their drinks for her, she would lean over and yell “don’t worry.  I am a professional!”

Although some customers were initially entertained by this, most customers quickly shifted from smiling and laughing to shaking their heads at the spectacle on the bar.  On more than one occasion the patron danced in front of a group of girls, or guys, sitting at the bar, who proceeded to leave their seats and spots and move to a different section of the establishment to get away from the girl.

This was a behavior that appeared to be seen as distasteful and inappropriate by more than one patron as well as the agent and associate.  The agent feels that it is also important to note that a patron dancing on the bar, especially in that attire and platform heels, is an extreme safety as well as health and liability risk.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint
PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299
Office: 480-777-7056
Toll Free: 800-880-0811
© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2012

BARTENDER THEFT: Free drinks, Intoxicated Security Employee Theft

September 6, 2012 21:39 by administrator


Bartender Summary

My associate and took seats at the bar and were immediately greeted by a Caucasian Blonde female with tattoos on her xxx. She did not introduce herself but we later ascertained her name was Xxxxx. Xxxxx had a BIG smile in her greet of us and asked what we wanted to drink. Agent associate asked if there were any specials and she named a Kettle Orange Vodka as the special. Agent asked a few questions about items and Xxxxx showed good product knowledge. We placed an order and she went to go prepare it. She prepared our drinks quite differently. My associates drink got a 1 1/4 oz count pour where my drink was nearly a 6 count and almost double the alcohol. Agent did not order a double and was quite puzzled by the alcohol volume disparity. We started a tab with Xxxxx and she took the appropriate measures.

Xxxxx is very friendly and seems to fit into this bar like a glove. She's friendly with regulars as well as new guests as she strikes conversation and is very pleasant. She has good bartender presence for the most part and has good bartending prioritization skills.  The one hygiene issue of note was that she frequently scratches the scalp of her head and does not wash her hands afterwards.

However, she does have some bartending issues issue that need to be addressed. First, her pour counts are all over the place. They range anywhere from 1 1/4 oz to over 3 oz at times and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme/reason to it. The patterns that were picked up by the Agent were a 1 1/4 oz pours for the Kettle Orange that was on special. I even saw one under-poured with a single ounce shot. Agent saw this many times through the night. Women in general usually received a higher pour volume, as did those who apparently were tipping larger. With the later of these, this Agent scores this as a bartender theft occurrence as delivering additional alcohol over what is prescribed by management (1 1/4 oz pour) to increase gratuity and/or social status is a form of bartender theft.

Second, her ringing procedures are lackadaisical. This can be attributed to laziness and/or masking of integrity issues and bartender theft. Countless times throughout the evening there were drinks delivered with no movement made to the register to record them (see observations below).

Another rather important issue was some of the guests in the bar looked to be of questionable age and Xxxxx was serving them. It's of the agent's opinion that she probably felt that intoxicated Xxxxx had already carded them giving her a false sense of security. Bottom line is though she served these guest alcohol. Agent will add that I cannot substantiate the age of these guests; however, it was of my opinion they were of questionable age.

Xxxxx fell behind many times on clearing glassware and wiping the bar top down. Agent put her arm in a puddle of liquid and was not pleased about it, then exacerbated when I had to go to the unclean restroom to wash up. My associate commented that if security Xxxxx wasn't such a life of the party so to speak, he could have helped her maintain the bar better, as for the most part she did all the work.

Because Xxxxx was busy seemingly running the entire bar, the facility didn't seem to be running at it's best efficiency level. If Xxxxx had a security member who didn't disappear and helped her frequently, the bar would have run much smoother and a bi-product of this would have been more sales revenue.

Xxxxx was at about a 90% clip in using cocktail cards with guests. Drinks were ordered and served in a timely manner except for some occasions when she got busy.

Xxxxx scoops ice with glassware. This is just wrong and a very bad habit that should be broken right away. It's very unsanitary and a cause for health concerns, and possible injury due to broken glass.

Specific observations:

As aforementioned, Xxxxx had a propensity to not ruing drinks. This makes it very cumbersome to substantiate bartender theft occurrences accurately. This agent suggests that management make some immediate policy changes and create a make a drink - ring a drink policy and enforce it. This will force accountability.

At 9:39 she prepared a drink with a 5 count of alcohol and did not move to record the drink.

At 9:43 she prepared 3 shots of whiskey and did not move to record the drinks.  Age observed her move to POS 2 min later and this could have been the ring in.

At 9:47 she delivered 1 yellow and 3 brown beers to a female patron and did not move to record. This woman looked of questionable age. At 10:00 it appeared she delay rang these beers.

At 9:48 Agent observed the bartender has a personal drink behind the bar. Agent cannot ascertain the contents.

9:45 Agent's drink is dry and she is not asked for a refill until 8 minutes later.

