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Posts Tagged ‘over-pouring’

Huh?  Do you mean that if I never over-pour drinks, my establishment can still be accused of under-reporting my sales (and taxes) during an audit?  That can’t be right!  Can it?  Unfortunately, it IS true for almost every restaurant and bar in Canada!  Today’s post explains how this happens and what you can do about it.

Most restaurants and bars use shot glasses or portion control pourers to accurately measure the amount of liquor that goes into cocktails, mixed drinks and shots.  Meticulously training bartenders and monitoring pouring, you’re fairly confident that your pouring is fairly accurate, if not “perfect”.  Even if it is, your establishment will be over-pouring all of your liquor drinks by at least 4%!

Why?

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So far, I’ve discussed the POS system and how to maintain it for accurate reporting, how to document your sales mix for all audit periods, and the importance of maintaining an accurate history of your menu prices.  Taken together, these bookkeeping tasks are crucial in helping the restaurateur determine, and properly support, accurate weighted average prices.  This is a crucial component of the mark-up calculation performed during a typical audit.

Now we’ll take a look at the actual cost of the alcoholic beverages purchased for sale.

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When the auditor arrives to audit your bar or restaurant, he or she will review your internal controls to ensure the accuracy and completeness of your recorded sales and the taxes thereon.  If the documentation is not available to determine that appropriate controls were effective throughout the audit period, the auditor will conclude that the controls were lacking and that the books and records may not be relied upon to support the sales taxes collected by the restaurant.  Most independent restaurants will fall into this category.  As a result, the auditor will proceed to apply an indirect audit approach to estimating the amount of sales that were likely to have been generated, based on your purchases of alcoholic beverages.  Several key assumptions are used in this method, which I will describe in the remainder of this post.

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This post concerns customer comps or promotional drinks served by restaurants and bars.  The issue is:  how much is too much?

Most restaurants and bars offer promotional drinks to their customers from time to time.  Sometimes it is to acknowledge frequent visits, high spending or special occasions.  Other times it may be to “compensate” a customer for a service or quality issue.  In either case, the customer receives a free (complimentary) drink.  All restaurateurs know that this is an effective method of promoting and growing a restaurant business.  However, if you don’t keep track of these types of promotions properly, customer comps could be your downfall.

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