How Bartenders Steal & How We Catch Them

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      

Hospitality Checkpoint LLC  (blog)

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299

Office: 480-777-1919

Toll Free: 800-880-0811

© Hospitality Checkpoint LLC 2014


BARTENDER THEFT: Bar Theft, Free Drinks, Employye Alcohol Consumption, ADLLC Violations

March 3, 2014 00:30 by administrator

BARTENDER THEFT: Bar Theft, Free Drinks, Employye Alcohol Consumption, ADLLC Violations

Bartender Summary                                                                                                    

·       Bartender 1:  Caucasian male, approximately 6’, athletic build, wearing a black uniform t-shirt, jeans, and a black hat.

·       Bartender 2:  Caucasian male, approximately 5’10, thin build, brown hair worn in a xxxxxx, wearing a black uniform t-shirt, and jeans.

·       Bartender 3:  Caucasian female, approximately 5’3, petite build, with long blonde hair, wearing a female style uniform t-shirt.

Throughout the evaluation Bartender 1, Bartender 2, and Bartender 3 were extremely distracted and barely interacted with those patrons seated at the bar.  Throughout the evaluation Bartender 1, Bartender 2, and Bartender 3 appeared to be more interested in each other, the serving staff, or their cell phones than they were the customers at the bar.  Only on few occasions did Bartender 3 appear to engage in conversation and flirtatious banter with some of the bar patrons.  Otherwise, Bartender 1, Bartender 2, and Bartender 3 were observed walking around the bar, fidgeting with glassware, bottles, or their cell phones.

The more extreme examples of this behavior include:

At 10:26pm Bartender 1 was texting or playing on his cell phone.  He was observed with his head down using his cell phone for over 3 minutes straight.  He glanced up a few times during this period but did not stop texting.

At 10:56pm Bartender 3 was observed using/texting on her cell phone for almost five minutes.  Bartender 3 was also looking down at her cell phone most of the time, glancing around a few times but not moving from the spot in which she stood.

Additionally observations include:

At 11:09pm Bartender 1 was observed aggressively smacking his mouth while chewing gum behind the bar.

At 11:31pm Bartender 1 used his mixing tin to scoop ice from the ice bin for beverages.  While pouring the ice into the glasses Bartender 1 placed his hand over the tin, preventing the ice from falling out and not landing in the glass, guiding the ice with his hand.  As a patron, the agent would have been bothered by this behavior, not wanting Bartender 1’s hands, which had notably not been washed or cleaned for most of the evaluation, all over the ice within the agent’s beverage. This is also an AZ Health Code Violation.

At 10:32pm the agent noted that Bartender 1 was drinking out of a plastic cup behind the bar.  The cup was closed with a lid and Bartender 1 used a straw as per liquor law and health code requirements.  However, the substance within the drink was a light color with a lemon inside the cup.  It is possible that the drink was just Iced Tea, however, the way Bartender 1 sipped the beverage over the course of the evaluation leads the agent to speculate that the beverage may not have been a non-alcoholic beverage and may have been alcohol. This is obviously speculation, but from his mannerisms, I'm fairly certain of it.  If so this is an ADLLC Violation.

At 11:54pm Bartender 3 was observed drinking a redbull directly out of the can, leaving the can by her register when she was not drinking it. ths iis an AZ Health Code Violation.

In addition several beverages were observed being served without being charged for as well as not being accounted for within the POS:

At around 10:20pm a local delivery man from a Mexican restaurant entered the establishment delivering food for Bartender 2.  The delivery was handed to Bartender 1 and then Bartender 2 came by to greet the delivery man.  While Bartender 1 was standing there talking to the delivery man Bartender 2 poured the delivery man two shots of jager in two separate shot glasses.  The delivery man drank one immediately, chatted with Bartender 1 and Bartender 2 for several minutes, took the second shot and left.  Neither of the shots were charged for nor recorded in the POS.

At 11:33pm Bartender 1 was observed serving two Vodka Redbulls to patrons standing at the bar.  These patrons appeared to know the MOD and the staff.  Neither drink was charged for nor accounted for in the POS.


Wait Staff Summary                                                                                                     

Server 1:  Named Xxxxx; Caucasian female, approximately 5’4, medium build, with dirty blonde/brown curly hair, wearing a black female uniform t-shirt, a black wool hat, and jeans.

Server 2:  Named Xxxxx; Caucasian female, approximately 5’3, petite build, with long blonde hair, wearing a uniform female t-shirt, and jeans.  Xxxxx was training that evening.

The agent and associate sat at a table and were approached by Xxxxx and Xxxxx after waiting several minutes.  Xxxxx placed beverage napkins onto the table and asked the agent and associate what they wanted to drink.  The agent and associate placed drink orders (Please see Food and Beverage for details).

Over the course of the evaluation only the associate was IDed however both the associate and the agent received alcoholic beverages (Please see Food and Beverage for details).

After viewing the menu the agent and associate placed a food order with Xxxxx and Xxxxx (Please see Food and Beverage for details).  The agent asked a question which neither Xxxxx nor Xxxxx knew the answer to (Please see Food and Beverage for details).

While the agent and associate ate the first course Xxxxx and Xxxxx checked in a few times. During one of these check-ins the associate ordered an additional beverage.  The agent is not sure how long it took for this beverage to be delivered, although it was at least five minutes.  Considering the low volume of business, the agent and associate felt that this wait time was not appropriate.

Regarding the second course the agent asked Xxxxx for something which was immediately provided, which the agent greatly appreciated (please see Food and Beverage for details).

Considering the low level of business again, the agent and associate felt that the wait time for the second course was also longer than appropriate (Please see Food and Beverage for details).

When the food was delivered the agent ordered an additional beverage through Xxxxx.  There was an issue with the beverage that was not Xxxxx’s fault, however, Xxxxx handled this issue very well (Please see Food and Beverage for details).

When the agent and associate were finished with their meal the agent requested the check.  The check was promptly provided and paid for.  There was no customer receipt included with the bill, however, and another item on the bill was very odd (Please see Food and Beverage for details).

As a training server it is expected that Xxxxx would be on her best behavior, which she was.  The agent and associate were surprised, however, at Xxxxx’s performance in comparison to Xxxxx’s, Xxxxx seeming to slack and be less helpful as well as be a bad role model and trainer for Xxxxx considering her lack of knowledge and lack of attention.

Xxxxx was a very friendly and attentive server, on the other hand.  However, throughout the meal the table was not maintained, leaving a clutter of dirty plates and glassware for almost the entire meal.

Security Summary

·       Security 1- Caucasian male, approximately 5’10, with an athletic build and dark short hair, wearing a black t-shirt and jeans.

When the agent and associate approached there was no Security stationed at the door nor did there appear to be security staff within the establishment.  Consequently, no patrons were being IDed upon entering, which, based on the assumption of staff assuming the patrons had been IDed, caused some patrons to not be IDed at all.

About half way through the evaluation there was a single security guard that was noted to have arrived and started working.

Security 1 was observed walking into the establishment only several times during the evaluation, spending most of his time at or near the front entrance.

On the agent and associate’s way out Security 1 wished the agent and associate a good evening.

