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

Downtown Scottsdale's El Hefe is back in business

January 9, 2015 02:54 by administrator


El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria is back in business in downtown Scottsdale. The hot spot was closed for more than four months for improvements (the Tempe location remained open). The renovated space boasts all new furnishings, 90 feet of digital LED walls, an upgraded entrance, digital menu boards and interactive service technology for ordering. On the menu are signatures such as Machos Nachos ($8), duck carnitas in cherry pecan mole sauce ($13), the Hefe Hamburguesa ($9) and braised beef cheek tacos ($3). Details: El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria, 4425 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale. 480-466-0411,

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 2015

New restaurants, closings in metro Phoenix in December

January 9, 2015 02:50 by administrator


New restaurants, closings in metro Phoenix in December

More than a dozen restaurants opened in December, including Grabbagreen at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, Nori Sushi in Scottsdale, and Culinary Dropout at the Farmer Arts District in Tempe. Three places shut their doors, including Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.

Now open


Build a salad or bowl from a long list of items such as quinoa noodles, salmon, tofu, kale, avocado, black beans and goji berries. Or order a signature dish like the 286-calorie Indochin grain bowl with rice noodles, chicken, cucumber, bean sprouts, carrot, green onion, cilantro and a spicy almond dressing. The newest branch at CityScape joins two in Scottsdale.

Details: CityScape, First and Washington streets in Phoenix. Other locations at

Juby True

Set just west of 40th Street on Camelback Road in Phoenix, this Fox Restaurant Concepts juice bar serves organic, cold-pressed juices as well as coffee, tea, snacks, salads and super-food meal-replacement smoothies. There are also locations at Scottsdale Quarter and Biltmore Fashion Park at the center's True Food Kitchen location.

Details: 3912 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-240-1277,

Bosa Donuts

Two more Bosa Donuts opened in December: one at Seventh Street and Union Hills Drive in Phoenix and another at Higley and Baseline roads in Gilbert. Apple fritters, sprinkle doughnuts, croissants, bagels, doughnut holes, bear claws, coffee, tea and smoothies are among the offerings.

Details: 710 E. Union Hills Drive, Phoenix. 623-388-6656. And 1614 N. Higley Road, Gilbert. 480-699-9962. Search "Bosa Donuts" on Facebook.

Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar

This new restaurant within Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a collaboration with celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, who also operates La Hacienda Mexican restaurant in the resort. It's housed in the old Grill golf clubhouse eatery overlooking the 18th green of the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course. Menu highlights include a "suviche" bar (sushi and ceviche), wok dishes, small plates, grilled entrees and a spirits list of more than 100 rums, sugar-cane spirits and Latin wines.

Details: 17020 N. Hayden Road. 480-585-4848,

Nori Sushi

This Japanese restaurant near Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway has an extensive menu, with seafood choices ranging from tuna sashimi to baked miso Chilean sea bass. And there's chicken katsu and ribeye steak for the squeamish. There's another location at Desert Ridge Marketplace in north Phoenix.

Details: 10115 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. 480-513-6488. And Desert Ridge Marketplace, Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix. 480-515-9777,


Restaurant by day, club by night, Dakota is one of the newest additions to the Scottsdale entertainment district. The kitchen opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast and serves dinner until 10 p.m. Look for dishes such as the farmhouse egg panini, Chinese chicken salad, and cider-brined Amish pork chop. The bar is open until 2 a.m. A grab-and-go cafe with pastries, salads, sandwiches, beer and wine is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Details: 7301 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale.

Corner Bakery Cafe

Open from breakfast through dinner, this order-at-the-counter cafe serves egg scramblers, sandwich and soup lunch combos and entree-size pastas and pastry. The Scottsdale store is the third in Arizona for the Dallas-based chain, which boasts more than 180 company-owned and franchised locations, including one at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and another near the Peoria Sports Complex.

Details: 15505 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-219-9022. Other locations at

Culinary Dropout at the Farmer Arts District

This gastropub opened at the Farmer Arts District development, a business cluster housed in what used to be a warehouse at First Street and Farmer Avenue near downtown Tempe. The project was Fox Restaurant Concepts' largest to date, and includes the company's biggest kitchen. Also at the complex is the Madison Improvement Club, a fitness club. Over Easy, a breakfast restaurant, is scheduled to join the party in early 2015.

