BEVERAGE STOCK MAINTENANCE
How to inspect your cellars and what to do when things go wrong.
The maintenance of stock is crucial if you are to avoid losing profits in spoilt stock and avoid the costly mistake of non-compliance to the Health and Safety Regulations. In order to effectively maintain your beverage stock it is important that you carry out regular inspections on your cellar and that you identify and report problems immediately in order to get them rectified.
In this article Barkeeper provides you with guidelines for inspecting your cellar and suggested actions to take to rectify problems that can occur in the hospitality industry. Use the following to help put your mind at ease, and be confident that your stock is being well maintained at all times.
Inspecting the cellar
Inspection of storage areas is a critical function of importance to ensure compliance to Health and Safety Regulation and implementation of storage procedures. The following is an ideal guideline for procedures to follow when inspecting your cellar and storage areas.
1. Inspections should always be carried out with staff members responsible for maintaining storage areas and dispensing bar.
2. Start at one side of the door and work around, ending at the other side of the door.
3. Work from top to bottom and check cleanliness of ceilings, fittings, shelves, doors and locks.
4. Check condition and state-of-repair of lights, fittings, shelves, doors, and locks.
5. Check maintenance of temperatures, i.e.:
a. cold rooms not higher than 7 Celcius
b. cellars not higher than 15 Celcius
c. dispensing bar not higher than 18 Celcius
6. Check that seals on the fridge’s and cold room door are in good conditions
7. Check for:
b. pest infestation
c. insect droppings…etc
d. clear marks
e. storage smells
8. Check the manner in which drinks are stored, i.e.:
a. beer and drinks on crates or pallets
b. wine on their side
c. spirits and liqueurs standing upright on shelves in their boxes
9. Check that nothing is stored on the floor for ease of cleaning. Store Stock on pellets to prevent damage on the event of floods or spillage as well as to prevent infestation from rodents.
10. Check bottles at random for signs of damage or leakage. Remove such bottles and place to one side.
11. Check that stock rotation procedures have been complied with, i.e. older stock moved forward; never store older stock at the back.
12. Observe the manner in which cases and individual bottle are handled. This should be done gently and carefully.
13. Check whether there is any sense of vibration – strong vibrations disturb the wine and will negatively affect the quality over a period of time.
14. Report any maintenance issues / repairs / faults to the maintenance department for corrective action and follow up
Identify, Report and Solve Problems
Identifying and reporting problems immediately to the person in charge is imperative in rectifying the problem with minimum cost to your company. The following covers situations that can occur in the beverage industry and suggests appropriate actions to take when they do.
· Report equipment problems to the Maintenance Department so that repairs can be carried out.
· Ensure that equipment is maintained correctly by implementing Preventative Maintenance procedures
· Power failures may occur from time to time, resulting in fluctuations in cellar temperature. This is bad for the wine, so it is important to ensure that the wines are protected from this as far as possible.
· Ensure that the cellar is not left open or that it is opened and closed too often during power failures as this raises the cellar temperature.
· If you are in a hot climate, the cellar should be on the back-up generator circuit so that the temperature can be maintained in the event of power failures.
Product Failure, Damage, Deterioration and Stock Losses
· Any damaged bottles or leaking bottles that suggest deterioration of the product or product loss should be set aside and recorded in the Ullage Book so that they can be included in the next stock take.
· Check that other bottles of the same product are not also damaged. If they are, action must be taken with the supplier and the stock must be replaced.
· If stock losses became apparent during the last stock take, use this opportunity to check if the storage conditions may have contributed
· In the course of your inspections, you may come across mistakes made by the Stores staff, including failure to turn equipment on as required.
· As soon as you notice this, bring it to the attention of the Store man.
· If it is a persistent problem that you have brought to the attention of the Store man several times, you may consider it appropriate to take disciplinary action.
· If you observe products being mishandled, check if this has resulted in damage to the product.
If damage has resulted, try to return the product to the supplier. If they will not accept it, you will have to write it off according to the appropriate accounting procedures. It is important to investigate the matter and possibly take disciplinary action in such an instance.
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