The lost art of the Upsell


Since 2011, we have been in many establishments around the Atlanta area on behalf of our clients & one of the re occurring themes (among others) that we noted is bartenders do not attempt to upsell (or ask liquor preference). %95 of the bartenders that we have observed over the past year refused to add extra $ to our tab, their tips & extra $ to their employers bottom line via upselling premium liquor.

In most Atlanta night clubs, well price is $8, premium is $11 – a $3 dollar difference. $3 doesn’t seem like much looking at it as just one transaction but lets look at it over a 5 hour shift at 10 mixed drinks served per hour(night club volume).

Well drink $8 x 10 served per hr = $80. $80 x 5 hr shift $400

Gratuity well (assuming %20) $80

Premium drink $11 x 10 served per hr = $110  $110 x 5 hr shift = $550

Gratuity premium (assuming %20) $110

So looking at these numbers,  the bartender because of shyness or laziness potentially lost out on an extra $30 or more  in tips & the business owner lost out on an extra $150 to the bottom line because of this 1 bartender.  Now if you have 2, 3, 4 or 5 bartenders refusing to ask the patron simple/fast questions like  “do you have a preference”, “do you want Grey Goose/Ciroc” the potential in further lost sales increases. Add bartender theft and poor alcohol dispensing into the equation and it looks worse.

In today’s economy with operating costs rising yearly, are you ok with losing money because of lazy, un motivated bar staff?  If not, contact us today at 770 598 1467 to start identifying this and other ways you are potentially losing money.

#barspotter #bartheft #bartenderintegrity #atlantanightlife #Atlanta #bartender #metrospotters



Report Excerpt – Severe Over Pours, Free Drinks,


I showed up on a Saturday night at *** at 8:00 pm and while the parking lot was small, I was able to find a spot up front. As we walked up to the door there was no security to request identification. I walked in and looked around to find a comfortable area to sit and decided to sit at a high-top table close to the bar where I could have a clear line of sight to the register and the bar well. We sat down and after about two minutes I could notice that I was recognized but not greeted.

I walked up to the bar and I was greeted by ***.  I ordered a Whiskey and Ginger Ale and a Blue Moon. I was never ID’d and I was told she needed a card to start a tab. As she turned around I asked her to use Crown Royal. She was very positive in her demeanor and happy to make the drinks. She mentioned that she would bring my drinks to the table so I sat down and she came to the table with the drinks.  The bottle of Crown Royal had a free pouring spout and from my experience, the count was at a 10.  Almost 2 1/2 times the amount required for this cocktail. The ice was floating right around the top due to so much liquor in the drink. It was almost too strong to drink. My friend and I sat at the table for close to 20-30 minutes and not once were we approached by any of the girls working there. There were probably around 10-12 customers who all seemed to be regulars from the way the girls interacted with them.

So after our first drinks ****  came to the table and asked if we would like some shots so we decided to do a round of Fireball. I also ordered a Yuengling bottle and my friend ordered another Blue Moon.  After we sat there and finished our beers we decided to play a game of pool and asked if we could get another round. She came to the table with both of our drinks along with another Crown and Ginger that I didn’t ask for. I could tell she knew I didn’t want it so she just told me I could have it on the house. Both of the cocktails that were brought to us were extremely high in alcohol content. Even more so than the first cocktail.

After we played pool, I asked the bartender if I could have $20 in $1’s that I could put on my tab. She was happy to do it and just told me she could re-adjust it on my check through the tip. After mingling with some of the girls in there I approached *** and asked for my check but asked if I could pay it in cash instead. She said that was fine. She came back to me and said that my tab was $57 and I asked for a receipt which she then told me she couldn’t give me one and that she had it all written down. Overall the bartender were pleasant and accommodating but clearly unsupervised from a liquor cost stand point as noted not only with myself, but with other patron’s I watched her serve.

