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WARNING: Businesses fall victim to online 'extortion' scam

July 10, 2014 20:43 by administrator

WARNING: Businesses fall victim to online 'extortion' scam

by Gary Harper

azfamily.com

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 10:35 PM

PHOENIX -- Have you ever looked up online reviews before eating at a restaurant or maybe making reservations at a hotel? 3 On Your Side warns, don't believe everything you read.

Not everything on the Internet is true. For example, some businesses pose as a consumer and post negative comments about a competitor.

And here's a new scam: someone will post a negative comment and then promise to remove it if the business owner pays them off. That's what happened to Fred Renstrom, owner of Fat Freddy's Catering.

"When I built the kitchen, I wanted to have a 6,000-square-foot facility," Renstrom said, as he proudly showed 3 On Your Side around the spacious facility.

Renstrom opened his catering business 20 years ago and says during that time, he's built quite the reputation as having great, quality food and a clean kitchen. In fact, look Fat Freddy's Catering up on county inspection reports and you'll see it always earns A ratings.

"We've always been a problem-solver for our customers," he said. "We built the business through word-of-mouth basically."

Word-of-mouth sure has paid off. But Renstrom and his employees say they realized someone was trying to ruin their good name when they started receiving intimidating emails.

Darci Hawthorne works for Fat Freddy's Catering and says the emails are disturbing.

"This I've never seen before," she said. "This type of blatant extortion."

One email states, "I just wanted to alert you that I met someone who is intending to write bad things about your business." That's enough to get any business owner's attention.

Then another email claims, "A friend suffered food poisoning and diarrhea. He intends on writing damaging reviews on as many websites as possible."

The writer of that email went through with the threat.

"This one person posted reviews in Arizona, in Florida, all across the country in one day," Hawthorne said.

Then, after the damaging reviews were posted, another email came. Except this one had a so-called solution.

"So, what I propose is that I get involved as a mediator and simply convince my colleague not to write anything about you publicly," the email says. "If I succeed, I want only $199."

That's right. The writer is demanding $199 to be paid through PayPal in order to remove those fabricated, negative reviews posted on the World Wide Web.

Renstrom says it's a disgusting ploy. "I just don't know," he said, shaking his head. "There's no better word than what it is. It's extortion!"

Renstrom says he didn't pay the money. He says it's a warning not only to business owners but to consumers as well.

"My thing is, it's America," he says. "You're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. And (on) the Internet, they can say what they want to say and I don't quite get that."

He has a point. So, remember that next time you come across online reviews, and take them with a grain of salt.

Michael Zenner - CEO      

Hospitality Checkpoint LLC
hospitalitycheckpoint.com

bartheft.com  (blog)

liquorassessment.com

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299

Office: 480-777-1919

Toll Free: 800-880-0811

© Hospitality Checkpoint LLC 2014


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Connected Kegs Help Keep Your Favorite Beers Flowing

March 11, 2014 23:19 by administrator

 Connected Kegs Help Keep Your Favorite Beers Flowing

 

 

 The iKeg automated inventory system may be a godsend for bar owners.

 

Here’s a refreshing idea for bar owners: An Indiana startup called SteadyServ is hoping to make the process of ordering and monitoring beer kegs smarter and more efficient.

 

Through a mix of hardware and software, SteadyServ’s iKeg system provides realtime inventory data, and syncs with distributors to streamline the delivery process. The idea is to make the process of maintaining tap lines more efficient, and to allow owners to anticipate demand.

 

Bar workers and managers often rely on an imprecise system of guesswork, literally shaking kegs to determine how much beer they have left. Often, they don’t know when a keg is finished until the tap itself sputters to a halt. Even if a bar employs some crackerjack weight guesser, it's still forced to leave one foot in the "beer cage" and the other on the restaurant floor.

 

SteadyServ offers a solution in the form of mobile-based live inventory management. Through the iKeg iOS or Android app, users can oversee their entire ordering process, and make decisions based on realtime keg data. The app can suggest profitable beer purchases based on regional trends, track shipments, automate social media messages, and catalog special events. Pretty soon, SteadyServ assured Reviewed.com in an email, users will be able to monitor bottle inventories.

