The Shout NZ November/December 2021

Page 22


Ed Randow-Stone – Director of Customers at Lightspeed and alumnus of Sydney’s Dead Ringer, Restaurant Hubert and Rockpool Bar & Grill – shares his insights on how you can conquer your COGS, and pump up your profits this summer.


icture this: It’s a busy Saturday night in a small cocktail bar in Christchurch. A stranger walks in, takes a seat at the bar, and strikes up a conversation with the young bartender. They exchange the usual pleasantries, and chat for a while about life and what it means to each of them, before eventually the bartender gets to the business of asking what the stranger wants to drink. “Surprise me,” he says, probably the last two words you want to hear on a busy shift, but the bartender is a professional, and he prepares the stranger a drink he’s been practicing for the last few weeks, and one that he's quite proud of - a 22 THE SHOUT NZ – NOVEMBER 2021

classic Tom Collins. He gathers his ingredients (the finest money can buy), and crafts his masterpiece. The stranger takes a sip, and a smile appears on his face. “Not bad, kid,” he says. “What would you think about coming to work for me in a far-off place called ‘Australia’?” And that’s the story of how I came to land a gig behind the bar of Sydney’s Rockpool Bar & Grill, securing the job with one of the highest COGS, and lowest profit margin drinks on the menu. Had I known how much that cocktail was costing my boss, I’d have probably chosen something a little less painful to the pocket. And that got me thinking about an issue within the beverage industry that’s as rampant today

as it was back in 2010, namely how difficult it is to keep track of your COGS in an industry that’s very good at clouding them. THE COST OF HUMAN ERROR Any job that you’ve worked behind a bar has likely had the same glaring issue when it comes to your COGS. The product has the uncanny ability to simply go missing. And this can happen in a number of ways. It’s busy, you’re four-deep at the bar, and everybody’s ordering vodka, lime & sodas. Your motivation as a bartender is always going to be getting as many drinks made, and as much cash in the till, right? So it makes sense that when you’re getting slammed you’re not really concerned with

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