Although it appeared that only staff and a few friends of staff walked through the back door of the establishment that went into the back parking lot, the agent warns that there was no staff member watching that entrance/exit throughout the evaluation.  The agent notes that this is an easy area for underage individuals to enter the establishment and be assumed as having been IDed by the servers and bartenders.

Overall, the agent is not sure whether or not the security staff was short just for that evening or if only one staff member was scheduled.  The agent also does not assume that Security 1 was necessarily late.  Nonetheless, the agent does warn that the establishment was not being watched over in the way security staff would and should, IDing all patrons at the door and watching all entrances.  Such responsibilities should be handled, therefore, by the rest of the staff watching for incoming patrons through the back entrance and IDing all patrons as they are served, however, this did not appear to be the case either, causing the establishment to have face the risk of serving underage and/or intoxicated patrons.

Food and Beverage Summary

When the agent and associate entered the establishment there was no security working at the door.  The agent and associate were, therefore, not IDed upon initial entry into the facility.

The agent and associate sat at a table and were greeted by Xxxxx and Xxxxx.  Xxxxx placed down beverage napkins and asked the agent and associate what they would like to drink.  The agent ordered a water and the associate ordered a corona.  At this point the associate was IDed, however, the agent was not due to the fact that the agent only ordered water.

In addition the agent asked Xxxxx if the agent and associate could have another menu since there was only one on the table.  Xxxxx did not appear to understand why the agent wanted another menu, and then assumed based on the disheveled appearance of the first menu, that the agent wanted a cleaner menu. Nonetheless, the agent wanted an additional menu for the associate to look at as well.

When Xxxxx returned with the corona the agent and associate ordered nachos as an appetizer and stated that they would continue to browse the menu to look for larger items.

Ten minutes later the nachos arrived, served in a large plastic basket on top of a wax sheet.  There was cheese sauce drizzled over the chips, a handful of sliced jalapenos, a handful of diced tomatoes, and a large dollop of sour cream.  The agent and associate were extremely disappointed with the nachos, however.  The nachos came out barely room temperature and it was obvious that the jalapenos and tomatoes had just been sprinkled onto the chips, instead of having some salsa or pico de gallo on the chips, giving the nachos a more complex flavor.  Instead the nachos were very basic and cold, both the agent and associate feeling they could make better nachos in their homes with basic ingredients.

When the agent was finished with his first beverage Xxxxx returned and asked if the agent and associate were interested in additional beverages.  The associate ordered another Corona.  The associate and agent were also ready to order their food at this point.

The agent asked Xxxxx what the “healthy heart special” was, which she did not know.  Xxxxx asked Xxxxx and Xxxxx was not aware either.  Xxxxx directed Xxxxx to ask the MOD who informed her that it was a pesto chicken meal.

When Xxxxx returned with the information the associate placed an order for the Social Burger with fries and the agent placed an order for the loaded grilled cheese with fries.

Nine minutes later the agent realized that the agent had forgotten to ask for the Grilled cheese without the pesto sauce.  The agent flagged down Xxxxx and apologized, informing her of the modification.  Xxxxx ran upstairs to inform that chef and quickly returned stating that the agent need not worry and that Xxxxx had caught the chef just in time.

16 minutes after the second course was ordered it was delivered by Xxxxx.  Xxxxx asked if the agent or associate needed anything else.  The agent asked for a coke.  Xxxxx left to retrieve the coke but shortly returned stating that the syrup was low and needed to be changed.  Xxxxx stated that the agent would receive her beverage as soon as the coke was changed.  Several minutes later the drink was delivered.

The agent’s food was very good.  The grilled cheese served on soft, thick bread, with hot, thick, gooey cheese in the center.  The fries were hot and crisp with a soft center.  Overall, the agent’s meal was very satisfying.

The associate’s meal was okay but not impressive.  Again the associate felt that the burger was comparable to a burger the associate would make for himself at home.  The meat was good, and cooked as per the associate’s request.  The bun was soft and warm.  There was nothing in particular that was wrong with the meal, however, there was nothing particularly noteworthy either.

When the agent and associate were finished with their meals the agent requested the check.  The bill was presented in a clean check presenter with seemingly accurate charges.  Upon closer examination the agent noted an odd discount on the bill that did not pertain to any problem the agent and associate had.

The agent provided a credit card for the bill, which Xxxxx promptly ran and returned.  At this point the bill was returned with a receipt to sign, however, without a customer copy.

Overall the agent thought that Xxxxx was working very hard to provide the best service with her level of training.  The food, however, was mostly disappointing and the kitchen appeared to be taking an inappropriate amount of time considering the low level of business.


Promotional Addendum:

During the evaluation there were three promotional models working to promote Bacardi.  The MOD made two separate mixtures with Bacardi; one with coke, and one with juices.  At this point the coke syrup was already low and, unaware of the issue, the MOD poured the shots with what tasted like watered down coke.  This was evident in the flavor of the shots provided by the models.

Due to the fact that the agent had not ordered an alcoholic beverage and, therefore, had not been IDed, when the agent did receive Bacardi shots from the promotional models the facility ended up serving a patron that had not been verified.  Although the agent is of legal age to drink, the agent warns that such slip-ups run the risk of serious penalties.  The agent feels that all staff should always ID patrons, especially when security is not checking IDs at the door, and, additionally, especially when promotional models are handing out free shots.

MOD Addendum:

MOD-  Caucasian male, approximately 5’7, wearing a black suit, black shirt, and ablack large, wool hat/beanie.

At 10:28pm the MOD poured and served to pink, mixed shots to the Bacardi Promo Girls.  Neither shot was accounted for in the POS.

At 11:15pm the MOD served the promo girls three large shots that appeared to be small glasses of an ADIOS mixture, possibly the equivalent of 2-3 ounces.

At 11:55pm the MOD poured and served 4 more mixed shots, one for himself, and three for the promo girls.

Although in accordance with the expectations of the MOD provided by the business owners, the MOD may have the ability to provide free shots and not have to account for them, the agent still warns that Promotional Contracted Models are still considered patrons regarding alcohol consumption.  After having consumed over 6 ounces of mixed drinks in the form of 3 shots, within an hour and a half, the girls appeared to be comfortably intoxicated, however, if either of them drove from the establishment at midnight when they left, all three of them would have had a high BAC level and thus a dram shop liquor liability issue.

The agent also noted that throughout the evaluation the MOD appeared to be solely concerned with the promo girls and not concerned with the management of the business, in the Agent's opinion.


Michael Zenner - CEO      

Hospitality Checkpoint LLC  (blog)

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299

Office: 480-777-1919

Toll Free: 800-880-0811

© Hospitality Checkpoint LLC 2014


BARTENDER THEFT: Stolen Money Laundered through Tip Jar

November 28, 2012 20:31 by administrator


Bartender Summary

The agent observed the following bartenders the evening of June 29th:

-xxxxxx Bar

·       Xxxxx: Caucasian female, 5’10’, medium build, straight dark brown hair pulled back in a bun


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

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

-xxxxx Bar

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





The agent initially sat at the indoor bar at 23:23.  At that time, all three bartenders were doing what they could to drum up business where possible, though there was about one bartender for every three to four guests.  This meant that a fair amount of conversing was happening, both among bartenders, and between bartenders and guests.

