Beverage management firm helps restaurants tap into profits
While bar and restaurant owners in New Jersey may think business is picking up, they could still lose thousands of dollars in sales each week from unnecessary inventory and inaccurate beer pouring, according to Sabino Rodano, a co-owner of the Hoboken branch of beverage inventory management company BevIntel LLC.
To help restaurant owners recover and reinvest those losses into their business, BevIntel has developed technology that measures and records draught beer usage in real time and matches it to sales data.
According to Rodano, the service runs between $300 and $400 a month, depending on how many beer lines the device is hooked up to, but on average, BevIntel's 75 New Jersey clients have noticed a 16 percent increase in profits.
By using BevIntel's monitoring system for the past four years, sales at Texas Arizona, in Hoboken, have increased by 42.5 percent, and draft beer shortage has decreased from 27.5 percent to 2.5 percent, Rodano said.
"Maybe a bar's shortage margins were 4 percent before, and now they're 1 percent with BevIntel, but even a few points in shortage makes a big difference, especially when you're running 50,000 or 60,000 ounces of craft beer a week," Rodano said. "Where there's smoke, there's fire, so a shortage on draft beer probably means there's a shortage on other products, and we can monitor everything through a traditional audit service."
Rodano said the traditional Liquor Inventory Control System service — where BevIntel employees physically weigh kegs, liquor bottles and other beverage inventory on a weekly basis — costs $275 a week, but can return between $2,000 to $5,000 a week on the investment in increased profits and decreased costs.
However, Rodano said it's more beneficial for bars and restaurants that offer craft beers — where six barrels usually cost $150 to $200 — to use the InteliTap technology, since "you don't want a week to go by before you know if you're running a shortage."
"A lot of my clients — mostly mom-and-pop establishments — go by the national average on core costs. But those are misleading figures to use … because some bars sell high-end wine, so their costs will be higher," Rodano said. "If you're bringing in $10,000 a week, but are in a shortage range of 20 percent, you should be doing more like $12,500 a week. You may think you're doing well, but that loss of $2,500 a week could make or break a business."
Rodano said his clients have reinvested their savings from the InteliTap technology and auditing service into renovations and better quality taps, which he said allows them to "make even more returns."
"Some bars would have 18 bottle of Midori on the shelf, and no one uses that many," Rodano said. "With this technology, we can see what products are moving and what aren't, and decreasing purchases they don't need to put money into things they do."