Details: 149 W. Farmer Ave., Tempe. 480-240-1601. Other locations at

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

Located next to Postino in the remodeled ASU Art Annex Building in Tempe, this breakfast spot is Arizona's second. The first is opened in 2013 at the Shops at Town & Country, 20th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix. The Colorado-based chain's from-scratch menu includes breakfast potpie smothered in rosemary sausage gravy; eggs Benedict topped with spicy barbacoa beef and cream-cheese hollandaise; and a list of breakfast cocktails.

Details: 615 S. College Ave., Tempe. 480-355-1934. And 2045 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-725-8000,


The second restaurant at the recently opened Graduate Tempe hotel near the ASU campus, this Latino street-food kitchen is serving up chicharron (duck-fat-fried pork rinds), arepas, ancho-braised carnitas tacos, carne asada and fried-egg tortas and dulce de leche ice cream. The Normal Diner opened at the hotel, which took over the former Twin Palms Hotel, in October.

Details: 225 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe. 480-967-9431,

Boulders on Southern

This sister location to Boulders on Broadway in Tempe opened in the former R.T. O'Sullivan's space near Fiesta Mall in Mesa. The new spot has the same focus on well-executed bar bites, craft brews and bicycle culture as the original.

Details: 1010 W. Southern Ave., Mesa. 480-659-4816,

The Draft Sports Grill

TV screens and craft beer abound at this sports bar that took over the Buffalo Wild Wings space near Alma School Road and Southern Avenue by Fiesta Mall. Chicken wings, crab and artichoke dip, pulled-pork burgers, and fried chicken and waffles are among the many food offerings.

Details: 1130 W. Grove Ave., Mesa. 480-588-8988,

JC's Steakhouse

You'll find prime rib, Alaskan halibut, Australian lamb chops and Cornish game hen at this Gilbert steakhouse opened by Dennis Petty and Diana Blewer, who also operate the Groves Bar & Grill in Gilbert. Located at Gilbert and Ray roads in the former Cafe Posada space, the restaurant's name is a combination of the couple's fathers' first initials: John and Charles.

Details: 25 E. Ray Road, Gilbert. 480-306-4545,

OPA Life Greek Cafe

The Mediterranean-inspired menu at this Westgate Entertainment District spot includes breakfast paninis, gyros, salads, appetizers and grilled-meat skewers. Look for pork souvlaki, feta-topped fries, Greek salmon salad and a sliced gyro cheeseburger. The original branch opened in July in the former My Big Fat Greek Express on Mill Avenue and Baseline Road in Tempe.

Details: Westgate Entertainment District, Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue in Glendale, 623-242-8338. And 227 E. Baseline Road, Tempe, 480-292-8180.

Now closed

Four Peaks Tasting Room on Wilson, is now closed to the public as a taproom. The Tempe-based brewery plans to reopen it as an events space.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, casual dining restaurant with an island theme at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.

Chino Bandido, Mexican-Chinese fusion restaurant near Dobson road and Chandler boulevard in Chandler. The Phoenix location remains open.


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 2015

Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles to hold Gilbert job fair

January 9, 2015 02:46 by administrator


Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles will conduct a job fair Jan. 5-8 in downtown Gilbert as the popular restaurant chain prepares to open its newest shop. The company expects to fill more than 60 positions before opening on Feb. 2, co-owner Rasheedah White told The Republic. That includes about 30 servers, 25 to 30 chefs and line cooks in the kitchen, four bartenders and three or four management positions, she said. Job-seekers can get an onsite interview during the job fair at the Gilbert location, 366 N. Gilbert Road in the new Heritage Marketplace complex. Interviews begin Monday, Jan. 5, and run through Thursday, Jan. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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 2015


November 6, 2014 21:04 by administrator



Bartender Summary


There were three bartenders that will be denoted as bartenders A, B, and C.  Bartender A was a female Caucasian with long blonde hair wearing a low cut Xxxxxxxxx tank.  Bartender B was a Caucasian male with a tall Mohawk haircut with blonde tips.  He was unshaven, but did not wear a beard.  Bartender C was a bulky Caucasian male with spiky blonde hair in somewhat of a faux-hawk style.