Even so, Xxxxx approached the agent immediately, extending a warm greeting and offering something to drink.

As soon as the agent placed an order, Xxxxx set about making it, using the ice scoop to prepare the drinks and using beverage napkins.  These were the practices each time a drink was made at the inside bar.  She also rang the order in immediately and correctly, which was also standard practice at the indoor bar.

The only shortcoming observed among all bartenders was a failure to attempt to upsell to a more expensive liquor.  This is an easy way of raising check totals without adding significant additional effort that all staff should be encouraged to do.

When the agent approached the outdoor bar farthest from the main entrance, Bartender 4 was not quite so quick to greet the agent, taking four minutes to do so.  Also, Bartender 4 was never seen to use a beverage napkin, and was once observed scooping ice directly into a plastic cup which is a health concern.

Also, Bartender 4 was a bit slow about offering additional drinks to those guests whose had gone empty.  For example, at 10:54, the agent’s glass was empty, but Bartender 4 didn’t offer another drink until 11:03.

Another way in which bar performance was less than ideal was the way bartenders rang in drinks.  For example, they usually rang drinks in immediately after making them.  When extremely busy, though, they even tended to leave one meta-tab open for cash orders, in which they would add each guest’s round, then input the amount of cash handed over.  This method shows a screen with very small text stating the amount of change due, and creates an excellent opportunity for padding the cost by a few dollars in order to illegally increase tips.  Agent found this alarming.

This would not have been a  huge concern but for the fact that the agent observed Bartender 4 ring in multiple “no sales” at times when he produced drinks and put cash in the drawer, including at 11:13 and 11:35.  What’s more, both the “no sale” rings were when Bartender 4 was given cash and told to keep the change. It is suspected that the drawer may be used to launder stolen money.

Also alarming, the agent never received a receipt from any bartenders the entire evening, and even though both bartenders served the agent a draft beer and a well drink, the quoted price was $11.25 inside and $11.50 outside.


The agent also never observed any bartender securing a credit card in order to assure the payment of a tab without the guest offering the card first.

No bartender was ever seen to check the identification of a single guest.  This was in spite of the fact that much of the crowd that evening was young, including several people that were clearly under 30.

Similarly, the  outside bar area had a group of three obviously intoxicated people, who  were slurring, red, and sweating profusely.

Obviously, it goes without saying that this is a serious source 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 as grounds for revoking an establishment’s liquor license.  Certainly, this development would be disastrous for ownership, but it is the agent’s opinion that it is worth mentioning this to the staff and reminding them that such a scenario would involve them losing their livelihood too.   Additionally, under New Jersey’s dram shop legislation, such a scenario would also leave the establishment and the individual employee that served a minor or intoxicated person personally liable for damages caused by that person.

Similarly, there were some small problems with correct pouring controls by Bartender 4.  On one occasion at 11:03, Bartender 4 was making a rum and Coke for a guest, and poured it with a 6-count (4 count = 1 1/2 oz).  When the guest asked what the well rum was, Bartender 4 asked “Why?  You don’t like it?”  Then said “There’s a solution to that,” as he added another 3-count of Bacardi to the drink.  This was never rung in as a comp, and when all was said and done, the guest had more than a double for the cost of a shot of well liquor.  Moreover, this is a dangerous amount of alcohol for one drink and possesses a liquor liability issue.

Similarly, at 12:10, Xxxxx told a guest that a soft drink was on her, but was never seen to ring it in as a comp.

It did not seem that Bartender 4 knew the guest, rather, this excessive pour seemed to be a result of inattention and willingness to give away product.  This is a problem that could be remedied by making sure that all bottles, even those who which have irregular  sizes and shapes, have precision metered  pour spouts for the sake of accuracy.

What’s more, a staff member (pictured) was sitting at the bar from 10:52 until after the agent left the area at 11:07.  The entire time that she was there, Bartender 4 was pouring her eight ounce pours of  red wine from Salmon Run,  which he would place on the side of the bar nearest him, so that she would have to reach over the bar to take each drink and put it back each time, as seen in the photo at left.  This made the agent think that they had some reason to hide this activity, and the fact that the agent placed the drink there without it being requested made the agent think this was something that they had done before.  Before the agent left, Bartender 4 filled her drink a total of  three times, a total of nearly five glasses of wine. The agent never observed Bartender 4 accounting for these drinks in a comp or shift-drink ticket on the



At one point, another staff member (pictured) was sitting with them, and was drinking a soft drink, though it was impossible to tell if anything alcoholic had been mixed in.  At one point, a third employee approached them, saying “Alex, are you checked out yet,” to which one of the two employees responded “No.”     

At 11:27, Bartender 4 was seen drinking something a bit lighter than the color of cola from a plastic pint.  He kept the drink on the service well station.  Agent suspects an alcohol drink was being consumed; however, cannot substantiate this claim.

Similarly, there was an irregularity between bartenders and servers at the service well, as at 10:31 a server walked behind the bar, an unnecessary breakdown of the bar controls, and one that bartenders should be motivated to avoid, as any blame for a problem arising from a server behind the bar would ultimately be their fault.


Additionally, all bartenders’ appearance was always professional and hygienic, with the only exception being that they were never seen washing their hands.

Food and Beverage Summary

The agent and associate started off at the indoor bar with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a well gin and tonic. The former was served in a stemmed, fluted Pilsener glass, and the latter in a stemmed goblet with plenty of ice and lime, but no straw or drink stirrer.  The gin and tonic was made with the appropriate proportions, and was extremely refreshing and flavorful.  The pale ale also tasted just as expected, and was poured perfectly by Xxxxx.  IT was clearly fresh and well handled.

The agent’s party left the indoors and seated themselves at the bar farthest from the main entrance.   nearest the TouchTunes machine.  The agent was waited on by Server 1, who seemed to be the only server on duty.  There, they ordered a Harpoon India Pale Ale and a rum and Diet Coke. Both drinks came in translucent plastic pints, the beer with a perfect head, and the cocktail with ample ice.  IPA also tasted very fresh and flavorful, and showed no signs of age or oxidation.  It was excellent.

The cocktail was the rum and coke described in the “Bartenders” section above.  Aside from being stronger than expected, the drink tasted strongly of artificial vanilla flavor, which was why the agent asked about the well rum offering. That was when Bartender 4 “[solved] the problem” by pouring in nearly another full serving of Bacardi.

If they are giving away alcohol to strangers, and one who happens to be a bar theft integrity spotter, management can interpolate the problem from there.

All beverages were traditionally presented in intact glassware, at the proper temperatures and with all expected flavor characteristics.  What’s more, the agent was satisfied with both the breadth of the establishment’s selection, and especially with the value that it offered.

Because of the traffic the agent encountered on the way to the evaluation, by the time the outdoor bar nearest the main entrance was was approached, it was 11:30, and they were already closing.


