George Dailey has two Pubs in Oxfordshire. The Bell at Hampton Poyle and the Eyston Arms in East Hendred. He is the author of GREAT PUBS OF LONDON published
in 2016 by Prestel Publishing. This book sold out world wide in a matter of three months. It is due to be republished in July 2017 with the addition of three new Pubs. He is a regular contributor to the OXFORD TIMES limited edition magazine, and his amusing and entertaining talks on GREAT PUBS OF LONDON is much in demand.
This blog will host George’s recent articles and information regarding further speaking engagements as well as his periodic musings on life behind and in front of the bar.
George thrives on interaction, and you are most welcome to leave comments and messages.
Stocktaking is a very important part of a landlords life.
The stock or indeed the inexplicable absence of stock in many cases, is a phenomena that drives most landlords to drink, should they seek a reason. Stock shortages usually occur when you move from doing all the work yourself, to employing people to do it for you.
A typical scenario is as follows. The smiling stocktaker might tell me at the end of a quarter that, 3 gallons of bitter, 6 gallons of lager plus 4 gallons of premium lager, one bottle of champagne 14 bottles of Sauvingon, 8 bottles of Rioja, half a bottle of Southern Comfort and 2 litres of Vodka did not go through the till and is therefore, by definition, absent without leave.
Well thank you very much. I don’t remember that night?
“It is quite simple you see”…he always feels obliged to point out to you…
“It was delivered, because you signed for it, its not here now and it didn’t go through the till. So your staff drank it or they gave it away and that George is why you have a deficit of £1526.”
Of course, in the old days before computerised tills, stocktakes tended to be far less detailed and whilst you could get a pretty accurate stock result, a major stock shortage required further detailed investigation.
Many years ago, I was introduced to a Landlord of one of those vast East End London Pubs, whose name was Wally. In those days a number of Landlords like Wally were recruited from the forces. Many had seen action. They had stories to tell, they were respected and they were as a band of men, tough.
When I first got to know Wally, he was on the verge of retirement and for some reason he liked telling me stories about life behind the bar in the East End. He viewed his role then as a confidante, money lender, everybody’s friend and if necessary on rowdy nights, an enforcer! He explained to me that it was essential he knew everyone in the Pub, as it was the centre of the community and hardened criminals would often be mixing socially with unsuspecting customers. But all in all, life had been good to Wally. A new car every year and holidays to a little known island in the Mediterranean that Wally called Majorrrka!
His Pub had a massive bar with several tills and lots of bar staff. Wally was happy to be there at lunchtime but in the evenings he wanted to take it easy and often employed a Manager to run things for him.
I found myself at the bar one lunchtime chatting and joking with him about Pub life. In a moment of seriousness and a little out of character he interrupted our chat to confide in me that he had a few problems. His Bar stocks in the Pub he told me, were consistently down by around £500 a week. He told me he was going to have to bring someone in to sit at the Bar, watch the staff and try and spot the one that was stealing. On my next visit about a month later he told me what had transpired.
Apparently a private investigator had been hired and spent his first Saturday in the Pub and then reported back to Wally.
“I don’t know what to say Sir” the investigator had said to Wally.
“I sat at one end of the Bar. I drank lemonade all night and never saw a thing out of place. I watched all 5 tills very closely and I never saw any of the staff doing anything suspicious .”
“Fine” said Wally. “Thank you very much for your time, Here is your money. I will not be needing you again.”
The private eye took his money, confused as to why he was being dismissed and somewhat mystified, took his leave.
The next morning, the Manager was found outside the back of the Pub with two broken arms and a shattered till by his side. There were no witnesses.
Wally you see, only had 4 tills! The naughty manager brought his own till in from time to time to syphon off the takings! 711