 

Over time, all this data can provide an accurate depiction of customer demand.

 

So how does it work?

The service requires an initial 1-3 hour installation process that equips each keg in a given bar with an iKeg ring. These sensors, which are a touch smaller than the bottom of a standard keg, are then paired with the kegs using a proprietary RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag. A cellular uplink then begins transmitting weight and pressure data to the cloud; this informs users how much beer is left in each keg.

Because of the cellular uplink and installation process, bar owners can expect some significant-but-not-dealbreaking upfront fees. SteadyServ told us the installation fee is $499—plus a monthly data reporting fee, and a service charge each time a keg is depleted.

 

Given this commitment, the service is likely only to appeal to serious beer bars—you know, those watering holes with 50-odd draught lines, rotating cask selections, "tap takeover nights," and an inflated sense of self-importance among the patrons. But you've ever worked behind a bar (as this writer has), you know that something like this would certainly come in handy—especially if you're in charge of deliveries.

 

What about patrons?

If used correctly, it's likely bar patrons wouldn't notice much of a change in service, aside from a subtle decline in the number of times the bar runs out of specific beers. That said, with more accurate inventory data bar managers would presumably stay on top of sales trends and be able to better anticipate demand. Socially savvy bar owners might also use the platform to promote specials or keep patrons abreast of their stock (e.g., a tweet: “Only 14 pints left of special bourbon-aged vanilla reserve porter!”).

The service is still very much in its infancy, but SteadyServ is already looking to sync with point-of-sale systems, which will provide even more accurate sales data and inform owners about which brands or beers are selling best.

 

SteadyServ is part of a larger trend of equipping everyday “dumb” objects with sensors and mobile functionality. As the cost of sensors has dropped significantly in recent years, the simultaneous surge in mobile technology has allowed the Internet of Things to gain a foothold in modern homes and businesses. So far, these applications have served niche demands, but the implications are likely to effect everyone—even barflies.

 

By Tyler Wells Lynch February 24, 2014

 

 

Michael Zenner - CEO      

Hospitality Checkpoint LLC
hospitalitycheckpoint.com

bartheft.com  (blog)

liquorassessment.com

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
hospitalitycheckpoint.com

bartheft.com  (blog)

liquorassessment.com

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299

Office: 480-777-1919

Toll Free: 800-880-0811

© Hospitality Checkpoint LLC 2014

 


Bartender Theft, Liquor Liabilty Issues, Dram Shop Issues

March 2, 2014 19:26 by administrator

BARTENDER THEFT: Strip Club Cabaret, Bar Theft, Liquor Law Violations, Intoxicated Employees

 

Facility Summary   

                                                                                                    

When the agent and associate approached the facility from Xxxxx, the agent and associate wondered for a moment if the facility was even open.  The front doors were closed, there were no items in the front area of the facility to imply it was open, such as a space heater or sign, and although there were few cars in the front and back the facility, overall, it appeared empty and quite.


Through the front doors of the establishment, the host area was dark and vacant as well.  The small desk area had a basket of mints.  To the left of the host desk, a doorway opened up to the main room.


A bar ran along the front left corner of the establishment.  Several stools lined the outside of the bar allowing for patron seating.  There were two POS monitors on either side of the bar, the right of which was being used during the evaluation.  The back area of the bar was messy and full of personal items (Please see Bartender Summary for details).

Along the left wall was an ATM machine, and the restrooms were located in the back left corner of the facility.  No restroom attendant occupied either restroom; however, both restrooms were clean, neat, and fully stocked with paper products and soap.


The DJ booth was located in the left back corner of the facility as well, with a cut-out window at the top of the booth to allow the DJ to look out to the stage and crowd.  Throughout the evaluation, the DJ played a variety of upbeat rock, R&B, and pop music.  The music was played at a comfortable and appropriate level.


