Numbers don’t lie.
When sitting down with Mike Pugh, Operations Manager for the group which owns Lansdowne Road in New York City, that theme weaves its way throughout the discussion. It is the cornerstone for his enthusiasm in utilizing BeerBoard and its SmartBar platform.
Lansdowne Road features 19 draft beer lines, the majority housed at its main bar and supplemented by a four-line install at its back bar. It is one of the most popular bars in the Hells Kitchen area of New York City.
“Before we installed BeerBoard and SmartBar at Lansdowne, our draft beer variance (difference between beer poured v. beer sold) was 17–18 percent, simply off the chart,” said Pugh, who also oversees the group’s NYC operations at the iconic Pony Bar, Pony Bar UES and Kiabacca. “Over the course of six months, we have taken that 17–18 percent loss and dropped it to 1.6 percent.”
The improvement came when Pugh started diving into the data generated from SmartBar and he quickly saw gaps. A deeper dive led from one improvement to the next.
Numbers don’t lie.
In one example, data that showed one line consistently had a particularly high variance even though it featured one of the bar’s highest volume draft beers.
“It turned out that the product we feature on that line tends to be a little foamier than others. We turn up the glycol a bit when that keg goes on and it solves the issue. Without that data, we never would have seen the actual losses and it would have continued to this day.”
The review of data has also resulted in broader policy changes for the location.
“Everything has changed for us from operations to buying to pricing,” Pugh said. “The data helps with costs of kegs, the number of kegs we buy, and what to put on and when. Ultimately, it eliminates the guessing. We are now making decisions based on actual pour data,” he continued.
It also led to a re-education of the staff on everything from properly keying in a sale to understanding that beer wasted equates to real dollars lost. “We now have daily conversations with staff on what needs to happen and why. We can show them the data — where items were not rung in, exactly how many ounces were wasted the previous night and how many glasses of beer that equates to. It gives them a better sense of what’s really going on and helps to improve their performance.
“We now have the ability to narrow issues down and fix the problem — whether it’s equipment, our policies or staff. BeerBoard is one of the most beneficial tools I have used in the bar industry simply because, as I obviously like to say, ‘Numbers don’t lie,” Pugh concluded.
If you find yourself in New York City, do yourself a favor and stop by any of the following and be sure to tell them BeerBoard sent you:
* Lansdowne Road — 599 10th Avenue, NYC | 212.239.8020
* Pony Bar — 637 10th Avenue, NYC | 212.239.8020
* Kiabacca — 639 10th Avenue, NYC | 212.649.4675
* Pony Bar UES — 1444 1st Avenue, NYC | 212.288.0090
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