While counting bar inventory is a tedious task, it is very important. These counts provide you with a lot of important information that will help you run your bar at optimal levels of efficiency and profitability. In particular, your inventory efforts can significantly help you reduce shrinkage and ensure you always have the proper amount of product on-hand.
Most bars that aren’t using an advanced inventory system are missing about 15% of all product poured. Over time, this will have a major impact on your profits. Because of the need to manage this inventory shrinkage and stay on top of weekly ordering, an increasing number of bars are doing weekly inventory counts.
For the average bar, a weekly inventory schedule is pretty manageable. However, large venues such as hotels, casinos and very big bars may find that asking one employee to manage counting all inventory is an unwieldy task. In these situations, you may want to consider splitting your counts between multiple employees.
Bar-i’s Software Supports Multiple Counters
Bar-i’s software has the flexibility to allow multiple counters. We’ve found that large establishments with multiple bars and storerooms benefit greatly from this feature, making the counting task much more manageable.
When you set up our inventory system, you can add up to six employees to the account. If you have a large number of areas to count, this can make the process much more efficient, ensuring you’re able to receive your inventory audit in a timely manner.
Planning Is Crucial with Multiple Counters
In order to be able to assign different areas of the bar among all of your counters, you have to set up these specific areas, called macrozones, in our inventory software. A macrozone can comprise just about any area where you store your liquor. This may include:
- Main bar
- Secondary bars
- Storage areas
- Room service Inventory
Clearly identifying these macrozones and planning them into the mapping of your bar will make it easier to assign each macrozone to a designated counter. Therefore, it’s important to think about how you’ll want to assign each macrozone when you’re setting up your inventory system.
Same-Day Counting Is Crucial for Accurate Inventory Results
When you’re trying to perform inventory audits for a large venue, you need to get a standing inventory count for the entire establishment on the same day to ensure accurate results with your audit. In a large venue, this can be very challenging with one counter. By allowing multiple counters, you’re able to divide this very large task between several employees, ensuring all counts for your entire venue can be completed at the same time.
In our experience, we’ve found that it’s extremely important to deliver your detailed inventory audit the same day you do your count. If inventory analysis isn’t completed the same day as the count, it becomes much more challenging to identify and correct any errors that arise. This will have a significant impact on our ability to deliver the accurate, actionable data you need.
Multiple Counters Gives You Greater Flexibility
When multiple employees are cross-trained on how to use your inventory system and count each macrozone at your bar, it becomes much easier to complete your counts in situations when one of these employees is sick or has time off on inventory day. In our experience, this flexibility is especially important when counting inventory at a very large venue.
Empower Your Staff to Be “Master of Their Kingdom”
In complex venues, responsibilities are often delegated among a larger number of employees. If you let each manager count the inventory in the area for which they are responsible, they tend to:
- Become more familiar with the process
- Take greater ownership of the count
- Do a better job
This is often a more efficient approach than having one person be in charge of the inventory process for the entire venue.
Determining the Right Number of Counters for Your Venue
In general, the fewer people involved in the counting task, the better it will be. There are many benefits to keeping your process as simple as possible. Therefore, we don’t recommend using six counters simply because our system allows it. Instead, we recommend using the smallest number of counters that makes sense to efficiently complete the task based on your venue’s unique needs.
Keep the following points in mind when determining how many counters to use at your venue:
- Consistency is key to both speed and accuracy – An employee’s level of experience and practice with the inventory process is more important than the total number of counters you use. Therefore, you want to have the same people count their assigned area week in and week out.
- Switch counters quarterly, not weekly – It’s perfectly fine to rotate the staff members in charge of inventory counts over time. This will prevent employee burnout on the inventory process. However, we recommend changing your counters on a quarterly basis rather than a weekly or monthly basis to maintain greater levels of consistency with the process.
- Ownership of error checking – Our goal is to compare what was poured vs. sold to identify exactly how much of each product is missing (level 3 inventory). This is a much more detailed, complicated process than performing inventory to inform your ordering and calculate your liquor cost. Therefore, errors will be more glaring.
Bar-i has a dedicated error resolution process that shows you where there are differences between how much you sold and poured. Your staff will need to doublecheck these variances to determine whether a counting error occurred or product is actually missing. It’s important to determine whether it’s more efficient to have one person check all errors or to have each counter be responsible for checking their own work. Both approaches can work, and the right solution for you will depend on the unique nature of your operations.
Bar-i’s Software Provides Flexible Solutions for Large Venues
Due to our recent software upgrades, we can handle increasingly complex scenarios such as the need to incorporate multiple counters in the system. This makes Bar-i an effective solution for large venues with many counting areas. With our boutique approach to inventory, we sell you the software and provide you with a dedicated inventory expert to help you use the system to its optimal capabilities.
Please contact us to schedule a free consultation and get the process started. We will talk through your unique problems with you and figure out the best way to handle your specific inventory needs. Bar-i serves bars and restaurants nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.