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How to Deal With Dead Stock at Your Bar

Posted by Sculpture Hospitality on Oct 18, 2017 9:34:03 AM

In Bar Management, Stocking a Bar, Controlling Costs

You may let a sleeping dog lie, but you’re going to want your alcohol to move.

No matter how successful your bar is, chances are if you look through your inventory, you can find some dead stock—and you may be scratching your head as to how to get it off your shelves.  Loosely defined, dead stock is a product that takes over six months to deplete.

The goal is to keep your inventory at par level, but unfortunately oftentimes that is not the reality. Dead stock is frequently the result of a bad purchasing decision due to lack of knowledge or poor communication. No matter the reason, you’re not making any money off of alcohol sitting in bottles on your back bar, and instead you’re losing money and space.

Here are three tips to breathe new life into your bar by alleviating it from your dead stock.

  1. Drink Specials

If you can’t sell a product, it’s probably not worth having in the first place. In order to deplete your dead stock and make room on your back bar for something more valuable, run specialty drink specials with those bottles until they run out.

  1. Contact Liquor Reps and Make a Deal

If you have a lot of unopened bottles that you just can’t sell or perhaps communication broke down and you ordered too much liquor, it never hurts to ask your rep to exchange the stock.

Note: Vendors are most likely to negotiate terms for returns when you’re agreeing to stock a new product line or will be placing a large purchase order, so timing here is crucial.

Inventory day is going to be your favorite day

  1. Do You Have Another Location?

Location, location, location.

Whether it’s the different place, people or scene, stock that’s dead at one bar can be lively at another. If you have more than one bar or location, try to transfer your dead stock inventory, and make it a win, win.

The truth is bars only have a certain amount of shelf space. Keeping dead stock is a far-fetched hope that you can move it simply wastes space that could be used to house better selling and more profitable drinks. By streamlining your purchasing process, you can limit ordering products that shouldn’t be on your bar’s shelves.