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Best Practices for Inventory Management for Bars & Restaurants

For bars and restaurants, the importance of establishing inventory management procedures can't be overstated. If you aren't keeping accurate records of what you are selling, then it is virtually impossible to identify problems and make improvements. Without a plan in place, you are blindly running a business and simply hoping for the best. Instead of taking the "by the seat of your pants approach," use these inventory management best practices tips to add a little organization to your bar or restaurant while also increasing profits.

In Restaurant Operations, Controlling Costs, Bar Management, Stocking a Bar

Is over-pouring killing your business?

You may not think a heavy hand from time to time would cause such a negative impact on your bottom-line, but you might be surprised. Ian Foster explains why over-pouring might be killing your business. See More...
In Controlling Costs, Bar Management, Restaurant Operations

Are you running the right pour cost?

Q: Are you running the right pour cost?

A: It’s not that your pour cost is wrong, you're probably working your pour cost out correctly. The problem is... What are you comparing it to? How do you know it is good? See More...

In Controlling Costs, Bar Management, Restaurant Operations

How to Deal With Dead Stock at Your Bar

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.

In Bar Management, Stocking a Bar, Controlling Costs

Training Your Staff to Upsell & Drive Up Check Average

August is notoriously a slow month in the restaurant business. People are on vacation and spending more time grilling out in their own backyards. While there are ways to try and increase traffic to your restaurant, you can also adopt the strategy of working to get the most out of the customers who do stop by. Training your staff to upsell items is an easy way to drive up the check average and increase sales during slow periods. With a little training, your team can become experts salespeople, which will also translate into bigger tips for them.

In Staff Training, Restaurant Operations, Bar Management, Controlling Costs

What’s A Good Number?

What’s a good number? I can’t begin to tell you how often I get the question. In our day-to-day operations, or out and about, at a convention, even at a party. When someone finds out what I do, they ask “What’s a good number for (blank)?” I also get inquiries from operators, owners, industry people and vendors. So here are some of my answers to the more commonly asked questions.

In Bar Management, Controlling Costs

How Top Bars and Restaurants Cut Costs, Not Quality

Even small expenses can add up over the course of a day as your bar or restaurant pours hundreds of drinks and serves countless meals. From putting fewer nuts and berries on salads to not salting pasta water to preserve the life of pots, some businesses are more than happy to cut corners if it means more profit. While sacrificing quality in the name of savings may be a short-term solution, you will have a lot more to worry about if customers stop coming to your establishment. Fortunately, there are some ways how top bars and restaurants cut costs while ensuring quality isn't impacted, that will not only preserve existing customers, but work to increase the number of patrons.

In Bar Management, Controlling Costs

Creativity + Analytics = Profitable Cocktails

A great mixologist will bring plenty of creativity to their drinks, but they can make even more profitable cocktails by using a little bit of data to further inform their ingredient choices. While it may sound counterintuitive to argue that crunching numbers can be a tool for creativity, today's technology allows these two areas to blend seamlessly. Before you put together your next drink menu, here are some ways you can be more strategic about designing delicious drinks.

In Controlling Costs, Bar Management

4 Ways to Order Liquor Like a Pro

A wise bar operator once told me, “any schmuck can put together a liquor order, but a smart bar manager knows the fine line of ordering enough so they never run out of anything, but never unnecessarily purchase too much inventory and have money tied up in stock that does not sell.”

When I was given this advice, I was managing a bar with approximately $150 to $200K in liquor, draft and bottled beer sales a week. My weekly liquor order would vary from $30 – $50K a week depending on what was going on. It was one of the biggest expenses of the bar. The raw size of the liquor order made it a huge concern for the owners, who wanted to make sure it was done right every week. Every week was challenge to find a balance between making sure stock was always where it needed to be so we never ran out of anything, but also not to over spend. Over spending could have meant thousands of dollars tied up in inventory that the business could have used elsewhere.

In Stocking a Bar, Controlling Costs