At 9:55 Agent observed Xxxxx counting money from a wood box next to cig display. Agent would stress to management that NO money should be handled outside of the POS drawer and legitimate transactions. This makes a rather ripe situation for bartender theft when this is allowable.

At 9:58 3 shots (Jameson?) were delivered to customers and no movement to record the drinks. One consumed my Security Xxxxx.

At approximately 10:01 Security Xxxxx took money out of tip jar and then gave it to a customer, who then appeared to give it to Xxxxx and then she put it back into tip jar. It was a very bizarre occurrence to observe and highly suspicious in nature. Age could not verify exactly the nature of what happened but suspects maybe the money hand changing round robin was a lame effort to satisfy a security camera. That is just an hypothesis. Regardless, the alcohol went unaccounted for.

At 10:06 Xxxxx under pours a guest a Kettle orange with less than an ounce of alcohol.

At 10:10  3 shots were delivered and no movement to record the drinks. Xxxxx also drank a shot with the guests but it appeared to be in a different sort of glass than the others.

At 10:15 agent observed Xxxxx make a drink with a 4 count of alcohol into a short glass, then the customer exclaimed that she wanted it tall and Xxxxx poured the drink into a pint and then added another ounce of alcohol. She was not observed accounting for the drink at that time.

Xxxxx asked and prepared a drink for my associate, but for some odd reason did not ask me for one. Agent started to suspect that she may be impaired of some sorts, as I also observed her making other simple mistakes such as delivering drinks to the wrong guest after making them. this happened a few times.

Several minutes later she asked me if I wanted another drink and went to prepare it, She made my drink with a 4 count 1 1/2 oz pour and did not report to the POS to record it on my tab.

At 10:26 Xxxxx appeared "distracted" delivering drink to wrong person the corrected herself. She did not report to the POS to record the drink.

At 10:29 Xxxxx almost gave change to wrong patron.

At 10:33 my associate ordered a drink and she prepared it with a 6 count of alcohol. This time she DID report immediately to the POS.

At 10:36 My associate reported that it appeared Xxxxx was drinking a beer. At 10:43 A male patron at the bar Gave Xxxxx another shot of alcohol.

At 10:44 Xxxxx made a cocktail and did not report to the POS.

At 10:50 Xxxxx is observed going to the POS and group ringing sales all at once. It appeared as if she was looking around at guest sand drawing from a mental inventory in order to try and correctly ascertain all the alcohol drinks she had delivered for tabs.

At 10:56 Xxxxx prepared 2 cocktails for a man and a woman at the bar. One was poured with a 5 count and the other was poured with a 6 count. This really exemplified the inconsistent pours of this bartender.

At 10:58 Bartender was observed coming out from bar and collecting glassware. Doorman Xxxxx nowhere to be seen. She was also later observed wiping the tables.

At 11:11 Xxxxx was observed delivering 2 drinks and a beer and not observed reporting to the POS to record.

At 11:12 Xxxxx made 2 bombers of some sort and not observed reporting to the POs to record.

At 11:17 she was observed making a cocktail for one guest and not ringing it in and then moving to another guest an deserving him a Corona and not ringing it in either.

At 11:23 is observed going to the POS and group ringing sales all at once. It appeared as if she was looking around at guest sand drawing from a mental inventory in order to try and correctly ascertain all the alcohol drinks she had delivered for tabs.

At 11:26 Agent was a bit distracted by something that happened near the pool table. When I turned around the POS screen had "No Sale" and Xxxxx was counting money in the wood drawer. Agent cannot substantiate what happened.

At around 11:35 Xxxxx gave two shots to customers who looked as if they had already tabbed out. One of the customers tried to pay and appeared she shook it off in a "don't worry about it" fashion. The shots were not seen accounted for.

11:40 Security Xxxxx doing another shot of alcohol.

Tab procedures were carried out in a timely manner. No itemized receipt  was given.

Security Summary

Upon arrival, security Xxxxx was at the front entrance and asked us for ID's. I pulled my wallet from my purse and showed it to him and he mumbled something inaudible and I said "what?" and he leaned in to ask me again and that is when I was ht with a wall alcohol smelling bad breath.  I showed him my ID again and took a step back and took note that he had a  goofy look on his face and glassy eyes. His level of alcohol impairment was absurd. As we passed, he yelled something at my associate and gave him a fist bump. My associate then said to me, "Is that Door Guy totally wasted or what?"

The professionalism of this guy was way out of line. He also appeared to do next to nothing to help out with Xxxxx. His numerous disappearances left the door unattended and people just walking in without properly showing ID. many of the disappearances were associated with a young Caucasian female with red hair.

At one point he stumbled through the bar in an attempt to hug some guy spilling drinks and bumping into other guests.

