Between staff and supply issues, Covid and inflation on top of maintaining customer service standards, most operators have not had time in the past two years to sift through masses of data.
However, according to McCarthy, paying attention to it could lead to higher profits.
Speaking at the MA Leaders Club event at Fabric nightclub in Farringdon, London, on Thursday (24February), McCarthy explained small changes could make a big difference.
Based on pre-covid (2017-2019) data from 3,000 sites and 22,000 stock takes, McCarthy explained by implementing these small changes, some pubs have already increased yield by 3% over two and a half years.
She said: “We all want to forget about the past two years
“Going back and seeing the amount of beer that was poured away or wasted was heart-breaking, it was devastating.
“We wanted to look at a time pre-Covid when we didn’t have these challenges and look at incremental changes.”
The little changes included comparing brand flavours by sales figures and replacing only the most popular stock, rather than multiple flavours of different drinks, and asking staff to not top up drinks, for example pints of beer, for free.
McCarthy urged publicans to look at their data and use it to make improvements and review policies in order to increase yield, calling it a useful “benchmarking tool”.
However, the biggest impact, she explained, was waste.
McCarthy said: “A lot of people, day to day, will say [they] record wastage, which is fantastic.
“If you want to impact your bottom line, wastage isn’t writing a list, the point of wastage reports is so you can do something about it, it gives you operational insight; what training do you need to do with staff? What practices do you need to review?”
Minimise gap between profits and costs
McCarthy told those who attended the MA Leaders Club event of how one glass cost a pub three wasted drinks.
She explained how a glass with a lipstick stain on the rim had been used, returned by the customer and the drink poured away in lieu of a new drink and glass.
However, the bartender did not wipe the glass before placing it in the glass cleaner, which happened twice more before the glass was wiped and how had it been done the first time, the pub would not have wasted those drinks.
McCarthy added: “The more you dig into the data, the more that will be there.
“One thing that is really clear, for this year, is there is going to be a gap between profits and costs and all I want to say is look at your data, because there might some small changes which could really minimise that margin.”