The DJ himself was barely audible, however.  His statements sounded very garbled and unintelligible based on the fluctuations in pitch in his “DJ voice” and lack of volume of the microphone.  In addition, a serious integrity issue was observed that was performed by the DJ (Please see Bartender Summary for details).


To the right of the DJ booth and extending from the right back corner of the room was a large VIP area that was separated by large, red, sheer drapes hanging from the ceiling.  In addition, a small VIP area was located in the front right corner of the facility with the same red, sheer drapes creating the walls of the room.  In between the two VIP areas and along the right wall was a line of lap dance chairs facing the crowd.  Behind the chairs was a chair-to-ceiling mirror.


In the center of the room toward the back half of the room was a large rectangular stage with a spinning pole in the center.  The stage was raised on a high platform.  Along the sides of the stage were rectangular VIP tables with “reserved” tents and long bottle service menus standing upright.


A small, circular second stage was located in the front of the room toward the bar.  This stage was low to the ground and surrounded by a padded circular shelf with cup holders built into the base.  This stage was not used during the evaluation.


In between the front of the main stage and the second stage, several small tables were available for additional seating.  Each table had three chairs pushed in and facing the stage.


Overall the facility was relatively well maintained and appeared to have been barely touched after the clean up and organization from the night before.  Based on the exterior appearance of the facility, however, there was nothing welcoming about the facility nor anything that the agent felt would entice passing vehicles to stop by.

 

 

 

Bartender Summary       

                                                                                            

·       Bartender 1: Receipt read “Xxxxx”; Caucasian female, approximately 5’5” tall, thin build, with long brown hair, wearing a dark grey “Xxxxx’s” t-shirt, black leggings, and black sneakers.


The agent and associate walked into the bar and stood waiting for their eyes to adjust.  The agent and associate were approached by Bartender 1, who had come out from behind the bar, and told the agent and associate they could sit wherever they pleased and she would come to them to serve them.  The agent and associate took a seat at one of the tables and Bartender 1 walked over to the agent and associate.


Bartender 1 asked us what we would like to drink, and the agent and associate placed drink orders (Please see Food and Beverage Summary for details).  Bartender 1 repeated the order for confirmation and left to pour and retrieve the beverages.


Bartender 1 returned, placing the beverages in front of the agent and associate without beverage napkins.  Bartender 1 stated the price of the beverages.  The agent provided a credit card, and Bartender 1 asked if the agent would like to open or close the tab.  The agent stated that they wanted to open a tab and Bartender 1 asked the agent for an ID in order to hold the card.


Bartender 1 did not ID the associate at all, and although Bartender 1 did take the agent’s ID she did not look at it prior to serving the agent and associate liquor. Furthermore, she did not appear to be concerned with the age of the agent at all, but instead took the ID solely to hold the card.  The agent feels that a cash payment would have prevented Bartender 1 from viewing the agent’s ID entirely.  Neither the agent nor the associate were over 35 and, therefore, should have been ID’d.


Bartender 1 took the card and ID and walked away.  At no point during the evaluation did Bartender 1 formally introduce herself or give the agent and associate her name.

While seated at the table, the agent noted that Bartender 1 decided to sit on the outside of the bar, next to a customer with whom she had been and would be flirting throughout the evaluation.  This patron was a tall African American man with dread locks and a beard, wearing a long-sleeved shirt, sweat pants, and flip flops with socks.  The bartender took a position on the opposite side of the bar at 4:30pm and she returned to this position periodically throughout the evaluation.


Later in the evaluation, the agent and associate approached the bar to order an additional beverage (Please see Food and Beverage summary for details).  Bartender 1 immediately asked if the agent wanted to close the tab.  The agent was surprised, feeling that a more appropriate promotional response would be to ask if the agent wanted another beverage instead of bringing attention to the idea of leaving the establishment.  Instead, an additional beverage was ordered.


Although Bartender 1 quickly provided the associate the beverage, Bartender 1 neglected to place this beverage on the tab and, therefore, the beverage was never paid for.  The agent is sure this was not an unspoken comp’d beverage but, instead, an error of neglect on Bartender 1’s part.

This beverage was served with a beverage napkin.