This employee is a liquor liability dram shop lawsuit waiting to happen.

He did not greet us farewell upon our departure.                                                           

Beverage Summary



My associate ordered one of the Kettle Orange drinks and it was awful and it was sent back. He then ordered Knob Creek and Coke and the drinks were inconsistent with taste because each one was made with different volumes of alcohol.

Agent had Malibu and Diet drinks and it was the same issue with inconsistent tastes because of fluctuating liquor volumes.

The two shots listed at the end of the bar section were for me and my associate. We tabbed out and purposely tipped Xxxxx rather large and as an integrity test pre-text, said "let's order a shot before we go" She delivered the shots and said they were free.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint
PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299
Office: 480-777-7056
Toll Free: 800-880-0811
© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2012

BARTENDER THEFT: Spotting the Fingerprints of Theft

May 16, 2012 22:09 by administrator


Great Article about bartender theft written by industry leading author Robert Plotkin. If you haven’t read any of Plotkin’s book, you should. They are very informative and a must read. Here is his website:

Spotting the Fingerprints of Theft
May 8, 2012 By: Robert Plotkin

Do you have a problem with theft behind the bar? Many in the bar business do. But if you’re waiting for a rise in your pour cost to alert you to a potential problem, you may be out of luck.

Tracking pour cost has long been the accepted way of detecting bartender theft. However, there are more ways to steal from a bar that won’t have the  slightest affect on pour cost. In fact, a clever thief can steal from your bar and actually make your pour cost percentage drop.

Pour cost analyzes the relationship between cost and sales. If a bartender serves a drink and pockets the cash proceeds, he’s basically increasing cost without increasing sales, which will cause pour cost to rise. While the increase may be imperceptible, pour cost will rise. If the bartender then replaces the stolen ounce of liquor with an equal amount of water, pour cost will remain unaffected.

Substitutions are examples of a type of theft that won’t cause pour cost to rise. The scam involves a bartender making drinks with well liquor instead of call brands, charging customers call prices and pocketing the difference. Because the bartender poured well liquor and registered the transaction as a well sale, pour cost remains unaffected.

uring schemes are another example. A bartender short pours a series of four drinks by a quarter of an ounce, thereby creating a surplus ounce of liquor. The bartender then sells that shot of liquor and pockets the cash. Again, pour cost is unaffected.

While measuring your pour cost is a smart thing to do, it’s not enough. If the early detection of internal theft is important to you, there’s more you should know.

With n
early all types of theft behind the bar, one thing is certain: The cash proceeds are not ending up in the register. Regardless of the scam, the money winds up in the bartenders’ pockets. So to spot the first signs of theft, look at sales.

Bar productivity measures bartender sales per hour and is computed by dividing the shift’s gross sales by the number of hours the bartender worked. There are two aspects to tracking productivity: calculating the staff’s average sales per hour figured on a weekly basis and computing the daily sales per hour figures for each shift.

Calculating the staff’s productivity involves totaling the bar’s gross sales and dividing them by the total bartenders’ payroll hours for the week. It’s advisable to calculate the day shift’s average sales per hour separately from the night staff’s average. Because there is often a considerable difference between the two figures, calculating the day shift’s productivity separately from the night shift’s makes the analysis more relevant.

For example, if the two night bartenders rang in $6,935 in sales for the week and clocked in a combined 83 payroll hours, the staff average for the night crew works out to $83.55 per hour. During the day, the bartending staff rang-in $2,250 is sales and worked 40.5 hours for a staff average of $55.55 per hour.
The second aspect of productivity is tracking sales per hour for each shift during the week. To illustrate, two bartenders work on Thursday night. “Jim” works six hours a

nd rings in sales of $542 or $90.34 per hour. Adam, working six and a half hours at the same bar on the same night, registers sales of $442, which translates to $68.15 per hour.

Keep a journal or spreadsheet and track productivity figures for each shift on an on-going basis. After several weeks, patterns will emerge. It soon will become evident who are your sales leaders and who fall consistently short of the staff average.

Explanations for Low Productivity

If a bartender’s sales per hour come in consistently below the staff average, five things are possible. One, he may move too slowly and literally can’t keep up with de

mand. Two, he could make lousy drinks, so people don’t stick around. Three, his personality and attitude could be so off-putting that customers leave early. Four, his sales ability could be so unrefined that he consistently undersells. Or five, he could be stealing.

How do you know which it is? Take some time and observe the person. Does he move quickly and with purpose? Or is he more laid back and sluggish? If the person can’t keep up behind the bar, then you’ve identified an area in which he needs to improve.