Manager Summary

·       Bar Manager : Caucasian male, 6’0”, short dark hair, average build, yellow short-sleeved collared shirt  and black slacks (pictured at right)

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

·       General Manager: Caucasian female, 5’9”, short graying brown hair, medium build, sky blue short-sleeved collared shirt and black slacks (pictured at right)




In general, the agent’s observations of the managers were brief and fleeting.  The first and only glimpse of the Bar manager was at 10:28.  At that time, the manager was standing beside the indoor bar, drinking a Long Trail Belgian White Ale (pictured at right).  Immediately after finishing it within two minutes, the Bar Manager stepped behind the bar, ringing something up in the POS.  This is a cause for concern, as it is a best practice not to have anyone who has been drinking behind the bar.  In a dram shop suit or identification compliance sting, this would not reflect well on the establishment.

The Patio Manager was seen several times outside, and was generally either talking to employees or just taking the scene in.  He was not present for the period in which Bartender 4 was pouring free house wine for an employee on the patio.

Finally, the General Manager was observed at 11:57 when she brought out a new cash drawer to Xxxxx, with whom she exchanged it for the older drawer.

The only major criticism of the managers was that they completely failed to address the two problems of obviously intoxicated guests being served and employees drinking at the establishment.  In fact, the Bar manager was himself drinking the only time the agent saw him.

There were no guest problems at any point that required manager intervention, but it is also worth mentioning that the agent never observed any of the managers communicating with any guests.

At 11:34, the agent returned to the indoor bar, ordering a Long Trail White Ale and a Diet Coke.  Both were served in fluted, stemmed Pilseners, and the soft drink came with ice.  Both beverages tasted pleasant and expected. Xxxxx declined to charge the agent for the soft drink

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

November 28, 2012 20:11 by administrator


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.


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      
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, 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: Bad service, free drinks, overservice, illegal drug use.

August 14, 2012 23:44 by administrator


Bartender Summary

We entered the bar and took seats and were greeted almost immediately n by a male bartender who said, "Good evening sir, how are you?" He did not introduce himself. He asked us what he could get started for us and we replied we didn’t know yet and he offered to show us a beer list.

He returned shortly there after asking for an order and the agent ordered a draft beer and he went to pour it. It was delivered shortly after with coasters. He then suggested food sales by saying "Would you like to look at a food menu?" We said we would and he delivered them to us with a tab in front of us. Shortly after he left the bar and a blonde haired woman came behind the bar. Agent assumes this first young man was a server filling in for the bartender when she was on break as he was seen waiting tables after that.

The woman never introduced herself nor did she give us a friendly welcome. Tab says Xxxxxx so that is what she will be refereed to as. We had menus in front of us but she never asked if we wanted to in order food. We then asked some questions about the menu which she answered but rather enthusiastically. She never mentioned the special until we asked if there was one.  When she did say the special we had to also ask how it was prepared. When she did take our order we also had to ask what sides were available?

It wasn't a very pleasant ordering experience to say the least.  If not on duty I most likely would have set the menu down and not ordered food.

We specifically didn't order an appetizer to see if she would up-sell to start with one. She didn't and began to take the menus away when we asked her for an appetizer suggestion between two and she made a recommendation but didn't state why.

A short time later the appetizer was delivered. She just put the plate down silently and walked away. We both found this to be rather rude. She then returned with side plates and still said nothing. My associate said "thank you" and she still said nothing as she turned and walked away.

While we were eating the appetizer she did not perform a check back to ask if we liked it. In fact at one point she stood directly in front of us and still didn’t ask how the food tasted. She eventually cleared the appetizer plates and still never asked if we liked it or not.

Shortly after our entrees arrived and delivered in the same silent stoic fashion with no description or explanation. Again she never asked us how the meals were even though again she was talking to the guests' right next to us. She eventually cleared our plates and never asked us how the food tasted.

She also did not offer dessert.

Xxxxxx finger grabs soiled glassware by the lip which is highly unsanitary. She was seen doing this several times and never washed her hands afterwards.

Agent made some specific time stamp observations as follows:

Agent made note of a great deal of glassware piling up at the well. Xxxxxx also scoops ice with glassware. This is a health issue. Bartender’s hand touches the side of the glass and then the side of the glass comes in direct contact with the sanitized ice. The ice is now contaminated and illness can be spread to whoever is made a drink henceforth. A designated ice scoop should be used to scoop ice to prevent contamination.

It is also, plain and simple, very careless and lazy bartending as the glass can shatter, chip or break in the sanitized ice. This can pose a real threat if any drinks are served to guests with broken glass shards and may even invoke a lawsuit. Moreover, “burning” an ice well mid shift is cumbersome and because this is necessary after a broken glass, the establishment would lose money because of decreased sales.

At 8:41 Xxxxxx took out a bank bag and made change for an older female server. It looked to be innocent but Agent will report any cash handling that is not through the POS.

At 8:57 she poured 2 drafts to Hispanic couple on right side of the bar. She made no movement to record the beers on POS or any tab. She was observed ringing something in minutes later; however, she still did not replace this couples tab.

At 9:08 agent made note of some women that were seated at the bar were highly intoxicated. At this point they were now drinking coffee. Agent cannot ascertain if they stopped drinking or were cut off. Later in the evaluation someone came to pick them up.

At 9:11 Xxxxxx was observed delivering a draft to a male seated at a table. Earlier when the man arrived he had handed her a credit card to start a tab then found a table. She was not observed ringing in this draft nor updating any tab.

At 9:36 she was observed speaking to a man at the left side of the bar. She grabbed his beer and poured it down the drain and then poured the two people each a glass of wine. She was not observed adding this to any comp tab, the POS or updating any tab.

Several minutes later she was then observed to ring into the POS and replace their tab.

Agent's drink is completely empty and even though she is standing in from of me, she doesn't ask if I want another. After I finished the next round, my glass sat empty once again and Xxxxxx paid no mind to it. At one point I even raised my glass and slightly shook it showing it was empty, but she just continued to drink her glass of milk behind the bar.

At 9:39 Xxxxxx opened some sort of champagne type beer. It sprayed somewhat and she got a towel to catch the spray. A man at a table had apparently ordered it and was waiting when this occurred. She then opened another one of the bottles and gave it to the customer who ordered it.
She then poured a glass full glass from the sprayed bottle and gave it to the couple seated at the right side of the bar (first couple pictured at right of bar. They looked surprised to receive it. Nothing was observed to be rung on a comp or spill sheet.

Agent suggests that mistake drinks be thrown away as opposed to being given away. It seems like a nice gesture from the bartender; however, it is actually counter productive. The house has already lost in liquor costs because of the wasted liquor. This is now exacerbated by the fact that now the customer has a free mistake drink sales are reduced because they aren’t purchasing a drink. Agent would suggest that mistake drinks, if they cannot be re-used, be discarded and not given away, and immediately placed on a spill sheet.

The bartender was observed on several occasions to "triple bounce" liquor bottles in order to obtain additional alcohol. this completely circumvents the restrictions that are set inn place with the spouts rendering them useless. First, this is too much alcohol to serve people in one drink and is a dram shop liability (see food and beverage section). Second, delivering additional alcohol more than what is prescribed by management in order to raise social standing and/or gratuities is a form of bartender theft.


A half and half was ordered from the young gentleman and poured very nicely. It was crisp and refreshing.

Crown and Coke was ordered and it was poured without a pour spout and over poured at that; tasted too strong.

Changed the cocktail to Jack and coke and the bartender triple poured alcohol into the drink.