Detailed Waitstaff Service Reporting – See below


8:32~ *** approached the table without giving us her name initially. My friend and I ordered vodka/tonic and gin/tonic . *** did up-sell by asking if we wanted any special kind of vodka or gin but she did not recommend a brand. 8:36 ~she returned, I asked her name and she politely responded. She did not ask if we were eating, we picked up the menu to inspect condition. I’m assuming she saw us with it open so she came back to see if we wanted to order.

8:45~I ordered the potato skins.

8:52~ She came back to see if we wanted a 2nd round. We weren’t ready. 8:54~Food was delivered by a different person who left quickly without greeting us or ask if we needed anything else. It happened over my right shoulder so quickly that I didn’t even see their face. The food was undercooked.

~8:59 no one checked on us.

~9:01 we were checked on by ****, received the salt and pepper we needed. **** asked if we wanted 2nd round of drinks.   **** was attentive with clearing the table and kept the cocktail napkins fresh. She also cleared any articles on the table that was not necessary (a cocktail straw, the sword from garnishing) I left table quickly to observe the ordering by **** and pour of our drinks by the male bartender at the first bar on left. Bartenders were observed over and under pouring. The glass was ½ ice, 8 count of Tangueray, splash tonic. Vodka was poured from well, 8 count. Female bartender, later found out her name was ****, under poured, 2 count, very quick, 1 to 1 ½ ounce. They received payment, register order and returning to patron. No unusual activity noted with cash payments. Serving stations had plastic drink ware with lids and straws.

Drinks had been delivered when I returned to the table. Visibly see the ice melting quickly in them.

~9:06 I requested a new vodka which she politely obliged and apologized. I observed servers working diligently in a very crowded lounge area.

~9:18 was our next check-in and we asked for sour cream

~9:22 received sour cream.

~9:28 food was ready to be cleared.

~9:31 cleared table, refreshed cocktail napkins, and details of neatening up table observed.

~9:33 the same security guard who sat us by pulling out chairs sat 3 women at the table in front of us but dismissed them quickly without any of the same courtesy my female friend and I received. They were probably in their late 40’s or early 50’s and somewhat overweight.

~9:40 checked

~9:47 checked

~10:03 ordered drinks, delivered at 10:07 and spilled at 10:09 by a patron whom leaned onto our table. ***** was found and she replaced the spilled drinks very courteously.

~10:15 checked bar service with male friend who arrived. He ordered generically and did not receive the suggestion for a top-shelf liquor. The female bartender under poured, 2 count, took cash, registered sale at 7.50. Observed male bartender interacting with patrons. He didn’t appear very friendly or smile too often. Cash transactions went straight to register. Did not observe sketchy behavior or inappropriate use of tip jars. The room around the bar area was extremely crowded.


During a restroom visit I asked two women how their evening was. One lady gave me the name of her server, *****(not sure on spelling) and she was very happy with the service received. A very intoxicated woman couldn’t give me the name of her server but she said “love it here, drinks are nice and strong.” I would have to concur.

I stayed at the bar to enjoy the atmosphere, although very smoky, and music. During the time that I danced **** the guard was observing dance floor and began picking up broken glass off the floor. He was diligent about picking up several small pieces. **** remained attentive to our table. The check was not brought until I specifically asked for it even though we had not ordered in over an hour.

Poor service, free drinks, over pouring, group ringing, under charged — All in a night’s work



B 1

We walked into the bar and found open seats at the bar section. We waited there for 10 minutes before being approached & greeted by this bartender. After she greeted us, I asked if there was any specials, she said no. We ordered 2 vodka/Oj’s, however she did not check preference nor upsell. She made the drink using the proper glass & poured a 6 count on both. She asked if I wanted to start a tab after serving, I gave her my card to start it. We ordered a round with this bartender & closed out the tab around 116AM. She did not wish us a good night after closing out the tab. Tipped $7 She did not offer a menu, nor attempt to upsell

During our time, we observed this bartender over pour on 60% of the drinks she served with 5/6 counts. I observed her giving away free drinks and shots. In one instance, 4 people came in which she waved at & gave the thumbs up to. She then grabbed 4 beers and sat them over on the service bar area to which the party of 4 came around and got them. Later with the same 4 people, she prepared 5 shots, 4 for them and 1 for herself which she drank with them. I did not see her ring up anything for them, nor start a tab for them. She was not ringing up drinks nor updating tabs immediately after serving. My tab was incorrect and undercharged compared to what was ordered. Even if a tab was marked, we aren’t sure that it was updated because our tab was marked but the drink wrote down on it was not on the final tab.

