Most successful businesses give themselves a health check at least once a year to make sure they are maximising profits, reducing wastage, motivating staff and generally running their company with efficiency. Pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants are no different – a general review of practices and premises is a good way to unravel any bad practices or behaviours. So the following is Cask Marque’s checklist of tips to give your beer business a complete review:
- Range and Throughputs
Review your current range of cask ales: is it still the right selection for your customers? Are you stocking at least one familiar brand of cask ale to give new and existing customers reassurance that there will always be a regular favourite? Are you rotating too many ales too quickly (this year’s Cask Report stated that customers like to see a guest brand as a fixture for at least a couple of weeks, yet many licensees are under the misapprehension that guest ales need to be constantly changing every few days)
Every cask of ale needs to be sold within 3 days to maintain its quality. If there are too many beers on the bar and these throughputs aren’t achieved, the quality of the beer will suffer, guests will drink elsewhere and beer will be wasted.
- Invest in and Maintain Your Cellar Kit
Investing in auto tilts will help increase yields. Investing time in maintaining cellar equipment, such as topping up Ale Python Units, and cleaning beer lines every 7 days, will ensure the best quality beer, increased sales and repeat customers. Vianet report a 2% volume uplift in beer sales in outlets where lines are cleaned every 7 days and regularly. In a typical 4 barrel per week outlet this can mean an additional £4k in retail draught sales over the course of a year. So get in the habit, give the lines a good clean and keep to the same routine every day each week.
- Train Your Staff
Incorrect dispense techniques and overpouring are one of the biggest causes of beer wastage. In a typical 10 tap outlet, beer losses can amount to a staggering £20k through drip tray waste from overpouring. So regardless of how long your staff have been with you, or how experienced they think they are, spend some time training – and retraining – staff how to pour the perfect pint. Alternatively book a training session with us. More information on our training courses can be found on our training page.
- Little Changes
Just a few small practices can massively improve and maintain the quality of your beer, and reduce the risk of beer going off or fobbing. Take a few moments at the end of the night to hard peg all your cask ales (beer loses its condition – fizz and flavour – if it’s left open overnight). Turn the gas off to your keg products (either the main gas bottle or ideally each individual gas tap next to the cellar buoys). This will prevent gas being absorbed into the liquid in the keg during non trading periods – and ensure no fobbing occurs when that first pint of lager is poured when the outlet reopens the next day
- The Cellar Environment
One of the biggest enemies of beer is being stored at an incorrect temperature. In warm temperatures, cask ale will go off (cask beer is fresh food product), all beer will fob and customers will complain and bring beer back. Too cold a temperature will make cask ale go cloudy, keg beer pour flat, and affect the flavour of both types of beer. So make sure the beer cellar is kept at a constant temperature, between 11 to 13° centigrade – it will reduce fobbing or flat beer. Treat your cellar like a kitchen and make sure the floor, walls, and all equipment is scrupulously clean. Contaminated beer is unpleasant to drink, will lead to loss of custom and wasted beer
If you need any advice or training, please contact Cask Marque on 01206 752212 or visit here.
Use this opening and closing checklist to ensure you start every day with a clean sweep.
Open Cellar Daily Checklist
|Area to check
|Cellar clean and tidy
|Ventilate the cellar for 10 mins
|Ensure all casks stillaged
|Open all cask taps
|Remove all hard spiles and replace with soft spiles
|Spare taps clean and dry?
|Gas turned on
|No food in cellar
|All beer in date
|All stock rotated
Close Cellar Daily Checklist
|Area to check
|Cellar clean and tidy
|Close all cask taps
|Hard spile all cask beer
|Gas turned off
|All empties corked and removed
|Lights turned off