Bar Inventory Management Tips
These Bar Inventory Management Tips are the most important aspects of the inventory process. If you lack in one of these areas then most likely the results will be jargon and make no sense.
• Get organized
• Have a process
• Be methodical
• Be consistent
• Double check your work
• Hold managers accountable
Developed and uses this process serving over 30 bars in the Houston area.
If you’re not sure where your product is located then how do you expect to get an accurate count? Of these Bar Inventory Management Tips, this is the number one error associated with the inventory process. Stock rooms, Bars and storage areas should be well organized in a manner to easily identify products by category and type and stored in a way to allow easy counting. Products received should be put away in the appropriate location and Invoices collected and stored in a central area so the auditor can collect them. This is the number two error associated with the inventory process, missed or lost invoices! I cannot stress enough this critical aspect of being well organized. The more organized you are the easier and faster your task of inventory will be.
Have a process
Your organization should have written policies that outline the handling and storage of products, and the handling of deliveries and invoices.
I like to refer to this as have a method to the madness. Many times, Inventories are conducted by different staff with different skill levels. It is important to develop a system of inventory specific for your bar based off the volume of products you have and layout of your facility. This may take several inventories to nail down the most efficient way to complete an inventory. Determine your order and the process for inventory. Which locations to inventory first and the process of proceeding through the stock rooms or areas. Example- Inventory products in stock room “A” from left to right, top to bottom which correlate to your inventory sheet. Then proceed to Stock area “B” etc.…
Once you have developed the most efficient process, ensure all auditors are performing the inventories the same way. You can go as far as writing a policy that outlines the inventory process.
Double check your work
Even with all the controls, policies and training in place, mistakes will happen. To narrow down the most common ones, it is a good practice to double check your report on site. Look for discrepancies on your report and re-count those products in question.
Hold Managers accountable
You hire a manager to manage your bar, staff, inventory and sales. These duties certainly fall under a manager’s job description. Many owners that use our Full Service Providers, hire and fire staff and managers based off our reports and in the same token, reward.
Hold staff accountable to ringing up the correct POS sales key for what was poured. This is the most frequent problem identified with our software. Pouring Crown and ringing well bourbon that indirectly solicits larger tips is a common occurrence with many of our customers. Some bolder bartenders will bring in their own liquor or even refill empty bottles with inferior product. Our software will pick this up as well.
If you focus on these Bar Inventory Management Tips as we just covered, you will be running accurate meaningful reports in no time.
Other Bar Inventory Management Tips
Set your Par
An inventory Par refers to a minimum amount of inventory which you would like to have on hand at all times. Set pars have tremendous value if done properly. With a set par you typically should never run out of any items or forget to order any items. By utilizing a set par you’ll simply replenish what you used during a specific period, which helps to improve cash flow provided that you have your cost under control. Our software allows you to easily identify product used during the current inventory period to re-order and provides a comprehensive Purchase ordering module with Vendor and invoice management features.
The more volume you do, the more you should inventory your items. I know that inventory is time consuming and boring; however, it must be done. The sooner you know about the problem, the sooner you can react to it. If you feel that you have a serious inventory problem, you might consider daily inventory to narrow down the cause.
Policy and Procedures
Make it clear to your staff what your policy and procedures are. Don’t be afraid to let your staff know that you will prosecute anyone caught stealing.
Control your pours
Train your bartenders to free pour. Although there are many bartenders who do an excellent job at free pouring, there’s many more who can’t. Practice and verify pours with a measuring container. Re-train as necessary.
Review your prices periodically. Don’t be afraid to put your retail prices in line with your competition and make sure you have a well mix of products. Keep in mind, you best profits are with well products.