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10 Rules for Successful Organization of Your Bar Inventory

Rules to successful bar inventory management
Bar Inventory - November 22, 2021 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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Are you frustrated by time-consuming and inaccurate inventory counts that aren’t improving the profitability of your bar? We’ve discussed the benefits of using inventory management software on our blog, but today we’ve got an additional tip - organization!

When your bar is organized efficiently, not only are you able to significantly reduce the time it takes to count your bar inventory, you’re also far more likely to take accurate inventory counts that give you real insight into how to boost your profit margins. 

With that in mind, we’ve listed 10 rules to help your bar better organize its inventory:

  1. Place perishable items at the front

Place items with the closest use-by-dates, and any other perishable stock, in front of other inventory. This will ensure that your employees have complete visibility of perishable items, encouraging them to use those first. This should significantly reduce the amount of inventory waste you experience each month. 

  1. The less inventory the better

We recently published a blog, How to Reduce Bar Inventory Without Compromising Service. Holding too much stock prevents you from achieving the revenue you deserve, but not having enough will impact the guest experience. Find the optimum level of inventory that you can carry at all times, and then keep it that way. 

  1. Products can go anywhere, but make sure they always go in the same place

Really, it doesn’t matter how you organize your bar and stock rooms or where certain products are kept. How you organize your bar really depends on the processes that your team has in place and what products you want to show off to your customers. However, we do have one tip. Always keep your inventory in the same place! This will ensure you don’t miss items when conducting your inventory counts. 

  1. Use labels for consistent organization

To ensure your employees always put products in the right place, consider labeling your shelves and other areas that you keep stock. Labels, or a storage map if it works better for your bar, will show your staff members exactly where items should be stored. This will prevent employees from creating their own organization processes. 

  1. Conduct frequent inventory counts

To gain insights that truly help you improve the performance of your bar, you need to conduct regular and consistent inventory counts. Inventory counts can be conducted every couple of weeks, month or quarter, but to gain complete visibility and control of your inventory we recommend performing inventory counts at the same time, on the same day, every week. This will help you make better strategic decisions that drive your bar towards growth. 

  1. Utilize bar inventory management software

Bar inventory management software is the perfect tool to help you keep your stockroom running at peak efficiencies. Bar inventory software will give you important insights into your ordering decisions, inventory usage, profit margins and the amount of stock you are wasting each month. This helps you reduce your bottom line and drive up your profitability. 

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  1. Don’t move items around while you’re counting

Inventory counts should be conducted outside of regular business hours, and at a time when prep isn’t being done. Products should not be moved around while staff members are counting your bar inventory, this will only lead to inaccurate inventory counts that give you no real insight into the actual performance of your bar. 

  1. Weigh your inventory instead of tenthing

Tenthing is the process in which bottles are either picked up or eyeballed to estimate how full they are to the nearest tenth. This process is slow, subjective and often inaccurate. The fastest and most accurate way to record your inventory data is to weigh your bottles. This will give you accurate data that allows you to compare how much product you have vs. how much you have sold. 

  1. Organize your beverages by category

To improve the efficiency in which your bartenders work, organize all of your beverages by category. By putting all of your bourbons together, all of your vodkas together and all of your tequilas together, you make it significantly easier for bartenders to find the specific brand a customer has ordered. It also makes it far easier for customers to scan the back of your bar for the drink that they want.

  1. Use the first in, first out (FIF) accounting method

To further help reduce wastage in your bar, implement a first in, first out (FIFO) accounting model. This is a method that focuses on using the products that first arrive in your bar before other products. Using older inventory before a new product will help you reduce spoilage, waste and expiration on products that can spoil. 

A well-organized bar and accurate inventory counts can result in significant profit growth for a bar. If you want to learn more, and how we can help make that happen, get in touch with Sculpture Hospitality today for a free consultation

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