Bar standard operating procedures are critical to achieve a smooth workflow in their daily operations. From inventory management to storage and customer service, several critical tasks must be carried out correctly to keep your guests happy and help your business remain profitable.
This article discusses the importance of bar standard operating procedures. It also outlines how pub and bar owners can improve customer satisfaction ratings by creating bespoke operational manuals for staff.
Bar SOPs: What Are They, and Why Do They Matter?
At the core of it, a bar is a retail business that serves drinks. It can be a standalone pub, or part of a restaurant, hotel, or hospitality chain. No matter the setup, bar personnel have various responsibilities such as to serve drinks and food, collect payment, maintain the cleanliness of the bar area, open/close the business etc.
Bar standard operating procedures define how staff should perform such daily activities. With an operations manual clearly outlining bar SOPs, businesses can maintain a thriving brand identity and grow their reputation by consistently providing high-quality service. These guidelines also act as a training manual for staff. Rather than learn on the job, new employees can refer to the step-by-step procedures and company’s SOP to clarify their work responsibilities.
The bar industry in the United States alone is worth a whopping $26.67 billion and is expected to exceed 72,000 unique businesses. This statistic indicates that, with each passing year, more bars compete for a limited client base. Therefore, pubs must have a well-defined quality assurance strategy and exceptional standards to stay afloat.
Why does your bar need SOPs?
Having SOPs for bar operations is essential for several reasons. First, it ensures consistency in service delivery at all times. Since it severely reduces the probability of human error by providing strict guidelines for staff, you can be confident of top-quality performance, regardless of the employee on duty. Furthermore, bar SOPs are one of the most valuable tools for optimizing your workflow for maximum productivity.
Finally, by incorporating standard operating procedures for your bar, you have a standardized performance assessment metric. So, you can identify underperforming staff and departments and initiate intervention measures to upgrade your overall quality.
What to Consider When Drafting SOPs for Bar Operations
Although most bar owners realize the need for a detailed operations manual for their staff, the challenge is often how to create SOPs for bars. Several items must be considered when drafting step-by-step procedures for your business’s daily activities, including staff and customer safety, hygiene practices, and equipment management.
Well-written guides are comprehensive and ensure no relevant facet of customer service is left unattended. Here are some aspects to consider when preparing an SOP for bar operations.
Quality of Customer Service
In writing your bar SOPs from scratch, customer service is arguably the most crucial factor to consider. Your standard operating procedures should address vital aspects that relate to your overall quality of service delivery, including bartender dress codes and behavior, response times, and drink menus.
General Safety Protocols
In addition to providing top-notch customer service, your bar SOPs must also cover essential safety protocols. The best pubs emphasize workplace safety for staff and visitors and ensure they pay attention to potential hazards. Specific issues such as fire protection, availability of first aid materials, and electrical safety compliance are compulsory to avoid preventable damages. There are several workplace safety checklists you can refer to when drafting your SOP for bar operations to ensure that no security considerations are overlooked.
Food Safety and Hygiene Practices
More than ever, businesses are highly conscious of their food safety and hygiene practices to comply with the requirements outlined by public health authorities. In the post-Covid era, there is an even stronger need to monitor hygiene standards in bars and other public areas. Customers are more likely to feel safe knowing you are meticulous about your bar’s hygiene practices. Along with the other items listed, your standard operating procedures must ensure that all surfaces and equipment are adequately sanitized. Furthermore, employees must look neat and well-kempt, regardless of their job description.
Use and Management of Equipment
Proper handling of juicers, mixing glasses, shakers, and other equipment can help your business save costs and keep operations running smoothly. As part of your bar operation manual, you must have step-by-step guidelines for effectively managing all work utensils. Bar SOPs usually state how to use, clean, and store these items to ensure they remain durable.
A Step-by-Step Guide For Creating Bar Service SOPs
Drafting your own SOPs is the best way to guarantee quality assurance and build a sustainable brand. There are many approaches to implementing standard operating procedures for your business. A popular option is downloading and customizing pre-existing templates based on your unique operational model. However, other businesses opt for building their SOPs from scratch. Following these four steps, you can quickly draft an SOP for bar operations.
List out all Essential Tasks
What activities must be performed each day? Because bar SOPs are a daily operations manual, you must first be aware of all the essential tasks that must be carried out for the smooth operation of your business. Once this first step is completed, you can obtain employee feedback and refer to external standards before publishing your SOP.
Discuss with Staff to Outline all Routine Procedures
After outlining all routine activities, you must consult with your employees to find out how these activities are performed. Having conversations with staff before drafting an SOP for bar operations is critical to determine any potential roadblocks to quick and easy implementation. Furthermore, feedback from staff can enable you to write policies that will allow staff to deliver optimal service while keeping guests satisfied.
Build Checklists Based on Industry Best Practices
Next, you must create checklists – a list of assignments that must be completed – based on widely accepted industry standards. Although employee consultations can provide valuable insights for drafting your bar operational guidelines, deferring to industry best practices is highly recommended for the best results. You can find popular checklist templates to review compliance standards for businesses in the bar industry.