The agent noted that the back bar area was covered with Bartender 1’s personal bags and possibly some of the DJ’s items.  The agent noted a purse by the register, a large over-sized bag in the center of the back bar area, and a laptop computer bag next to the large bag.

The agent also observed several integrity issues:


At 4:54pm while Bartender 1 was sitting at the bar next to the customer with whom she was flirting, the DJ walked behind the bar and poured three mixed shots, distributing one to Bartender 1, one to the patron with whom she was sitting, and keeping one for himself.  The patron, the DJ, and Bartender 1 took the shots.  None of the beverages were paid for or accounted for on a comp tab.  The agent noted that the DJ and Bartender 1 behaved as if this was common practice. ths is also an ADLLC Violation.


TITLE 4, CHAPTER 3

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.

At 5:15pm Bartender 1 served herself and the patron with whom she was flirting two large shots of straight Peach Ciroc.  Neither of these shots was paid for nor accounted for on a comp tab.

Bartender 1 was noted to almost immediately pick up her cell phone and text as soon as the patron with whom she was flirting walked away to use the restroom or make a call outside.

While talking to the patron with whom she was flirting, Bartender 1 complained several times that she was “so bored”.

Bartender 1 and the patron were also overheard several times making fun of Xxxxx, making statements such as “crack kills” and “gotta love heroin”.  The agent feels that not only should staff never make fun of other staff as it portrays a negative impression of the establishment, but, more importantly, if Bartender 1 was obviously aware of Xxxxx’s state of intoxication, it is Bartender 1’s responsibility to cut her off and ensure she leaves the property within the allotted and legally required amount of time.

 

TITLE 4, CHAPTER 3

4-244. Unlawful acts

14. For a licensee or other person to serve, sell or furnish spirituous liquor to a disorderly or obviously intoxicated person, or for a licensee or employee of the licensee to allow or permit a disorderly or obviously intoxicated person to come into or remain on or about the premises, except that a licensee or an employee of the licensee may allow an obviously intoxicated person to remain on the premises for a period of time of not to exceed thirty minutes after the state of obvious intoxication is known or should be known to the licensee in order that a nonintoxicated person may transport the obviously intoxicated person from the premises. For purposes of this section, "obviously intoxicated" means inebriated to the extent that a person's physical faculties are substantially impaired and the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.

 

Overall, the agent felt that Bartender 1 completely neglected almost all aspects of her job and its responsibilities.  As a regular patron, the agent would hope that Bartender 1 was not working if the agent ever decided to return.

 

 

Dancer Summary

 

Dancer 1: Possibly Named Xxxxx; African American female, approximately 5’6” tall, thin build, with black hair worn up in a side bun, wearing a black bra, a green lace thong, and black boots.

Dancer 2: Caucasian female, approximately 5’5” tall, medium build, with long brown hair, wearing a matching green and black thong and bra, and black heels.

Dancer 3: Named Xxxxx; Caucasian female, approximately 5’7” tall, thin build, with blonde hair worn up in xxxxxxxxxx  up-do, wearing a black bra, black ruffled underwear, black thigh highs, and clear heels.

Dancer 4: Caucasian female, approximately 5’4” tall, medium build, with blonde hair, wearing a white thong white bra, white heels, and a knee brace.

Throughout the evaluation there were only four dancers working; however, at no point during the evaluation were all four dancers out on the floor at the same time.  Although there were few dancers on shift to begin with, only having two or three out on the floor at a time caused the establishment to be even less appealing.

Overall the dancers were not very friendly or welcoming.

Dancer 2 was observed either off of the floor in the back area or sitting by herself against the right wall in a lap dance chair, watching TV and pouting.  She was not observed talking to any customers or employees and sat with her arms and legs crossed watching TV.  When she was called onstage to perform her set, she did so with minimal enthusiasm and appeared entirely bored.

Dancer 4 was initially observed talking to customers at the bar when the evaluation began.  She performed an enthusiastic set, doing pole tricks and flirting with the few customers in the establishment.  She did not approach the agent and associate however.

