Cash flow and proper sales control are crucial elements in any barn restaurant, or lounge. And as a bartender, you are directly responsible for the efficiency of such sales control. The key is to follow the management prescribed “House Rules,” as well as certain guidelines common to most establishments.

Understanding “House” Cash Flow & Sales Control

1) Know the “House Rules”

Every bar or restaurant is different, with its own set of guidelines to insure maximum efficiency. It is your job to know and follow these “House Rules.”

  • Know how to operate the cash register.
  • Know the individuals authorized and responsible for cash transactions.
  • Know the “House Rules” for running tabs, accepting charges or checks, etc.

2) The Bank

Before every shift begins, a bartender is issued a “Bank,” which is small bills and change for handling normal cash transactions.

  • Always count your bank before signing an acknowledgement.
  • You will most likely be responsible for any shortages after you sign.
  • Correcting mistakes before your shift starts should eliminate confusion when your shift ends.

3) Cash

When a customer hands you cash, it immediately becomes your responsibility. So proper cash handling is a must.

  • Call out the denominations when accepting cash. This will help protect you from a customer claiming a bill was large than it actually was.
  • Inspect large bills for counterfeits.
  • Breaking fives and tens into ones and fives will make it easier for the customer to leave a tip.
  • Count change when removing from the register. And be sure to double check for accuracy. Bills may be wet and stuck together.
  • Lay the customer’s change in front of them at the bar.

4) Tabs

A tab is used to extend a cumulative total to a customer instead of him/her paying for each individual drink. When running a tab, always:

  • Follow any “House Rules” regarding tabs. This may include making an imprint of a customer’s credit card or even holding onto that card while the tab is open.
  • Maintain the balance and identity of each and every tab.
  • If a customer appears to be leaving before paying for his/her tab, politely notify security. Often, a customer may innocently “forget” to pay his/her tab.
  • Never allow a customer to run an excessively large tab without permission from management.

Happy Bartending!

Check back next week for Tips for Bartenders : Bartending, Cash Flow, and Sales Control (Part 2).

If you have any questions about Bartending Tips & Tricks or wish to register for an upcoming class, please contact the Maryland Bartending Academy by calling 410-787-0020 or visit today!

Maryland Bartending Academy is not only Maryland’s oldest bartending school, but we also offer the most comprehensive curriculum around. We will have you ready for your new career in two weeks and then we will help you find bartender jobs around Maryland and DC! We have trained and placed thousands and thousands of bartenders into some of the busiest bars throughout not only Maryland and DC, but also the entire nation.

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