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

Bartender Theft, Free Drinks, Employee Liquor Consumption

January 18, 2010 18:44 by administrator


Bartender Summary

  1. Bartender 1:  Xxxxxx, 6’3”, Xxxxxxxx, in his early twenties, with very short hair or a shaved head, wearing a black cap.  He wore a greenish-brown tee shirt and jeans and had tattoos up both arms.
  2. Bartender 2:  Xxxxxx, 5’9”, Xxxxxxxx, in his early twenties, lean build, with very short hair, wearing a backwards cap.  He wore a black tee shirt and jeans.
  3. Bartender 3:  Xxxxxx, 5’10”, Xxxxxxxx, in his early twenties, medium athletic build, with short hair or a shaved head, wearing a black backwards cap.  He wore a gray tee shirt, jeans, and a leather bracelet and had tattoos up his left arm.
  4. Bartender 4:  Xxxxxx, 5’9”, Xxxxxxxx, in his early twenties, with short dark hair and a goatee.  He wore a red tee shirt and jeans.
  5. Bartender 5:  Xxxxxx, 6’2”, Xxxxxxxx, in his early twenties, with short dark hair and a goatee.  He wore a black polo shirt and jeans.
  6. Barback:  Xxxxxx, 5’6”, Xxxxxxxx, in his early twenties, thin build, with short dark hair, wearing a black backwards cap.  He wore a gray tee shirt and jeans.

Bartender 1 approached within thirty seconds of sitting at the bar.  He asked what the agent would like to drink.  The agent ordered drinks, and Bartender 1 had an opportunity to ask for a liquor preference, but did not.  Bartender 1 placed napkins on the bar, went to pour the drinks, and served them.  Bartender 1 did not ask for identification; the agent appears to be in his late twenties or early thirties.  He asked if the agent would like to start a tab, collected the credit card, recorded the order and placed a playing card on the bar in front of the agent saying, “This is for you.”  A couple minutes later, Bartender 1 quickly asked, as a side note, if the agent would like a menu.  The agent declined.

When the agent’s drink was a little more than one-third full, Bartender 1 asked if the agent would like another drink.  The agent declined.  Later when the drink was completely empty, Bartender 1 asked again.  The agent asked about the drinks on the menu.  Bartender brought the flip cards and pointed out the specialty drink menu.  Agent ordered a drink.  Bartender 1 asked Bartender 2 if they had a certain ingredient before preparing the drink.  Bartender 1 informed the agent that they were out of one of the ingredients, but did not offer an alternative.  The agent ordered a different drink.  Bartender 1 immediately prepared and served this drink.  He recorded the drink in the register.

Bartender 1 was polite but only somewhat attentive.  At times he was seen checking diligently on patrons, and at times he was very inattentive to the customers while he was distracted by other employees or certain customers who looked to be friends.  Bartender 1 was polite to all customers, but only friendly to a few.  His friendliness appeared to correlate with the amount of drinks ordered and/or his relationship with the customer, i.e. whether the customer was a friend, a regular or someone new.  He was very friendly when speaking to two patrons about the incentives they would get when purchasing gift cards.  He specifically talked to them about the times he would be working so they could buy the gift cards from him.

Bartender 1 was seen mixing a drink in the blender.  At approximately 8:13 PM, he poured some or all of it into a solo cup and placed it on the bar away from any patrons.  The cup stayed on the bar for at least twenty or thirty minutes, seemingly untouched, before it suddenly disappeared.  The agent does not know what happened to it, or who/what it was for.

Bartender 1 was heard asking whether two patrons wanted a refill of their wine.  When they declined, he asked “What if I buy them?”  Then he told them to let him know when they were ready for the refills at around 8:27 PM.  The agent wonders whether his offer had anything to do with the bottle of wine almost being empty.  About a minute later, Bartender 1 opened another bottle and poured the offered drinks.  The agent did not see Bartender 1 record the drinks anywhere.

At around 8:40 PM, a patron, whom Bartender 1 referred to as “Xxxxxx,” approached the bar.  Bartender 1 served Xxxxxx a bottle of beer and a dark liquid shot.  After a few minutes Bartender 1 appeared to enter these drinks into the register for a tab located in the very top row of the playing card slots on the wall.  Bartender 2 was seen chatting with Xxxxxx a few times, as well.

