Use Data to Pour Smarter, Maximize Your Draft Beverage Program

Three tips for using data to maximize beverage quality and efficiency.
beer bar
To maximize the impact of their resolutions, hospitality leaders are leveraging data to drive success at the bar.

What are your professional New Year's Resolutions for 2024? Most restaurant and bar management teams are looking for new ways to increase the quality of guest experiences, keep teams productive, and limit wasted resources over the next year. To maximize the impact of their resolutions, hospitality leaders are leveraging data to drive success at the bar - and you can too. 

With inflation and products across the hospitality supply chain continuing to get more expensive, restaurant operators can identify ways to make inventory processes more efficient and maximize profitability. It’s never too late to update your standard operating procedures. The best place to start is looking behind the scenes at the processes that guests don’t see. Small tweaks to these internal processes can provide huge savings when compounded over time. This will allow operators to squeeze margin before changing menu items or pricing. 

Tips For Using Data to Maximize Beverage Quality and Efficiency 


  1. Track Keg Yield by Pints Poured (Not Cost) –  Most operators are building their budgets around selling 124 pints per half-barrel keg, but the optimal keg will yield 141 pints of beer when you include the head on the top of the beer. While the exact number of pints you sell per keg can fluctuate due to several factors, including product lost to foam, unrung or un-entered sales, and the style of beer, it’s critical to track the exact rather than the theoretical number of pints poured per keg. Whether this is done manually via a spreadsheet or automated with a reporting tool, logging this information empowers operators to make data-informed decisions – especially when it comes to ordering new styles and pricing those beers. Taste buds and pricing has changed drastically over the past two years, meaning operators need data to help adapt menus to meet changing demand.  For best results, let data drive your understanding of trends and guide re-ordering and purchasing decisions. 
  2. Eliminate Bad Drinking Experiences – Draft beverage quality matters to your guests, and Better Pours = Repeat Business. Almost no one in our industry regularly tracks beverage quality, but those that do are seeing increased sales, larger average check sizes and happy customers as a result. Two things happen when your draft system is not operating properly: product waste and suboptimal taste. Both of these issues have cascading effects as it relates to draft system profitability. Besides unrung beverages, drinks lost to foam are the largest source of waste. When a draft system is dispensing foamy beer, there is product waste from foam and it also takes bar staff significantly longer to deliver a beverage to the consumer. Not to mention that if the beer is pouring foamy, the customer's negative experience is likely to lead to the guest staying for only one beverage instead of two. When a draft system is properly balanced and maintained, it can be one of the most profitable parts of any restaurant, and due to the presentation and flavor of the product coming through properly, can be a source of repeat revenue. Ensuring draft quality means guests will spend more time at your bar drinking, and will inevitably spend more money per check.
  3. Use Data to Improve Profitability – Use as much data as possible to make informed decisions about your beverage (and food) programs. There is a plethora of data and resources available from what food trends are, to pricing your menu items properly, to putting the right beverages on the menu. By diving into your insights about what is selling the most, and for how much, you are meeting your pour cost goals, and what you can do to improve your results. Using this approach will allow operators to make smart decisions quickly which will help save time and money.

When we refer to people-first hospitality, that approach focuses on quality and a dedication to maintaining high standards and customer satisfaction. Businesses that are using data to improve quality are going to be able to reduce their costs and increase their revenue.

Operational efficiency is the path to the goal of placing the customer at the forefront of the business priorities. The tough part is that without the help of technology solutions, all of the data analysis has to be done manually. All of these things are important to improving your top and bottom lines. Products like BarTrack, which maximizes product quality and automates reporting of over a dozen beverage quality metrics, are going to allow the 21st-century operator to maintain a significant competitive advantage. 

Remember that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! Tracking quality metrics not only allows the use of data to facilitate better operational decisions but also ensures the proper quality of food and beverage, which ultimately leads to higher average check sizes and repeat customer visits. The most successful restaurants thrive with a focus on driving exceptional customer experiences and encouraging guests to buy more and come back regularly. 


About the Author  

Brett Danielson is the Co-founder and CEO of BarTrack. Founded in 2018, BarTrack is a hospitality quality and data technology company that has revolutionized the way bars, breweries, restaurants, and stadiums manage their inventory and eliminate costly waste. BarTrack’s flagship offering is a first-of-its-kind, non-intrusive beverage sensor technology platform with no moving parts. The company’s sensors and web-enabled software empower better inventory management and improved draft system diagnostics through the monitoring of a dozen beverage-specific variables. This, in combination with point-of-sale integration, delivers a comprehensive view of the causes and impact of waste on the bottom line. Learn more at

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds