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Business on Tap: Mismanaged Draft is Profits Down the Drain

When one craft-beer bar realized that it was losing more than $175,000 on mismanaged beer, the owner turned to technology and training to help right the ship.

John Holl Apr 5, 2019 - 8 min read

Business on Tap: Mismanaged Draft is Profits Down the Drain Primary Image

Photo by Haydn Strauss

It’s an all-too-common sight: a bartender standing at the tap, pouring a glass of foam. On particularly busy nights or sometimes because of poor training, the foam is topped out, more is poured in, and the process is repeated until a full glass of beer is achieved. Each ounce of that foam is money lost for the bar.

No one can question the quality of the staff at The Avenue Pub in New Orleans. The bar is continuously ranked among the best craft-beer bars in the United States with a tap list that gets even the most hardened of beer geeks smiling. You can expect great local and national drafts on each visit, along with a dizzying array of imports that are rarely seen anywhere else in the country.

Owner Polly Watts started to notice that the profit margins weren’t what they used to be, and after a hard look at her books and the pouring and staff practices, she figured it was time to right the ship. The first step was to recognize that they had a problem. The second step was to figure out why.

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.