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Bar Inventory Management: Understanding Standard Pours

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Bar Management - March 15, 2022 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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Standard pours are what bars and restaurants typically serve to guests when alcoholic beverages are ordered, and by doing them right they can help boost your overall success

Overpouring means losses to your bottom line, and underpouring can result in frustrated customers. By using a standard pour, your business can save money while at the same time ensure that your customer knows what to expect every time they come to visit. 

A standard pour also helps with bar inventory management

However, a standard pour isn’t a one size fits all solution. It depends on the type of alcohol and drink being ordered. Here we take a look at standard pours for the most common categories of beverage.

Wine

A standard pour for a glass of red or white wine is 5 ounces, or about 150 ml. That means a standard 750 ml bottle of wine should get exactly five glasses. If you are hitting this target, you are optimizing your bottom line and meeting customer expectations. 

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. 

  1. Dessert wines – these wines, like a delicious dessert, are meant to be enjoyed in smaller quantities. When serving dessert wine, the standard is 2 ounces. 
  2. Fortified wines – this is a wine that has a distilled spirit added to it to increase its alcohol content. Sherry and port are good examples of fortified wines. When serving these beverages, a standard pour is closer to 3 ounces. 
  3. Wine tastings – Wine tasting pours are between 2 and 3 ounces. 

There are wine pourers and glasses with pour lines that can help ensure a more accurate standard pour. But most often, bars and restaurants stick with free hand wine pours. The problem is wine glasses can vary in size from 12 to 22+ ounces, making free pours more difficult. 

The best way to ensure you are hitting the 5 ounce mark is to test the glasses capacity beforehand. In a pinch, aim to fill the glass to the widest point – this typically equals between 5 and 6 ounces.   

Liquor 

A standard pour for 80 proof liquor is 1.5 fluid ounces when serving shots and single mixer drinks. Like wine, the standard alcohol bottle is 750 ml, which will give you approximately 17 shots if using a standard pour.  

If, however, your customer orders liquor on the rocks or neat, the standard pour is 2 ounces. 

Most jiggers are made to dispense 1.5 ounces of liquor and are a perfect tool for helping manage a precise inventory. 

Champagne 

The standard pour for champagne is 4 ounces. They’re a bit smaller than wine because champagne is carbonated. That means a standard 750 ml bottle should get you six glasses of champagne. 

Because most champagne glasses hold 6 ounces, fill your flute two-thirds of the way to get a 4 ounce standard pour. 

By following these guidelines and providing your staff with the tools and tricks for standard pours, you can keep a more accurate inventory record and maximize profitability. 

Have any further questions about managing your bar inventory? Sculpture Hospitality’s team of bar inventory specialists would love to help. Get in touch with us today.

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Sculpture-BuyersGuide-Cover

A Complete Buyer's Guide to Food & Beverage Inventory Management Systems

With around 25 to 35 percent of a restaurant’s operating budget dedicated to purchasing food (that’s not even taking into account beverage inventory costs for the bar), proper inventory management can significantly improve expected revenue.

To maximize profits you need to improve visibility and control over your restaurant or bar’s inventory. 

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