The need for accurate inventory management in the bar setting should be obvious. If you aren’t carefully tracking your inventory on an ongoing basis, it’s almost certain that you are operating at something below an optimal level. Improve the way you manage your bar inventory and you’ll be likely to improve your bottom line in short order.
To help you get moving in the right direction, we would like to present some important best practices.
This is where everything starts. If your staff doesn’t understand how inventory is supposed to be managed, they can’t possibly be expected to do a good job. Provide thorough training on your inventory processes, and also be sure to explain the importance of accurate inventory. Too often, inventory is used as a way to punish employees for poor performance or some other issue. That is not a good way to approach this task, as it frames it in a negative light. Instead, make inventory just like everything else in the business – another job that needs to be done.
It is extremely difficult to accurately track inventory when your stockroom is a mess. It will be hard to know what has been counted and what hasn’t, and the task will take far longer than it should. Develop a plan for how you will store inventory in your stockroom and stick with that plan month after month.
These days, taking a piece of paper and a pencil into the stockroom for an inventory count is just not going to cut it. You can do better, and you should. By putting bar inventory management software to work, it will be much easier to avoid mistakes and come away with accurate numbers that can be used to drive the future of your business. There is also money to be saved when you use the right technology, since a great inventory tracking system can save your staff time.
If you allow some of your stock to get pushed to the back of the shelf – and remain there even after new stock arrives – that old stock will soon expire, and that money will be lost forever. To avoid wasting inventory as a result of missing expiration dates, be sure to rotate stock to the front when you receive new deliveries. The new stuff should go to the back, and the older stuff (but not expired) should make its way to the front.
Let’s be honest – most employees don’t like doing inventory. It isn’t the most exciting task you can handle on the job, and it is often performed during extra hours before or after a shift. To show your team that inventory is important, and that you appreciate their efforts, be sure to give them some form of bonus when the task is done correctly. From a gift card to a small pay bonus, your appreciation will be noticed, and your team will be more likely to put in a good effort on inventory in the future.