Properly managing bar inventory is paramount to success. More than just keeping enough alcohol on hand, efficient tracking of inventory shows financial performance, product variance, provides information to calculate pour costs and shows which items sell and which ones don’t.
Learning how to do liquor inventory is the first step to bar success.
On a basic level, you will need to know a few pieces of information to calculate inventory usage. For a given inventory period, you need to know how much stock there was in the beginning, the end, and how much you received during said period. Add your starting inventory and received inventory together, subtract ending inventory and you will be left with your usage for that period. This metric allows you to further dive into inventory management.
These inventory tips should be kept in mind moving forward:
- Consistently take count. If you work from the top down, always work from the top down.
- Set consistent inventory periods.
- Settle on a method. Some prefer to do this alone while others have help.
- Only take inventory while the bar is closed so nothing is added or removed.
- Employees should be trained in inventory counting. Something as little as recording a broken bottle can be costly in the long run.
Now you are ready to take inventory at a bar and these next steps will be your guide.
- Whether you use a handwritten list, spreadsheet, or specific software, arrange the spreadsheet how your bar is arranged. Alphabetical inventory sheets may not be the most efficient.
- Include the type, brand, name, and bottle size. Also, label where the alcohol is kept: bar back, storeroom, walk-in or any other location where you keep inventory.
- When estimating the amount in a bottle, use tenths.
- Repeat the estimation process for each bottle you have in inventory.
- Total the amounts according to category and repeat this process at the end of your desired inventory period. These two will give you your starting and ending inventory.
During your inventory period, be diligent about noting all products taken in via invoices and sold via your POS system. Then, using the received inventory, follow the formula at the beginning of this article to find total usage.
With an accurate usage metrics, you will be one step closer to higher profits and more efficient operations. Pricing of drinks will become more accurate and profitable and you will decrease waste while ordering and it all starts with learning how to do liquor inventory.
Most importantly, implementing a liquor inventory system guarantees you meet the needs of your customers. Happy customers who return to your bar keep you running, so their preferences matter! Knowing which liquors are most popular is valuable information and can lead to an even bigger revenue stream by implementing drink specials with those particular types and brands of liquor. Doing liquor inventory is another way to ensure your guests have an enjoyable drinking experience and come back in the future.
Improving your liquor inventory is only part of it. When it comes to furthering the success of your bar, pairing this new strategy with the services provided by Glimpse is the best option. Their video analysis software and informative reports highlight weaknesses in your day-to-day operations. You will gain information on the individual performance of each employee, catch potential theft and better manage your alcohol waste. Contact Glimpse today to decrease waste, increase profits and create a streamlined bar from top-to-bottom.