If that’s not a problem, does it appear as if he has the necessary skills for the job? Do his drinks look good, or are they frequently returned? Does the bartender have a good personality for the job? Does it seem as if he has a positive working attitude? Does he exhibit good sales ability?
If none of these things seem to be a problem, he may be stealing. Regardless of the scam, theft takes a toll on productivity. Tracking productivity can prove to be an invaluabl
e management tool. Between pour cost and bar productivity, there isn’t a scam or fraud that you can’t catch.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint
PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299

Office: 480-777-7056
Toll Free: 800-880-0811
© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2012

BARTENDER THEFT: Free shots for girls. Overpouring for larger tips. Padded tab for friends.

August 13, 2011 18:04 by administrator


Bartender Summary      

  • Bartender 1 – xxxxxx xxxx with slicked back ponytail and full mustache wearing black button down with tie and black pants.
  • Bartender 2 – xxxxxxxxxxx with very short black hair and short trimmed beard wearing black button down with tie and black pants.

Agent took a seat at the bar and noted that bartender 1 was standing leaning against his drink well on the patio side of the bar and chatting with 3 female guests.  Bartender 2 had his head down and was cleaning behind the bar and at the time was dismantling what looked like a food processor and thoroughly cleaning it.

Agent sat for over 6 minutes while bartender 1 continued chatting and flirting with the ladies at the bar. 

Finally after staring at him and him making eye contact on 2 prior occasions, he finally approached and said “what would you like” with a smile.  Agent asked for a drink menu and he turned and retrieved a full size menu placing it on the bar drink side up.  Agent ordered and he filled the order right away, quoting a price and moving directly to the POS to process the payment. 

Bartender 1 immediately returned to chatting with the ladies without even glancing at the rest of the guests at the bar top to see if they needed anything.             

There was never an offer for chips and salsa or food of any sort made to agent and associate.

During the evaluation agent and associate wanted to order some food.  We had looked at the single menu we had and put it in front of us and then finally pushed it forward until it was hanging over the edge of the bar. 

Eight minutes later associate finally said excuse me to bartender 2 who was directly in front of us cleaning, and asked if we could please order some food.  Bartender 2 did not say a word to us, but instead said something to bartender 1 in Spanish who was still talking to the female guests at the bar, and then returned to his cleaning.

It was another full minute before bartenders 1 broke away from his flirting to approach and ask what we would like to order.  We put in an order for a single item, clearly planning to share and we were never offered side plates, silverware or napkins.

Bartender 1 did not request payment or a credit card to secure a tab for the food and cocktails.

The food was delivered in a timely manner by bartender 1. 

Neither bartender performed a check back after food delivery.

During the remainder of the evaluation agent observed a few questionable situations as well as mediocre service and timing issues:

8:50 - bartender 1 was observed to make 6 shots for a group of women that were standing at the end of the bar. One woman pulled out her credit card and proceeded to hand it to bartender 1, who then shook his hand as if to say "no he didn't want it." The female with the credit card leaned over the bar and gave bartender a full on contact mouth kiss as the rest of the women in the group cheered on.

9:00 – a guest approached the service well near the patio and ordered a cocktail from bartender 1.  He poured an 8 count Absolut Vodka and grapefruit juice. (4 count = 1.5 ounces) He quoted a price and moved to the POS with the cash handed to him and rang in $7.50 and returned what appeared to be correct change.  Agent is certain that the guest did not order and was not charged for a double. Delivering more alcohol than what is prescribed by management is bartender theft.

9:05 – A guest flagged down bartender 2 (bartender 1 back to flirting) who called bartender 1 over to the POS.  Together they rang in what appeared to be an additional 5 items to the tab and presented it to the guest.  This was a clear instance of extremely delayed ringing.  Agent had observed these particular guests have quite a few cocktails as well as food. When receiving and looking at the bill, the customer "high-fived" bartender 1 apparently pleased with the amount off the bill. 

9:15 – agent flagged down bartender 2 who again called over bartender 1 at which time a cocktail was ordered.  Bartender 1 prepared the cocktail with a 7 count pour (the cocktail was not ordered as a double) and delivered it moving immediately back to the ladies at the end of the bar not moving to the POS. 

During the time agent ordered the cocktail, associates drink was about 80% empty and bartenders 1 nor 2 took any notice.

9:15 to 9:35 – agent and associate had finished the food and pushed the plate forward and it was never cleared until we were closing our check out.

9:21 – bartender 1 poured an 8 count Margarita Rocks with what appeared to be well tequila.  He moved to the POS, but added the margarita to a tab, therefore agent cannot confirm if it was ordered or billed as a double.

9:22 – associates drink was 90% empty.

9:30 – associates drink was 100% empty and had been for a few minutes.  Agents drink was 80% empty.

9:32 – Associate pushed a credit card to the edge of the bar to attempt to signal some sort of service as we were still being completely ignored. 

