Anyone can learn to pour a drink or mix a great cocktail, but the success of a business engaged in selling libations comes down to expertise in bar management. Unfortunately, many people who open bars fail to understand that concept. They create a lively atmosphere and stock all the right labels, but cannot manage to make a healthy enough profit or maintain a high level of customer service and satisfaction. Oftentimes the problem is that they don’t have the tools and technology necessary to ensure top-flight bar management – and one of the best tools to have in this digital age is an online logbook and a digital logbook reporting platform.

Bar Management

Professional Bar Management Requires a Diverse Skill Set

Effectively managing any bar requires an adaptable skill set for managing employees, inventories, use of space behind the bar, and compliance with alcohol business rules and regulations. You also have to be able to closely monitor practical aspects of the operation such as cash management, clean-up, restocking, and customer experience. If customers receive prompt service but don’t like their drinks, that’s a problem. If they love your signature cocktails but don’t like the wait time standing at the bar, you’ll lose customers to your more organized and efficient competitors.

Bar Management Logbook Manager Software

No one person can consistently handle all those diverse tasks and responsibilities without support, and a digital logbook tool is one of the most useful and direct ways to enhance your managerial and administrative capability and capacity. The app-based logbook manager from Zip Shift Book, for instance, was engineered from the ground-up with bars and restaurants in mind – and it provides an entire menu of bar management logbook tools that literally fit in the palm of your hand. There is a centralized dashboard, from which all of the various features can be easily accessed – including customizable task lists and checklists; an integrated address book for communication with employees, service providers, and vendors; calendars for scheduling and an employee journal, and tracking tools to provide an instant visual snapshot of sales and revenues.

Logbook Shift Management

Managing shifts is made easy with a digital shift book, too, to ensure that you always have the optimum number of employees on hand at the bar, at any given time. Staffing a busy shift with too few employees is a recipe for frustrated customers standing in line waiting to be served, which puts added pressure on the bartenders – and can contribute to costly mistakes as well as a deterioration in the overall customer service experience and mood of the bar. That’s a disaster that can be averted by using digital technology to analyze schedules, communication with employees, and respond to the unforeseen problems of bartenders calling in sick, getting stuck in traffic, or having to leave the premises to run a work-related errand. In fact, a digital log lets managers, owners, and employees all communicate in real time, to stay informed and on the same page, even if they happen to be miles apart. That can be priceless when crucial decisions and staffing adjustments have to be made on the fly.

Optimizing Labor Costs

On the flip side of that under-staffed equation, however, is a situation that can be just as costly to the bottom line and equally frustrating for owners and managers. That’s when you have too many paid employees scheduled for the same shift, and the bar is not busy enough to justify paying all of them to be there. In fairness to the employees you have to compensate them for showing up, and even if you decide to send someone home early because they aren’t needed they deserve to be paid for the inconvenience of coming in to work that day. You may also wind up with staff just standing around with too little to do, and that creates low morale for everyone on the team. Meanwhile, labor is typically the most expensive item in any restaurant budget, so if you are overspending on labor you are automatically undercutting your own potential to earn a profit. With a digital logbook that every employee can carry on their smart phone as an app you can communicate more readily with your staff to notify them instantly of any unforeseen changes. Every manager can use the logbook to analyze data and better predict how slow or busy the bar will be, even studying archived data that can be easily stored and retrieved.

The Bottom Line

That allows you to solve this kind of important challenge and be more proactively streamlined, competitive, and profitable. Nothing solves problems before they happen better than organizational and managerial technology that is reliable, affordable, and easy to adopt. For that reason, a digital logbook solution is essential for bar owners and managers who want to stay on the leading edge while reducing time, labor, and headaches.