B 2

During our time, we noted her to over pour on 50% of drinks. Because the other bartender did not come back to check on us, we had to place a food order with her. We ordered & About 5 mins later, we were brought our food. Turns out the order was wrong, we were served *** instead of **. She apologized for the mix up, sent the order back and comped another round of drinks on her. We saw her give away 4 sex on beach’s and 1 white wine to 5 of her friends who had come in. I did not see her ring up those drinks. As with the other bartender, I can’t say that she kept each tab properly updated, because 2 out of 4 rounds of drinks that we ordered did not make it on to our final tab.

For services at your bar/nightclub call us at 770-295-9586 to get started

#Atlanta #atlantabartheft #bartender #bartheft #alcohol ##theft #mysteryshop #secretshoopper #barspotter #barcheck #money #business

Major Overpouring – Free Drinks – Free Bottle?? – Atlanta Report Excerpt.


B-1 (Positioned to the far left) – Approached her for my first order. She did not have a nice demeanor, no smile, kept a straight almost stoic, like she didn’t want to be there. I ordered a vodka/diet coke, she asked what type I wanted, She over poured the shot to 7-8 count. During our time observing her, she did not interact with patrons. She rang in every drink order after making it. We noted that she over poured every shot/drink that she poured with a 6-9 count. We did not note her giving away free drinks, or pocketing money. Her issue is overserving patrons, she over pours too much, thus increasing the alcohol costs of the business.

B-2  She had a pleasant demeanor, she smiled when provoked, however she did not interact with patrons very much. She rang in orders after serving drinks. We did not note her pocketing any money nor giving away free drinks. We did note that she also overpoured drinks to 6-8 count per shot/mixed drinks.

B3  (Positioned to the right side of bar) Very pleasant demeanor, outgoing, smiled and interacted with customers. She seemed to serve the more patrons than the other 2 while there. She was the only one to offer a menu and a drink menu. I started a tab with her and she asked for my ID as well. She rang in and processed most drink orders after serving them. However I noted that she also over poured with a 6-9 count. Also at 1234am, I noted that she handed bottle of Grey Goose to a patron in a brown shirt w/ a hat on, and allowed him to pour his own shot in 3 cups that were on the table. He proceed to pour a 8 count in all 3 glasses. After he had handed the bottle back, she did not ring up his drinks. Again at 1240, the same gentlemen came back and she allowed him to do it again without ringing it up. .

For services at your bar/nightclub call us at 770-295-9586 to get started

#Atlanta #atlantabartheft #bartender #bartheft #alcohol ##theft #mysteryshop #secretshoopper #barspotter #barcheck #money #business

Atlanta Report Excerpt – Drinking on the job, Free drinks, Overpouring, theft


Bartender 1

Within 15 minutes of arrival, we noted that she comped a older gentlemen with a beer & mixed drink, then did a shot with him. We noted during our time, that she overpoured on over 60-70% of her drinks poured with a 6-8 count. She also did not immediately enter transactions into the POS. One instance, when a patron handed her cash after getting a drink, she entered something into the POS but the drawer did not open. We observed her take the cash & put into the tip drawer. We noted her doing another 5 shots in addition to the one listed above. We also noted her comping 2 other patrons as well.

Bartender 2

He worked more of the middle of the bar to the end further from us. He was noted doing alteast 4 shots with various patrons. His pours were heavy (6-8 counts) on atleast 50% of his drinks served. He was did not immediately record transactions into the POS.

