Any bar owner or manager knows, maintaining a rock-solid and frequent bar inventory process is a must for profit growth.
But let’s be honest. Some establishments are more diligent and consistent about it than others. Too often, bar inventory falls by the wayside amid the late-night closing up stress after a whirlwind service.
Why Doing Bar Inventory Properly Really, Really Matters?
The most obvious reason for doing bar inventory accurately and frequently? So you know how much stock you have to keep the drinks flowing and serve thirsty mouths—that much is obvious.
Beyond that, measuring bar inventory helps:
- know the pour-cost of each drinks product
- track which drinks products sell well and which don’t
- keep tabs on (and reduce) shrinkage
- measure overall financial performance
and all that other good stuff that protects profit and growth.
So, What Does Doing Bar Inventory (Properly) Look Like In Practice?
A lot of content gets written about ‘how to do bar inventory’. A lot of that content will tell you the ‘simplest’ way of doing it is using good ol’ pen and paper.
Pen and paper is certainly simple—but it’s not effective. Besides, it takes more time and is more prone to data-loss than other methods.
Want a simpler, effective, faster and accurate bar inventory process? Put down the pen and paper.
Try the Growyze bar inventory app free for 30 days with no credit card needed. If you forget, we won’t bill you a penny.
Once you’ve downloaded the Growyze app, come back to this guide and pick up where you left off.
Ok, I’ve gone paperless! How should I do my bar inventory?
Whatever paperless bar-inventory process you’re using, the first thing you’ll need to do is find out how much liquor inventory your pub or bar needs to operate.
To get the right liquor inventory figures, you’ll need to know:
- Quantity of liquor stock at the start of the inventory period
- Quantity of stock received during this period
- Quantity of liquor stock at the end of the inventory period
If you’re using a paperless stocktake method that’s as smart as Growyze, you should be able to measure stock quantities in no time.
With the Growyze bar inventory app, it’s as simple as snapping a photo on your phone.
Once you have those figures, just plug them into this liquor inventory formula
Starting inventory + received inventory — ending inventory = usage
You don’t even need to do this calculation manually if you’re using Growyze. It does all the hard work for you and keeps your business metrics on a smart dashboard.
Now you have a clear idea of what your liquor usage is, and how much liquor your bar owns—keeping a handle on these two core metrics is the fundamental basis for making smarter bar profitability decisions.
How Can I Make Sure to Keep Liquor Inventory Data Accurate & Consistent?
Doing the above calculation once isn’t enough to maintain bar profitability. You need to do it often and consistently accurately. Bar-growth is the net result of long-term diligence.
To achieve that long-term diligence you’ll need to:
1. Use the same method & period:
Run liquor inventory calculations for the same period, using the same method. Best after you’ve closed, when drinks aren’t flying around, to avoid confusion and miscounting.
2. Get the team involved in paperless stocktake:
Train all staff equally in liquor inventory. With Growyze, everyone in the team can be using our bar-inventory app at the same time to do liquor stocktake on their phones at the same time, with equal accuracy. One in the bar, one in the cellar, one in the kitchen.
3. Keep a schedule and stick to it:
Accuracy of liquor inventory won’t count unless you actually get on and do it with the same regularity. That’s how you build up the right data over time to measure bar profitability and make better stock and ordering decisions, so build the task into regular workflows and make sure it’s not neglected!
Did You Know? Growyze Alerts Your Suppliers When They Slip Up with Deliveries
Suppliers don’t always get it right. If your liquor stock delivered vs liquor stock ordered isn’t right, it might mess up your bar inventory figures.
Luckily, Growyze automatically cross references orders vs delivery data and lets you know if you need to have a word with your supplier to correct delivery discrepancies.
Try the Growyze bar inventory app with no credit card needed. If you forget, we won’t bill you a penny.