When this agent arrived in the bar, the rail was relatively full with a group of what appeared to be regular female patrons.  The first impression that this agent had of this bar was Bartender C taking Bacardi 151 directly from the service pour spout into his mouth and spewing fire behind the bar as he lit the 151 he was expelling from his mouth.  The violations, health infractions, and liabilities are numerous on this one initial impression.  This agent will leave it to the managers and owners of Xxxxxxxxx if they want to continue with this type of activity.  This agent would strongly recommend that this be discontinued immediately.


Bartender A was the first bartender to approach this agent on the bar top.  She mentioned the specials for the night and mentioned that Miller Light bottles were on sale for $2.  The agent opted to start the night with this.  This female bartender immediately rang the drink through the POS and the screen notated the $2 charge.  Change was returned immediately and there were no issues with this transaction.


At 1015pm the bar really began to fill up.  Multiple groups came in through the front doors and began to gather and order from the bar.  From 1015 until after 1115, this agent sat near where Bartender C was working.  This was the middle well. 


This agent counted 5 NO SALE deposits from drinks that were paid for in cash over this well.  The bartender would approach the terminal with the money, simply hit the NO SALE key, which would flash across the POS and deposit the money directly into his drawer.  This was so brazen that there wasn’t even an attempt to shadow the terminal or hide it. 


Literally, the only drinks that were actually run through the POS system were those drinks where a credit card transaction was needed.  Unfortunately on this night, this terminal was heavy on cash transactions and light on credit.  The bottom line is that if a report were run during the middle of this shift, Bartender C’s drawer would be found way over. 

In addition to this, Bartender C was also seen giving an unrung long neck over the bar with a thumbs up to a male patron, which is a violation of liquor ordinance concerning free alcohol as well as a bartender theft loss to the club.



4-242. Sale of liquor on credit prohibited; exceptions

It is unlawful for a licensee, or an employee or agent of a licensee, to sell or offer to sell, directly or indirectly, or to sanction the sale on credit of spirituous liquor, or to give, lend or advance money or anything of value for the purpose of purchasing or bartering for spirituous liquor, except that sales of spirituous liquor consumed on the licensed premises may be included on bills rendered to registered guests in hotels and motels, and spirituous liquor sales for on or off premises consumption may be made with credit cards approved by the director, and sales of spirituous liquor consumed on the premises of private clubs may be included on bills rendered to bona fide members.


Half way through this evaluation, the agent had to actually wave Bartender B down for another Miller Light Bottle.  This agent had been told that the special of the night was $2 Miller Bottles by Bartender A.  This agent paid with a $5 and was given $1 in change.  Consequently, Bartender A was waived down and asked if the special was off at that time or had expired.  She replied that it was all night.  The agent noted the deficit and she immediately opened the drawer and gave the agent money from the drawer.  This might sound like great customer service.  However, upon closer inspection it really lends itself to the unmistakable conclusion that she knew there was plenty of extra money in that drawer and in fact things like this happen continually and it was in no way out of the norm. 


To further exemplify bartender theft and integrity issues, this agent heard the price on this same bottle of beer quoted to other patrons at $2.50 and $3.00 respectively within a ten minute period.  This is strong evidence of buck boosting as well.


In terms of Bartender B, NO SALE deposits were also noted happening on his terminal, which was the far end nearest the kitchen.  This agent counted two of them on his drawer that were flagrant.  Bartender A was the only bartender on shift for the night that was not seen making NO SALE cash deposits into her drawer.  However, many of her drinks were seen coming in from cocktail servers, as she was working the terminal closest to the front door.


Showmanship appears to be something that the bartenders or the managers or both consider very important on this bar.  However, they as a group are not very good at it.  This agent witness long draw pours from free pour spouts where a good 1-2 count of liquor actually hit the floor.  Additionally, one group of three mixed vodka drinks actually drained half a bottle with this showmanship.  Bartender C was seen guzzling energy drinks one after another behind the bar in the well, and Bartender B was seen with a huge gallon of water that he was drinking from and storing near the ice well. 