Bartender 3

He worked the on the other end of the bar. We noted him as having the least integrity issues. He consistently poured 4 count drinks with an occasional 6 count. He also recorded transactions immediately after serving drinks. He operated within the standard operational procedures. No issues here

For services at your bar/nightclub call us at 770-295-9586 to get started

#Atlanta #atlantabartheft #bartender #bartheft #alcohol ##theft #mysteryshop #secretshoopper #barspotter #barcheck #money #business

Atlanta Report Excerpt – Drinking 6 shots on the Job! Overpouring, Free Drinks…..


After entrance, we chose open seats on the right end of the bar. It took 3-4 minutes before being acknowledged by any bartender. She came over & without mentioning her name, solicited our drink order. We ordered 2 Grand Mimosa’s. There was a delay in getting the drinks because she was unsure how to make them, she went to ask another bartender how to prepare it then came back to do so. She over poured the champagne portion of drink, thus she had to underpour the orange juice & the Grand Marnier (barely a 2 count)

After serving the drinks, she asked if I wanted to start a tab, which I did, I handed her my card, without checking my ID to verify if I was the owner of the card, she placed it near the POS system. She came back to see how the drinks were, I told her it was light on the Grand Marnier. She apologized and offered me an additional shot glass of GM(3count pour). At approx 1130, I observed her texting on her cell phone which sat next to the POS. Shortly after, I observed her do a shot with a patron. When she came to check on us, I told her to pick her favorite shot and Id purchase it-  to which she obliged. Noticed later on the check that she actually charged me for 3 shots instead of 2.

We later ordered 2 vodka/diet cokes. There was no attempts to upsell as she just grabbed the house vodka. She poured a 6 count on the first glass & a 4 count on the 2nd. Later I ordered a glass of Grand Marnier on the rocks. She also poured that a 6 count as well. Noted on the check that I was not charged for that drink.

Through out our time there, we noted that she over poured 60-70% of her drinks w/ 6-8 counts. She also did not immediately record transactions in the POS after serving which we believe led to our tab & most likely others being incorrect. In addition to the 2 shots mentioned above, she was observed doing 4 more shots with other patrons. She also was observed comping 1 individual with a beer and mixed drink, and a party of 5 people with all receiving a drink and a shot. She had a very pleasant attitude.

Contact  – 770 295 9586 to cut your loss & increase profit immediately.

#Atlanta #lossprevention #bartheft #atlantabartheft #employeetheft #mysteryshopper #secretshopper #barspotter #Atlantabarspotter  #theft #atlantanightlife

Atlanta Report Excerpt – Stealing, Overpouring, Possible Dramshop, Delayed rings, Grouping orders


In our observation of ***, we noted that he was lax in his bartending operations. He delayed ringing in drinks immediately after serving. His pours were consistently heavy – to the tune of 5 counts per drink. He also left from behind the counter numerous times, leaving opportunities for walkouts & he did not secure tabs with a credit card, considering the traffic coming over from the nearby bar.. He continued to serve an obviously over-intoxicated patron, which could have caused a dram shop issue. However we observed the patron’s friends taking him out and getting in a cab. At 9:58pm, we noted what was the first of 3 “No Sales” that *** rang on the till. The first time, he opened up the till to make change for a server. The second time, around 10pm, he opened up the till and started counting some money, looking around to see if anyone was looking, folded up the money at put it in his pocket. The 3rd time was around 10:05pm, when ** opened the till to make change for a customer.

*** was very outgoing, however he shared numerous complaints with us, which one was he did not get a break to eat and that he was tired.

Upon leaving, I used my credit card to pay the tab, which was correct.

For services at your bar/nightclub call us at 770-295-9586 to get started

#Atlanta #bartender #bartheft #alcohol ##theft #mysteryshop #secretshoopper #barspotter #barcheck #money #business

Atlanta Report Excerpt – Overpouring, Free drinks, grouping orders

*** was the bartender on duty this night. Upon taking our seats at the bar, it took almost 4-5 minutes approx. before he solicited our drink orders – he did not introduce himself by name nor asked if it was our first time there. He did offer both drink and food menu’s for us to look over.