Create a Manual or Digital Version of Your Checklist
Once your checklists have been outlined, you can convert them into paper or digital documents that employees can use on a daily basis. An alternative to this is using an inspection app for faster incorporation and a more effortless flow of information. Employees can quickly refer to this checklist to get a clear description of their job responsibilities and remain compliant with your brand standards.
4 Ways SOPs Can Grow Your Profits
In the bar industry, profits are primarily determined by your ability to attract and retain customers. Although this task sounds simple on the surface, it can be a tall order, considering several competitors are fighting for the same market share. You can implement many strategies to increase your odds of visitor retention and keep your books profitable. However, one of the most highly recommended options, used by several leading businesses in this space, is the implementation of standard operating procedures.
If you’re wondering why you should begin using SOPs for your bar operations, here are four benefits your pub will experience by adopting this practice.
1. Standardized Customer Service Quality
Every long-standing bar with an excellent reputation thrives on consistent standards. Whether you have single or multiple branches, incorporating an SOP for bar operations will guarantee that your customer service is unchanged. In other words, when you run your bar with standard operating procedures, guests can be confident of what to expect.
2. Guaranteed Compliance with Safety and Hygiene Standards
There are minimum hygiene and safety requirements that every bar must meet to be considered fit for use. You can ensure that your employees keep the work environment neat by drafting operational guidelines.
These protocols guarantee that your staff is appropriately dressed, all surfaces are disinfected, and equipment is washed at the close of each day. Also, while you may not be able to personally inspect all your branches for compliance with safety standards, with an SOP, you can guarantee that guests across all your locations are protected.
3. Quick Onboarding of New Staff
All employees need time to understand their employers’ specific demands. Unfortunately, there is little room for error in a competitive industry like yours, and the slightest mistake could prove fatal to your bottom line. Bar SOPs shorten the learning curve for new employees, making it easier to comply with brand standards.
When you use an inspection app or any other tool to create checklists, your recent hires can meticulously follow each step and produce the same outcome as their more experienced counterparts. This means your service quality doesn’t need to decline due to individual errors.
4. Well-Defined Workflow
Finally, bars that have written standard operating procedures have a well-defined workflow. In simpler terms, when roles and responsibilities are adequately outlined, each department knows what it must do. Furthermore, delineating tasks reduces the chances of miscommunication and enhances productivity.
Efficient Digital Tools for Bar SOPs
Don’t want your SOPs to end up in a dusty drawer? You have the option of making them available as user-friendly checklists available on everyone’s phone. With this option, it becomes easier for employees to access SOPs on a daily basis, and make sure they follow them as required. It is also a handy quality control tool for management, making it easier to collect feedback from the ground. For example, using an inspection app, The Independent Food Company made their quality process efficient and accelerated issue resolution time x4.
The GoAudits inspection app allows hospitality businesses to implement their SOPs via checklist templates. Instead of using spreadsheets or paper, this software saves countless person-hours. You can begin enjoying all the benefits of bar SOPs today, including increased profits, happier employees, and improved customer ratings. You only need to download the GoAudits app and book a demo.
Top 8 Free Bar SOP Checklists to Download
Checklists are among the best methods for incorporating standard operating procedures into daily bar operations. Although we have already explained the process for writing bespoke bar SOPs, you can save time and guarantee productivity by downloading any of these hospitality checklist templates for free.
The bartender service SOP can help your employees at the reception or counter understand how to relate with guests and deliver top-notch service. You can incorporate this checklist to ensure customer satisfaction ratings are consistently high.
This checklist is designed to ensure compliance with hygiene standards for your business. It covers staff appearance, use of protective gear, scents, and overall health.
Staff can use this checklist weekly to determine if all areas in your bar are adequately sanitized. The bar cleaning checklist addresses the doors, shelves, interiors, cleaning equipment, dishwasher, and freezers.
This is an all-encompassing bartender sop checklist that can be used daily, weekly, or monthly. It addresses many aspects, including cleaning, preparation, stocking, and restocking.
Employees can use this checklist to determine if the bar is cleaned, cabinets have been organized, and adequate pest control measures have been implemented.
Cleaners can follow the bathroom cleaning SOP checklist to ensure the restroom is tidy. This guideline will remind your janitors to remove hairs, stains, and dirt, wipe all surfaces, and check drainages for clogs.
Depending on your brand standards for dressing, you can use this checklist to enforce your business’s standard operating procedures for staff appearance. The staff dress code inspection checklist is perfect for ensuring your employee’s appearance is aligned with the brand image that you want to project.
Bar Opening and Closing Checklists
A bar opening checklist and closing checks are valuable for defining the necessary tasks that must be carried out before the start or close of each business day.
If your bar serves coffee, you may want to create a barista training checklist that outlines all the steps for operating your coffee machine and handling coffee supplies. This template is a great place to start.
Customize this checklist to your specific needs, to prepare for opening or review on a regular basis your inventory of glasses, bartending tools, drink and food supplies, coolers and refrigerators.