9:35 Agent and associate flagged down the bartenders to ask for our bill which Bartender 1 then added the cocktail to that he had not accounted for and returned the check.  The cocktail was not accounted for correctly in the POS as the brand of liquor was wrong and is a typically higher priced item than what was poured. This to ois a form of bartender theft.

Throughout the evaluation agent observed bartender 2 not serving any guests and simply cleaning, stocking and doing other side work while bartender 1 ignored guests at the bar top. 

There were several occasions that guests asked bartender 2 for something and he retrieved bartender 1 for them just as he had for agent and associate.  Each of these occasions, bartender 1 would serve the guest that called him over, and go right back to the ladies without checking on any of the other bar guests.

There were also several occasions that agent observed a server approach the well to pick up a drink that had been rung in prior and bartender 1 had not noticed the ticket print and therefore not prepared the order.

There were four occasions that bartender 1 would serve a guest a new cocktail, and he would leave the old glass/bottle sitting in front of the guest for some time before clearing it although it was clearly empty.

Overall, other than the fact that both bartenders were very pleasant and friendly, agent found the level of service to be really disconcerting.  Agent and associate left the bar feeling exasperated and disregarded.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
Hospitality Checkpoint  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint PLLC
PI Lic. 1597616

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

© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2011

BARTENDER THEFT - Bartender using his cell phone to track stolen money in the POS drawer

July 18, 2011 22:34 by administrator


Bartender Summary

  • Bartender 1: Caucasian male with a  xxx tattoo on his xxxx xxxx and a long pony tail. He wore a name tag that identified him as xxxxxx.
  • Bartender 2: Caucasian female with brown past shoulder length brown hair. She wore a name tag that identified her as xxxxxx .

The agent was greeted immediately greeted by xxxxxx after approaching the bar. xxxxxx had a neutral demeanor. He was not very friendly, nor was he rude or angry. He seemed very relaxed and not too involved in chatting with patrons. He seemed to be well known by the clientele, so the agent isn’t sure if he was just having a bad day, or if that was his usual demeanor.

Bartender 2 was considerably more friendly and outgoing. He smiled a lot while she worked and when she addressed patrons. She also made a lot of small talk. The agent saw that while both bartenders would venture outside of the bar to take orders from nearby tables or to clear used glassware, it was xxxxxx who did the bulk of the roaming while xxxxxx hung out behind the bar for the majority of the evaluation period.

The agent found the pour counts of both bartenders to be consistent, but inaccurate. xxxxxx and xxxxxx would pour the posi-pour amount and then tilt the bottle to finish another count and a half delivering more liquor than allowable. This is a theft occurrence. The agent observed the bartenders do this for every cocktail they made.

The bartenders were very good about using cocktail napkins on the bar top. They set them down for every drink they served to the agent and to surrounding patrons.

The agent saw that both bartenders would ring in their drinks to the POS. xxxxxx ’ ring-ins were almost always immediately after service. She seemed very controlled and methodical with her imput to the POS. She rarely group ringed, or delayed her ring ins. The agent did not see any suspicious activity from xxxxxx during the evaluation other than trying to circumvent the posi-pour spouts.

xxxxxx , on the other hand, often had behavior that seemed odd or suspicious. xxxxxx was always punching in some information into his phone. He kept his cell phone right next to the POS screen on the register. The agent counted numerous times when he would ring in drinks and then go directly to punch something into his cell phone. The agent believes that it is possible he could be keeping some record or abacus system of the drink charges to go back at a later time and balance out his register.

At first, the agent thought he could be sending a text message. However the information he was inputting didn’t seem to be long enough to be a text message. Generally a text message is a quick sentence. The amount of time he took to put the information seemed to be too short to be a text message.

There is also the pattern that the agent noticed. xxxxxx would punch in information to his phone only after ringing in a drink to the POS. Otherwise, it xxxxxx didn’t really seem to touch his phone while he worked. He only went to it after he punched in drinks to the POS.

The agent found his ring ins to be accurate. He charged the agent the appropriate amounts for the drinks he served. And after every ring in, the POS would flash with a dollar amount to charge. The agent also noticed he would punch in additional info into the POS other than drinks and starting tabs.

He also did a few questionable things with cash. At 9:25pm, xxxxxx left cash sitting on top of the register in a little stack while he serviced patrons. He left the cash there for over two minutes. Then he rang in the drink order that the cash was supposed to pay for. He then went to the register for someone else’s order and looked like he was opening a tab. He then caused the cash drawer to open and placed the stack of money in the drawer. This further substantiates the Agent's suspicion that he is padding the drawer with stolen money.

The screen did not display an “amount due” sign with the dollar amount that he was supposed to be putting in. The agent found this behavior suspicious. xxxxxx repeated the same thing at least twice, but was always seen punching things into what appeared to be a tab screen.

