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How to price bar drinks

Updated February 21, 2017

Bar drinks should be priced to maintain a steady profit margin and simplified for the staff and customers. There is no set rule when it comes to the exact price of a bar drink. A drink with identical ingredients at another establishment may have a vastly different price. Beverage pricing tiers help create a pattern that is easy to explain and understand.

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  1. Divide the cost of each bottle by the total number of fluid ounces to figure the price per ounce of each ingredient. For example, a bottle that costs £16 and holds around 709gr. would be 60p per ounce.

  2. Total the cost for the ingredients in each drink. For example, a drink containing 29.6ml. of liquor at 70 cents an ounce and 28.4gr. of liqour at 60p an ounce would have a total cost of £1.10. Multiply the price per ounce by the number of ounces the serving glass holds to set the cost.

  3. Multiply the cost by four for a 25 per cent liquor cost or five for a 20 per cent cost margin. Triple the drink cost to maintain a 67 per cent profit over alcohol cost at discount establishments and for temporary happy hour pricing. Multiply the cost by six or seven for high end restaurant and hotel bars.

  4. Round up the prices to the nearest quarter. Customers and bar staff get slowed down if they have to deal with small change.

  5. Create groups of liquors, beers and wines that have similar prices to create a two or three pricing tiers. Increase the prices of all the other drinks in each tier to the price of the most expensive drink in the group.

  6. Tip

    Temporarily reduce drink prices on individual drinks when costs decrease.

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Things You'll Need

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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.

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