On the 19th of July 2021 in what many dubbed ‘freedom day’, the UK’s final lockdown restrictions were lifted, permitting nightclub bars to finally join pub and restaurant bars in welcoming in thirsty customers.
While customer safety will continue to be at the top of bar operators’ agendas for some time yet, so will profit-recovery and growth.
Pubs, restaurants and nightclubs bar managers able to run operations safely and soundly around strong covid-infection protocols will also have to contend with getting core business basics like bar inventory management right.
What exactly will that entail? And how can bar operators take the sting out of getting back into profitable business practices?
Common Bar Inventory Management Errors to Avoid
Before we unpack what it is to do bar inventory management right, let's set a few examples of how it’s possible to do bar inventory management oh so wrong.
Too much team involvement in bar inventory management:
For calculating bar inventory usage accurately and consistently, too many cooks really do spoil the broth because:
- It becomes harder to count bar inventory consistently at the same time of the day, week, month (however frequently you’ve decided to count bar inventory)
- Too much team involvement can also create a culture of admin that might impact the core mission and mindset of serving the customer.
Too little team involvement in bar inventory management:
Too little team involvement in your bar inventory management process will have an equally poor impact on your post ‘freedom day’ profit and growth prospects because:
- Not involving your team in hard business processеs means they won’t fully appreciate its importance and the beneficial role they can play to growth
- Not including your bar people in monitoring and optimising business success metrics can breed poor habits of bar waste, inefficiency and even theft
The key to team involvement when developing a bar inventory management strategy is to select senior team members who earn the right to take on BIM responsibilities as part of their progression.
Those team members in turn can help create a culture of advocacy and efficiency that will build collective efficiency that will help protect profits as you finally find your way beyond lockdown woes, back to full profitability and growth.
Growyze can help you say ‘bye bye’ to pen and paper, and strike the right balance of bar inventory management team involvement.
Get two months free. Get the growyze bar management app on the phones of bar inventory management advocates. They’ll never make a bar-inventory usage error again.
How to Get Bar Inventory Management Right Post Lockdown
Every drop will count for pulling away from ‘freedom day’ back toward healthy bar profits and growth. Your starting point to efficient bar inventory management will be efficient bar inventory usage calculations.
What is bar inventory usage?
It may sound like a silly question to our audience, but it’s been a while! You’ll be forgiven for being a little rusty. Also, you may have new pairs of hands managing things, so it’s worth recapping.
Essentially, bar inventory is the process of counting your bar stock twice at two different points in time.
With those numbers you can figure out your inventory usage:
Here’s the inventory usage formula:
Inventory Usage = Starting Inventory + Received Product Inventory – Ending Inventory
Then, inventory usage in turn can help you calculate tons of other useful business metrics that help you make profitable decisions.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it can be for bar operators savvy enough to go from paper to app in their approach to collecting bar inventory management metrics. Try growyze for 30 days for free.
How to calculate bar inventory usage properly
There are four main things to think about when calculating bar inventory usage:
- When you do it (the period you’re calculating for)
- The quantities of bar products ordered
- The starting quantities of bar products (bottles, cartons etc) in the period you’re calculating for
- The end quantities of bar products in the period you’re counting for
Capturing the bar inventory usage reliably and frequently will give you a solid foundation from which you can make better ordering, efficiency, menu and waste decisions as the business starts to get busier.
Bar inventory management best practices
Be consistent: Start at the same point in the same room each and choose a set frequency to do stock take that you’ll then stick to religiously.
Train teams: Have your team read and understand content like this article. Even if they won’t all be doing bar inventory calculations, teach them how anyway, in case they need to pick up the slack from others.
Never guess: Doing stocktake by eye takes years of experience. Try to keep your measurements as accurate as possible. For beer, consider using a ‘keg wrench’ or beer-keg checker that will help accurately calculate your beer stock.
Let’s Hope the Worst Is Over!
Not all bars have made it through the pandemic turbulence intact. If you’re reading this, chances are you have! Well done and keep going - check out our Guides page for more advice and content like this.
Book a demo and try the growyze bar management app to help you increase your profit and reduce profit leaks.