Agent suspects that this bartender is using the POS drawer to harbor stolen money and pulling it at a safer time, most likely at check out.

The agent is also a little concerned with the amount of traffic that was behind the bar. The bartenders would come and go from the bar and often times not be able to see around the corner from one end of the bar.

At 9:32pm, an older female walked behind the bar and put a cash envelope in a drawer located toward the middle of the bar. After that she returned to a table where she and some friends were drinking.

It seemed that purses were kept behind the bar and patrons had free access to when they could retrieve their purses. Again, the agent notes that the bartenders would sometimes not be able to see every square foot of the bar. Having people come and go from behind the bar leaves a lot of room for serious issues.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
Hospitality Checkpoint  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint PLLC
PI Lic. 1597616

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

© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2011

BARTENDER THEFT - Not ringing in drinks, stolen money put in the tips jar, illegal amout of alcohol served, dram shop issues.

April 26, 2011 01:41 by administrator


Bartender Summary

  • Bartender 1:  Female, 5’4”, Caucasian, in her thirties, with a medium build and long, straight blond hair.  She wore jeans and a baggy blue hooded sweatshirt.
  • Bartender 2:  Male, 5’7”, Caucasian, in his early twenties, with an average build and shaggy brown hair worn under a knit cap.  He wore a tee shirt.  The receipt he provided at the end of the visit gave his name as Xxxxx; patrons referred to him as Xxxxx.
  • Barback (?):  Male, 5’7”, Caucasian, in his twenties, with tattoos and spacers of approximately 5/8”-gauge in his ears.  The agent could not determine whether he was an on-duty employee, off-duty employee, or just a friend of the staff.

The agent and his associate approached the bar after first being seated at a table for more than five minutes and not being acknowledged.  They observed Xxxxx moving out from behind the bar to quickly greet another group of patrons seated at a nearby table, shortly after the group arrived.

Bartender 1 was behind the bar when the agent and his associate arrived.  Upon approaching the bar, Xxxxx greeted the agent and his associate within several minutes.  He gave a brief hello and offered to get them something to drink.  He took one order at a time and immediately filled it, delivering each item atop a cocktail napkin.  He did not discuss payment or a tab and did not introduce himself.  He also did not mention food until several minutes later when he delivered several menus, “In case you guys are hungry.”  He did not mention any specials or make any recommendations.

Xxxxx appeared to ring in the round immediately.  He did not place a printed tab in front of the agent.

Neither bartender followed up over the next twenty-plus minutes.  Bartender 1 did not even acknowledge the agent or his associate, despite passing in front of them multiple times.  Only after the agent summoned her did Bartender 1 ask if she could get them something.

Bartender 1 accepted the food order and offered upsell options, writing the order down on a cocktail napkin.  She gave no predrops of napkins, plates, or condiments.

The appetizers arrived first, after approximately fifteen minutes.  Xxxxx delivered napkins, silverware, and a mismatched set of salt and pepper shakers after delivering the appetizer.  He stated the entrees would follow quickly.

Neither bartender followed up to check on the appetizers.  The entrees were delivered ten minutes later.

The agent believes Barback was an off-duty employee.  Several times, he returned stacks of dirty glassware to the bar, joking that he was barbacking.  He spent a lot of the visit standing at the end of the bar, drinking and talking with the bartenders. 

Xxxxx prepared most of the items for the service bar, as he went out from behind the bar to wait on guests.  The agent could not verify whether all items were accounted, as Xxxxx often served multiple groups before moving to the register to ring in items, and did not print out tabs when updating. 

Agent stresses to management that this is a very dangerous bartending practice that should be addressed immediately.

Xxxxx used a free-pour technique.  His single-liquor cocktails were typically over poured at two ounces. This exceeds the amount designated by management. It also is too strong of a pour and endangers guests and ownership.

Neither bartender gave the agent and his associate much attention.  They, as well as other bar guests, often sat with near-empty and empty glasses for five or ten minutes before Xxxxx came by to offer an additional round. It was rather disconcerting to watch how seemingly disinterested they were.

Both bartenders kept up with washing and restocking glassware.

Bartender 1 did not interact further with the agent and his associate, and it soon became clear she was trying to leave for the evening.  At 6:52pm, she appeared to be reconciling the drawer from a report generated by the register. 

She took $80 in twenties from the till and put it in the tip jar. 

While in the midst of dealing with the report, at 6:54pm, Bartender 1 poured a whopping and illegal four-ounce shot of black label Captain Morgan and delivered it to a patron at the end of the bar closest to the entrance. 


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.

She accepted what appeared to be a five dollar bill and a one dollar bill and placed it to the right of the drawer; she did not ring in anything.  The cash remained there for at least five minutes.  The agent observed Bartender 1 ultimately put the cash in the tip jar.