This is just far too much alcohol for one drink. take in mind the picture to the left is a bourbon based drink which the liquor is brown in color and obviously coke is brown as well, so management can interpolate from the color of this drink just how much alcohol is in the drink.

Giving drinks away for free is obviously stealing.  The inaccurate pour counts are also a form of stealing but may be a sign that the bartenders are out of practice when it comes to free pouring accurately.

Another reason they may be over-pouring is because they feel they are offering a better product, especially for their regulars.  In actuality, over-pouring cocktails isn’t doing anyone any favors.  Let’s say this is a patron’s first time at the establishment.  They visit other bars were pour counts are militantly observed to maintain liquor costs.  They know they can go to that bar, drink 3 drinks in 2 hours and still get home safely.

Then they come to your bar.  The drink 3 “lights out” drinks in 2 hours, the liver processes the alcohol approximately 2oz. per hour.  Thus the majority of the liquor hits them before leaving or while in the car driving home.  Suddenly the patron is in a world of hurt, possibly behind the wheel, and completely blindsided by outrageous pour counts.

In addition, when pour counts are high, establishments sell fewer drinks.  Why would you order 4 drinks at, say, $30, when you can get the same effect on 2 drinks and save the money?  Keeping pour counts steady and monitored is safe, cost effective, and important to the bottom line.

This bar needs to get its liquor pours in line as its losing money. Do away with the pour spouts as they give a false sense of security that correct alcohol is being poured, or have them free pour and test them for accuracy weekly.

Pour Check™  $ 19.95  

The Pour Check™ is an accurate, inexpensive tool that will help perfect the skill of free pouring. The Pour Check™ separates into 2 high quality pieces of plastic, the funnel and the measuring tube. It measures in both US Ounces and Milliliters. The Pour Check™ is an all-in-one tool that saves time while measuring the initial pour. Your purchase includes a set of 6 Pour Check Units.

Click to watch the 3 Minute Training Demonstration.

Lastly, upon departure there were three males in back of building smoking and talking/shouting rather loudly using vulgarities. Walking further into the lot, agent observed four young males at a car smoking marijuana.

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 - ADLLC Violation, Alcohol Consumption While on Duty, Poor Customer Service

April 30, 2012 19:59 by administrator


Bartender Summary                                                          

  • Bar 1:  Caucasian female approximately 5’6 with a slender frame and shoulder length brown hair wearing a black tank top and jeans.

 The agent and associate took a seat at the bar top and were greeted by Bar 1.  She provided water glasses and a carafe of water and stood in front of us waiting for a drink order to be placed.  She did not provide a friendlier greeting including welcoming us or verbally asking what we would like to drink.  We requested a minute to look at the wine list.

She returned a short time later and asked “What do ya think.” which is much too casual of a statement for the nature of the establishment in the agent’s opinion.

A drink order was placed and made quickly (see food and beverage summary for details).  She did not use beverage napkins for the drinks even though there were beverage napkins neatly placed on the bar top nearby.

She did not report to the POS to start us a tab or place an itemized chit in front of us.  In fact, no guests at the bar had chits in front of them on the bar top.            

Approximately 35 minutes after the drinks were ordered Bar 1 rang in our drinks, printed the check and placed it in front of us on the bar in a check presenter.  The agent understands the house policy of providing guests a receipt after items are ordered but felt Bar 1’s method was more similar to auto dropping the check as it was presented in a presenter. Agent points out that this methodology is sieve of opportunity for bartender theft and suggests that management address it. Moreover, it's very cumbersome to "spot" for bartender theft if the bartender simply isn't ringing in drinks.

 She did not ask us of another round was wanted and the agent’s beverage was nearly empty.

 The agent provided payment and it sat on the presenter for approximately 5 minutes before it was processed which surprised the agent since Bar 1 was so quick to drop the check she had no rush to process the payment for the agent.  She thanked us in-genuinely in the agent’s opinion and quickly picked up the presenter to collect her tip. 

She did not acknowledge us as we left which made for a poor last impression in the agent’s opinion.

 Overall the agent felt Bar 1 was not very friendly towards the agent and associate.  She only seemed interested in conversing with guests she already knew. 

 She was observed eating food off of guests’ plates behind the bar while on duty and in view of guests. 

 She also consumed wine regularly while on duty behind the bar which is a violation of the Liquor Law.  She was not discreet in any way.  She kept a glass of red wine by the open bottle she was pouring from on the back bar.


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 agent noted Bar 1 doing side work preparing to end her shift.  She was cleaning glassware and refilling mixers in pour containers.  She was marrying the mixers in pour containers that were already in use which is ill advised in the agent’s opinion.  The agent recommends new pour containers be used when prepping mixers so that the oldest product get used first. 

 To protect spotter anonymity further details from the bar evaluation can be found in the food and beverage summary.

 Neither the agent nor the associate were asked for ID.  One of which is very near 21; therefore, this is a dram shop liquor liability issue that should be addressed by management.

The agent and associate were the only guests aside from regulars and employees at the bar top.  To protect anonymity further details from the evaluation are as follows:

There was an instance of poor guest service observed with Bar 1.  At approximately 10:36 two guests entered the establishment.  She immediately told the guests the establishment closed at 10 and they left the establishment rather disappointed.  She did not attempt to invite them to the bar top to enjoy a cocktail or state they should definitely come back before 10 to sample the cuisine.

The agent made a call prior to visiting the establishment that was not used for scoring purposes.  The agent inquired about the hours the kitchen and establishment were open until to insure ample time to perform both a dining room and bar evaluations.  The employee that answered the call stated the kitchen closed at 10PM but the establishment closed at 11PM.  The instance of Bar 1 turning guests away decreases revenue from the establishment and also could possibly deter the guests from returning which is bad for the establishment as a whole in the agent’s opinion.  The agent feels all guests entering the establishment should be provided good customer service and be invited into the establishment during hours of operation even if it is close to closing time and staff is ready to end their shifts.

Michael Zenner - CEO      
Hospitality Checkpoint..  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint

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

© hospitality checkpoints Inc. 2012

BARTENDER THEFT - Bartender not ringing drinks, intoxicated bartender, employee drug use, liquor violations, heath code violations, smoking law violations.

September 22, 2011 00:31 by administrator


Bartender Summary

  • Bartender 1 – Caucasian male with xxxxx and xxxxxxxxxx wearing xxxxxxxxxxxxxx shirt and xxxxxx with tattoos on xxxxxx.
  • Bartender 2 – Caucasian male with xxxxxx wearing a xxxxxxxxxx down shirt and xxxxxxxxx with black Dickies hanging down below his butt.

Agent and associate took a seat at the bar and were greeted by bartender 2 within 2 minutes.

He approached and spun napkins onto the bar top and asked what we would like to drink.  He did not offer a specialty drink menu so agent asked for one. 

He did not introduce himself or ask if we would like anything to eat.

Bartender 2 set about making the drinks we ordered right away and returned with them placing them on the cocktail napkins and chatting with us for a moment before moving down the bar to speak to another guest.  Bartender 2 made no move to the POS, did not quote us a price and did not request a credit card for a tab.  There was an issue with one of the drinks. (Please see food and beverage summary for details.)

