As you know, it’s hard to make ends meet when running a bar. Simply breaking even is a big enough challenge, let alone managing to turn a profit. This is an incredibly competitive industry, and margins are thin across the board. If you are going to guide your bar to a successful future, saving costs wherever possible is an important step.
With that in mind, we’d like to offer up a few cost-saving tips for you to consider when working on your bar inventory management practices.
This is at the heart of any successful inventory management process. When you have the right stock on hand – a blend of the various drinks your customers are likely to request – you can maximize sales while limiting the amount of inventory that goes to waste. Stocking your bar correctly has a lot to do with knowing your market and your typical crowd, so it will take some time to master this practice.
If you think that none of your bartenders are stealing from you, it’s likely that your eyes need to be opened a bit. It’s almost certain that at least one person on your staff is taking advantage of your business in one way or another. However, rather than always pointing fingers and creating an adversarial environment, try going the other way and trusting your team until they give you a reason not to. Of course, at the same time that you are preaching trust, you need to be controlling inventory carefully and watching for signs of trouble.
One of the common problems with bar inventory is that managers view it as nothing but a hassle and an inconvenience. You may be able to improve outcomes by doing nothing more than taking pride in your ability to track inventory accurately. Instead of seeing inventory as a headache, see it as an opportunity to improve the way your business runs. When inventory is seen as an important tool instead of an annoyance, it can positively impact your business in a big way.
It’s inevitable that some of the drinks which are meant for customers are going to end up spilled or otherwise wasted. It happens. Make sure you are accurately tracking waste to end up with an inventory that is meaningful and representative of the business you have conducted. It might not seem like that big of a deal to make note of a single spilled drink, but those will add up quickly if they happen once or twice per night.
Sloppy inventory management can be the undoing of an otherwise successful business. It would be a shame to position yourself for success in such a competitive market, only to fail because you were unable to manage inventory in an accurate manner. We hope the tips listed above will help you get on the right track. Inventory might never become your favorite part of the job, but taking ownership of it is a big part of becoming profitable.