Managing the inventory for any type of business is about the farthest thing from fun, but it can be particularly boring if you are doing inventory for your bar. Counting the same bottle as factoring how much is left with the ones on your rail can be both tedious and time-consuming, but alas it is a necessary evil. Fortunately, there are some tips to help you get your bar inventory done a little faster as well as some important points that will help keep in focus the reasons you need to keep accurate counts. I will cover some of these topics below to keep you on track and making the most profit possible.
Lock the Storage Room
One of the easiest ways to make managing your bar’s inventory is to keep as many items locked up as possible. Your employees can only steal or misplace the bottles they can get their hands on, so keeping as many of them away from their reach as possible can make the whole process easier. Each morning (or beginning of each shift depending on how busy you are), replenish the stock at the bar with enough bottles to ensure they will get through the entire night from the locked storage room. This way, you know exactly what has left to storage room and can use its contents when you need to reorder your bottles.
Using software to help you track your sales and inventory numbers can be very helpful in a bar setting. Fortunately, there are several companies that offer inventory software that is specially designed for bars to help them control loss and effectively make more profits. Using software can also make the counting process faster because you can see what you’re supposed to have in stock and verify the number versus doing the opposite which takes much more time.
Also, you should do pour tests to make sure your bartenders aren’t over-pouring their drinks. Some bartenders will do this to get a better tip from a customer, while others simple have bad pouring technique. Regardless of the reason they do it, every ounce of liquor that is over-poured is money out of your pockets as the bar owner.
It’s all about the Money
Besides the obvious tracking of sales and inventory to protect your investment and scheduling pour tests to make sure there isn’t waste happening throughout your bar, it is crucial that you put surveillance cameras around your business; especially on the cash drawers. Unfortunately, many bartenders will run scams where they end up pocketing much of the cash paid for drinks without ever ringing up the sale. Though nobody wants to think this about their employees, the fact remains that it happens all too often. Remember that it is your investment and they are your employees and everyone is there to make money; not rip off other members of the team.