Dancer 1 performed her set enthusiastically as well, doing several pole tricks and dancing around the stage for the few patrons seated at the bar.  Dancer 1 was observed exiting the VIP area in the beginning of the evaluation, having just performed a dance, however was not observed talking to any other patrons thereafter and did not approach the agent and associate.

The only dancer that did approach the agent and associate, as well as every other patron in the establishment, was Dancer 3, Xxxxx.  Dancer 3, however, was clearly intoxicated.  Her movements on stage and her physical appearance, including the appearance of her pupils caused the agent to believe Xxxxx was extremely high and possibly drunk as well.

 

 

TITLE 4, CHAPTER 3

4-244. Unlawful acts

14. For a licensee or other person to serve, sell or furnish spirituous liquor to a disorderly or obviously intoxicated person, or for a licensee or employee of the licensee to allow or permit a disorderly or obviously intoxicated person to come into or remain on or about the premises, except that a licensee or an employee of the licensee may allow an obviously intoxicated person to remain on the premises for a period of time of not to exceed thirty minutes after the state of obvious intoxication is known or should be known to the licensee in order that a nonintoxicated person may transport the obviously intoxicated person from the premises. For purposes of this section, "obviously intoxicated" means inebriated to the extent that a person's physical faculties are substantially impaired and the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.

 

 

When Xxxxx finished her set on stage she was observed approaching the bar and ordered a gin and tonic.  Xxxxx walked from the bar with the freshly poured beverage and came directly to the agent and associate who were seated at a table.  Xxxxx introduced herself and unknowingly spilled her beverage all over the associate’s lap.  Xxxxx was slurring her words terribly and barely stood up straight.  The agent was shocked that she was working in such a condition.

 

TITLE 4, CHAPTER 3

4-244. Unlawful acts

14. For a licensee or other person to serve, sell or furnish spirituous liquor to a disorderly or obviously intoxicated person, or for a licensee or employee of the licensee to allow or permit a disorderly or obviously intoxicated person to come into or remain on or about the premises, except that a licensee or an employee of the licensee may allow an obviously intoxicated person to remain on the premises for a period of time of not to exceed thirty minutes after the state of obvious intoxication is known or should be known to the licensee in order that a nonintoxicated person may transport the obviously intoxicated person from the premises. For purposes of this section, "obviously intoxicated" means inebriated to the extent that a person's physical faculties are substantially impaired and the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.

 

Xxxxx asked the agent and associate if they were interested in a dance, which they declined.  Xxxxx then spent much of the evaluation in the DJ booth with the DJ and in the back room.

 

The agent did not observe the dancers perform any lap dances.

 

In addition, there were periods of ten minutes and longer that no dancer was on stage at all.

 

Overall, the agent and associate were very disappointed with the lack of friendliness of the dancers and the sloppy presentation of Xxxxx.  The agent feels that if this is what most day shifts look like, in regard to how many dancers work and how they behave, it is no surprise the establishment was extremely quiet.

 

 

 

Security Summary

There was no Security working during this evaluation.

 

 

 

Food and Beverage Summary                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                            

Spotter Notes:

 

While seated at the bar, the agent and associate struck up a conversation with Bartender 1 twice.  At this point the agent, associate, and a male African American patron with whom Bartender 1 was flirting were the only three customers in the establishment.

 

The agent feels that part of the customer loss was due to the fact that the dancers did not pay the customers much attention and that Bartender 1 was paying all of her attention to the one customer.

 

When talking to Bartender 1, the third patron was in the bathroom.  As soon as the patron returned, Bartender 1 walked away from the agent and associate, in the middle of the agent asking a question.

 

The second conversation occurred while the third patron was outside on the phone. Again, when the third patron returned, Bartender 1 abruptly stopped talking to the agent and associate and returned to paying all of her attention to the third customer.

During the first conversation, the agent asked about the level of business at that time (which was three customers).  Bartender 1 stated that the nights were busy at the establishment but “the days suck”.