Bartender 1 did a lot of cash exchanging and handling of the drawer, most of which the agent could not substantiate.  He thought it odd, however, that it appeared her accounting and that of Xxxxx’s was mixed in the same drawer.  For a shift change, it is typically cleaner and more difficult to mask theft if shifts keep separate tills. This behavior was highly suspicious.

When finished, Bartender 1 dumped the contents of the tip jar into her purse, which stood open on the back bar, to the left and a short distance from the register.

Bartender 1 then stood at the end of the bar for a time, rolling silverware and chatting with Barback.  Xxxxx was then solo behind the bar.

Two female patrons were at the bar and appeared to be friends of Xxxxx’s.  From conversation overheard, they were bartenders, possibly at a nearby establishment named Milagros.  Xxxxx prepared huge shots for them that filled highball glasses; one round was delivered at 6:55pm.  He did not ring in the round.

Xxxxx gave them another round of colossal shots at 7:31pm; again, he did not ring them in. 

Xxxxx chatted with them extensively and nearly completely ignored the rest of the bar guests.  The agent and his associate intended on ordering dessert, but gave up after twenty minutes, it becoming obvious that Xxxxx had no intention on serving them further.  He never removed their plates and did not offer boxes. It was pitiful service.

Around 7:45pm Xxxxx took one of the shots delivered to the bartenders, as they had yet to drink it, and mixed the contents with additional alcohol to create two new shots—also huge—which were also not rung in.

A male friend of the two patrons entered shortly before 8pm.  At 7:54pm, Xxxxx prepared a large whisky bomber for the patron and did not ring it in or accept payment.

When the female patrons and their friend departed, they left one twenty-dollar bill and two tens for the tab that Xxxxx had provided them.  The agent was not able to see the total on the tab, but is certain the group was not charged for most of their items; also, the receipt was less than five inches long—not enough to have printed out many items.  The pair each had at least one food order—both appeared to have the bruschetta from the special menu—and they took a food order to go, as well.  The agent suspects they were charged only for their food.

When the agent requested his tab, Xxxxx quickly processed the payment and returned the itemization with the agent’s credit card and two credit slips, in a check presenter with a pen. 

He did not require identification for the agent’s unsigned card.

Xxxxx placed the check presenter in front of the agent without saying anything and walked away. 

Xxxxx did not acknowledge the agent or his associate when they departed and never thanked them.


Michael Zenner - CEO      
hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint PLLC
PI Lic. 1597616

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

© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2011

10 Tips to Curb Employee Theft

March 1, 2011 16:58 by administrator

Sunday, February 27 2011

The Restaurant Blog

By John Foley

Fraud, missing cash, disappearing draft beer, and voided Vodka sales are all signs you may have a few unprofessional employees.

One perplexing observation: You can't assume your most professional employees are necessarily the most honest. True career professionals are honest. But there are also employees who seem professional but only have their own best interests in mind.

Any time you mix cash, booze, and food and leave the items unsupervised or unlocked you are going to have some degree of problems. If you add opposite sexes into the mix -- with even the slightest attraction towards each other -- it is the perfect formula for a party. It's just human nature. Owners need to accept the responsibility to address the problem.

Here are ten tips to help curb employee theft and fraud.

1). Announce your position on theft early on. During the first employee interview make sure you let potential employees know that you have a section in your employee manual dealing with theft. They need to read it and initial it. Simply stated – you prosecute. Now, do you send someone to the crowbar hotel for eating a steak? Probably not. But if they just happen to take a whole rib-eye out in the nightly bag of garbage and return later to pick it out of the dumpster, bye-bye.

2). Credit card fraud in any amount is considered a felony, and you will immediately call the police. Today, nothing is worse than being intentionally double-charged for a meal on a credit card. It revokes the trust the customer had with the restaurant and the employees.

3). Inventory is the road to financial success. Lock your liquor room. Take complete product inventory weekly. Keep a perishable list and have someone inspect the product before it is tossed and listed.

4). Your staff is not part of your family. I know this hurts, but it is true. You cannot be "one big happy family" and expect to succeed. Become a team -- winning teams work together. Families can be completely dysfunctional, and they are still a family. Families share everything in the refrigerator, the liquor cabinet, and the spare change.

Say it…"T E A M."

5). Only the house buys drinks. If you ever hear a bartender say, "This one's on me," fire them. They are working for themselves. You bought the booze wholesale; you deserve credit for the complimentary cocktail.

6). The staff meal. Everyone needs to eat.. The staff meal consists of whatever the chef wants to make within your guidelines. Set a time the staff can come early or stay late. And everyone eats the same meal -- no exceptions.

7). Do not under any circumstances allow your staff to drink at the bar after work. It seldom ends in one drink, and eventually it will cost you a lot of money, a server or two, and possibly your liquor license. Feeling gracious? Give them the money for a drink next door.