Later in the evaluation associates drink was completely empty for nearly 5 minutes before bartender 2 approached and asked about another.  While he made the drink he was quite engrossed in a conversation with another bar guest and remained so when he dropped off the drink.  He did not take the empty away and made no move to the POS to record the drink.

Agent observed bartender 2 rolling a beer bottle on top of a cooler behind the bar and when the guest asked why he was doing this, the bartender went into detail about how it breaks up the sediment from the bottom of the bottle, but then when he opened the beer right after rolling it, a large amount of it foamed over onto the top of the cooler.  Agent thought it was a nice touch to roll the guests beer, but felt it was a bit odd that he allowed it to spill on the top of the cooler and neglected to clean it up.

Agent and associate had nearly no dealing with bartender 1 during the evaluation; however agent noted from afar that bartender 1 was quite stone faced.  He did not smile, introduce himself, or offer any pleasant welcoming behavior to any of the guests he was observed dealing with.  He was quite sarcastic which a few of the guests found amusing, but agent felt he could have attempted to be much friendlier.

For quite a while bartender 1 was observed sitting on a foot stool behind the bar doing something in one of the coolers which agent surmised was possibly taking inventory or cleaning.  For another large portion of the evaluation the bartender 1 was gone from behind the bar leaving bartender 2 to handle the bar top on his own which was not too busy for a single bartender at the time.

Agent observed bartender 1 pour Don Julio into a large snifter which he had laying on its side apparently to measure the pour.  Agent estimated that there was 4 – 5 ounces of tequila in the snifter when the pour was complete and agent does not believe that the guest ordered a double; regardless it was more accurately a quadruple. Bartender 1 did move right to the POS after serving the drink.

This is also an ADLLC Violation and a dram shop issue that management should address.


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.

Agent noted that there were no tab chits in front of any guest during the evaluation and no guests were observed paying cash as they went either.

Agent observed bartender 2 pour two 6 count shots of Sambucca into small rocks glasses, hand one to the guest and keep one for himself, toast the guest and drink the alcohol while standing behind the bar.  He then continued talking to the guest and made no move to the POS to record; which is obviously an ADLLC Violation, not to mention a theft occurrence.


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.

Agent observed bartender 1 serve three 4 count pour shots of wild turkey to 3 bar guests while one of the guests appeared to be objecting and afterward, replace the bottle to its shelf, but make no move to the POS.

There were three occasions that agent observed bartender 2 or the server attempting to deliver guests food, but bartender 2 had put the wrong item into the system which is more evidence to agent’s suspicion that the bartender was not sober (see addendum). He incorrectly ordered xxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx and a xxxxxxxx dessert which ended up being offered to and eaten by other guests for free.  Not only was this a profit loss, but it meant the guest that ordered food had to wait even longer for their food to be prepared, and ones that were going to order food didn’t because they got free food.

Bartender 2 was observed serving numerous drinks during the evaluation and there were only 5 times that agent observed him approaching the POS.  When he did approach the POS he did not even look around as if he was attempting to remember what he had served to enter it in all at once.  Agent estimates that bartender 2 served 10-15 drinks that were not accounted for in the POS.

Other than the 3 aforementioned shots of Wild Turkey, the few drinks that agent observed bartender 1 serve appeared to be entered into the POS.

There were occasions during the evaluation that agent noted glassware not being removed from in front of guests when they received new beverages and also the top of the dishwasher and both sides of the service well located at the end of the bar were covered with dirty dishes.  Agent understands that it is important for bartenders to spend time engaging with guests, but it is equally important not to let things become unsightly or unhealthy.

During the evaluation agent observed 3 men smoking cigarettes at the bar and neither of the bartenders appeared to be concerned in the least about the issue at all.  In fact, bartender 2 was observed lighting one of the men’s cigarettes with a match for him.  The men were at the bar for some time and they all had more than one cigarette.  Not only is this a violation of the AZ Smoke Free Act, but it is disrespectful to other guests.  Agent and associate were certainly not asked if we minded and neither were any of the other guests at the bar.  Agent was appalled that the bartenders would allow such behavior and totally disregard the law and the feelings of the other guests in the establishment.

36-601.01. Smoke-free Arizona act

As defined by the law, all violating proprietors are subject to be fined up to $500 for each offense.

B. Smoking is prohibited in all public places and places of employment within the state of Arizona

I. An owner, manager, operator or employee of place regulated by this law shall inform any person who is smoking in violation of this law that smoking is illegal and request that the illegal smoking stop immediately.

K. A person who smokes where smoking is prohibited is guilty of a petty offense with a fine of not less than fifty dollars and not more than three hundred dollars.

When agent and associate were ready to tab out bartender 1 was away from the bar and had been for 15 minutes or so and bartender 2 was chatting with a guest.  It took 10 minutes for agent and associate to get bartender 2 attention to get our tab so we could close out.


Food and Beverage Summary



We chose a seat at a booth on the left side of the establishment from the entrance.

The specialty cocktails ordered were:

xxxxxxxxxxx which was served with a lime wedge in a stemmed water glass, tasted good, but the ginger beer was a bit flat.

Old Fashioned which was served in a rocks glass and garnished with a black cherry in the center of an orange twist.  The drink was very good and a bit different than the typical old fashioned, but was a nice twist.

xxxxxxxx was served in a martini glass with grenadine pooled in the bottom.  The drink was fruity and very cold and was quite good.

xxxxxx which was served on the rocks with a lime wedge.  The Daiquiri was quite different than expected which agent believes was from the Maraschino Liquor and the grapefruit juice was clearly not fresh as it almost tasted of aluminum, but overall the cocktail was good.

xxxxxxxxxx which associate was excited to find that the establishment carried as it is their favorite and very difficult to find.

For appetizers we ordered the xxxxxxxx and the xxxxxxxxx which were both absolutely delightful!!

The xxxxxxxx were extremely tender, juicy and flavorful and the horseradish sauce had just a  tiny bite to it which was nice as it wasn’t overpowering.

The xxxx was delicate and fresh and the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx were a beautiful presentation and an amazing flavor combination.  Thumbs up to the chef!!

When the server dropped the check he said “Tonight is industry night, and I’m sure you are in the industry, so I gave you the discount.” Smiled and walked away without verifying.  Agent noted that the discount was 25%.

During the bar evaluation associate sat down first and had brought their Heffe from the dining table setting it on the bar.  Bartender 2 walked up and threw the beer away and asked what he could get associate to drink.  Associate said that he had thrown away the last half of their beer, so bartender 2 vehemently apologized saying that he is always doing that and got him a new beer saying that it was on him.

Agent sat and asked if there was fresh grapefruit juice available to which the answer was no that they were out, so agent ordered a xxxxxxxx.  Bartender 2 prepared the cocktail with a 6 count pour placed it on the beverage napkin and said it was on him because he didn’t have fresh grapefruit.

Only managers and owners are allowed to give away free alcohol. This is an ADLLC Violation.


4-244. Unlawful acts

3. It is unlawful:  For a distiller, vintner, brewer or wholesaler knowingly to sell, dispose of or give spirituous liquor to any person other than a licensee

Agent offered to buy another guest at the bar a drink at this juncture and they ordered a xxxxxxxxx from Bartender 2.  He poured a 9 count of makers, a 4 count of Rye and then swirled the glass with an Italian sweet vermouth that he said was excellent and promised that they would love this xxxxxx.  He poured the drink from the tin into the martini glass and then dumped about 2 ounces of the mix down the drain.  He made no move to the POS.