Midshift bar drawer audits are an absolute necessity, along with the immediate replacement of all but Bartender A, and this agent believes that she is also complicit, knowing what is going on.  Thousands of dollars in combined sales and cost are being lost here.

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


November 6, 2014 20:45 by administrator



Bartender Summary

·       Bartender 1- Caucasian male, thin/athletic build, short, gelled/spiked dark hair, with a xxxxxxxxxxxx, wearing a black uniform t-shirt with a logo diamond on the front, and black shorts.  Working lower patio bar.

·       Bartender 2- Caucasian male, stocky/athletic build, with brown, gelled hair, and a thick mustache, wearing a black uniform t-shirt that read “I *heart symbol* *mustache*”, and khaki shorts.  Working lower patio bar.

·       Bartender 3- Caucasian male, athletic build, with short buzzed brown hair and a thick handlebar mustache, wearing a black, uniform, diamond logo t-shirt, and khaki shorts.  Working lower patio bar.

·       Bartender 4- Caucasian female, tiny, thin build, with long stringy brown hair, wearing a black uniform t-shirt.  Working top satellite patio bar. 

·       Bartender 5- Caucasian female, medium build, with dirty blonde, light brown, and blue hair, wearing a black uniform t-shirt.  Working lounge bar.

·       Bartender 6- Caucasian male, medium build, with short dark hair, a dark mustache, wearing a uniform t-shirt and black shorts.  Working the lounge bar.


When the agent and associate approached the bar located at the bottom of the patio bar the agent was quickly greeted by Bartender 1.  The agent placed a drink order with Bartender 1 as well as ordered two shots (Please see Food and Beverage Summary for details).  Bartender 1 quickly poured the beverage, garnishing the glass with his bare hands, and served the agent, then poured the two shots.


Bartender 1 asked the agent if he wanted to start a tab or pay cash and the agent closed the tab using his credit card.  Bartender 1 rang the beverages into the register, swiped the card, and provided the agent with a bill with accurate charges.


Bartender 1 did not serve the associate or the agent with a beverage napkin. 


Bartender 1 was noted to scoop the ice from the ice bin using his mixing tin and then guide the ice into the glassware by cupping the ice in his hand and letting it fall against his hand and into the glass.


Bartender 1 was observed drinking an orange drink in short glass with ice.  The agent was not sure if the beverage contained alcohol; as the agent did not observed Bartender 1 pour the beverage.   The agent did note that Bartender 1 appeared to sip the beverage over the course of the first hour of the evaluation.  The agent notes that all employee beverages should be held in enclosed containers with lids, however, that most small beverages typically do not get slowly consumed over the course of an hour.  The agent would not be surprised if the drink did contain alcohol.


When the agent was ready for another beverage the agent was again helped by Bartender 1 (Please see Food and Beverage Summary for details). 


Bartender 1 quickly served the beverage and listed the price of the drink.  The agent performed an integrity test and Bartender 1 passed  (Please see Food and Beverage Summary for details).


At 11:38pm Bartender 1 served two shots and a beer to a patron and only charged with patron $10.  The patron waved off the change from a twenty-dollar bill provided by Bartender 1 and Bartender 1 put the change in his tip cup.  It appeared that it was unspoken but appreciated that Bartender 1 did not charge the patron for all of the beverages served.


At 11:50pm Bartender 2 was observed trying to show off for the patrons and perform a flame trick.  Bartender 2 cupped a lighter in his hand and held down the button to release gas into his enclosed hand.  Then he simultaneously lit the lighter and opened his hand producing a quick cloud of flames.  Unfortunately, Bartender 2 had also doused his hand in lighter fluid and had lit his hand on fire.  After shaking his hand a few times and unsuccessfully putting out the fire on his hand Bartender 2 stuck his hand into the beer cooler to his left that was filled with ice.  Although the patrons were very entertained, the agent cautions that performing flaming tricks behind a bar that is full of highly flammable items and next to a bar top covered in spills of liquor is not the safest practice.


Throughout the evaluation Bartender 2 was observed the frequently step out from behind the bar and mingle with the patrons and other staff members.