8). Have a secret shopping customer. Make sure it's a regular and someone you can trust. Have them come in on occasion to eat, drink, and spy. Pick up the tab. It will be worth it.

9). Short of silverware? Is all that being thrown away? Inventory it – quarterly.

10). It's The Art of War. Read it. If you find someone stealing, termination is a must. Bring up the incident, not the person, at your next pre-shift meeting. State your theft policy again. Drive the point of prosecution home.


Michael Zenner - CEO      
hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint PLLC
PI Lic. 1597616

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

© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2010


Bartender Theft - Storing stolen money in the register to take out later. Ringing in well price and charging call price.

November 12, 2010 18:36 by administrator

Bartender Summary

As would be the case with any high volume club of this type, there were a multitude of bartenders working on this visit. The agent found that there were at least six rotating bartenders working behind the bar at all times.  Because there is a rotation up to the poles, and into the bar from the floor, it is often very difficult to watch all of the bartenders.  What this agent witnessed was two bartenders per side of the bar, one bartender primarily on the point, and one bartender primarily in the well, with others that would rotate from the poles or in from the floor as others would take the poles.

To make matters more difficult, there is not a lot about the uniforms of these girls that will make it easy to differentiate between bartenders.  With the noise volume in Xxxxxx Xxxxxx, it is difficult, and sometimes awkward to try to get a bartenders name.  Under the circumstances of this club, if the agent were to ask, it is yet again questionable if a real name would even be given.  So with these parameters given, there were several incidents of questionable integrity witnessed and this is with the understanding of the disclaimer concerning bartender assignations and tabbing within the POS system.  There were also massive over pours noted on several occasions.

During this visit, there were two bartenders noted wearing black tank tops.  One was wearing a cowboy hat and one was not.  The one not wearing the cowboy hat had long straight black hair and was very attractive.  She was working on the north side of the bar, on the side with the ATM.  She had several rings, including the agent’s first drink at about 9:55 PM, which were not finished on the system.  The screen on the computer did not finish the display like all of the other girls ringing. 

On one occasion she was fighting with opening the drawer and this appeared to be a NO SALE ring because nothing printed and the screen was simply a grey box.  Because this was the agent’s first drink and it was paid in cash, the agent took time to note how the screen appears when a bartender cashes out a drink.  On at least three other occasions, with this same bartender, this was also the case.

It is this agent’s strong assumption that if this bar drawer were to be audited with reports for all bartenders ringing into that till, that the manager or owner would find the drawer to be massively over what it should be.  This agent believes that this bartender is selling into her drawer and pulling the money out later at the time that they cash out tips.  In auditing this drawer, look for coins in the wrong coin slots or paper clips, hair bands, etc in odd coin slots in the drawer.  This will designate an accounting system for cash sold into the drawer

Agent suggests doing mid-shift drawer pull audits. If management is unaware of hoe to execute this process, please contact the Hospitality Checkpoint office for further instruction.

The cocktail well point bartender was the most easily identifiable bartender on staff for the night.  She was wearing a red tank and had body art on both arms and shoulders.  At about 10:20 PM, she was seen pouring a massive 12 count of Patron tequila into two shots. This was an astounding amount of alcohol.  Because of the location and point of view of the agent at the time, the pour was observed, but the ring could not be seen.  However, this was an unimaginably strong drink that poses serious risk to patrons and the club.

Similarly at about 11:15 PM, another bartender on the ATM side of the bar wearing a red tank with wavy dark hair was seen pouring two Jack Daniels mixers with a solid 8 count in each.  This is a free pouring bar, and is part of the atmosphere and ambiance involved in the southern rock saloon.  However, money and risk is being levied every time there is a pour that strong.  The patrons, who are not inexperienced drinkers, probably know about how much they can safely handle considering their food intake for the day and if they are driving or not, etc.  When a curve is thrown at them like that, there can be serious implications.  This agent has not witnessed over pours to this extent in a very long time.

Another issue that this agent witnessed on both sides of the bar is called bumping.  To illustrate:  Bartender A approaches the POS and rings a drink legitimately into the POS.  As the bar drawer opens to accept the sale, bartender B bumps into the drawer and deposits cash before ringing the drink that the money is for.  This can result in two things.  It can be money safely stored for later, or it can be a legitimate ring for the wrong thing for example someone might order Jack and be rung for well liquor.  This bumping happened on multiple occasions on both sides of the bar and is masked very easily on a busy night by simply being busy.  Something to watch on these bumps would be variances in draft beer sales.

Agent would recommend hiring the services of BEVINCO to track these losses. Please contact the Hospitality Checkpoint office for further instruction.


Michael Zenner - CEO      
hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
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