Stocking a bar requires a delicate balance between having enough product on hand and not tying up resources in inventory that ends up sitting on the shelves collecting dust. The more bottles that sit unused, the less money you have to put back into the business. This is one of the main challenges that bars face when trying to become or remain profitable. In fact, there are 4 important facts about sitting inventory that you need to know in order to operate a successful bar business.
Fact #1: Bar inventory turnover should happen four to eight times a month.
Getting a handle on turnover can take some trial and error. It is difficult to know just how much beer, wine and liquor you should have on hand without first experiencing busy and slow nights.
Some experts recommend using the number of bottles you go through on your busiest night to set the standard for your full par. However, even adhering to this general rule of thumb does not translate into an exact science. Without more advanced inventory management tools in place, you may be left counting bottles taking educated guesses and hoping that it all works out.
Fact #2: Beer should be your fastest moving product.
Wine and spirits can sit on the shelves indefinitely without going bad, but you aren't going to win any new customers by serving them a beer that you dug out from the back corner of the cooler. The most efficient (and profitable) restaurants and bars don't hold on to beer for more than a week. This means that if you have something on hand that isn't selling, it is time to rethink your order even if the brand's sales guy is super cool.
Statistically speaking, more inventory is tied to more profit. That being said, there is a chance that you might be trying to do too much. Even a bar that specializes in whiskey may be trying to do too much. Consider being even more narrow and specific. For example, you might consider serving a variety of American whiskeys along with a handful of other options.
Your dream to open a bar with over 200 beers on tap is certainly ambitious, but the concept may not lend itself well to actually turning a profit.
Yes, there is something sacred about this tedious process that can keep you at the bar till sunrise. It is like a rite of passage. It bonds employees through shared misery, but it is doing nothing for your bottom line. In today's tech savvy world, there are so many better options for tracking inventory. You can increase efficiency, streamline ordering, earn more money and catch up on your sleep.
All you need is an internet connection to scan bottles, view accurate data on your inventory and generate a purchase order. Setting up an account is as easy as downloading an app.
Every job, even owning your dream bar, comes with some monotonous tasks that just aren't fun. The bad news is that if you are avoiding taking inventory of your bar stock, then your procrastination could lead your business down a dark road. Even if you are a hardened pro when it comes to tracking stock, there are some affordable and user friendly options on the market that will help you free up some time. You can work smarter and have a more accurate picture of how your bar is performing.