Agent called bartender 1 over because I couldn’t get bartender 2’s attention and asked that he add some soda water to the xxxxxxxxxxx as it was made with just water and had no fizz at which time associate stated that it did look like he had only pushed one button and that he may not have known how to make a press.  Bartender 1 rolled his eyes and rudely said to associate that he knew how to make a press.  He then dumped the drink and made a fresh one, but clearly only put sprite in the glass, delivered the drink, made no move to the POS or a comp tab and walked away without a word.  Agent found him quite abrasive.

Later in the evaluation, agent, associate and the 3rd party were chatting about different liquors and specifically over 100 proof items.  We were all agreeing that in certain bars it is not a good idea to have Wild Turkey 101 and Bacardi 151 because of the way people have a tendency to become belligerent when they drink them. 

Bartender 1 jumped into the conversation saying that he totally disagreed and that he was going to prove us wrong to which agent asked how.  He proceeded to get a bottle of “Dirty Bird” he called it, from the dog pound, pour us 3 shots with a laugh and put the bottle away.  He said that he bet we wouldn’t turn into assholes at all.

Later in the evaluation agent asked bartender 1 about the men smoking at the bar to which he said, “as long as you promise to pay the entire fine, including the bar’s fine, you can do whatever you want.” 

He went on to say that they were rich guys that came in all the time and who was he to tell them no.  Agent asked “So I can light up right here if I want?” and bartender 1 replied, “I doubt you could afford it.”  As aforementioned, agent was appalled at this situation and the total disregard by the bartenders.

Throughout the evaluation, all from bartender 2, we ordered 2 more x xx beyond the initial free one, one more xxxxxxxxxxx (which was made with water again) and 4 xxxxxxxxxx for the 3 of us together at the bar. 

The 3rd party agent and associate were with paid for a round of 3 Orange Blossom Beers which was $21 + $5 tip. 

When agent asked for the tab and a bottled water from bartender 2 he said that we didn’t have a tab because he bought the 1st beer and agent’s xxxxxxxxx and that the other guest paid for the 3 more xxxxxx.  Agent said that we had had more than that plus the water and he smiled saying he did not know what I was talking about. 

Agent gave him $20 and said thank you and he put it directly in his pocket, not the tip jar, and left the bar area with a cigarette in his hand.

This means that in addition to the $22.75 discount that the server gave us for no cause of our doing we received 2 xxx beers, 1 xxxx drink, 1 xxxxx Manhattan and 1 xxxxxx for free. All this given to a complete stranger, let alone a trained bartender theft integrity spotter.

That is about $65.75 loss in sales.  Not to mention the 3 shots that we did not order, the 3 food items that were ordered wrong by bartender 2 that other guests ended up eating and the over pours, none of which agent observed being accounted for in any way.


Agent and associate both agreed that it appeared that bartender 2 was on some sort of stimulant drug which we both surmised to be cocaine or methamphetamine. This obviously cannot be substantiated without testing; however, this Agent strongly suspects it.

He did not blink and he bugged his eyes out when speaking, his movements were exaggerated and extremely fast yet clumsy, he spoke quite loud and fast,  he had a difficult time finishing a thought before derailing to another, he was constantly fidgeting with something including sticking his hands in the front and back of the waistband of his pants, etc.

This is an ADLLC Violation.


4-244. Unlawful acts

24. For a licensee or employee to permit the unlawful possession, use, sale or offer for sale of narcotics, dangerous drugs or marijuana on the premises.

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: 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 - Theft occurance, Employee drug use while on duty.

February 26, 2011 18:08 by administrator


Facility Summary

The agent approached the facility from xxx Road.  It was difficult to find the establishment, despite directions, given its location facing a street interior to the shopping plaza, and the lack of signage around the perimeter.  Only after asking directions a second time was the agent able to locate the facility.

A few parking spaces are available in front of the building, while the majority of the parking is to the rear.  Large signage hangs above the rear entrance, as well as in front.

A patio along the side of the building was barren, with no seating and clearly not in use, aside from as a smokers’ haven.  One guest was observed being locked out, unable to get back in through the patio door from which she exited.  A retractable door to what appeared to be a bar was down.  An ash urn on the patio was filled with butts and trash.

The windows along the front of the facility were dirty and in need of cleaning, with cobwebs accumulated in the corners.  The sidewalk in front of the entrance had some trash, and the covered area immediately in front of the large entrance doors had trash and debris, and was very barren.  A large foot mat would serve both as an appealing aesthetic as well as to keep the area clean.

The agent was struck by the overwhelming smell of marijuana outside the entrance.  He again smelled the drug when inside the establishment; please refer to the Cocktail Summary for details.

The entrance delivers guests into a very large room with a very large bar in the middle.  High-top tables surround most areas of the bar, while a dance floor and stage are to the far right of the room, and dining tables and booths are to the far left.  A host desk is immediately in front of the entrance, and a small store for branded merchandise is around the left corner.

An enclosed corral with a mechanical bull is around the right corner from the entrance, across from the bar.  An employee manned the desk next to the bull, rides on which were apparently offered for a fee.  At no time during the visit did a DJ or MC use the microphone to announce the evening’s events, any specials, any upcoming events, or call attention to the mechanical bull.  Given the large size of the establishment and various options for entertainment, it would be useful to have such announcements.

The temperature inside the establishment was cool, particularly in the cocktail areas closest to the stage, where it was cold enough to be uncomfortable.

Televisions hang above the bar and throughout the room, with three large screens above the stage.  The screens broadcast sporting events—mostly football.  A large screen above the mechanical bull showed country music videos that did not coincide with the music playing over the audio system.  The music was at a volume appropriate for the size of the room and number of guests; however, when the band began playing, at 9:05pm, the volume was quite excessive, and it was difficult to hear someone sitting right next to you.

The table tops and floors were clean, and all furniture appeared in good condition.  The bar top was wet in areas; when asked to clean it, the bartenders left the dirty rags sitting on top of the bar.  This is an AZ Health Code Violation. Flyers for upcoming events were scattered on the bar top.

Restrooms are located along the rear wall of the facility, to the left of the rear entrance.  The facilities were large, with many stalls and sinks, and had a simple yet appealing décor.  One of the sinks in the women’s restroom was not functioning, but the remainder of the fixtures in both restrooms appeared operational.  Most stalls had paper trash littering the floor.  The restrooms were attended late in the visit by pleasant, friendly employees.

The attendant in the women’s restroom was a female of Asian descent.  She sat on a backed stool blocking the hand dryers and handed out folded paper towels.  She was pleasant and informed guests of fixtures that were broken.


Cocktail Summary

·       Cocktail 1:  Female, 5’6”, Caucasian, in her twenties, with a slender build, blond hair, and wide-set eyes.  The receipt she provided gave her name as Xxxxxx.

·       Cocktail 2:  Female, 5’5”, Caucasian, in her late twenties, with a slender, muscular build and dark hair worn in a long pageboy.  She was very tanned and wore a black tank top; her physique and the way in which she carried herself suggested she is an athlete.