 

Bartender 1 continued to state that that particular day was the busiest day the establishment had had in a long time.  Bartender 1 was referring to the six customers that were in the establishment at the beginning of the evaluation.  As a regular patron, this description would cause the agent to believe the establishment was never upbeat and lively during the day and would choose to go elsewhere during the day.

 

In addition, Bartender 1 stated that Hi Liter has the best strip club day shift.  Bartender 1 spent several minutes stating that it was a great day shift with food and happy hour drink specials.  The agent felt that this was a very inappropriate conversation due to the fact that it was promoting a competing establishment and putting down Xxxxx’s Cabaret.

For the first round of beverages, the agent ordered a Red Bull/vodka, which Bartender 1 did not try to up-sell.  Bartender 1 did, however, pour the beverage with accurate pour counts and provided a beverage that was consistent and accurate in flavor.

For his first and second beverage, the associate ordered Coronas.  Both Coronas were fresh and cold.

 

Reserved VIP Tables:

 

The agent asked Bartender 1 about the reserved tables by the stage.  Each table had a large “Reserved” tent on the table as well as an upright bottle service menu.  Bartender 1 explained that these tables were said to be reserved in case a large party came into the establishment and wanted to order bottle service.  Bartender 1 stated that the “reserved” sign enabled the staff to ask those patrons who did not order bottle service to move.

Bartender 1 stated that these tables did not cost extra due to the cost of the bottle service.

Drink Tickets:

 

Bartender 1 was not able to clearly explain the drink tickets, however, did provide a few for the agent.  Bartender 1 explained that the staff gave away the tickets to the patrons.

 

The patrons were required to pay the $10 cover at the door and then were able to use the drink tickets.  The agent asked several questions but did not get further clarification.

 

The tickets were given to the agent as if they could be used at another date, however, the tickets state that they are to be used the same day they are acquired and each ticket is dated, which would imply they are useless and have already been used.

 

Cab Drivers:

 

Bartender 1 made a comment about the amount of cab drivers that come into the establishment during the day shifts.  Bartender 1 then explained that they come in because all cab drivers are given kickbacks from the gentlemen’s clubs in the area.  Bartender 1 explained that the cab drivers get $5 per patron they bring to the establishment when those patrons do not pay cover.  When those patrons do pay cover, the cab drivers receive the entire $10 cover charge per patron.

 

Michael Zenner - CEO      

 

Hospitality Checkpoint LLC

hospitalitycheckpoint.com

bartheft.com  (blog)

liquorassessment.com

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299

Office: 480-777-1919

Toll Free: 800-880-0811

© Hospitality Checkpoint LLC 2014


Tucson eatery posts right-to-refuse-lawmakers sign

March 2, 2014 19:17 by administrator

Tucson eatery posts right-to-refuse-lawmakers sign

By Mary Jo Pitzl The Republic | azcentral.com Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:07 PM

“We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona lawmakers,” says the sign at Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson.

But after a week of frenzied pushback against the right-to-refuse-service bill, Senate Bill 1062, Rocco DiGrazia didn’t turn away any lawmakers. In fact, he served two who had the temerity — or maybe the hunger pangs — to show up.

Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, and Rep. Ethan Orr, R-Tucson, stopped by last weekend. Farley said he brought a printout of the Senate vote, showing he voted against SB 1062. Orr’s “no” vote in the House earned him entree to the eatery.

DiGrazia said the positive reaction has been overwhelming. In addition to serving up more pies, people are buying gift certificates and donating them to a Tucson center that serves LGBT youth.
As for the sign? “It’s going to stay up until the election,” he said.


AZ Storytellers Project: In the Kitchen, Behind the Bar II

March 2, 2014 19:09 by administrator

AZ Storytellers Project: In the Kitchen, Behind the Bar II

By Megan Finnerty The Republic | azcentral.com Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:49 PM

Crazy customers, meaningful meatloafs, pilfered pies, tacky tippers. Chefs and bartenders always have great stories.


But diners usually have to sneak into the kitchen (not always recommended) or stay after hours (not always possible) to hear them.


So on Monday, March 10, The Republic invites you to join us for Arizona Storytellers Project, a night of tales from the kitchen and bar. We’ll gather at Crudo in Phoenix to celebrate some of the Valley’s most creative culinary and bartending talents as they share stories of cooking capers, destroyed dishes and tasty triumphs.


Crudo chef/owner Cullen Campbell will serve the night’s dinner. The menu includes a first course of crudo with housemade vinaigrette; an entree choice of vegetarian risotto or short ribs with olive oil mashed potatoes and root vegetables; and a dessert of crespelle with berry compote and chocolate drizzle.


Guests will hear first-person stories from five tellers: Bar Crudo owner and mixologist Micah Olson; Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails chef Stephen Jones; Blue Hound head mixologist Stephanie Teslar; Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup owner Aaron Pool; and Milagro Grill owner Reed Johnson.


Since June 2011, Arizona Storytellers Project has fostered community through nights of true stories, told by the people who make Arizona such a compelling, fascinating and still-wild state. On these nights, community members share first-person stories on a theme for about five to eight minutes.


Proceeds from the March 10 event will support The Republic’s journalism training and education program.
________________________________________
Arizona Storytellers Project: In the Kitchen, Behind the Bar II
Where: Crudo, 3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix.
When: Monday, March 10. Doors open at 6. Storytelling begins at 7 p.m.
Admission: $75 at tickets.azcentral.com. Get a $20 discount by entering promo code “Food 14” at checkout. Ticket covers three-course dinner, tax and tip and serves as your event reservation. There are 65 tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Details: storytellers.azcentral.com, 602-444-8770.


Beer Man: Hops dominate malts in Smuttynose’s barleywine

March 2, 2014 19:05 by administrator

Beer Man: Hops dominate malts in Smuttynose’s barleywine

By Todd Haefer The (Appleton, Wis.) Post-Crescent Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:13 PM

Smuttynose has produced an ale that follows the trend of many United States breweries, with a barleywine that has its fine malt profile somewhat overshadowed by bitterness and piney hops.
This is usually the formula when a beer is called a “barleywine-style ale” as opposed to just calling it a barleywine, which traditionally in England has very different hop flavoring and low bitterness.
Smuttynose’s beer pours an amber color with orange highlights from the caramel malts. There is a hint of caramel in the aroma, along with a rich resinous hop background.

Flavors of raisins, toffee, caramel and vanilla provide the main malt flavors, but the pine, grapefruit and bitterness of the hops kick in and start to dominate. The rest of the sampling experience was similar: Strong malt flavor and sweetness right away, immediately followed by the hop experience.
The body is full and rich, with medium carbonation, temporarily leaving a nice, creamy mouthfeel before the hops provide a dry finish that alleviates any cloying sweetness. Aging this beer might alleviate the hops a bit and allow the malts to be more forward. There were no unpleasant boozy tones from the high 10.6 percent ABV.

The label of the barleywine shows an old-timey English cultivator holding a staff studded with hop cones. That is what the beer is all about: a traditional English malty barleywine matched with strong American hops.

Smuttynose’s regular beer lineup includes Shoals Pale Ale, Old Brown Dog Ale, Finestkind India Pale Ale, Robust Porter and Star Island Single, a Belgian pale style. The barleywine is part of its Big Beer series that, depending on the season, includes a doppelbock, imperial stout, Scotch ale, Belgian quadruple, wheat wine ale and many more. The brewery, like many in the U.S., is continuously growing and is in the process of expanding its facilities.

Many beers are available only regionally. Check the brewer’s website.

Beer Man is a weekly profile of beers from across the country and around the world. This week: Smuttynose Barleywine-Style Ale, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, N.H., www.smuttynose.com.

Michael Zenner - CEO      

Hospitality Checkpoint LLC
hospitalitycheckpoint.com

bartheft.com  (blog)

liquorassessment.com

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 THEFT:

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

POS.

 

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


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

November 28, 2012 20:11 by administrator

BARTENDER THEFT:

Bartender Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TITLE 4, CHAPTER 3

4-244. Unlawful acts

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

Food and Beverage Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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