Heya hiyas. From my experience, most restaurants and brewpubs do not track their beer spillage. Hell, most restaurants don't track anything. I have never seen anyone use those inline flowmeters, but I've always assumed that large places (like in Las Vegas) use them.
At my last place, we tracked it weekly, and if it became a problem, we could track it daily for troubleshooting. Things to look out for:
- Openness. Let your bartenders know the current beer spillage, and because they are good honest people, they'll know when to 'tighten up', or offer suggestions on solutions.
- Secrecy. Sometimes you should not tell your bartenders if you are tracking daily, as it could tip them off.
- Free pints. Let your bartenders pour X number of free pints daily. If you make that number 0, you may be setting unrealistic goals for your bartender. Free pints need to be entered into the POS system.
- Beer accounting. This includes large, small, sampler, growlers, and kitchen use.
- Beer pour lines. Make sure your bartenders pour the same amount of head consistently by using glassware with pour lines.
- Foam overload. Fix pouring problems promptly.
- Bottled beer. Track bottles separately from the taps.
- Calculating accuracy. When counting kegs, round to the 0.5 or 0.25 or 0.1, but if you have a lot of kegs, make sure you calculate your theoretical plus/minus accuracy. If your goal is 14%, and at the end of the week you find spillage is 17%, that may be okay if your plus/minus is 4%.