The first thing we noticed was that at least 90-95% of the bottles on the bar did not have pour spouts – which means that free pours can be either over or under poured thus costing the business losses in money or customers. We ordered 2 Vodka/Cranberry’s & watched ** pour at least a 5-6 count of alcohol to finish the drink. Upon tasting the drink, it was extremely over poured – so much so that they we didn’t finish them -they were just too strong. We ordered chips w/salsa & a bowl of soup. We were not asked for payment or if we wanted to start a tab. Our orders were not immediately rung in afterwards, nor were any of the other patrons around us.

The 2nd thing noticed was that till area is super cluttered, with receipts, tabs & other papers. The tip bucket was kept right next to the register, further creating opportunities for theft. ** also kept a cell phone or calculator on the till, thus creating another opportunity for theft via an accounting system to keep track of how much the register can be over or under.   Also noted was the till drawer was never fully closed after transactions (see photo).

In our observation of **, he was very lax in his bartending operations. He delayed ringing in drinks immediately after serving. His pours were very inconsistent, he either under/over poured especially with bottles that had no pour spout. He left from behind the counter numerous times, leaving the till drawer open. Not sure how he was able to keep track of tabs without missing anything because of the delayed ringing.  Point being, although our tab was correct, I can guarantee with the system in which he bartends, he most certainly has not charged for drinks in some instances. He was observed giving shots & food away to another couple at the bar and not ringing it up. After his girlfriend arrived, he made her a margarita (over pouring during the process) & gave it to her. After a few sips, she tells him that she wants a glass of wine instead.   He proceeds to pour her a glass of wine and then dumped out the margarita in the sink. He did not ring up her drink then or any other drinks she had. Also noticed that he tended to favor his regulars, with attention & extra alcohol.

Upon leaving, I paid the tab in cash. I watched as ** rang in the order, but did not tender the exact change. He gave me back $76 after giving him a $100 on a $24.48 tab.

#Atlanta #bartheft #bartenders #mysteryshopping #barspot #employeetheft #theft #secretshopper #nightclubs #bars #mysteryshop #undercover #atlantabarspotting #atlantabarspotter  #lossprevention

Atlanta report excerpt – Free drinks, Overpouring, Stealing


Bartender 3 approached us within 1 minute to take our drink order. I ordered a vodka/diet coke & a straight vodka on the rocks. He did not ask preference or attempt to upsell. While making our drinks, he poured a 6 count on both, but made a mistake on one by putting cranberry juice in 1 instead of diet coke. After I pointed it out, he sat that glass to the side and make the drink correctly. After serving the drinks, he did not give me a price, nor did he ask if I wanted to start a tab. At any time when he left behind the bar, we could have walked out without paying. He also delayed ringing in drinks and grouped them together like the other bartenders observed. He like the others, tended to over pour drinks to a 6 count. Around 10:45 PM, a female patron was about to leave, he told her she didn’t have to pay for her drinks if she gave him a kiss – She gave him a kiss & didn’t have to pay for the drink. Around 11:30 approx, he was observed putting 2-3 dollars into his breast pocket, which we believe it was tip money. When it came time for another drink, he gave us the drink that he had accidently poured cranberry in for free. When it was time to leave, the tab was missing the cranberry/vodka drink.

On Saturday at the front bar, his pour counts averaged 5-6 as well. We were seated at a booth near the front bar & ordered a vodka/diet coke & vodka/O.J. he did not ask for preference or attempt to upsell. Upon receiving our bill, noticed that he gave us Ciroc (premium) & charged us for it although we didn’t request it. As the night went on, he made 2 additional drinks – 1 we were not sure of & 1 BM, which we were not charged for.   Out of the bartenders observed, he was the most outgoing of all.

#Atlanta #bartheft #bartenders #mysteryshopping #barspot #employeetheft #theft #secretshopper #nightclubs #bars #mysteryshop #undercover #atlantabarspotting #atlantabarspotter  #lossprevention