This pandemic has been especially challenging for the hospitality industry as venues across the US and beyond have been ordered to close. While there is no silver bullet solution, here is a list of simple things that you can do while you are closed to set your bar up for success when you reopen.
1.) Labeling and Organization - Before you dive into this, check out this blog on organizational strategies to help you figure out where to begin: https://blog.bar-i.com/10-organization-best-practices-for-effective-bar-inventory
Having clearly labeled storage areas and speed wells is important because it speeds up service and reduces the amount of time it takes to do inventory. We all put off labeling and consolidating but now is the time to get this monotonous task out of the way. Knowing where to start can be a challenge. We recommend starting with the liquor room and making a plan for old stock that is not moving. Sell it as rail or get creative and make an infusion or batched cocktail. Here is a link to help you decide if batching is right for you: https://blog.bar-i.com/to-batch-or-not-to-batchthat-is-the-question-when-it-comes-to-craft-cocktails
Once you have figured out what products you will have in your regular line-up, organize everything in neat columns with only one product per column and label everything. Here are some tips when it comes to labeling and organization: https://blog.bar-i.com/10-practical-bar-organization-tips Labeling and good organization means you can spend less time counting and ordering, and more time making drinks and money.
2.) POS Optimization and re-programming - Check out Bar-i's insight on ways you can program your POS system to be better: https://blog.bar-i.com/how-to-program-your-bars-pos-system-to-maximize-profits
Most bars and restaurants have some kind of POS system in place but many establishments neglect or incorrectly set up their POS system out of the gate. We often see generic buttons like "open bar" or "Tequila" eroding profits. Generic buttons make tracking sales impossible and can lead to bigger problems down the road. On one hand it may seem that having generic buttons will speed up service but they often do more damage than good. If you are thinking about tidying up your POS system during this downtime, here is an article that will help you understand why generic modifiers may be hurting killing your profits: https://blog.bar-i.com/are-generic-pos-modifiers-killing-your-profits
Making sure every product has a button and correct modifier will reduce the level of uncertainty when looking at a POS report but knowing where to start can be hard. We integrate with all POS systems and can answer any questions you may have when it comes to choosing a POS system. Call 970-281-7779 or 763-221-6884 and a REAL PERSON will give you a FREE CONSULTATION.
If you would like to have a conversation about what POS system would be right for your business, call now for a free consultation!
3.) Change/Update Menu
Having a seasonal/flexible menu allows you to change items when things are out of season and more expensive. Simple systematic changes like having a printable menu or wipe-able sleeves make it very easy to reprint menus and make changes on a daily basis. If you don't have a menu that is easy to change on a regular basis, it becomes hard to adapt when things are changing around you. This rule applies to both food and liquor inventory. For example: you wouldn't buy seasonal heirloom tomatoes in February just as you wouldn't buy an Oktoberfest in May so it makes sense to have a way to easily communicate that to your guests.
When it comes to draft beer, rotating selections can make you more money or sometimes make things more complicated. See our blog about seasonal draft beers and why they are important and some potential caveats: https://blog.bar-i.com/4-reasons-to-rotate-your-bars-products-on-a-seasonal-basis
4.) START DOING INVENTORY RIGHT - Here is an article on finding the right inventory system for your bar: https://blog.bar-i.com/essential-elements-of-an-advanced-liquor-inventory-system
Taking inventory is an essential element to running any successful business and not doing it on a regular basis can have a major impact on your bottom line. Almost all successful bars in the US use some kind of inventory system to monitor revenue. Our most successful clients use our granular data to make very specific and strategic decisions about their business. Luckily its really easy to get started and we have answers.
Since our business is on hold as well, we feel the impacts too. That is why now is the time for you to take advantage of our FREE SETUP offer during this pandemic. We have the virtual support and will help you every step of the way FOR FREE! All you need to do is pay for the equipment. Call 970-281-7779 or 763-221-6884 to speak to a REAL PERSON NOW.
5.) Staying a-float with take out
Take out, delivery, and curbside are the new normal for the restaurant industry and navigating the rules during the pandemic makes it all the more unappealing. Many night clubs and lounges don't sell food so they are told to hunker down and wait. Some restaurants can pay a few staff members to help out with take-out while still trying to social distance, which is nearly impossible and doesn't even pay the bills, all while putting staff at risk.
Find out what your local liquor laws are and take full advantage of them. Tell the person answering phones to try and up-sell a bottle of wine or discounted 6 pack. Everyone is being forced to get creative try and stay alive.
If for whatever reason you cannot do takeout and have a fully functioning kitchen, maybe try and donate meals to first-responders and post on social media. This way your business get positive media coverage and you feel good by helping the people working so hard to keep us safe.
We hope some of these tips will prove useful to you during these uncertain times. We understand that most restaurant owners are barely staying alive and that none of these tips alone will save your business but hopefully they provide a little insight or solace. We are all in this together.