Xxxxxx approached the agent and his associate six minutes after they were seated in the cocktail area.  She gave a quick greeting and asked if she could get them something to drink. 

She did not require identification (under 30) and did not suggest any upsell options.

Before leaving the table with the order, Xxxxxx offered a menu and asked whether the agent and his associate wanted to keep a tab with her.  She required to hold a credit card to keep the tab. 

She did not introduce herself.

Xxxxxx quickly returned with the drinks, and checked on the agent and his associate appropriately.  She was prompt in delivery of all items and visible on the floor even when not in proximity of the agent’s table.

Both cocktail servers appeared to check in with their tables in appropriate intervals.  They were also quick to clear glassware and tables after guests departed.

At one of Xxxxxx’s approach to the table, the agent and his associate were immediately overwhelmed by the smell of marijuana.  They smell did not appear to be caused by the proximity of any other person.


4-244. Unlawful acts

24. For a licensee or employee to knowingly permit the unlawful possession, use, sale or offer for sale of narcotics, dangerous drugs or marijuana on the premises.

When the agent requested his tab, Xxxxxx first confirmed he wanted it on the card, and then delivered an itemized receipt, two credit card slips, the agent’s card, and a pen, all in a check presenter that contained no promotional material.  She thanked the agent and his associate; she did not return to the table to collect the check prior to the agent and his associate departing.

The agent ordered a non-alcoholic beverage when requesting the tab as an pre-text integrity check, as such items are often omitted in such situations, either unintentionally or in hopes of garnering a larger tip.  The item was included appropriately on the tab and lending credit to this server’s integrity.

Bartender Summary

·       Bartender 1:  Female, 5’0”, Caucasian, in her twenties, with an average build and long, straight, very dark hair.  She wore jean shorts and a black tank top.  The receipt she provided at the end of the visit identified her as Xxxxxx.

·       Bartender 2:  Female, 5’4”, Caucasian, in her twenties, with an average build and short, blond hair.  She wore jean shorts and a yellow tank top tied up in the back.       

·       Bartender 3:  Male, 5’10”, Caucasian, in his twenties, with a slender yet muscular build and what appeared to be a bald or shaved head underneath a cap.  He wore jeans and a black tee shirt.

·       Bartender 4:  Female, 5’5”, Caucasian, in her twenties, with an average build and dark hair with highlights.  She chewed gum with an open mouth.

·       Bartender 5:  Male, 5’10”, Caucasian with a dark complexion, a bald or shaved head, and a very short beard.  He had a muscular build and chewed gum.  He worked the end of the bar closest to the dining area.

·       Bartender 6:  Male, 5’11”, Caucasian, in his early twenties, with a slender, muscular build, a round face, and short, dark hair.  He had many tattoos on his arms and worked the end of the bar closest to the stage.

·       Bartender 7:  Male, 5’8”, Caucasian, in his late twenties or early thirties, with a muscular build, very short, dark hair, deep-set eyes, and many tattoos.  He had a beard and a small goatee patch under his bottom lip.  He wore a black tee shirt that appeared to be an advertisement for UFC fighter xxxxxx xxx.

·       Bartender 8:  Male, 6’1”, Caucasian, in his twenties, with a blond buzz cut and a lean build.  He wore jeans and a black button-down shirt.

·       Barback:  Male, 5’6”, Caucasian, in his late teens or early twenties, with a thin build and light-brown or blond hair worn under a hat, with a little ponytail or mullet in the back.

Bartenders 1, 2, and 3 were behind the bar when the agent and his associate approached.  Bartenders 4 and 6 were behind the bar after another thirty minutes.  The remainder of the bartenders were behind the bar by midway into the visit.

The agent sat at the bar for several minutes before a bartender acknowledged him. 

Xxxxxx eventually approached with a very casual greeting, asking if she could get him and his associate something to drink.  She offered upsell options and did not require identification (one guest under 30 years).

Xxxxxx filled the round promptly and delivered it without cocktail napkins or coasters.  She asked if the agent and his associate wanted to start a tab and requested a credit card to do so. 

She appeared to ring in the round immediately; she did not place a tab in front of the agent, and did not introduce herself.  From the initial interaction, she appeared either unfriendly or uninterested.

Within several minutes, Xxxxxx returned and offered menus.  She did not make any suggestions or mention any specials.  She did not return to ask whether the agent and his associate had decided on any food for another twelve minutes.

The appetizer arrived after eight minutes.  Xxxxxx, having not provided any predrops, followed up after two minutes with plates, silverware, and napkins.

Shortly thereafter, Xxxxxx began interacting more with the agent and his associate, and proved very friendly and personable.  She inquired as to how they liked the food and went out of her way several times to try to accommodate the agent’s special request.  Please refer to the Food and Beverage Summary for details.

The bartenders were not very quick to notice the need for additional rounds, nor did they seem to habitually “sweep” the bar to check in on guests.  They spent most of their attention with several groups who appeared to be friends or maybe regulars, or talking amongst themselves.  They acted more as order takers as opposed to being pro-active about increasing sales.

Bartender 2 drank from a capped Solo cup while behind the bar.  Bartender 1 drank an unidentified brown liquid from an uncapped plastic cup behind the bar.  The bartenders also passed around a plate of nachos and kept it behind the bar, apparently to be snacked on while behind the bar.

Bartender 3 noticed the need for an additional round while passing quickly by the agent and his associate.  He filled the order quickly and did not ask for payment or a tab name, and he did not move to the register. 

The order did appear on the agent’s final tab and therefore is reported as a possible theft issue.

Bartender 2, upon offering and delivering an additional round, asked for the name on the tab and immediately updated it.

In general, the bartenders did an excellent job immediately ringing in rounds.  All bartenders were observed to demonstrate accurate cash handling.  There was no cashing in or handling of tips from the tip jar.

Bartender 4 explained the tab procedures to a bar guest, explaining the card would be authorized for twenty dollars and returned to the guest.  This differed from the observed practice, of bartenders keeping the cards behind the bar.

Bartender 1 kept lip gloss behind the bar and applied it in open site of paying customers.  The agent did not observe any other use of personal items.

The bartenders utilized a free-pour technique for cocktails, and poured according to standards. 

However, there was a great deal of waste when pouring draft beer, however, as they habitually allowed lots of foam to spill over while pouring a draft.  Given the very cold temperature of the drafts the agent and his associate were served, there did not appear to be a need for so much draft waste to bleed off foam, which, in the Agent’s experience, is a typical indicator of insufficiently-chilled beer.

The bar staff appeared attentive to service bar orders and fulfilled them according to protocols.

Barback was frequently behind the bar, delivering food orders as well as restocking glassware.  Whenever he was behind the bar, he did a sweet of the bar top, looking for empty glassware and dirty plates.  He was pleasant and friendly when asking guests if they were finished with their plates and could they be removed.  He appeared to be a hard worker.

When the agent asked to close his tab, Xxxxxx delivered an itemized check that was correct, as well as two credit card slips.  She thanked him and his associate and wished them a good night.

Throughout the visit, the agent continued to observe the bar staff from afar, and saw no evidence of theft or cash mishandling.


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