If you are in the bar industry, you know that craft beverages have changed the landscape dramatically in recent years. There are still the major corporate players in this business, of course, but the smaller craft operations have made significant headway. As a bar owner or manager, you are primarily concerned with serving your customers – and if those customers want specific craft beverages, you need to make sure those options are on hand.
In this two-part article, we are going to take a quick look at some of the ways in which the craft beverage trend has altered the task of managing bar inventory.
This first point is likely an obvious one, but it needs to be made. When your bar stocks a variety of craft beverages, in addition to the big name brand options, your inventory is going to grow rapidly. That is a good thing when it comes to serving customers, but it can add to the complexity of your operation. What may have once been a pretty simple inventory to track could now be quite complex due to do the expansion of your drink list. Of course, if you are dedicating to succeeding in this industry, there is not much to do here other than accept the challenge and embrace it.
In most cases, craft beverages are going to cost more than the large name brands. Again, this is a situation where there is both a positive and negative. On the plus side, bringing in more expensive drinks gives you the opportunity to secure a larger profit on each drink sold, since they will be selling at a higher price point. With that opportunity, however, comes the expense associated with purchasing your inventory. It will be costlier to stock up the bar with all of these craft beverages, and you’ll have to hope that you sell through the inventory well enough to make it worth the investment.
One of the best things about the craft beverage ‘revolution’ – at least, from the perspective of the bar owner – is the opportunity to carve out a niche in the market. When all bars are selling the same drinks, it is hard for one to stand out from the other. This leads to competition which is based on little more than price, and that isn’t good for anyone. However, with so many interesting products now on the market, bars have the opportunity to specialize in something specific and build a reputation. If your bar becomes known for the quality of your drinks, and perhaps one type of drink specifically, you may be able to attract a more loyal following.
In the second half of this article, we will talk more about what the trend toward craft beverages means for bar inventory, and bar operations in general. With so much momentum behind this movement currently, it would be a mistake for any bar to overlook the changes that have occurred in the market.