Bartender 1 became especially inattentive to the agent later towards the end of the visit, and passed by several times without checking in.  The agent tried to catch his eye to cash out, but could not.

Bartender 1 was seen drinking out of a capped solo cup most of the time; however, he was also seen drinking a dark liquid out of a bottle from the opposite side of the bar once around 9:02 PM.  The agent believes this bottle was capped and placed either under the bar or in an ice bucket after Bartender 1 drank from it.  It was unclear what type of drink was in the bottle; however, it would be easy to use it for an alcoholic beverage.

Bartender 1 was also seen throwing various items at the wait staff, other bartenders and the barback to engage in horseplay at different times throughout the evening.

Bartender 2 asked the agent if he would like another drink a couple times.  He commented positively on the agent’s drink choice, the one time he filled a drink order.  He also checked back on the drink after a few minutes to ask how it tasted.  Bartender 2 was attentive when he was present on the agent’s side of the bar.  He was also consistently attentive and friendly with all customers.

Bartender 2 was seen checking a cell phone, one that resembled a Blackberry that was placed between the two registers on the west side of the bar.  He did not pick it up, but checked it once after the agent heard a message-like beep, and again a couple times later.  The agent knew he had checked the phone because the screen was lit up after he passed the registers.  Bartender 2 was also seen placing an open beer bottle under the bar; the agent saw the beer become frothy after opening it, so the beer was unsuitable to serve.

Bartender 3 was working the outside bar, but came in a few times to pour draft beer.  He was always in a hurry and never spent more than a couple minutes inside.  At approximately 8:14 PM Bartender 3 was pouring a beer while he took a shot of dark liquid out of a translucent plastic throw-away cup.  It was unclear whether this was liquor; however, it seemed unlikely, due to the color and consistency of the liquid, that it was soda.

ADLLC Violation
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.

Bartender 4 began working behind the bar ten to fifteen minutes before the agent left for the night.  Bartender 4 appeared to get settled and jump right in asking if patrons needed anything.  He asked if the agent needed another drink a couple times when he passed.  On Bartender 4’s second pass, he closed out the agent’s tab when asked.  He asked whether the agent wanted to use the credit card that was securing the tab.  The tab was itemized and quickly presented.  Bartender 4 was very accommodating and pleasant.

Bartender 5 began working the bar just after Bartender 4 did.  He also settled in quickly and started making the rounds.  He asked the agent once for another drink order.  He was seen interacting with the guests pleasantly and appeared to be friendly.

Barback was seen hustling in and out of the bar area restocking glasses.  At times he joked with other employees, but in a rather loud and sometimes obnoxious way.  He was also seen drinking from a Red Bull can twice, once at approximately 7:52 PM and another time around 8:29 PM, both times from behind the bar.  He was very industrious, performing his duties efficiently.

Overall the bartenders ran the bar efficiently and followed proper procedures and recorded all drinks after serving them with two exceptions noted: the earlier mentioned free wines; and a manager, subsequently referred to as Manager 2, verbally called out an order at approximately 8:18 PM.  The agent did not notice a ticket or any movement to record this order by Bartender 1.

The bartenders pulled tickets and filled those orders almost immediately.  The bartenders poured consistent 4 count, 1 ½ ounce drinks.  Cash transactions appeared to be handled properly, and credit cards were secured for all other transactions.  Unless noted previously, staff drank from capped Solo cups.

The bartenders were friendly, overall, though Bartender 1 seemed to be more friendly and chatty with some patrons than others.  They worked the bar area fairly well together, again with Bartender 1 losing interest at times.  The barback and bartenders also seemed to forget they were working at times and became engaged in their own conversations and horseplay.

Michael Zenner - CEO  

hospitality checkpoints Inc.  (blog)
Hospitality Checkpoint PLLC
Lic. 1597616

PO BOX 995 Gilbert AZ 85299
Office: 480-777-7056
Mobile: 602-622-0875
Toll Free: 800-880-0811