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Bar Inventory for Dummies: Beware of the Pitfalls of the Clipboard Method (Part 1)

While it may not be the most exciting or glamorous task you must perform, taking bar inventory is nonetheless one of the most important. When bar inventory is performed properly using a sophisticated inventory system, you will be able to address specific problems and maximize the profitability of your bar.

There are several purposes of performing bar inventory:

• To know what needs to be ordered
• To measure the performance of your bar and bartenders
• To provide precise, actionable data about the performance of specific products in order to maximize profits

Bar-i has been providing professional liquor inventory services to restaurants and bars nationwide for more than 5 years. We currently have over 60 clients and perform more than 100 inventory audits per month. This experience has allowed us to work with a broad cross-section of establishments that have encountered a wide range of issues with the bar inventory process. We would like to share our wisdom with you in order to help you to better understand how to make the most of the bar inventory process.

The Problem with Using an Outdated Bar Inventory System

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Traditionally, bar inventory has typically been performed on a monthly basis using a clipboard. If your bar still uses the clipboard method, you aren’t getting the information necessary to optimize the performance of your bar.

While the clipboard method provides sufficient information to help you with ordering products, it is lacking in many other ways. Common problems associated with using a clipboard for your bar inventory include:

Lacks granularity – The information you receive is too inaccurate to measure performance. All the information is lumped into 1 figure – overall liquor cost – as opposed to having data which tells you exactly what you were missing. Therefore, if you were missing 20 shots of Fireball last inventory period, you would have no way to obtain this important information.

Inaccurate and flawed decision data – There are many opportunities for human error, particularly counting errors, when using the clipboard method.

Results are often delayed – By the time you’ve spotted an error, it becomes difficult to correct the problem due to the time lag in the process.

No detailed integration to sales data – Sales data is included in the system to calculate percentage costs, but it is included in categories such as “liquor” or “draft beer.” However, you really need sales data for individual products, not just categories, so that you can determine how many shots of Fireball were sold compared to how many were actually poured.

bar inventory Fireball shots

Difficult to spot and resolve errors – Let’s look at an example of a situation where you may get a very large order of Jack Daniels, and you are forced to put a case of it in an unusual spot in the bar due to storage space issues. If the bartender forgets to count this case when doing inventory, it will significantly impact your liquor cost. These types of errors are very difficult to identify using the clipboard system.

In order to avoid these issues, you will need to use a sophisticated liquor inventory system that will provide you with the actionable data necessary to improve your bar’s performance. Bar-i’s hybrid liquor inventory system combines the cost effectiveness of do-it-yourself systems with the exceptional user experience of a full service system, providing you with an easy way to reduce shrinkage, lower your liquor cost, and maximize profits.

To find out how our liquor inventory system can benefit your bar and help you maximize profits, please contact Bar-i today to schedule a free consultation. We provide services to bars nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.
 

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Topics: Libation Information

  
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