Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Device keeps tabs on heavy-handed bartenders

New technology is making it easier for bar and restaurant owners to automatically track liquor use instead of manually matching inventory with sales.

“If you don’t keep things in check, it can cost restaurants a significant amount of money,” said Steve Chucri, president and chief executive officer of the Phoenix-based Arizona Restaurant and Hospitality Association.

Restaurants and bars can lose up to 30 percent or more on drink sales if bartenders, for example, pour too much liquor or give away free drinks, said Michael Thomas, a franchise owner of Bevinco. Some of his clients were losing as much as 50 percent per drink.

Toronto-based Bevinco is one of a growing number of services helping restaurants and bars slow losses from overpouring alcohol. Bevinco, in part, requires bottles to be manually weighed on a regular basis.

More high-tech offerings include BarVision, developed by Tempe-based Nuvo Technologies Inc. It relies on digital pour spouts that record and wirelessly transmit how much liquor a bartender pours per drink.

The information is sent to a receiver, then to a computer program that tracks the data and creates reports that show how much money bar managers spend per drink – or their “pour cost.”

“The response has been excellent, although it’s a little bit of a tough sell simply because it’s so new and modern and a little bit outside of the box,” said Mark Cutsforth, senior vice president of technology for TekNV Inc. He declined to give sales figures or customers’ names.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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